What a great turnout at the second annual Platte City July 4th Celebration, the daytime event held in downtown Platte City on Monday. It again was a free food extravaganza, with more than 1,500 free meals served, according to city officials, who estimate the crowd at 2,000 to 2,200 people, basically matching last year’s numbers.
City officials say all the lunch vendors ran out of food “even though we had planned for more people than last year,” according to Mayor Tony Paolillo.
A tweak that may not have been noticed by the general public but was definitely noticed by those of us who arrived early is that the food trucks were ready to roll with the dishing out of meals very soon after the 10 a.m. start time. Last year that was not the case, and extremely long lines were the result. Sure, some lines were long this year due to the sheer size of the crowd but the lines moved at a pretty brisk pace. The food was ready when the public arrived on scene, it just needed to be dished out and handed over to the “customers.”
“Last year when we said it starts at 10 a.m. the food trucks assumed they were to arrive at 10 a.m. to start their preparations. This year we let it be known we wanted them ready to roll at 10,” DJ Gehrt, city administrator, explained Monday while we surveyed the crowd and I had just remarked to him that it seemed to me the food trucks started serving meals earlier this year.
Kudos to all city staff, elected officials and community volunteers who made the experience another memorable one. It was smooth sailing.
Pretty impressive that the crowd was so large despite the heat. The air temperature as the event was winding down at 2 p.m. was 93 degrees but with the humidity the “feels like” temperature was 106.
Thanks to all who took a turn sending me for a dip in the dunk tank from 11:30 to 12. Good times. It was a cool spot to be in. There was a lot of climbing involved, you know, to get back up on the board 25-30 times. It was forced exercise for a guy who sometimes works at avoiding exercising.
But listen, it sure seemed like some of you massaged the rules a bit, opting instead to run up and hit the target with your hand when you couldn’t hit it with the baseball. You know who you are, don’t make me name names.
Speaking of DJ Gehrt, it was the last July 4th Celebration he will attend as city administrator. Gehrt retires effective next June 30. More on this at a later time, but Gehrt is a major asset to the city and his experience, knowledge and skill set will be missed. Don’t believe me? Talk to people across the state in some of the professional organizations. Gehrt’s abilities are well known and very respected in many professional circles.
Here’s something weird but true. Well actually not that weird, based on history. On Friday afternoon while I was writing part 2 of our two-part series on reliability issues with Every electrical service in Platte City, the power blinked off. Fortunately it came right back on. I know it also happened at the county offices, because I got this text message from someone inside the county complex: “Appreciate your story on Evergy and Platte City. As I was reading the story the power flickered off. You may have heard a sound in the distance of me yelling (expletive expletive).”
I was today years old when I heard about this pro tip from a buddy.
Let’s say you’re hungry and could go for a sandwich. You walk into a Subway shop or a Chipotle or any of those places where the employees build your sandwich or other menu item right in front of your eyes.
Let’s say there are two or more employees creating sandwiches. The pro tip is to time your walk through the line to coincide with the “turn” of any stocky male employee building your next meal. If it’s your turn in line and a slender sandwich maker is asking to take your order, employ a stall tactic and insist that the person currently standing in line behind you go ahead. My buddy didn’t offer any helpful stalling suggestions, but I would advise saying something very polite and intelligent-sounding, like: “Um, I need more time to study your very robust and comprehensive menu.”
Why is there some truth in this approach? Because we’re all human and a stocky male is more likely to build your sandwich the way he likes his own sandwiches. Chances are the young and stocky guy behind the counter has a hearty appetite and is therefore more likely to pile your sandwich with hearty helpings of meats and other toppings. Not sure but I think this is called health science.
If at all possible, you want to avoid being next man up when a slender employee is doing his or her thing. To all the slender sandwich makers out there, I urge you not to take this personally. We love you and you’ll always have a place in our hearts here at Between the Lines headquarters. Kudos to you for taking care of yourselves better than some of the rest of us do. We salute you. Keep doing those sit-ups and crunches, we’ll be here to cheer you on. We stand in admiration of your ability to push yourselves away from the table. But hearty eaters must stick together. We’re literally making the world a bigger place. We’re out here trying to bridge divides, especially the divide separating us from a big-ass sandwich.
Again, to be clear and if you remember nothing else from this stanza remember this: the key to getting a good-sized sandwich is to time your walk through the line to match up with the employee whom you envision likes his sandwiches as hearty as you do.
Call me naive, call me not very aware of my sandwich shop surroundings or call me unworldly but I had never put that much thought into sandwich ordering, to be honest. The world could use more of the useful analysis my friend recently laid upon my virgin ears.
All this is passed along just as a suggestion. You do you. The choice of a sandwich maker is an important decision and should not be based solely upon Between the Lines columns.
Anyway, thanks to my buddy for the life hack. His name is being withheld to protect the guilty.
(Reach Ivan Foley at the dunk tank of your choice or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org)