Enter your email for updates:
Counselor Senior Editor Michele Bell's slanted view of the world.

Kooks Invade Kansas City; Locals Flee in Fright

Filed under: ASI Shows, Fun, Travel

Hi from Kansas City, where it is day four of the Advantages Roadshow though it feels like day 8, 895.

You’ll all be happy to know that Kansas City has been a blast and today’s attendance at the show was 199 — suppliers are freaking ecstatic. “The quality of the attendees has been really good across the board,” says Tom Ngo, director of sales and marketing for Key-Bak and the person who has been my handler on this trip. Tom has also been the bartender extraordinaire on the bus — he is like “Isaac the bartender” on The Love Boat.

Last night, the Merry Band of Misfit Ramblers went out to Jack’s Stackhouse and tore up the town. I have to say, no one does barbecue like the folks in Kansas City. (See photos below.)

Now, as will happen when a large group of people with varying personalities get together there has been some off-the-charts wackiness. E, Tom Ngo and I are definitely the ringleaders, though Dan Burke from Avaline has had some of the best lines ever. Should you wonder what our highbrow conversation is like on this trip, Dan regaled us with his assessment of which town’s have the best strip bars. The worst, according to Dan? “Cleveland by far. The strippers all had C-section scars and gun-shot wounds,” he said jokingly.

There has been much discussion about which ASI person suppliers would most like to see do a roadshow and travel on the electric acid-colored party bus — someone with a great capacity for fun. Tim Andrews, if you’re reading, your presence is now officially requested… ; )

And for those of you who are wondering how I’m hanging in there, the word “haggard” leaps to mind…

More tomorrow from St. Louis!!!


— Michele

PS: Some of you have asked how to become part of the roadshow party. E-mail Nick DiNicola at ndinicola@asicentral.com. The cruise director will be happy to hook you up!!!

Avaline’s Dan Burke, who bears a striking resemblance to Toy Story’s “Buzz Lightyear” does his best “To infinity and beyond” last night outside the Overland Park Convention Center in Kansas City.

Steve Cattau, ASI distributor sales account executive, is one of the more calm members of this Merry Band of Misfits rock star tour. He is a voice of reason amongst a chorus of kooks.

Harry Fotopoulos from Custom HBC Corp. setting up his booth last night. “Happy Harry” is always smiling and in an upbeat mood — possibly because he embraces moderation and isn’t suffering from crushing hangovers like the rest of us degenerates.

Eddie Roth of Aunt Beth’s Cookie Keepers, “E” to all of you, insisted that to get the “real” experience of what it’s like to be a supplier on a road show, I had to help him set up his booth. I was winded after two minutes and broke a nail.

Here’s me, five minutes after E realized that me helping him set up his booth was actually doubling his set-up time, calling Jack’s Stacks restaurant — famous for its barbeque — to make dinner reservations for my posse of partiers, the Ramblers.

At Jack’s Stackhouse for a fabulous dinner of barbeque, Avaline’s Dan Burke, Key-Bak’s Tom Ngo, Me, Benji our bus driver, Better Life Line’s Bryan Daley, CFS Promotions for Now’s Mark Bruk and Target Graphic’s Tom Vann, aka “Tommy T-shirt.” Hopefully this photo will assure those of you who were worried about poor Mark being in a car with me for three hours from Omaha to Kansas City that he did indeed arrive in one piece with his sanity intact.

Benji, Dan, Tom, Stephanie (our awesome waitress), Bryan, Mark and Tommy T-shirt at Jack’s Stackhouse.

The Merry Band of Ramblers at the hotel bar in the Sheraton Overland Park, Kansas City.


  1. yasmin Says:
    Saturday August 16, 2008
  2. Cryoj Says:

    I’d passion to ascertain that too!

    Thursday November 19, 2009

Leave a Comment