Family Force 5 is one of nine acts playing the Rock & Worship Roadshow on Wednesday at McKenzie Arena.
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Lisa Denton and Barry Courter

LISA DENTON: Barry, I don't know if you've paid much attention to the calendar lately, but Valentine's Day is less than a week away.

BARRY COURTER: The only time I look at calendars is to see when my next story is due. Hazard of the job. But since you bring it up, there are a couple of calendar events surrounding VD. That's what my old high school classmates called it. We'd wish each other Happy VD and laugh and laugh. Ah, adolescence.

LISA: If you pay close attention to the calendar, you'll see that there are several nontraditional ways to celebrate VD (haha).

Like Lady Gwendolyn's Bleeding Heart Ball on Friday at Heritage House (theme: "6 Feet Under the Big Top"), a Mighty Ugly Valentines Workshop on Saturday at the Chattanooga Public Library ("ugly is the new pretty") and a vow renewal ceremony Saturday at Thunder Creek Harley-Davidson (because "there's nothing better than your two loves: your valentine and your motorcycle").

In other weird events, there's also a Mardi Bra Party on Friday where you can donate undies to the homeless. I'm not sure that bras and Mardi Gras go hand in hand because going without in New Orleans is how you get your Mardi Gras beads. I've heard.

BARRY: Donated underwear? I'm sure they mean new, still in the vacuum pack, of course. Maybe I can regift the SpongeBob pair I got for Christmas. And who needs a workshop on ugly? I wake up every day and roll with it.

LISA: Did I ever tell you my funny underwear story? I'm not talking about thongs. They may be funny-looking, but they're not all they're cracked up to be.

I'm talking about a funny pair of men's boxer shorts that were sold in the gift shop at the Tennessee Aquarium, where my daughter, Kayla, works. The boxers had a big fish on the back and the message "Nice Bass." I asked her to pick up a pair for me to give my brother-in-law, who has a thing for crazy underwear. I've heard.

When she was paying, the clerk asked if such a personal gift was for her boyfriend. Kayla said, "No, they're for my uncle." The clerk looked alarmed.

After I saw them, I decided I needed another pair for another gift and asked her to pick up a second pair the next day.

Same clerk. Same hopeful question: "Are these for your boyfriend?"

Kayla said, "No, these are for my brother."

We have laughed and laughed about that over the years.

BARRY: At least you didn't send her to buy them for your pastor. That would be creepy.

LISA: Nope. Some things you just don't do.

BARRY: There also are some pretty cool things to do before chocolate and flower day. Rain: A Tribute to The Beatles is at the Tivoli Theatre on Monday, the same night that Madeon with Skylar Spence is at Track 29.

The next night, Francesca Blanchard is at Barking Legs with Dean Fields. If you prefer contemporary Christian music, the Rock & Worship Roadshow is at McKenzie Arena on Wednesday. For 10 bucks you get Newsboys, Jeremy Camp, Mandisa, Phil Wickham, Family Force 5, Audio Adrenaline, Danny Gokey, Citizen Way and Shaun Groves.

LISA: A stellar lineup.

BARRY: And we might need a little church.

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Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281. Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354.