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A New Hope

I woke up at 8:30 or so on Saturday morning, and after a bit of phonetag met Geoff at 12th and Wyandotte. We walked from there to J.E. Dunn's office for a prearranged hardhat tour of the construction site for the new Performing Arts Center, just south of the loop. It was extremely interesting, but the heat, the humidity, and the hardhat and safety glasses on my head provided for a more-or-less constant stream of sweat falling from my head. I could feel it dripping like rain.

After the tour we got a drink of water, turned in our sweaty hardhats and safety glasses, and headed home. Geoff and I agreed for meet back outside thirty minutes later, after shedding our sweat-soaked clothes(at 10am) and jumping into a wonderfully cold shower. Normally while I'm in the shower I put my towel within reach, so as to limit my exposure to the relatively cold air of my bathroom. I placed my towel close that day too, out of habit, but I relished the cold air, and made no haste whatsoever in grasping the towel from behind the curtain.

Anyway, Geoff and I got back together and resolved to get some lunch. After losing with his scissors to my rock, Geoff drove us to Oklahoma Joe's for a big, delicious Z-Man barbecue sandwich. Brisket, sauce, provolone, and an onion ring come together to make one of the best sandwiches known to mankind.

We adjourned to digest our lunch and lay still in our respective preferred manners. I relaxed, stood under the air conditioning duct, played some video games, sent some emails, and had a very comfortable early afternoon. At 2:30 I headed up to the Quaff for the fourth installment of Splutschnik, the greatest time ever. It's like Christmas to me. I will endeavor here to explain why I love it so much. Splutschnik combines two things I absolutely love: going out, and meeting people.

Since I'm pretty much in charge of the whole thing, I get to decide the teams, albeit with some oversight and support from Jeff, Splutschnik's co-founder. But I delight in bringing people together that don't know each other, and then put them on teams together in a competitive pursuit that requires that they explore downtown Kansas City and extend themselves beyond their normal comfort level.

So, because it's so filled with new experiences, and if people wish, copious amounts of drinking, everyone has a great time, and with each passing iteration, the list of attendees grows. My team included Jimmy, a guy from work I didn't know very well, Sarah, a woman I hadn't seen in a long time, and two of her friends, Crystal and Shannon. Shannon had to leave for work relatively early, so for most of the day, our group was made up of Sarah, Crystal, Jimmy, and me.

As may be expected, we had a great time and got along famously. Due to the nature of the event, this seems to be the case with just about every team. I'm ecstatic that it works as well as it does, and that when all the people arrive they look to me for guidance and instruction. It's a position of leadership I've foisted upon myself, and in the year and a half that we've been doing it, it's become my favorite event in Kansas City.

My team started at the Quaff with everyone else, and went on to The Red Dragon, up the street from my house, then on to John's Big Deck, Delaware Market Cafe, Bo Ling's, River Market Brewing Company, Le Fou Frog, Garozzo's, Harry's Country Club, and Anthony's. I made a rule this time that every Power & Light District bar that any team visits after their first two will count twenty points against them.

Don't get me wrong. I think the Power & Light District is the most exciting thing to happen to downtown since I've lived here, but for a pubcrawl in which the intent is to discover new places and enjoy new experiences, it's a dead end, in my opinion. There are over 75 other bars in the downtown area, and part of the point of Splutschnik is to get people to try new places. Well, the result of that rule was that no team ever went to the Power & Light District. Except for one team, everyone went north, toward the River Market.

After the teams finished, everyone converged at our place and drank the rest of our keg. One of the teams picked up a new member: a waitress from the brewery named Chelsea. A party ensued, making something of a mess of the apartment, and breaking all previous records. Teams plugged their camera flash cards into the Wii, and we did slide shows of each team's results to intense applause, laughter, and jeering, respectively.

Then, seemingly all at once, everybody left. Jeff went almost immediately to bed, while Kelly and I went to the Peanut to choke down about three swallows of beer apiece before signaling surrender. I walked Kelly to her car, and she gave me a ride back home. I spent the rest of the night(it was only 10pm) drinking water and playng video games before going to bed very late.

I spent Sunday being hung over and offended at the mess left in our apartment, and played a small part in its reconstruction.

I can't wait for Splutschnik V!

11:11 AM, Jul 21, 2008

1 comment

Angela interrupted with:

Fun party! If you happen to find a camera lens cover, it's mine. Thanks again!

5:11 PM, Jul 22, 2008

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