Channel 9's formerly crushworthy Jeremy Hubbard stands up the Night Ranger one too many times!

Anchors Away 

Channel 9's formerly crushworthy Jeremy Hubbard stands up the Night Ranger one too many times!

Awhile ago, a friend gave us some very good advice about men: It's either on or it's off. That strategy is so breathtakingly simple that it's brilliant. Either they want you or they don't, which is signaled by things like, say, asking you out as opposed to issuing what our friend Cat calls the limp-dicked invite (e.g., "A bunch of us are going to [place/event]. You're welcome to come along if you like"). Other signs of interest include making time to be with you or just indulging in flirty banter. And as we all know, giving good e-mail is key. In fact, the Night Ranger has received several salacious e-mails, wherein readers eagerly offered their services as Research Assistants. But the only one we really wanted was Jeremy Hubbard, KMBC Channel 9 news reporter/anchor-hunk.

Ah, Jeremy. The JH, with the crunchy, ski-jump hair and boyish good looks. He had been our Local Celebrity Crush for quite a while. Because we had never met him, though, it was a crush from afar. Not that we were staying home just to ogle him at 10 or anything -- that would be überpathetic. But he was a pleasant bit o' eye candy that drew us to Channel 9.

Then Jeremy became a not-so-remote figure in our lives. Over the summer, we had written a feature story about dating ("L-U-V Hangover," July 31) and had thrown his name in for comic effect. After that story came out, a mutual friend sent the Night Ranger an e-mail and tossed in this aside: "Oh, and Jeremy Hubbard says he's flattered and would love to meet you (OK, that sounds creepy, but he's married and is just an NR fan)."

Woo-hoo! We were giddy that our longtime LCC knew of our existence and read our stuff! So, one night we met Mutual Friend, Jeremy and some of his Channel 9 cohorts at the Quaff. He was really cool and funny, not the stereotypical broadcast-journalism type (no Kent Brockman was he). So, we asked him to be our RA. We thought it would be good column fodder to take him someplace cheesy, such as Funkytown, a retro dance club in eastern Jackson County, to see if anyone would recognize and fawn over him.

A flurry of e-mails ensued, starting with:

It's Jeremy Hubbard, frequent Quaff customer and devoted 'Night Ranger' fan.

Just wanted to say -- it was nice to finally meet you the other night. You'll have to join us all at the Quaff again. We're there when we're not at Funkytown.

Yours truly,

J. Hubbard

Aspiring Research Assistant

The NR's b-day was at the end of October. Unbeknownst to us, Mutual Friend had invited Jeremy to stop by the festivities. Sadly, he couldn't make an appearance clad in just a big ribbon. Oh, wait -- we're projecting our JH fantasies again. Anyway:

Happy birthday to you!

Sorry I missed the big party Saturday night, but I had to work and couldn't break away. I'm sure it went well.

Also, now that my weekend trips are over, lets [sic] get this Funkytown thing going!

J-Hub's wily and elusive behavior should have been a warning sign, but like most women, we made excuses and attributed it to his busy work schedule. Or his wife.

Well, as you can see ... I kinda suck when it comes to returning e-mails promptly. 'Sweeps month' and an impromptu trip to Wichita this week have kinda sent me into a tailspin.

Anyway, if you're still interested in my R.A. assistance, I think this Friday or next Thursday would be good. Or if there's another time that works better, that's cool too. Or if you're tired of this shit and ready to move on to Larry Moore as an R.A., I understand that too.

We immediately e-mailed him back to reserve Friday night. We heard from Mutual Friend that Jeremy had been talking up the excursion to his coworkers. That seemed promising. We waited and waited for a return e-mail. Then, we got this voice mail:

Jen, it's Jeremy Hubbard, Channel 9, 5:45 p.m. Friday, and you're going to kill me. I don't know if I'm going to be able to make it tonight. I just got saddled with another sweeps piece that has to air in a couple of days because they're freaking out about ratings and all that stuff, so anyway ... they've saddled me with another story here. So, um ... I may be able to, but, uh, but, uh I just don't know. It depends on how much I get done in the next few hours. Um, so, I'll tell you what: I will try this number back here -- [indistinguishable burp-like noise] pardon me -- in a couple of hours and maybe touch base and give you a better sense of where I'm at and all that stuff, and perhaps we can still make it happen. I talked to [Mutual Friend] last night, so I know he's still game, but again, it just depends on how much of this shit I get done. So anyway, I will call you back, and my apologies for not calling back sooner.

"Oooh. Sweeps month? That's so hot!" Cat said. We had recruited her and Mutual Friend to be our RAs/chaperones for the night.

We gathered at Harry's for predrinks. Still no call from the JH. We drank some more. "If he doesn't call by 11, then that's it, he's gone home," said Mutual Friend. Like those ladies in bad romantic comedies, we hovered over the NR's cell phone, willing it to ring.

"Well, we can still go to Funkytown anyway," NR offered lamely.

"NOOO!" protested Cat. "The point is to watch the skanks hit on Jeremy!"

The cell phone remained mute, and our luv for the JH -- who still hasn't contacted us -- thus died.

To quote Kent Brockman, "This just in: Go to hell!" It's off between us.

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