Outside of the Starbucks in the Plaza of Kansas City is a thoroughly inappropriate fountain called "Boy and Frog." Why is this fountain inappropriate? If you can't tell from the picture, it is a naked young boy with his frog. When turned on, the water sprays from the little boy's peep into the frog's mouth. It is a little boy peeing in a frog's mouth! How is that appropriate for public viewing?!
I first saw the fountain when my friend Anna came to visit me last year. We went to the Plaza and to look at all high-fashion things we couldn't afford and be "ladies who lunch." For those who don't know, ladies who lunch are the ostentatious well-kept wives of wealthy business men. They don't really do anything except shop, look good, and go out to lunch to gossip with their friends. We found a nice little Italian bistro that looked like a place kept women would go. Turns out we were right. While Anna and I were enjoying a nice lunch, we overheard a group of first wives gossiping about the trophy wives who were being forced into their circle of acquaintances. Thus confirming the Plaza is the hangout for Kansas City's ladies who lunch.
After lunch we went to get some coffee. That was when we saw it. A boy peeing into a frog's mouth. We both stared for a while, trying to be sure of what we were seeing. Then I looked around for someone else who was shocked by the fountain, but nothing. People were buying their lattes and going on their way. Apparently public depictions of little boys peeing in the mouths of amphibians is okay in Missouri.
It was originally sculpted by Raffaelo Romanelli and was acquired for the Plaza in Florence, Italy in 1928 by John C. Taylor, the chairman of the J.C. Nichols Company. I'm all for artistic expression and extremely opposed to censorship, but I'm struggling to get what the creative merit to this fountain is. It is an allegory for something? A political statement? No, it is just a boy peeing in a frog's mouth. So everyone say it with me now - Romanelli, what the hell is wrong with you?!