Granfalloon, 12:20 a.m. Friday
They look like typical barroom knockouts: curvaceous brunette in a black long-sleeve, leggy blonde in a white sweater. The Pitch's official fashion expert, a straight guy named Bud, notices that the blonde is clutching a green, shield-sized bag emblazoned with tiny L's and V's.
Her sweater hangs loosely off one shoulder. Her hair has a frizzy, bed-head look. "When you see roots, it's bad," Bud says. "For a girl with a Louis Vuitton purse, I think the bad hair would be intentional."
In the high-end bag industry -- Coach, Gucci, Louis Vuitton -- the size of the purse dictates its worth. A woman clutching a bowling-ball-sized Louis Vuitton? Chances are, she's either from money or making money. The younger the woman, the more likely she didn't buy it herself. This woman is probably 27, dressing 30. To a couple of light-beer-drinking dudes in their mid-20s, the purse means only one thing: We can't afford her style.
We buy the women a round of beer anyway. They approach our table. It's a Louis Vuitton "doctor bag," says the blonde, Abby. Price tag: $600.
Both women are from rural southeast Kansas. Abby invokes typical pick-up etiquette and refuses to give her last name, but she says she grew up in Johnson County and got the purse after she graduated from Kansas State last year. But she usually wears Old Navy or Wal-Mart clothes, she says.
"Even if you're wearing sweatpants, like, that would dress it up," she says of her handbag.
"Other girls get their bags to be like, 'Guess what, I have a lot of money, and I'm willing to spend it on absolutely everything, and I drive a BMW and live in a big house,'" she adds. If a guy recognizes the brand, he can decide if he wants to go talk to her. "It's nice to have one," she says. "For people who know."
If you can't say something nice ...
A couple of weeks ago, indie-film lovers were shocked by a letter from Fine Arts Theatre Group part-owner Wade Williams that showed up in the Sunday Arts section of The Kansas City Star.
Williams claimed to be speaking for the whole chain when he said that it was "shameful" for movie houses to show Michael Moore's film Fahrenheit 9/11, saying that his company "supports our troops, country, heritage, flag and president."
Brian Mossman, who, with his twin brother, Ben, co-owns the chain with Williams, tells the Pitch that his theaters have never restricted political films, regardless of Williams' point of view. Angry that Williams had spoken for Fine Arts without notifying him, Mossman says he spent days after the letter appeared explaining to angry callers and e-mailers that Williams wasn't speaking for the theater chain.
Williams sounded somewhat humbled when he spoke with the Pitch. He pointed out that he'd apologized to the Mossmans for making the letter look as if it were more than his own opinion.
But we couldn't help asking: Had Williams bothered to see the movie he said other theater owners should be ashamed to show?
He admitted that he hadn't caught it yet.
Notes from KC's blogosphere.
Editor's note: Besides the usual crowd of navel gazers and war bloggers, this town has its share of Internet writers whose work actually deserves reading. On one of our frequent forays into the Kansas City blogosphere, we found this entry.
I'm on break at Quiznos right now, and here are some actual statistics from today:
Number of fat people: 47
Number of people with Star Wars shirts: 7
Number of fat people with Star Wars shirts: 6
Number of people who have been confused by "Would you like onions on that?": 14
Number of times I stabbed my coworker in my mind: 46
Total number of sandwiches made: 327
Number of sandwiches made out of spite: 326
-- From "Nerd in America," the blog of Jay Maus