By CHRIS PACKHAM
Crime is hard, let's go shopping! The recent crime wave of copper thievery is understandable, I guess, what with the economy ess'ploding, but who saw that coming?
Still, if you outlaw scrap metal recycling companies, then only outlaws will have scrap metal recycling companies. As a criminal, I'd never succeed -- stealing air conditioner units and stripping the wiring from houses sounds like way more work than I actually do at my sleepy law-abiding office job every day. Seriously -- wouldn't it actually be easier to go to Vatterott College and get your HVAC certification than to remove heat exchangers from cooling systems and sell them for money? Also, at my new career-counseling service for criminals, we accept both cash and coils of copper tubing.
Mind the gap: Like that one kid in that one Twilight Zone episode with the jack-in-the-box, or a terrified character in a horror movie who says, "Our greatest fears are becoming real," and who is then killed by a snake dressed like a clown, I've always prided myself on my vivid imagination. Whenever I'm not sleeping, I'm busy thinking things up -- vividly -- and when I am sleeping, I'm probably doing the same goddamn thing. It's the sheer brute force of my ripped imagination that supports and sustains the Aaron Eckhardt handsome self-image without which I'd never be able to step outside my house, let alone make eye contact with or speak to girls.
So it won't come as much of a surprise that I think Mayor Mark Funkhouser's weirdly northland-centric imaginary light rail plan suffers from way too much reality, embracing connecting transit lines including express buses and a downtown streetcar line that would be subject to auto traffic. In downtown Kansas City, that means even though you're on rails, you're stopping at literally every single depressingly non-imaginary intersection between the River Market and Crown Center, because all the traffic lights are reverse-synchronized. If I want to hear about gloomy real-world Larry Clark shit like regional taxes or the immutable second law of thermodynamics, known to physicists as "the asshole of physics," I'll go watch a dispiriting Todd Solondz movie, or tour a federal penitentiary. In the full flower of completely un-moored imagination, a commuter rail line should be more like...
Did you see me there? I was the one curling 700 pounds with a single arm in the train's Gold's Gym facility, before doing a few "rails" in the disco. I should point out that the 1979 Supertrain, considered one of the most expensive flops of the decade, was canceled after only nine episodes, meaning even imaginary rail systems have a hard time gaining traction. I'm just saying, Funkhouser's plan might be a bit more appealing if it had a little less sales tax ballot initiative and a little more lighted disco floor. And Clay Chastain is still crazy. GONDOLAS!
The Champagne of Coffees: Lewis Diuguid spoke to a Brookside men's coffee club about the presidential race, and as you might expect from a men's coffee club, they don't like patriotic, tough-talking, balls-having war hero candidates such as your Hillary Clinton. Diuguid doesn't come right out and say it, but I can read between the lines, where it says loud and clear that the men's coffee club probably likes knitting with their lattes.
As it turns out, I also have a men's coffee club. Only, we drink Pabst, the coffee of the common man. Everyone knows that I am absolutely a bear until I've had my morning "coffee." Just put the "coffee" down and back away slowly!!!! HAHAHAHA! Man, that is my favorite mug, and also funny motivational poster and casual Friday t-shirt. Plus, we enjoy the company of women in my men's coffee club, because they confer the illusion to passersby that somehow the club members are desirable to women.
The members of my men's coffee club also come to the Sunday meetings of Chris P.'s Men's Book Club -- only instead of books, we watch DVDs, the "books" of the common man. And also the common woman, because I am totally gender-blind and I never discriminate. This week, we're "reading" the Smokey and the Bandit series, a moving account of two generations of Pontiac Trans-Ams in Texarkana, set in a time not too long ago, when transporting Coors east of Texas was still considered bootlegging.