Back in July, Kansas City Star columnist C.W. Gusewelle filed the first of several dispatches from Russia. Like the ones to come, it was an impenetrable fortress of storytelling, the only flash of clarity coming in the column's final sentence, when Gusewelle revealed that he would be reporting from Russia -- for the local section -- through late August.
Summer came and went. As Kansas City's East Side bled through another murderous summer, and election season left its biennial rash on the city's soul, story after story arrived from 5,000 miles away. Finally, in October, the unfamiliar datelines disappeared. But just because Gusewelle is back from Europe doesn't mean the end of his vacation diary.
Since his return, Gusewelle has filed elusive dispatches from his wife's high school reunion, the Ozarks and dinner. Then, on Sunday, just to ensure that his prose didn't accidentally wake the Star's editors, Gusewelle devoted an entire column to his recent discovery of Google Street View.
He began by calling himself a "troglodyte," then condescendingly instructed his readers to look up the word. (Judging by the context, I'm guessing it means "grumpy bastard.") Then, after declaring the computer otherwise useless, he recapped a recent "trip" furnished by Google Maps.
Of course, Gusewelle couldn't be bothered to train Google's cameras on Kansas City. He looked instead to Paris, "where we lived for a glorious year, 1984-85." He found the "patisserie whose sweets could bring sunshine on a rainy day" and "the brasserie ... where my wife and I loved to enjoy a café crème."
And he found it all "with a damned computer" -- which, coincidentally, is exactly what Plog wished would fall on its head upon reading the column.
Check back next Sunday, when Gusewelle, mind once again blown, will use Kayak to book his next vacation, part of the Star's continuing series, "Just Making Doubly Sure We Don't Have Any Readers Under 60."