And not just any boy, but a rich and powerful one. Villiers, the Duke of Buckingham, was dallying with his sugar daddy, England's King James I, at the same time that he was allegedly dillying with the queen of France. Instead of running away when the boys came out, Georgie became embroiled in all kinds of political intrigue before he was stabbed to death in 1628.
Not every historian believes that Georgie Porgie was the bed-hopping Villiers. British author Chris Roberts insists that the rhyme has nothing to do with sex and is, instead, a "childhood obesity warning."
Here in Kansas City, the diner-style restaurant known as Georgie Porgie's is named after its original owner, George Glaholt, not some conniving courtier. Here, one is less likely to think of a rollicking romp in the hay and is more inclined to think of obesity childhood and otherwise when staring down at a platter of scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, four strips of bacon and a biscuit. Then again, a friend of mine, who has done more than his share of dillydallying in the city and likes to roll into Georgie Porgie's right after a romantic rendezvous says, "The coffee is strong, the music is loud, and no one gives a damn if you walk in without combing your hair."
True on all counts. No one is going to mistake this new incarnation of Georgie Porgie's just as laid-back and eccentric as the original venue at 8111 Wornall for the Classic Cup or even Sharp's. The tables are relics from 1940s-style kitchenette sets, and the walls are adorned with all kinds of weirdness: vinyl 45s and LPs held up with thumbtacks; framed photos of Jim Morrison, Elvis and the Beatles; album covers, vintage postcards, comic books and paper illustrations of 1960s automobiles.
"If the coffee won't wake you up, the music sure will," said my friend Ned, noting that the sound system's noise level hovered somewhere between that of a high school dance and a 1973 eight-track player cranked up to full volume. More percussion was coming from an unsupervised brat pounding his spoon on the next table over. I cursed myself for not popping a couple of Tylenol before heading out for a morning meal.
"OK, so it's not a good place to cure a hangover," Frankie said as he looked over the laminated sheet listing the extensive breakfast menu. "You get a lot of food for the money, you know?"
This was the first kind word Frankie had said about Georgie Porgie's since he'd started tagging along with me to the restaurant. He hadn't been a big fan of the Georgie Porgie's on Wornall. ("At least you could smoke in there," he said.) On his first visit to the new location (where smoking is forbidden), he'd been scandalized when the skinny teenage waitress slouched at a table eating a waffle instead of taking our order.
It didn't bother me I had once been a skinny, teenage, waffle-eating server myself, before a grizzled veteran waitress smacked me upside the head and taught me how to be a professional. One of the charms of Georgie Porgie's is that it's just like eating in a Beatles-era rec room and having your food brought out to you by your best friend's bratty younger sister.