By Kevin Faris

Well, if you were not aware of it before, it should be perfectly clear. Ace Weekly has completely sold out to the man. Sad to say, but the corporate world has so infested our newspaper that I would be surprised if the front cover did not say, "ACE Weekly: Brought to You by Microsoft!" or Disney or some other conglomerate. The proof lies in the pudding, or in our case the Riblets. If the far-reaching claw of the evil empire that is Applebee’s was ever in doubt, than this "BEST OF LEXINGTON" issue should lay that firmly to doubt. Yes, the newspaper that once had bars that had been closed for years, (The Wrocklage), and movies that opened in the mid-90s, (100 Proof), receiving a substantial amount of votes has now awarded Applebee’s "Best Happy Hour."

I should clear up a misconception. ACE Weekly did not award Applebee’s anything, you the reader did. One of the more humorous weeks on the calendar is the one that follows the "Best of" issue, where people accuse ACE of rigging the elections, of only awarding businesses that we like or have relationships with the prizes. Well, this should put any talk of that to rest. Trust me, if this were fixed, there is no way I would let Applebee’s win anything. Although, in their defense, they are a very well-run business that seems to be popular amongst a large percentage of people. I cannot bad mouth them too much, I have a liberal arts degree and may need a job someday.
The independent spirit of ACE, however, did show through in other ways. The ideas of what to do with the money pit that is Lexington Mall showed not only creativity, but just the right amount of destructiveness that I appreciate in any good idea. And before you think that I am some sort "Inside the Circle" snob, which, to admit, I kind of am, I have a confession. I love Starbucks. And apparently, so do a lot of you. It won, "Best Coffee."

This "Best of" has a different feel from the others. The wide array of businesses and people that were named reflect on a growing readership of ACE. Although Lexington is not a big city, it is spread out enough that those of us in one neighborhood may not appreciate what lies elsewhere. We are growing up and growing out, suburbs here we come! To quote Vince Vaughn in Swingers, "Our baby’s all growns up!" And, in the end, it is not my opinion that counts, it is yours, and if you say Applebee’s is the best, than I say, "Bring on my Brewtus and Riblets! And don’t Bogart the wetnaps, my friend, because I am one messy dude."