Off the rack and on the town.
Quiznos, 89th and Metcalf in Overland Park, noon Tuesday
The Pitch's fashion expert, a straight guy named Bud, points to a man hunched over his sandwich at a nearby table: a lanky guy in an orange shirt, khakis and a brown belt with a silver, egg-shaped phone clipped to it.
Geeks now wear holsters, cowboy-style. Often, though, the sidearm is just an electric leash to the office.
"Every morning at 7:30, that thing goes click. It's not because you want to. It's out of necessity -- the workday costume," Bud says. "It's not cool."
The guy with the belt clip is Bill Beezley, a 40-year-old middle manager at J.P. Morgan who says he got strapped 8 months ago. "I got tired of having the mysterious bulge in the side pocket," Beezley says. He'd forget to turn off the ringer, and each new chime would lead to self-groping.
His phone is a basic, bottom-of-the-line model from Verizon. Whereas some belt clips have swivel action, allowing for both vertical and horizontal wear, his is the industry equivalent of a clothespin. "I think it's way fashionable," Beezley says. "But I'm not much into ostentatious phones."
He's seen guys during happy hour at the 75th Street Brewery who wear their phones out for a purpose, he says. The size, shape and special features are supposed to denote rank. "I think there's an ego behind some people and their phones," Beezley says, "and I'm not a part of it."
We head to 75th Street Brewery, hoping to observe this technosterone in action. There, a guy waiting for a lady friend has unclipped his phone -- a silver Motorola in a black-leather case -- and set it in front of him on the table. Brady Phelan of Shawnee says he never pimps his phone; it's usually in a backpack or covered by his untucked shirt. "The only reason it's on the damn table is so it won't pinch my back," he says. He thinks phone flashers are mostly suburbanites.
Seated nearby, Mike Miller, who lives on 159th Street in JoCo, is waiting for his date, too. His digital sidearm is a Sprint Treo 600 -- retail $450 -- with phone, camera, daily planner, e-mail and Internet. He picked the flat-face "handspring" phone with a full but tiny keyboard over a flip phone with a small screen and the usual keypad.
"I like a thing that is an all-in-one device," Miller says. The Treo 600 gives him top-dog status: "Yeah," he says, "I'm a hound." The belt clip is just plain practical, he adds, for guys with larger devices.
Note from KC's blogosphere.
I'm getting increasingly concerned about (and annoyed with) Dad. All he talks about is TV, and it's all negative. Last night, we had just finished watching According to Jim, a favorite for all of us. Less than Perfect came on, and Dad asked if we wanted to watch that or the second half of The Guardian. I told him I didn't even know what The Guardian was. Dad said he didn't, either, and he switched the channel to what I presume was The Guardian. Not missing hardly a beat, he said, "It's probably another show about gays."
I told him, "Dad, I don't care what's on the TV. I just hate racism and prejudice." Or something to that effect. I left the room.
Dad didn't raise me like that. He raised me to be tolerant of everyone, and give everyone a chance as a human being. The only "hate" I learned from my dad was the hate of hypocrites.
Now I find my dad is becoming a hypocrite. He's racist, he's prejudiced against anyone who is different than him. This concerns (and annoys) me. I'm half-tempted to tell him he didn't raise me like that, and I will not put up with it in my house. I won't, of course, but oh, the temptation!
I don't want to censor what my dad says, what he watches on TV, how he thinks. It just saddens me so to see what was such a wonderful, kind, loving man turn into such a negative, grouchy, hate-spewing ogre.
From Wild Scorpy, the blog of a woman named Carrie.