Why are spinners cool? Can you still be a pimp if your ride doesn't have dope rims?
Big boys like big toys and the instant attention that they get. It's stupid. But it works. I've seen many women hypnotized by sparkling chrome. But let me tell you all that glitters ain't gold, baby. Sometimes the car is all he has. He doesn't even own a house. Can we sleep in the car? No. As for your pimp question ... I make the ride. The ride don't make me. I can still pimp on factory rims.
Sometimes my 2-year-old Volkswagen Passat makes a screaming, whistling sound when I first get going on a hot day and shift into second gear. The mechanic at the dealership says he doesn't hear it. What should I do?
Take it to a shade tree. A few years ago, when the brakes on my bright-red, fully loaded Ford Expedition were screeching, I took it to a rehabbed crackhead. A few hours and $50 later, my brakes were fixed, and I was rolling with my girls to Joe Joe's on Prospect.
On the Wayne
At the Pitch, we tend to think that City Manager Wayne Cauthen is doing a bang-up job. Imported from Denver by Mayor Kay Barnes, Cauthen was the new broom that this town needed before it could get its downtown redevelopment into high gear.
So when we heard that City Council members weren't so impressed by the job Cauthen has done -- and that the council said so in a written evaluation -- we knew we had to get a copy.
Barnes and ten of the 12 members of the council recently filled out forms rating Cauthen's performance in a number of areas. The Pitch obtained a copy of their cumulative scores, which reflected praise for Cauthen's handling of the budget and his commitment to diversity but faulted his people skills.
The evaluation had two sections. The first asked for ratings in seven areas on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being "unacceptable" and 5 being "outstanding." Cauthen made his best marks in diversity (3.95) and budget (3.8). He fared worst in communications, scoring a 2.7.
The second section of the evaluation asked the elected officials to assess Cauthen's "personal characteristics" as either "satisfactory" or "needs improvement." Cauthen received ten satisfactory votes in the areas of imagination and decisiveness. He claimed nine satisfactories in the integrity and loyalty categories.
But a substantial portion of the council also thinks that Cauthen can be a jerk. Six evaluators wrote that his listening skills needed improvement, and five said his cooperation and diplomacy needed work.
What does Cauthen do to make some on the council feel slighted? One council member who spoke to Backwash described instances in which Cauthen has sent underlings to meetings that he was expected to attend.
Cauthen is said to be unhappy with the evaluation, described by another council member as the equivalent of a "C" grade. (Cauthen did not respond to an interview request.) The survey comes at a time when the council is set to deliberate a new contract for the city manager, who has been on the job for more than two years. Last year, the council approved a 9 percent raise in Cauthen's base pay, lifting his annual salary from $160,000 to $174,400.
City Hall sources indicate that Councilman Charles Eddy, the head of the Finance Committee and one of Cauthen's biggest fans, will seek the approval of a three-year contract. The proposal is likely to encounter resistance. Council members who view Cauthen as haughty now may be reluctant to guarantee his status beyond the next election, in the spring of 2007, when term limits will force Barnes and half the council from their seats.
Hey, Wayne: Ignore the naysayers who marked you down. It's only a sign that you're shaking up this sleepy town like you were hired to do.
Over the Fence
Jermaine Jamison, the refugee of the mostly unwatched Fox reality show Rebel Billionaire we profiled a couple of weeks ago, turns out to be a major trash-talker.
Jamison, an ambitious guy whose (very tenuous) claim to fame is that Billionaire's billionaire, Richard Branson, had him meet Nelson Mandela, recently became president of a homeowners association in a swanky part of Lenexa.
The biggest problem on his hands as leader of the Brampton Home Owners Association? A renter who has let his property get cluttered with on-again, off-again projects and let the place go to weeds -- and who happens to play for the Royals.
Outfielder Terrence Long moved in about five months ago, and Jamison can't talk enough smack about him. "He's a Royals player," Jamison says. "Whoopee-freaking-do. I'm cooler than he is. He's just a renter making millions. It's just crazy." Jamison accuses the athlete of not watering his lawn. "It's kind of like ... transients," he says.
At first, Jamison was excited that the neighbor moved in.
"It's suburbs. It's a trip, actually, because there's not too many brothers around here," says the African-American TV footnote.
Long didn't offer any lip in response. But a team spokesman defended the journeyman player, saying he's an active member of a homeowners association in his hometown in Alabama.
Jamison, meanwhile, appeared to score a major victory when he convinced Long to remove a 6-foot post that the player had installed for an unfinished privacy fence that violated the subdivision's rules.
Such victories mean a lot to someone who got kicked off Rebel Billionaire by the fourth episode.