Jimmy the Fetus

Hey, kids, Jimmy the Fetus here, your guide to moral values in the Midwest, helping everyone see that what we learned in Sunday school really matters.

Dear Jimmy:

Last week someone paid more than $10,000 for a pretzel shaped like the Virgin Mary. And I’ve seen news reports of people making pilgrimages to see reflections of her in windows and even a water stain on a cliff in her image. Can you tell me what the mother of Jesus is trying to tell us?



Dear Suzy:

It does seem that Mary’s a bit of an attention whore these days. But wouldn’t you be if, for the most part, you were trotted out only one day of the year to celebrate your complete lack of a sex life? I may be a presinner myself, but it’s tough to shake your innocence when you’re swimming in mom juice. You can bet I’ll be doing everything I can to shake the V-designation just as soon as I can. But anyway, getting back to Mary’s recent grandstanding, we expect her to be turning up on tortillas and half-eaten sandwiches with even more regularity as the current move to rehabilitate the formerly known-as-trollop Mary Magdalene gains popularity. With the Da Vinci Code movie rapidly approaching, Mary M.’s star keeps rising, which has gotta leave the original Divine Miss M wondering: “What do I have to pop outta myself to get some respect around here?”

Got a moral quandary? E-mail Jimmy at

Taters, Not Haters

The past year has been a hard one for County Executive Katheryn Shields, what with the squabble over COMBAT anti-drug funding, nemesis Mike Sanders’ re-election as prosecutor, and Shields gradually losing her once-iron grip on the Jackson County Legislature.

So we thought it was an interesting sign the other day to see Shields and Sanders dining together when we moseyed over from the Pitch offices to the hip new downtown eatery Grinders, opened recently by well-known local artist Jeff “Stretch” Rumaner. Grinders’ tater tots and pizza are earning the place a following, but we certainly didn’t expect to see these two chowing down together

The famously feuding prosecutor and county executive sat on opposite sides of a small table and were joined by Henry Rizzo, finance and audit chairman, and Troy Thomas, chief financial officer for the county.

Rizzo tells Backwash it was the first time he can remember the four of them sitting down at a table together.

“I would say an accurate description would be a long-time-coming meeting,” Rizzo says.

Rizzo claims credit for making the meeting happen. The four were there to talk about issues in the coroner’s office, Rizzo says. But he concurs with something we’ve heard — that Shields has been reaching out to county figures who have been alienated from her in recent months.

“Things have been, let’s say, strained at times between the people at that table,” Rizzo says.

Border Patrol

Speaking of interesting eateries, we were tipped by one of our favorite local bloggers, Dan Ryan, who writes “Gone Mild,” that a new restaurant’s name is sort of, well, odd.

Grace, a Bistro on the Edge opened on Troost Avenue north of Gregory Boulevard at the end of January (see My Big Fat Mouth). And its proprietor, Mike McLaughlin, laughed when we called and asked what his restaurant is on the edge of, exactly.

“I thought of the name from my mother-in-law,” McLaughlin says. “She was a schoolteacher in the Kansas City School District for 35 years, and I always thought she was on the edge.”

OK, but we couldn’t help noticing the place’s Troost address. The north-south avenue carries a lot of weight in the mind of city dwellers, who traditionally think of the storied street as a dividing line between the white and black parts of town.

“It happens to be a dividing line,” McLaughlin agrees, chuckling again. So was the name an acknowledgment that his restaurant was sitting on the edge of the city’s traditional racial divisions? “Yes, I suppose you could say that,” he says. “In retrospect, we’re right on the edge of Waldo and Brookside, so it was sort of incorporated that way.”

Well, we think that’s really cool. Particularly because the McLaughlins themselves represent the coming together of the city’s populations. Mike’s a white guy, and his wife, Lisa, is African-American.

Net Prophet
Notes from KC’s blogosphere.

While at Granfalloon a while back, eight chickfriends and I decided to have a girls’ night out. Because we were out to have a great time, we often said random things to dudes just to make each other laugh. Sometimes the guys laughed with us and sometimes they moved on to the next group of drunken girls. But two of the guys just would not go away. I heard one of my chickfriends call someone a “Goat,” her term for a drunk person. Then she made a short, but loud-enough goat noise. Well, it caught on very quickly, and before long, our whole group was obnoxiously making goat noises. All of this in effort to get these two guys to walk away. Well, for some reason, acting like goats had an opposite effect. There must have been 20 dudes encircling us, trying to get in on the action. I find this bizarre. Perhaps they just viewed us as drunk chicks they could take home, but the more we denied free beers from them, the longer they stayed with us. So, chicks, if a couple of dudes simply will not leave you alone at a bar, say stupid crap. If they still don’t go away, bust out some goat noises. Unfortunately those guys will still not go away, but you’ll have a flock of new dudes coming at you. Then you can turn your attention to the new guys. Do this if you ever get stuck between a rock wall and a hard dude.

From the online diary “Superficial Plaza Chick”

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