The first Friday of every month the members of the Crossroads Arts District open their galleries to the public and for a few brief hours it seems as though downtown KC is a vital place to be. Typically, we go there to see the art on display but this past Friday we were on a different mission.
Sa Rah is a member of the KC Roller Warriors roller derby team and they were asked to come down to 18th and Locust (sort of in the Crossroads, but just barely) to take part in a commercial shoot for a new restaurant opening up called Grinders.
The Back of Grinders:
Well, we roll up around 7PM and the girls (the Warriors) took a walk around, got a feel for the layout, and lo and behold Boulevard Beer was there giving out FREE! brews. Now this was a freakin’ treat and half for our asses because getting free, locally-produced microbrew is a rarity.
So we enjoyed a few brews then the girls went to put on their skates so they could get warmed up before the shoot (which was supposedly taking place sometime between 8 and 11 – yeah, specificity was not a concern for the filmmakers). The girls laced up and hit the streets.
They skated for a bit, I shot some photos and then our friends Doug and his fiance, Jesi, showed up so I yapped with them for a bit.
OH! We also ran into our friends Brandon and Rachel and I wish I had a link or something to show you of theirs because they’re a very cool couple of kids. Rachel’s a swell artist and a sweet gal (she’s got a website, I just can’t recall it right now) and Brandon is, hell, just a damned good guy with whom you can have a real conversation.
After the girls finished skating around Grinders yet still had no word on when the film would start rolling they decided to head down to the Crossroads proper and hand out some Roller Warrior propaganda. I thought they were actually going to go down there and skate around a bit so Doug, Jes, and I headed over to Swillhound , which was having a gallery opening that showcased the work of Shelbi Somethingorother (sorry I can’t remember your last name, Shelbi!). Her work was interesting, very left-leaning political sculptures (ceramics mostly, I think).
It turns out that the girls didn’t hang out long down in the 20th and Baltimore area. They came back to Grinders and the filmmakers shot some footage of the girls skating around – and my punk ass missed getting some photos. Maybe they can call the filmmakers and get all the footage for use on their website.
After 20 minutes or so at Swillhound, we headed back to find the girls gone but the filmmakers preparing all sorts of (somewhat cheesy but fun) pyrotechnics.
We watched them film and afterwards Doug and Jes took off. I stuck around thinking that Sa Rah and the girls are still down the street and have yet to come back.
So I waited.
I waited some more.
I peed in an alley.
I waited, walked, and enjoyed my city.
More waiting, people thinned out.
The area grew desolate.
Finally, I figured I’d head to a coffee shop closer to Baltimore and dick around for a while. When I got to my car I found a note which read:
We have your woman. If you want her back alive please leave 30 oranges/a small cactie (not the most literate of kidnappers – jpp) and a cold 40 oz. of OE! Thank you for your cooperasion(crossed out)shun.
Flipping the note over, the back read:
“P.S. Bring $10 for gas money and one (crossed out) 4 large kosher pickles. Call XXX-XXXX (a fo’ real number so you don’t get the image – jpp) for further instruction.”
The note was signed with a “Shopaholic” sticker crossed out to read, “Skateaholic”.
Inventive, I thought. So I called the number to speak with the devious, skate-fiend kidnappers. They told me I had 30 minutes to get to McCoy’s in Westport or Sa Rah was gonna get it. What “it” was I hadn’t a clue, but knowing these rolling rapscallions to be of a rougish ilk I knew my options were limited. They had me by the proverbial balls. My mind scrambled to think of where I could find a grocer to supply me with the necessary ransom. I thought – Wesport Rd. and Main St, there’s a market there. So that’s where I headed.
En route to gather the ransom, I placed a phone call to my good friend D and asked him to call the kidnapper’s number and pretend to be the KCPD calling about a kidnapping. He was hesitant at first because D’s kinda puss like that – talks a lotta game but hard-pressed to really raise some hell. Finally he agreed and called and it didn’t work as planned so I figured I’d drop that angle.
Arrived at the market and DOH! it closed at 9. My watch glowed 10:15PM. No threat of police intervention and now no ransom. What could I do but boldly walk into McCoy’s and try to charm my baby free.
What a snakepit I walked into!
These woman are ruthless animals. Just look at ’em:
Lucky for me, I’d been drinking free Boulevard all night so with drunken-master-like skillz, I settled all the billz, and Sa Rah and I drove home to our bed where we slept the sleep of blissful beings.