But instead of Paul Bunyan – the mythological giant lumberjack it was to be KC mayor Mark Funkhouser – all 6 feet 9 inches of him. And instead of a go kart Funk would be conveyed inside one of those tiny, tiny smartfortwo automobiles provided by Mercedes-Benz Kansas City and smart center Kansas City.
As for the timber, it was a 100 foot tall Douglas fir trucked in from Oregon for this year’s Mayor’s Christmas Tree ceremony and fundraiser. A two year lease on a smartfortwo awaits the winning donor and/or entrant in this year’s promotion. The tree lighting ceremony – with a celebrity to be named soon – goes down the friday after Thanksgiving.
The $64 million question: would Funk fit?
“We were a little concerned but he hopped right in,” says event coordinator Will Gregory. “We didn’t even have to take the top down. The tree then followed him and the smart car in to Crown Center, so you had the contrast of the tiny red car and the giant tree right behind, as well as the giant mayor inside of the giant red car.”
There’s more: Funk show up in headgear, which he did not remove.
smart chauffer Jenny Kincaid’s take on the feat of fitting the Funk – hat and all – into a smart?
“It says a lot for the car – the room is spacious, much to everyone’s surprise,” she says. “The seat had to be all the way back and his knees might not have been to far from the dashboard, but he said he was comfortable and liked the car. His hat might have had half an inch, if that, of clearance and he was a good sport!”