Miss You, Brownie
Amid the furor over Phill Kline’s new job as Johnson County District Attorney, we’ve wondered what will become of one of Kline’s key staffers in the Kansas Attorney General’s Office: Bryan J. Brown, head of the Consumer Protection Division. Brown was arrested multiple times for misdemeanors during abortion protests in Wichita in 1991 and had been an attorney for the far-right American Family Association prior to getting his job with the state (“Born Again,” May 15, 2003). In campaign ads, Paul Morrison targeted Brown’s record as a lawbreaker. Here, Brown has some departing words.
The Pitch: What are your plans?
Brown: As of right now I don’t have any plans.
I think I’m a pretty good litigator. I think I’m a pretty good manager. Think I’m a pretty good writer. Yeah, I think the Lord will probably look out for me and my family.
Are you actively looking?
I’m doing my part. Ora et labora [“pray and work”].
Who have you been calling to ask for a job?
I’m not going to give away my sources. Someone reading the Pitch might go out and get the job before I do.
Do you have a dream job?
A dream job. Wow. [Long pause] Yeah, but I’m not going to share my dreams with the Pitch. And, not to seem discriminatory, I probably wouldn’t share my dreams with any Kansas journalist right now. Even those whom I think less of than the Pitch, which are myriad…. By way of example: If my previous civil disobedience had been a die-in at the HHS for AIDS research, or standing up with Greenpeace, I wouldn’t have received near the treatment that I did at the hands of either the Morrison campaign or the Kansas media. Had I been a Black Panther seeking parole, I would have been lauded as a hero. But because I was involved in pro-life activism, I was demonized.
Were you the one who leaked the abortion records to Bill O’Reilly?
Do you plan to stay in Kansas?
I really don’t know. I’m open to almost anything. I wouldn’t mind going to Ireland if any Pitch readers know of a job opening there. Australia would also be nice. So, since my dreams now are headed toward islands, I think that might be my id subjectively crying out to leave this landlocked state. But maybe it’s just a cigar.
Any final words on this part of your career?
Well, it’s looking like soon, Kansas may not have Bryan Brown to kick around anymore.
Katheryn’s Best Driver
We know you’ve thought the same thing: Katheryn Shields as the old broad in Driving Miss Daisy.
Ever since word got out that the county executive requires her staff to shuttle her around, we’ve been imagining Shields playing the role of Daisy Werthan. So we took a few liberties with Alfred Uhry’s screenplay. Call it Driving Miss Shields. Playing Hoke Colburn is former county spokesman Ken Evans. In the role of Idella the housekeeper is Missouri Sen. Charles Wheeler. We didn’t even have to change much of the original dialogue.
[The scene opens with Shields on the phone with Wheeler.]
Shields: Well, I need you now. I have to be at the beauty parlor in half an hour. No, I most certainly did not know that you no longer have a license.
Wheeler: Why don’t you call your spokesman down at the press office?
Shields: That won’t be necessary. I’ll just cancel the appointment and fix my own hair.
Wheeler: Sometimes I think you ain’t got the sense God gave a lemon.
[The scene switches to Wheeler talking on the phone with Evans.]
Wheeler: What I need is for somebody to drive Shields around.
Evans: Well, if you don’t mind my askin’, sir, how come she’s not hirin’ for herself?
Wheeler: See, it’s kind of a delicate situation.
Evans: Oh, yessir, yessir … done gone around the bend a little bit. Well, now, that’ll happen as they get old.
Wheeler: Oh, no, she’s all there. Too much there is the problem.
[Evans and Shields arrive at Macy’s; Evans follows behind as Shields looks at costume jewelry.]
Shields: You know how to write a press release, don’t you?
Evans: Oh, yeah, yeah, I know press releases pretty good. Just can’t write them because I’m always driving you.
Shields: Stop saying that. You’re making me mad!
Shields: I taught some of the stupidest assistants God ever put on the face of this Earth, and all of them could read well enough to find a name on a tombstone.
Shields: You’re my best friend.
Evans: No, go on, Miss Shields.
Shields: No, really, you are.s
Shields: You are.
It’s a freezing Saturday night on the Plaza, with the holiday lights all aglow. Perfect for Christmas shopping — even the crowds aren’t that annoying because, after all, it’s the season of good will, right? Salvation Army bells rang out the sound of the season, and I felt a little sorry for the shivering volunteers. Me and my girlfriend were making our usual rounds, starting at the Banana Republic-Gap-Barnes & Noble cluster and working our way east, when, what the hell? Why are the doors to Pottery Barn wide open? Don’t they know it’s 20 degrees outside? The greeter welcomes us inside with a big smile — I want to smack it right off her face. Doesn’t Pottery Barn care about the environment? Don’t you know how much energy you’re wasting by leaving the doors open, no matter how welcoming it might feel to shoppers who can afford to blow $12 on a snowflake ornament? Are you oblivious to the fact that we’re in a futile war for oil? Cranking up the heat as high as you can and then leaving the doors open? Hey, you, Pottery Barn. We know Christmas is really all about consume, consume, consume, but do you have to make it so obvious?
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