Actually wrote for this trip. When local sales rep guys heard of us coming to the Red White & Booms fest in July, they scheduled a few events for us in parts of Kansas City (MO and KS) from Aug 20 - 25. A day off on the 26th, followed by this crazy 'finale' I've been talking about during the past few posts. But on to the event at hand - Kansas City. Round two. Let's dive in to what was written...
Thurs Aug 20
Oh man. Up at 6am. On the road by 6:30. Raining of course. We've done this trip before, and it's boring this time too. But - we don't have the trailer hitched with us, as it's currently chillin in Boone, Iowa of all places. I was at the Packer game last Saturday when the crew visited the Iowa state fair. Since we had to pass through Iowa on our way to KC, they decided to just leave the machine sitting in the parking lot for a few days. Nice. Also - insanely enough - Katie thinks its a good idea to stop for lunch - AT A PIZZA HUT. Seriously. Because of the 'salad bar'. As if eating the pizza hut lunch buffet qualifies it as healthy because of the salad bar. Come on. Funniest part was on the way out, when a worker gave me a punch card for future lunch buffet visits. Not really thinking, I reply, "Thanks, but we probably won't be coming back ." And I turned and left. I didn't mean anything by it. I wanted to convey that we wouldn't return because we aren't from the area, not because the food was bad (which it was). Katie, upon hearing me say this, busts out laughin, and turns around to the Pizza Hut guys & exclaims "Cuz we live in Wisconsin! That's why we won't be back. That's the only reason!" It was hilarious. Maybe you'd have to be there?
We arrived at our hotel at 5:30pm. We had a dinner reservation at a place called Hereford House. A local, popular steak joint. The 2 salesman joined us, and 1 brought his wife as well. Awkward at first, but eventually we got to telling drunk stories and everyone was laughing as if we knew each other for years. We even had our own tiny room with doors. After our dinner, we decided to go out in Liberty, where our hotel was. "Out" in Liberty means...wander aimlessly around the town square in search for bars that don't exist. We walked up to a swanky looking place around 10, where it was last call. WTF. We continued to stroll in various directions, until a car pulled up next to us. "You guys looking for a bar"? the moustached gentleman asked. We nodded, and he continued, "Well theres a bar 2 blocks up this street, but it's a real dive." We all agreed that divey was fine, to which he ends the conversation by saying, "Oh it's the dive bars of dive bars. You'll love it". Off he went. We approached a small white building that had a plastic lit up sign that literally said "Corner Bar/Missouri Lottery/Mexican Food". We walked into this converted shit-house to shit-bar to witness Missouri's toothless wonders karaoking. I calmly, carefully (as to not upset the animals in their habitat) walked to the bar, and ordered 3 whiskey sours and a Miller Lite. $11. Awesome. What happened for the next 30 minutes was pure, hilarious people watching. Pretty sure locals were doing cocaine deals by the back entrance. Pretty sure a 60 year old woman (i think) sang a dolly parton song. Pretty sure I was not the only one with a mullet in that place. I'm very sure I was the only one wearing a polo in that place.
Fri. Aug 21
At a nearby HyVee grocery store for some early morning bullshit. Darryl, the manager was the shit. He reminded me of the UPS guy from MadTV, but obviously not as high strung. Saw a praying mantis with a broken leg. I've never seen a praying mantis before, so i took pics. Which...I later accidentally deleted cuz I'm dumb. Anyways, lame-ass early event. People don't want free pizza in the late morning hours, or even during morning at all. 8ish - noon, and nothing worthwhile happened (besides the praying mantis of course. those things are AWESOME). Went onward to yet another HyVee immediately after. Two important things happened at this event.
#1 - we had the health inspector from Hell. We'll call her "Deb". When we sample our pizzas - 99% of the time we will not have to go through any health inspection code. We're usually only there for a couple hours, and the hassle of having to search our rig isn't very necessary. "Deb" thought otherwise. Our freezer wasn't up to her standards. She made us by dry ice. Our sinks weren't full of sanitizer, rinse water, and bleach water. Probably because we already washed everything that needed to be YESTERDAY. She made us fill our sinks. Finally, and even I could not believe this - she told us our generator was 'too loud'. Our generator, for which we run all of our power through - was too loud. WE'RE FUCKING OUTDOORS, YA DYKE. We sat around and watched her waddle with her important clipboard & pencils, probably jotting down tricks to teach her 38 cats when she got home. Simply put - she was a thorn in our sides for a good half hour. Completely pointless.
#2 - We had a radio station promoting us on-air during this event. The DJ was "Dave". We never really saw Dave during the event. Which is somewhat weird, as most dj's will usually come out and talk to us, shoot the shit, make sure our product descriptions are up to date, stuff like that. At the end of the event, we finally realized why. As we started cleaning up - so did he. Minutes later, Dave comes out of his dj van with a mixer. Dude was drinking vodka mixers in his dj van. We laughed, as it made total sense now why this guy was such a character (his clothes were hilariously 80's/90's and very mismatched). Cool guy tho nonetheless.
We were done at 6:30, drove home and changed. It was time for our favorite - Blanc Burgers & Bottles. Westport is an awesome part of KC. And Friday night was no exception. The bars even LOOKED like they'd be fun. Amazingly enough, we had the same server as we did when we were here 2 months ago. "Brian" - had had a god damn business card that he gave to us. To backtrack - I looked absolutely ridiculous. I super styled my mullet in the hotel bathroom a la the hairdryer. It was sick. Either way - my Boulevard Two Jokers Wit and Inside-Out burger , truffle fries, and everything else was perfect, as usual. Seriously, if I'm ever within 150 miles of this place, I will stop. After Blanc, we headed to the Power & Light district. We (I) decided on the Flying Saucer Draught Emporium. It had frisbee discs on the ceiling, and with 100 taps on the wall! I had a Great Divide Oak Aged Double Chocolate Yeti Imperial Stout. It was very alcoholic tasting in nature and I liked it until I read the bottle description. They added cayenne pepper to it - therefore I started to dislike it. I am drunk at this point. We headed 1 block to the monstrosity that is the actual Power & Light district. Took a seat at the Maker's Mark lounge. People watching here is incredible. The women, my god the women. They wear as little as legally possible. Speaking of legal - we're almost positive we saw a prostitute. At one point in the night, the dj played Ice Ice Baby, and it echoed over the massive complex walls. In my drunkenness, I decided to get up and do a 30 second rendition of Mr. Van Winkle's awesome dance skills, much to the happy faces of other bar patrons around me. I even got a few claps out of it. As the crew is laughing their ass off at me, I finally sit down and gaze back into the sea of people. A hundred or so feet away, is a woman, whose chestal region is basically falling out of her green, shiny, shimmering tube-top looking dress. Big hair as well, like the kind you see on the Housewives of Orange County shit. And she's girating, or dancing, or something - but she's by herself. This...thing, would literally 'pose' by herself, in front of guys in high-traffic areas. She would go over to a dude, sit down, arch her back, and point her leg up in the air and wait to have someone talk to her. It was absolutely hilarious to watch. A couple more Boulevard beers and Jamo shots later, we headed home, as we had to be out the door by 7:30am the next day. I think we left the bar around 1:30am...
Sat. Aug 22
We woke up at 6:15 to leave. Shit I'm not a morning person. The route driver met us early, and was razzin me left and right for some reason. But he was funny so it was ok. We were busy, as this Price Chopper! held an annual party in their parking lot, chocked full of free shit. Since Katie and I were hungover, it was busy. People are fucking dumb here. They don't listen to directions. "Take one slice" means take 7, apparently. We sampled 17 cases, it was buuusssy. Lame. Evening rolled around, and it was apparent what needed to happen. Jack Stacks BBQ. Obviously we'd been telling Katie about it since we passed into Mizzou. Again, it was absolutely fantastic. Nate decideds to bring FOUR bottles of sauce home. After we left, we grabbed the bull (statue) by the horns. It was awesome. Came back to the hotel and watched "I love you, Man". It kinda sucked, minus the whole SLAPPIN DA BASS part, which was awesome. Let the food digest for a bit, then went out to Barley's Brewhaus in Overland Park. About a hundred taps here - I had a Free State Oatmeal Stout from Lawrence, KS. Gotta drink local. It was just ok though. Awesome reaggae band was playing too. Why do stateside raggae bands always consist of 1 black dude with a bunch of old white guys? Whatever, they were good. But we could only drink one, as our stomach weres on ethe verge of exploding. And exploding stomachs wait for no one.
Sun. Aug. 23
A rather boring, uneventful day in Blue Springs, KS. Sampled 6 cases at a Price Chopper! from 10-3. Had the brilliant idea to go to Joe's Crab Shack for dinner. It was so unbelievably terrible. My mussels, clams, and our server Emma sucked balls. Don't go to an establishment that spends more time singing, dancing, and douchebagging than actually serving. What a joke.
Mon. Aug 24
We met "Mr. K", anasshole salesguy from the KC area at 6am. You know I'm not a morning person. He decides to make fun of my sleepy status - verbally. What a prick. Then, leads us through town construction to "avoid the freeway". Hey a-hole - we WANT the freeway. We eventually arrive at our destination. Balls Headquarters. The grocery store group is literally called BALLS. It's a guy's last name. So P-mo's isn't sold at all of the, and the days goal is to cook up pizza for lunch in hopes that they WILL carry us after they try it. We fire up - and immediately something is awry. On our biggest day of the Summer. Various switches that control various parts are all messed up. An electrical outlet box starts to sizzle and short out, also emitting a small stream of smoke. That's gonna be good for the operation. We realize that there is a serious electrical issue. Something in or on our main electrical chord isn't grounded. Kevin decides to shut down and TAKE IT APART. Awesome. Dude plays electrician for an hour. It was an amazing thing to witness for all mankind. Using wire cutters, screwdrivers, and whatever else he could find to get the job done - he did. It was incredible. Long story short - it worked, and we fried up the goods. Worked on and off for a good 6 hours. We made pizza in 2 short bursts - in the morning, and in the early afternoon. Since we went out the night before, we had about 2 hours of downtime, which we spent napping. To give you a visual of where exactly we were - think of a business/industrial park. Now think of a business/ industrial park in rural Kansas. Ugly buildings, poorly paved roads, dust, vacant factories...this is our location. While we were hanging out, on the side of the road, in between many factories - we were approached by 2 very interesting people. The first was a black gentleman in a minivan with his family. In thick, southern sounding (yea, this is gonna be blackxploitation!) accent, the man exuberantly yells "YALL SELLIN PIZZA!? HOW MUCH?" in my direction. I'm tired, and I don't want to deal with this, so i explain to him that its not for sale, that we're making it for some higher ups at this place we're in front of. "IM HUNGRY, CMON HOW MUCH YOU WANT FOR ONE?" Avoiding the question further, I circle around to the other side and ask bossman what he thinks, and he doesn't care. Just a very weird scene to be a part of. I finally give him an entire pizza for free, and with wide eyes he yells, "AW THANK YA SO MUCH. GOD BLESS YOU, I LOV YOU GUYS!", and sped away in his minivan. An hour later, a small white pickup truck pulls up to us, and a tiny man wearing dirty jeans steps out and asks us various questions about our operation, and if we would like to trade. Trade for what you may ask? Pies. Accross the street from us, is a pie making factory. The conversation went as such:
Pie Guy: You boys like pie? Well, what's your favorite kind?
(Jake and Kevin look at each other...)
Kevin: I like anything with berries in it...?
Pie Guy: Allright. You?
Jake: I don't know, I don't know if I can pick just one...
Pie Guy: Well Fuckin' A.
I literally put my head in my hands, and prayed that I would not laugh directly at this individual. You know Russel in Office Space? He sounded exactly like him. Kevin and I shared a quick glance, both eager to bust out laughing and the weirdness that just occured.
Pie Guy: I'll be back with some in a couple hours. Thanks!
And off he sped in his little Toyota Tacoma pickup. Decided to put 'Fuckin' A' on the rest of our sentences for the day/ night.
After we finished at Balls (lol), we drove to Des Moines, IA to cut our drive home in half. We played it smart and rented a hotel there, as we were clearly tired and deserved another decent night out. We arrived at our hotel at 4:30pm.
Nate & Kevin were raving about this sweet English pub in the heart of downtown called the Royal Mile. Downtown Des Moines was actually tolerable. Had a Beamish Stout that I wasn't a fan of. After dinner at the Royal Mile, which was great, I consulted the Draft Magazine I have and went to El Bait Shop. Holy Amazing. The coolest looking, best veer selection bar we've been to on the tour. Knick knacks here, beer signs there. And it specializes in Mexican bbq? What the hell? Great atmosphere. The shirts were great too. Nate bough one that said 'The Jimmy Carter Happy Hour' with the president's face charicatured on it. I bought one that had the Blue Fish from Dr. Seuss holding a beer while riding a bike pictured on it. Indulged in a Goose Island Matilda, still one of my favs. Also had a Jolly Pumpkin Calabaza Blanca. That brewery is straight up money. Walked back to our hotel at...i have no idea what time. All I remember is that Nate had to pee so bad that he did it on a dumpster behind a bar that we did not go to. On Tuesday August 25th, we drove home to Milwaukee.
So yeah, thats what I wrote. We had Wednesday the 26th off, but on the following Thursday, we planned to embark on the last official tour trip of the Summer Tour. The finale. The last straw. The end of the end. Stay tuned to hear the ridiculousness of the Summer Tour Finale. It's as good as it sounds.
(No pics from this Trip, sorry)