The inaugural installment of our occasional feature If Billboards Could Talk asks the question:
What might the African-American nurse be whispering in the honky old crone's ear in this advertisement for elder-care provider Delmar Gardens (viewable eastbound on Highway 40, just west of the Grand Boulevard exits)?
A) "After I pluck your ingrown hairs and disinfect your bedsores, Miss Ethel, I'll feed you some pabulum, okeydokey?"
B) "Actually, Miss Ethel, slavery was abolished in 1863. I own my living quarters."
C) "You could trouble me for a nice warm glass of shut the fuck up!"
Going to the Chapel
Just last week Unreal ditched our calendar. With fewer than 40 days remaining 'til wedding season, it was becoming way too stressful to ponder the perfect gift, not to mention schedule the requisite waxing appointments. Denial: definitely the path of least resistance.
Of course, the thought of all those serene brides-to-be still gives us the jits. Why do the betrothed always seem to have perfect posture? And a to-die-for bust? With that in mind, we called Florida-based Hugo Rivera, a former anorexic and co-author of the forthcoming Body Sculpting Bible for Brides.
Unreal: What's your regimen for four weeks prior to the Big Day?
Hugo Rivera: There's a muscle called the TVA, the transverse abdominus, that keeps the waist tight. Push your stomach in, bringing your umbilicus towards your back. Start with 30-second contractions and try to breathe as normally as possible. Then release for one minute. Do three sets to start, and after a couple of weeks, try to be conscious about it. Believe it or not, it becomes second nature.
How do brides summon those perky breasts?
It's an optical illusion! Breasts are mostly composed of body fat, so you either lower your fat or use push-up bras. That's a secret any pageant girl will tell you.
How can a guest's rack divert attention from the bride's?
I can recommend a good brand: Victoria's Secret.
It seems like looking good is all about making sacrifices. Don't people with certain addictions -- say, tequila, or Brie -- have rights too?
A lot of alcohol will create a cascade of hormones that can set you back, like, three days. A bride can have cheesecake on Saturdays or Sundays.
Some brides, as they get to know their mothers-in-law, find corporal punishment a rich source of inner beauty. What's your take on that?
Things do get crazy at the end, and the brides start blaming everybody. I was certainly blamed by my wife.
How much help were Adam and Eve in the writing of your bible?
[Laughs.] I guess we used them as models.
Eve probably would've looked good in a revealing wedding dress.
There was certainly not much junk food back in the day. Early humans supposedly walked an average of 30 miles a day! Can you imagine that?
Only if we were a bride.
The St. Louis Police Department nearly triples its forensics laboratory space with the opening of a new $8.5 million laboratory Friday. Located adjacent to the existing police headquarters building at 1222 Clark Ave. in downtown St. Louis, the new three-story laboratory will support a wide range of crime-solving technologies, including some 'still in the imagination,' according to St. Louis Police Chief Joe Mokwa, in a release.
--St. Louis Business Journal, April 1, 2005
Stardate 20.14: A computer virus has successfully made the leap from the hard drive to the bloodstream. The brains of infected St. Louisans are inundated with pornographic pop-up ads that hinder their vision and make them very horny. The forensics lab is on the case.
Stardate 22.25: In north St. Louis, tyrannosaurs regenerated from fossilized DNA roam wild and a band of Joe Mokwa clones controls the streets. One clone has turned evil and is infecting the population with a disease that causes neatly trimmed gray moustaches. Forensic scientists must isolate the guilty clone.
Stardate 24.02: Mokwatics have taken over the forensics lab! They are using it not for good but for evil! Who will stop them? The forensics experts-in-exile create a kryptonite razor capable of shaving the Mokwatics' supermoustaches. Success!
Stardate 27.51: Mothra and Ultraman are fighting on the riverfront! Mothra punches Ultraman in the groin! Ultraman pulls the Arch out of the ground and whacks Mothra in the face! Ouch! How did Mothra get so big? Somebody call forensics!
Stardate 43.60: Mayans shock Earth civilization by returning from outer space. They blend in with the city's Hispanic population, which is still smarting from a resounding defeat in Civil War II. With their superhuman mathematical skills, the Mayans have concocted an advanced algebraic formula that infects the blood of the Caucasian population. Whitey can now only speak a never-ending string of pi digits! Who ya gonna call? Forensics!
Stardate 90210: The Mayans, thought to have been defeated, have instead retreated underground. Armed with the formula for the perfect Mokwatic moustache, they have successfully cultivated the feature onto the upper lips of tyrannosaurs. Curses! Get forensics!
LOCAL BLOG O' THE WEEK
About the blogger: This prolific blogger is obsessed with St. Louis -- its neighborhoods, its politics, its buildings. Gay and possessed of a liberal disposition, he has an identical twin brother who is a married conservative Republican.
Recent Highlight (April 12, 2005): He told me he was a member of a gang that was based in Overland. After some prodding on my part, he went on to describe various illegal activities he had been involved in over the years; however, when I asked him if he had ever shot someone he changed the subject. I found his stories a little unbelievable at first, but his accounts were peppered with names and details that could only be known by a participant in the crime. Aside from all that, I felt he didn't really care what I thought about him, which, in my mind, gave him much needed credibility. As the semester wore on and I saw the many different sides of my friend, I knew that he had told me the truth.
I was all alone at SMSU. I didn't go down there with a group of friends or siblings, it was just me. That was tough to accept, especially on occasions like my birthday. I was expecting phone calls, cards and "I miss you's" from friends to overwhelm me on that September day that commemorates my birth, but all I got was a call from my parents. Everybody forgot. I was feeling extremely sorry for myself when I heard a knock on the door. It was Casey.
"Happy Birthday," he said with a smile.
He handed me a Star Trek Collectors Edition magazine he had purchased from the bookstore (yes, I was a complete Star Trek dork. Laugh if you must). I never wanted to hug someone so much in my life, but I refrained. Real men don't do that, do they. He had absolutely no idea how much I appreciated his gesture or how much I needed it. I can't help that I'm a big softy. To this day I get a lump in my throat thinking about the kindness extended to me by Casey from Overland.
Know of an Unreal-worthy local blog? Send the URL to firstname.lastname@example.org.