Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Whats the Matter With Kansas?

Hey, we're back. Miss us?

We've been on the move for the last week or so.. from Oklahoma to Kansas to Michigan. Kansas was our stop last weekend for an AKC trial outside of Wichita... which leads us to the title of this post. And no, I'm not talking about Thomas Frank's excellent book by the same name, wherein he investigates why hundreds of thousands of poor Kansans voted against their own economic self interest in the 2004 elections. (Hint: they drank the Bush KoolAid).

No, I'm talking about our own wacky experiences in Kansas. First, we stopped in the brand new Wichita World Market... where we've found a wine we really like. Once in the store, I discovered we weren't going to be there for very long. No wine and beer section! What the hell is this? When leaving, one of the employees asked if we found everything OK... that's all the invitation I needed. Like she was prescient, she said, "Ah, the liquor?... thank you, Kansas". I don't understand what convoluted statutes allow Sam's Club to have a complete liquor store attached to their building, and forbids World Market from selling wine and beer. We never did get any wine.

Then, as we were leaving the state on Sunday, we witnessed a phenomenon we saw a couple of years ago: Every Spring, Kansans set themselves on fire.

They have their reasons. Good ones it turns out, as explained at the link. It's just bizarre to drive past mile after mile of smoldering grasslands. The smell and the haze aren't all that pleasant, but they're working on that.

And then there's "Pastor" Fred Phelps in Topeka. Actually, God hates you, Fred.

Now, I don't want to leave the impression that all is bad and bleak in Kansas. Saturday night we were invited out to dinner at the Kabob House restaurant on Wichita's west side. An intimate (read: small) place, featuring Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine. This was clearly a winner. I had the "Donor Alexander Kabob".... grilled, seasoned lamb, covered with a tomato-butter sauce, together with rice and bulgar. It was sooooo good. Finished up with a delicious Turkis coffee.

Now we're back in Michigan... I'm so glad we weren't still in Kansas when Kansas University won whatever meaningless sports tournament we watched on TV last night. We might have gotten trampled by the celebratory run on the campus malt shops. "Rock. Chalk. Jayhawk." What the hell does that mean? (Can you tell my money was on Memphis?).

Michigan. Snow in the forecast for the weekend. Figures.

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