I’ve been reading a lot lately about North Korea’s Kim Jong-il, who for some reason is developing nuclear (or nuke-U-ler, if your middle initial is W) weaponry. And I got to thinking; what’s with this guy? Why the big bully campaign? What’s he trying to prove? So I did a little research and quickly stumbled upon the one piece of the puzzle that pretty much sums it all up: He’s short.

Actually, more (or in this case, less) than short. He’s diminutive. Petite. Pocket-sized. Wee, even. I’m talking too short to ride the big kid rides at Six Flags Over Seoul short. Short enough to make Tom Cruise look tall short. So short he wears lifts, stands on a platform, and sports a pompadour bigger than Jimmy Neutron’s.

Just who does he think he’s fooling? All that effort just brings more attention to the fact that Kim is, well, Li’l. And haven’t short guys caused enough grief throughout human history? Napoleon comes to mind. A darn fine pastry, but as a leader? Not so much. I’m not sure how tall (or short) Hitler was exactly, but I’m willing to bet he needed a boost into the old bunk bed. And how about Nero? Not only short, but also a toga-wearing fiddle-player. Talk about your geek trifecta.

Why can’t the height-challenged channel their shortness in a more positive direction? Become a jockey or something, for God’s sake. What girl doesn’t love a partner who can obsess over every calorie with her? Or go to New York and be harmlessly eccentric. Woody Allen did it. So did Truman Capote. Hey, take a look at George Stephanopoulos; a short guy with an unfortunate name and a lot of Clinton on his resume. He worked it out, didn’t he? You don’t see him coming up with ways to destroy civilization. As least as far as we know.

My message to Kim Jong-il is this: Dude, get over yourself. No matter how many bombs you drop, you’ll still be short. Even if you wipe out the entire human race, you’ll still need a step-stool to brush your teeth. Why not spend a little time and money trying to actually solve your problem? How about researching shin extenders or human growth hormones, or something? Or at the very least, do something about that hair.

Wendy Sang Kelly
Isle of Palms


As the James Island Town Council election is quickly approaching, I am writing to bring attention to the need for traffic control as well as upholding both a healthy and recreation-friendly environment in James Island.

Traffic control is an ongoing issue for James Island residents. It is important to have longer green lights, extended turning lanes, crosswalks at busy intersections, and more sidewalks. We also need to expand our bike access.

As a fellow health enthusiast, I strongly support the expansion of safe places for recreation in James Island. It’s time to create youth and adult leagues for our athletic fields. In addition to bike access and athletic leagues, it’s crucial that James Island residents focus on the environment and nature preservation, such as discouraging development on Dill Sister’s Tract.

A healthy environment reflects on a healthy community; hence, local volunteerism as well as maintaining a habitable environment in James Island is crucial. I look forward to Election Day and highly encourage fellow residents to get involved and support the improvement of both traffic control and the recreational-friendly James Island community.

Julia Kramer
James Island


The Summer 2006 City Paper supplement Dish Dining Guide published an almost slanderous comment about Chef Brett McKee. The term carpetbagger was used in reference to Brett McKee. Whether it was ignorance or a “personal” opinion, I feel it was inappropriate and unwarranted. I have received several phone calls as well from upset and outraged guests offended by this term when referring to Brett.

The term carpetbagger refers to Northerners (Yankees) who moved to the South during Reconstruction between 1865 and 1877. It was a derogatory term, suggesting an exploiter who does not plan to stay.

Brett McKee moved here in 1989 and has established himself. He is a successful business owner, a home owner, and most importantly, a family man. He is married and is the father of three beautiful daughters. It must also be noted that his philanthropic endeavors far surpass the generosity of other restaurateurs in the Charleston area.

Unless Brett is an African-American man playing the saxophone or a woman in a red flapper dress, “a giant oil portrait” of Brett is not to be found in this restaurant.

I have worked on the Peninsula in retail and F&B for almost 15 years, and have not worked for anyone quite as amazing as Brett McKee. I have worked for the “best” in F&B and corporate retail in Charleston and have never been as proud as I am to work for this man. So if possible, an apology might be in order.

Michelle A. Pavlakos,
Guest Relations Manager at Oak Steakhouse