We drag the river for stuff you didn't know you were missing.

Backwash 

We drag the river for stuff you didn't know you were missing.

Native Tongue
What's an ambassadress, and does it come in a size 4?

The Lewis and Clark Bicentennial is mercifully coming to a close, along with the rest of 2004, and the press release for the final lukewarm commemorative event, Sacagawea: Ambassadress to the West, was sent to the Pitch from Tim Tiegreen, the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department's media mouthpiece. So we asked him about ambassadresses. Do they have them in pink?

"I didn't write that," Tiegreen said, passing us off to David Jackson, the director of archives and education at the Jackson County Historical Society, which is sponsoring the event.

But Jackson was busy pinning down butterflies' wings in glass cases, or whatever it is they do at the Historical Society.

So we did our own cursory research on Sacagawea, the 17-year-old Shoshone woman credited with repeatedly saving the asses of explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and their Corps of Discovery as they traipsed around the untamed American West. OK, fine, we Googled her. And we found that the young squaw was not only an ambassadress but also an interpretess and a navigatress.

American women in history really get the shaft. We mint their faces on crappy dollar coins that are destined to fail (anyone else have a Susan B. Anthony dollar at the bottom of her sock drawer?) and then saddle them with ridiculous terms like ambassadress. It's a word, yes, but would it really be so difficult to call Sacagawea something else? Emissary? Diplomat? Envoy? Explorer? Scout? Or -- gasp -- ambassador?

When Jackson of the Historical Society called back, he admitted that he wouldn't have used the word ambassadress, either. He said the title was actually chosen by Oglala-Lakota tribe member Jan M. Morris, the woman speaking on Sacagawea at the event.

Eeeeep. Well, ambassadress it is. We'll take two. -- Nadia Pflaum

Corwin Is, Like, Wicked Rad
New KCMO Police Chief Jim Corwin is drawing raves for his professionalism and enthusiasm. He also appears able to correct bad habits quickly.

The chief recently invited Pitch staff members for a chat, and not once during the conversation did he say "totally."

Cop watchers may have noticed that Corwin, in his first month on the job, talked at times like a sorority girl. In the November 20 edition of The Kansas City Star, Corwin defended the department after a police dog bit a suspect: "I totally support the police officer," Corwin said. "What he did was totally appropriate for the situation."

Eight days later in the Star, Corwin criticized the actions of officers who staged a recent work slowdown, calling their actions "totally wrong." Officers "aren't getting paid to slow down," he said. "That's totally against their oath."

But last week, Corwin muted the valley speak. In addition to not letting the word slip during his talk with the Pitch, Corwin spent a "totally"-less hour with KCUR 89.3 host Steve Kraske.

At one point on Kraske's show, Corwin seemed to stop himself at "to-." Had Corwin noticed or been told of his tendency to sound like a 19-year-old named Missy recounting a night of debauchery? "I have no idea," says department spokesman Rich Lockhart.

The case remains totally under investigation. -- David Martin

Net Prophet
Notes from KC's blogosphere.

Remind me to tell you about the utterly public girl-on-girl feel-up and grope-fest officially known as a security check in the Kansas City airport. Sorry, I know we're trying to keep the batshit terrorists off our planes, but this can't be fucking legal. Although God bless all the slack-jawed perverts who got to sit there and watch another woman squeeze my tits. I wonder if anyone took photos? From Reecie.com, the online diary of Reecie Davis.

Jimmy The Fetus

Hey, kids, Jimmy the Fetus here, your guide to moral values in the Midwest, helping everyone see that what we learned in Sunday school really matters.

Dear Jimmy:

I like Jesus and all, but I have this friend, Jessica, who is way hardcore. And she told me I was a backslider because our family has a Christmas tree. Is she full of it or what?

Brittany
Olathe

Dear Brittany:

Remember that in biblical times, Christmas trees looked almost nothing like they do today. No synchronized blinking minilights. No painted, blown-glass NASCAR ornaments. No pink flocking. In fact, in Jesus' day, Christmas trees were made of mud. And they smelled bad. So families really didn't even want them in the house, and they certainly didn't put presents underneath them. And in those days, Santa was thought to enter through the barn, hence the importance of the manger, rather than chimneys, in the Bible.

So you see, Brittany, your friend Jessica is just trying to help, in her own toxic, born-again manner. Don't be too hard on her. I may only be the size of a walnut, but I know the holidays can be an especially confusing time for young women facing that most magical of moments in their lives. It might help to keep in mind what the Bible tells us, Brittany: "If a man lies with a woman and has an emission of semen, both of them shall bathe themselves in water and be unclean until the evening."

Now if that isn't a reason for the season, I don't know what is.

Got a moral quandary? E-mail Jimmy at editorial@pitch.com.

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