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. I'm feeling like crap today. Something in the amniotic fluid or something. So I thought I'd ruin your day, too, with this happy exchange.
My older brother just got back from Iraq in one piece, and our family is really grateful. But now he's being sent back for another tour. It doesn't seem fair. I've been reading your advice column for several weeks now, and you always seem to find the most appropriate Bible quote for any situation. Got one that will help me cope?
Keep in mind what Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had to say about troops forced to drive unarmored vehicles into a landscape rife with insurgents and suicide bombers. He said soldiers go to war with the army they have, not the army they'd like to have. This is sound advice. I know that you'd rather some other family's son was used as AK-47 target practice over there, but the fact is, we go to war with the kids we have, namely your brother. So buck up, Darlene. Someday this war is going to end.
Oh, and here's your Bible quote: "Then Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite died, and was buried at Pirathon in the land of Ephraim."
Got a moral quandary? Email Jimmy at email@example.com
By now it's well established that in the fall of 2002, when Mayor Kay Barnes held her infamous press conference snootily banning skateboarders from the streets of downtown, life immediately improved for skaters all over the city. That was thanks to (a) the unintentional hilariousness of the mayor's argument -- that in a city of crumbling infrastructure, skaters were somehow doing more damage to downtown concrete than, say, decades of City Hall neglect had -- and (b) the fact that plenty of other grown-ups understood that skateboarders were cool and started figuring out where to build them an actual skatepark, which the city embarrassingly lacked ("Slab Happy," August 7, 2003).
The search for a site was a thing of beauty in and of itself, a rare collaboration among City Hall bureaucrats, parks commissioners and punky kids in baggy clothes. Ultimately, they decided to roll in Penn Valley Park, overcoming the initial objections of condo developers who were slow to grasp the idea that a few acres of heavily used and brightly lit, undulating concrete might prevent undulations of other sorts between men in the nearby bushes.
Ground will break for the earth-shattering development this spring. Meanwhile, a mini version is about to be born on the banks of the Missouri River.
A wooden half-pipe, its sides swooping up to 8 feet tall, is due to be deposited in an empty parking lot in Berkley Riverfront Park this month.
It's being built by a tattooed guy named Woody Moldenhauer in a limestone cave just east of Southwest Trafficway, at 31st Street and Mercier.
Official word is that the half-pipe will remain in the parking lot for the next one to two years for KC's skating pleasure.
We feel compelled to point out a certain irony. Berkley Park is, after all, an empty site of broken promises -- first by the casino company that pledged to build a kickass riverfront park in return for the right to be the city's exclusive gambling hall; then by economic development leaders who decided to turn the downsized park (it lacked drinking fountains, bathrooms and even benches) into a nice front lawn for a corporate campus; and, most recently, by a Texas redevelopment company that abandoned its deal to build an "urban village" along the river when the chance to put up H&R Block's new downtown headquarters apparently looked sexier.
Now it's up to the kids to accomplish what no city official has been able to do: Bring people to Berkley Park.
So in a roundabout way, Mayor Kay was a forward thinker by being backward. That's a stunt even the most nimble skateboarder can admire.
Notes from KC's blogosphere.
Last night as my husband and I were about to consummate our marriage (again), the phone rang. I didn't answer (for obvious reasons) and let the machine get it. It was my best friend and her voice sounded serious. She called back 4 seconds later so I decided I should answer. She called to tell me she had just taken a pregnancy test and she is, indeed, pregnant. Wow. Talk about a mood killer. Something like having a baby is a million miles away from my brain. Instead I'm dreaming of the passport book I plan to start filling with my husband. That's my idea of dreamy, folks.
After my husband's Sim, Richard, got married to Lily and they had Max, we were annoyed at all the money-makin' and playtime this damn baby was taking up. I said, "Oh, I guess this just got realistic." Heh. We started talking about how not-ready we both are and he said, "I guess it must be worth it somehow because people keep doin' it." Someday, maybe. Maybe not. We're only 25.
From "Pomegranate Pretty," the online diary of a recently married bank employee.