Cows on the tarmac

You know that when four cows are grazing on the runway that you’re about to land on at Kansas City International, you’re not exactly entering a booming metropolis. You know that when you’re leaving and a whole herd starts approaching the airport, that will blow any last bit of sentimentality you might have felt about leaving.

You also wonder why the awesome burger joint Streetcar Named Desire only offers chili “in season,” but you theorize that maybe no planes hit a cow that day to get the ground beef for the mix.

I would attempt to be witty, but I’ve been sleeping for 20 hours, and I still feel like, “What the hell just happened?”

The people in Kansas City are wonderful. Lots of mullets and ponytails on the boys, but you know I’ve always had a soft spot for the long-hairs anyway. Angie and I had a wonderful little harem of men who provided much adoration and flirting to keep us happy (and she thinks she even got picked up by a chick, but it wasn’t the trannie who was in some of our meetings).

Suffice it to say that we were drunk for most of the trip — you can tell by the photos we took. People start to miss their eyebrows, feet, arms, ears, etc. as the number of drinks start to increase. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency, and a few people got hold of smokey treats (I wasn’t in this group — I had to retire because my days started at 6 a.m. and I was hella trashed at 1 a.m. off of a case of wine and no food), and all I have to say is that Angie and crew put the “high” in the Hyatt. 😉

That was the night of our opening party. Let’s just say that the next morning, as I was dragging my ass around the lobby in search of my newspapers, I got stopped by about a dozen staffers who said, “Boy, can YOU party! You get FRIENDLY when you’re drinking!” This, of course, is opposed to the usual scowl I have on my face to keep the masses at a distance. 🙂

Oh, the stories I can tell — including how Angie and I get drunk and talk about grammar as well as host “I Love You, Man!” speeches. I just want to give a shout-out to Kelly’s Westport Inn, where the jello shots and cider were superb and the service was amazing. But the real highlight to Kelly’s is the pizza joint attached to it — we got us some Joe’s Pizza on Sunday night to offset the metric ton of alcohol we had just consumed (and our flights were in eight hours), and it was the best damn pizza we’d ever had (while drunk, of course!).

Also want to give a shout-out to our regular cabbie Bob, who took us to and from the print shop and the bars and let us smoke in the car. Woo hoo! More props to Soli Printing and to Chad, who made sure our daily newsletter was pretty and who let us decompress and bitch to high heaven about all the crap we were dealing with. Chad invited us to go out drinking with him and his friends several times, but we had to pass because we had staff meetings and other nightly activities to cover.

If you ever get to K.C., I pity you eat at Jack Stack’s. Seriously. Best. Barbecue. Ever. Get the cheesy potatoes and the pot of baked beans as your sides. Or, hell, as your entree, but you just don’t want to miss the burnt ends and the hot BBQ sauce. Or, for that matter, the fried mushroom caps with horseradish sauce. Mmmmmm. After days of eating $14 sandwiches as we raced multiple times between the Hyatt and the Westin, it was incredible to have a real sit-down dinner with table service and drinks that didn’t have lids (ooh, Jack’s spicy bloody mary with seasoning salt around the edges is to die for!).

I did lots of networking in our “Living Room,” which was a couch/chairs/coffee table set up with ashtrays in the lobby. It was the big staff hangout, and tons of people came over to smoke and chat with us. I even sat in on a session where people starting talking about how valuable the Veggie Patch Gazette is to their professional work, and I was thrilled when the speakers said, well, the editor of it is sitting in the front row, hearing the great feedback. 🙂 It’s always great to hear compliments and not because somebody is trying to impress you!

Anyway, we’re home. Safe and sound and bloody fucking exhausted, bruised, swollen and about 10 pounds heavier from the side of beef we ate at Jack’s. I actually yelped in joy when my plane flew over Shan’s condo complex, and I knew I was home. Viva Washington, D.C.! But Kansas City will always have a special place in my heart and in my toilet. 😉

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