By CHRIS PACKHAM
• There's a Wilford Brimley voice that talks in my head, deep inside a brain structure called the — uh, I'm not a neurologist — brainhole? Is that a word? Well, it talks inside my head and dispenses folksy, homespun wisdom such as: "Use the emergency eyewash station. Use it OFTEN. It's the right thing to do."
One of the things that the Wilford Brimley voice said to me once was, "Don't hand out tax revenues to commercial developers." And then he glared at me over the top of his glasses so I knew that if I ever spent money in the Power and Light District, he'd strip to the waist and start working my chest and head with old-time-Western-style roundhouse punches.
But around lunchtime every single day, he forgets about his high blood sugar and says, "Eat a vegetarian burrito from Chipotle. Eat one every day. There's no reason not to." Now, I work with people who, on principle, will not eat at the new Chipotle when the Power and Light District opens. But those people don't have a daily internal struggle with goddamn Gus Witherspoon.
Anyway, going against the grain of everything ever broadcast on any local news station in the entire history of television, KSHB Channel 41 somehow put together a good story about a tax-increment-financed development that went wrong.
• Republican Gov. Matt Blunt says it's time to hit the rusty-dusty. Done all the damage he can do around here. Time to mosey. He'll be joining former Kansas City, Missouri, parks board member Frances Semler as well as former employees of Sprint, Cerner and H&R Block in what I used to call "Funemployment" before the buzz-kill unemployment office lady told me that selling my plasma did not count as "looking for work." Here is an awesome post from Blue Girl.
• At this point, you're painfully aware that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke announced an emergency interest rate cut, like a total popularity whore. Now, I'm no economist — I'm a working man with a head full of football plays and Fred Sanford quotes, like you. So let me just say this: Ben Bernanke, you so ugly I, could smash yo' face across some dough and make gorilla cookies.
At my high school, history classes were taught by the football coach. He didn't know much about history or books, and kids made him nervous. The week we were supposed to learn about the effect of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act on the Great Depression, we learned the fullback-off-tackle-outside-belly play instead. So I'm asking with complete sincerity: Before Bush, was there ever another occasion in American history in which the executive branch actually proposed issuing checks to taxpayers from the treasury? All I can remember about American economic history is that the fullback speeds forward while the quarterback continues faking that he's handing off the ball to the tailback.
• Contrary to anything written down on my not legally binding résumé, I never actually graduated from college. One of the consequences of my decision never to finish my degree is that my income doesn't allow for your sophisticated uptown luxuries such as professional dental care or gasoline for a car. So I use the working man's dentist, Listerine, twice a day, and I take the honest, unpretentious transportation of the working man: the Max. In the summer, I like to pop open the bus window and shout, "LOSERS WALK!" at the hobos who can't afford the fare. Sometimes I light my unpretentious working man's cherry blunts with my unexpired bus transfers, so I can feel like a big-shot.
With gasoline now reaching, oh, call it $8 a gallon, Blue Springs and neighboring cities have seen increased use of existing bus lines from the suburbs to downtown Kansas City. Eight dollars a gallon, people. That's more expensive than wine!
• I've written a lot about the adult entertainment business this week. I know it. You know it. So let's just say Jackson County is now cracking down on adult businesses, and let Hearne Christopher Jr. sort out the details.
• This is barely news: The Westboro Baptist Church will protest Brokeback Mountain star Heath Ledger's funeral as a part of its ongoing condemnation of anyone who is homosexual, portrays a homosexual in a movie, reads or writes a book about homosexuality, knows someone who is "gay-acting," and anyone who ever lived on the same planet as a gay person. As a disincentive to give them any more attention than they're already getting, here is a link to a smelly old PDF file. Also, The Pitch's Justin Kendall has more.