Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Kansas City. Its been a long day. Left the hotel at 7:30 a.m., drove 2 1/2 hours to a meeting. Finished, drove 3 hours to Kansas City. That's the money part of the "Love, Learning and Money world tour."

Some things I have seen, heard and learned and loved in Missouri.

-Most highways have milemarkers on them. The highways here have "Friendship Churches" to mark your progress. Many of them have big red arrows that point down to the box-like, nondescript white aluminum siding buildings that say "WORSHIP HERE."

-There is a 20 story tall white aluminum cross on one highway that "People come from all over to look at."

-St. Louis has excellent pizza and nice people

-"He's so cheap he peeks over his sunglasses so he doesn't wear them out."

-"He's no stranger to the knife and fork."

-I couldn't decide if we should pull off the road today to see "Nostalgialand" "ELVIS" "JAMES DEAN" "DRIVE-INS" or the "Elvis Is Alive '50s Cafe and Museum"

Route 70 between St. Louis and Kansas City is the middle road of the middle state of the middle of the country. Hundreds of roadside attractions, churches and fireworks emporiums make it one of the most paradoxical roads in the country. It's flat, boring and has almost nothing of note in the way of scenery, yet it is PACKED full of American social history, deformities, ethos and pathos.

Many, many hours on the road, in meetings and in the restaurants and bars have really opened my eyes to the whole subculture of sales reps who are always on the road. These guys work for sales rep firms, they get hired by manufacturers (like me) to get in the doors with potential buyers. They are generally very smart, very friendly, hardworking, HARD partying, crass, vulgar, funny and know the roads. I like 'em a lot.

We decided on "Elvis is Alive." Wax Elvi (that's plural), clocks, pictures, a constant loop in the TV, and a clientele that is best left to your imagination.