Aggro Phobia

Because the Plaza and Westport are the top tourist spots in town, the bars there are usually bustling. We’re huge fans of this phenomenon; it makes Kansas City feel like a real city. The downside, however, is when a popular bar in a touristy spot has too much bustle, turning it into an aggro bar. Upon walking into an aggro bar, we immediately experience the following reactions: a) the urge to punch someone; b) the urge to make catty remarks to fellow patrons. Such aggroness is usually caused by the fact that a space is unbearably overcrowded with people whose pathetic longing to be all Sex and the City contaminates the area like a dirty bomb.

One of the city’s worst aggro bars is the Granfalloon. By day, this sterile sports bar is a decent place to watch the game. By night, it attracts the annoying martini-bar crowd, whose adherents willingly wait(!) on the sidewalk(!!) to gather in a brightly lit place that contains four Golden Tees and a bunch of signed jerseys on the walls.

Besides the line, other aggro-bar warning signs abound. One night we were greeted by the sight of frilly-peasant-shirt-and-tight-pants-wearing chicks displaying their overhangs for all to see. Then there were the black-shirt-and-red-pants chicks, who are ubiquitous in Plaza bars. Come on — Banana Republic has moved on from the red pants. Shouldn’t you?

But we liked the diamond nose stud on one guy who was intently watching the Falcons-Packers wild-card game. “Nice diamond nose stud, guy!” we wanted to say, but lacked the courage to do so. We were also amused by the plethora of men in leather blazers, many of them topped by overly gelled variations on the George Clooney Caesar cut of 1995. Even better were the guys in cowboy hats who were trying to convince one Leather Blazer that Lee’s Summit was a City on the Go. Leather Blazer nodded knowingly, but after the cowboys left he confided to his friend, “I’m high on coke now.”

Apparently, females were required to have roots darker than their tans and to display an alarming amount of cleavage. “Jesus! Look at the nipples on that!” exclaimed one member of our party. He later was busted for staring at another set, when the buster frantically tried to pull together her low-cut V-neck top — thus defeating the purpose of the shirt.

“What’s the specialty drink of the house?” we foolishly asked the nice bartender. “Bud Light,” came his joking response. Chastened, we ordered a Cosmo. This mixture of vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice and a bit of lime was the most clichéd drink we could think of, and it seemed apropos. Though a couple of ice nuggets made it into the orangy drink, we downed it gratefully.

Thus fortified, and wanting to be where hipster yuppies weren’t, we played a game of Ms. Pac-Man, then fled to Buzzard Beach, the antithesis of the Granfalloon, where we happily guzzled our Bud Lights.

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