Friday, February 25
People who don't follow Bob Barker's famous commandment to get their pets spayed or neutered are going to hell. We know because, growing up, we lived next to a family whose unfixed feline cranked out litters more often than an Irish-Catholic mother in Dublin. Don't get us wrong -- we looove kittens. But not infestations of them. In addition to the exhausting work of helping lazy idiots stem their pets' reproductive impulses, the group No More Homeless Pets in Kansas City -- made up of local vets and concerned citizens -- also works toward finding homes for, well, just read the name. Yappy Hour, its next fund-raising event, takes place from 5 to 9 p.m. at Birdies Pub and Grill in Shawnee (8889 West 75th Street). Call 816-333-7387 for more information.
Saturday, February 26
'Tis the day of the jazz matriarch in Kansas City -- local concerts celebrate both Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. At 8 p.m. at the Folly Theater (300 West 12th Street, 816-474-4444), Tony nominee Ann Hampton Callaway performs a tribute to Fitzgerald. If that sounds about as exciting as a reheated frozen lasagna, skip the expensive tickets and the Cialis-is-right-for-you crowd and head to Bar Natasha (1911 Main) around 10:30, where $4 buys admission to see Callaway take the small stage after her Folly show and really do Ella proud. Lady Day fans on a nonopera-house diet also have reason to rejoice. Kansas City singers Arrika Brazil, Luqman Hamza (regular Peach Tree crooner) and Tracy Neely memorialize Billie Holiday at 7 p.m. at the Grand Emporium (3828 Main, 816-531-1504). Tickets are $10, or $15 for couples.
Sunday, February 27
Nevermind the evils of abortion and the threat of gay marriage -- and forget that fool's parade of a debate over evolution. The real challenge facing Christians in the 21st century is The Da Vinci Code. For those few who haven't taken the hour and a half required to read it, we won't ruin the ending by mentioning that it involves a secret Catholic sect that's hellbent on hiding the facts that Jesus knocked up Mary Magdalene and that some of their descendents were in the Village People. We know how devastating this can be to potluckgoers who have thrown morality to the wind while getting freaky to "YMCA," so might we suggest that everyone stop and consider the fact that it's only a fucking novel? We hope to God this is exactly what St. Paul School of Theology professor Warren Carter is going to tell the 5:30 p.m. flock at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church (9555 North Oak Trafficway, 816-734-2216) when he delivers a speech called "Da Vinci Code Got You Puzzled?"
Monday, February 28
If independent filmmaking is as simple as recording some friends doing idiotic, usually ninja-related things out in the woods over a weekend, then we were the Steven Soderbergh of our high school class. Then again, we never took the extra step and actually screened any of our sophomoric productions before a paying audience, so perhaps we lacked the true independent spirit. We hope that the Weatherford Brothers of Lickety Split Films in Stanley will unveil a brilliant, nuanced, comedic masterpiece when they screens their 55-minute YETI! A Tale of the Brothers Krong! at 7 p.m. Monday at Liberty Hall in Lawrence (644 Massachusetts, 785-749-1972). The trailer for the film, viewable at Lawrence.com, promises a romp through the undergrowth with young, sword-wielding, corn-fed Kansas boys in sweatpants pursuing a dude in a white gorilla suit.
Tuesday, March 1
In 1973 Gary Young suffered a crippling injury in a logging accident. After three weeks in a coma and four weeks in intensive care, doctors told him he would spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair. Think that kept ol' Gary down? Think again. According to his Web site, www.youngliving.com, "it was this pain that eventually led him to discover the potential of a powerful but little-known form of natural medicine -- essential oils." A touch of lavender here, a sprinkle of patchouli there and Young was, as they say, back in the saddle again. He launched Young Living, which might be called the Amway of alternative health-care products. The company spreads the goldenrod gospel through free regional meetings, such as the one tonight from 7 to 9 at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center (2345 McGee). Call 800-371-3515 for information.
Wednesday, March 2
When Erika Nelson transformed a vehicle used to transport elderly people in Anderson County, Kansas, into "the world's only traveling roadside attraction," she couldn't possibly have been of sound mind. The maxi-van's makeover resulted in an exhibit called The World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things -- we swear we're not making this up -- which celebrates replicas of the inane small-town claims to fame that plague the Midwest (and, may we say, Kansas in particular). Some examples: the Largest Ball of Popcorn, found in Sac City, Iowa; the Biggest Cow Hairball, at home in Garden City, Kansas; and Tipton, Missouri's ultimate testament to cocaine -- oops, billiards -- the World's Largest Eight Ball. It's the town's water tower. We've seen it. Catch the mobile museum as it lumbers through town today on a tour stop to visit -- what else? -- the World's Largest Shuttlecocks at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (4525 Oak). See www.worlds largestthings.com for more information.