On March 14, 2012, officers from the Memphis Police Department, Raines Station responded to a call to 3717 Elvis Presley Blvd (Graceland) at 11:31 a.m. Witnesses at the scene reported an altercation between two touring groups from Microsoft and Chicago respectively. Both groups were attending the Memphis WritersUA conference.
One witness reported hearing raised voices earlier in the tour. “One of the young guys with the Microsoft group said, ‘The only time I use your guide is…never. Who needs it? L-O-L!’ He was really egging them on.”
The incident occurred in the famous Graceland Jungle Room. Witnesses report that an individual on the Microsoft team commented loudly on the tiki bar and bar stools. “Well, this isn’t my style at all.” That’s when tempers flared. The Chicago lady started yelling at them. “Not YOUR style, huh!? Not Microsoft style? You have a lot of nerve planting your little wavy flag on what we’ve been calling good writing for over a hundred years.” Witnesses say she then threw her hardback edition of the Chicago Manual of Style at them.
“It was crazy,” a witness reported, “they just started in on each other. What’s really weird is how many of them actually carried the guides with them. There were pages everywhere. And they guys who had only electronic copies picked up anything they could get their hands on: tropical plants, safari animal statues, a teddy bear, lamps, you name it!”
One Microsoft team member later commented, “If I can’t be inspirational, responsible, empathetic, polite, supportive, and encouraging, I shouldn’t say anything at all.”
A spokesperson for Graceland stated that the Jungle Room has seen its share of conflicts in the past. “It really brings out the animal nature in people. But this is the first time we’ve seen writers get physical. Now get Librarians going on Dewey Decimal versus Library of Congress, that’s a cat fight waiting to happen!”