Thursday, February 20, 2003

Knip's eye view

Social Maniacs just for fun, seriously


Well, you just gotta hand it to Tom Muehlenkamp for thinking big. Waaaaay big.

Muehlenkamp, see, is founder of Social Maniacs, a new club dedicated only to having fun.

"We're not about finding jobs for each other and we're not a singles club. We're about meeting people, new friends and partying. Our members are mostly 25 to 30, 60 percent female. Young professionals who like to party."

Like how? Like the World's Largest Pub Crawl Saturday, a do that will visit up to 30 bars and clubs. Muehlenkamp has 16 buses to haul crawlers to the Waterfront, Longworth's, Crowley's, Jefferson Hall, Strauss House, Bar Cincinnati, Rhino's, Neon's and more.

"What's amazing is our Web site had 1,356 hits last week from people trying to sign up. Because of some techno-weenie disaster, only about 20 could, so our reservations are down. It's only now straightened out."

Techno disasters are a problem, because Maniacs lives and dies by the Internet. It's the clubhouse, reservation center, calendar, everything since its founding in August. Since then, the group has had a zillion parties: karaoke night, new member dinners, bar hopping, $5 steak night, stuff like that.

But Saturday's crawl is the biggest: It starts at 4 p.m. in the Millennium Hotel, then hits the buses, where bus dancing is allowed, but beer isn't.

Sign up at the Web site or call 774-9974.

Piggie redux: Just because they're off the streets, don't think Cincinnati's pigs have gone away. Right now, they're flying off to see national broadcasters with local ties.

Turns out Julie Calvert of the Greater Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau and Buz Buse of the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce bought several May Festival music boxes - the ones that play Beethoven's Ninth and show off five May Fest pigs - and Fed Ex-ed them outta here.

They went to Gretchen Carlson, Jean Cochran, Edie Magnus, Linda Vester and Bill Hemmer.

The idea, Buse says, is to get some good press for the city. The cover letters asked the broadcasters to "strike up the band and ham it up for their roots."

The cover letter also listed stuff coming up this year: Great American Ball Park, Rosenthal Center, CAM's Cincinnati Wing. Oh, and just for safety sake, they sent one to author Marjabelle Young Stewart, who ranks the nation's most polite cities every year.

Zoo love: Nothing says love like, well, a rhinoceros. Or a barn owl.

That from Chad Yelton, Cincinnati Zoo, who proclaims this year's Valentine's Day ADOPT (Animals Depend on People Too) program a success. That's the one where you adopt a zoo animal ($30 to $250) and give it to your squeeze du jour for Valentine's Day.

Two things made it a success, he says: First off, people adopted everything - manatees, owls, elephants, cats, penguins, polar bears.

The only odd thing, he says, is no one adopted bugs. "Hissing cockroaches are usually big sellers."

The other thing that made it so successful was the program got its biggest gift ever. A guy name of Kenny Arron adopted an elephant and a tree.

A tree? "A 200-year-old tree that predates the zoo," Yelton said. "It's in the elephant yard."

For how much? "Kenny doesn't want us to say, but it was way off the charts."


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