"It's definitely one of the stranger places where I've seen a lab, but it goes to show, people can cook methamphetamine anywhere," Sergeant Tommy Wright, commander of the Jefferson County drug task force, told the Post-Dispatch. But how is Missouri expected to retain the title of America's Meth-Lab Breadbasket when we've got chefs without any common sense? As a service, Unreal hereby suggests the following areas, which are much better suited for meth labs:
A. Washington University's chemical-engineering department:This is a place where crazy odors rule the day, both from the miscellaneous brews cooking within and from stinky grad students pulling all-nighters. Just don a white lab coat, load in your equipment like you know what you're doing, and set to cooking!
B. The riverfront south of the Arch: Here's an area so desolate and lonely that a motivated cooker could build a damn nuclear reactor without getting noticed -- except by the losers dumping their old washers and dryers.
C. Willert Home Products: Willert, located in south city just off 39th Street, is one of America's leading makers of odorizers, potpourri and mothballs, all of which combine to mask even the nastiest batch of nostril rot. The complex, which consumes three city blocks, has the added bonus of being located at a dead end, so there's no pesky traffic.
D. Next door to a White Castle: You've been there: smoking crack in your car on a Saturday night, then heading to White Castle for a 3 a.m. batch of sliders. The next day, your car's interior doesn't smell like crack, but like White Castle booty? Enough said.
E. St. Louis Centre: Rent a stall (there are plenty to choose from), put on a polyester uniform and a chef's hat, smile and start producing the nose detergent. At St. Louis Centre, everybody minds their own business -- including the customers. The only downside is that there's a very good chance you'll go out of business.
With her television show, magazine and Web site, Oprah Winfrey is clearly the media queen of the United States. But here in St. Louis, Unreal hereby proclaims Molly Lancaster, proprietor of molly-online.com, local media empress.
The site offers semi-nude photos of the nineteen-year-old Lancaster for a monthly subscription price of $16.95. "A portion of all subscription fees will be placed into a college fund to ensure my way through medical school," she writes on her "About Me" page, where she also discloses that she is "an honor student attending a special college distance learning and independent study program through one of our major universities." Of course, the would-be physician's fame registers far below that of Winfrey -- a fact not lost on child pornographer Gary Smith, a convict who's suing Winfrey and her Harpo Productions for a combined $270 million and Lancaster for a paltry $85 million.
In a handwritten complaint pending in U.S. District Court in St. Louis, Smith, who's serving 235 months in a federal penitentiary in Florida for three counts of child pornography, alleges that Lancaster and Winfrey slandered and defamed him during an April 28, 2003, episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show during which Lancaster said he had enticed her to pose nude at age fifteen and later hawked the photos over the Internet.
Smith was put away on charges unrelated to his alleged connection to Lancaster, but court documents cite her testimony at his 2003 sentencing hearing as instrumental in boosting his sentence by nearly four years. His release date is scheduled for 2019, at which time he'll be 52.
Both Lancaster and Winfrey declined to discuss the lawsuit with Unreal, but Lancaster's business partner, David Pearson, says the suit is a frivolous attempt by Smith to blame his victims.
"We believe his suit has no merit and his claims have no foundation, and we're confident of a summary dismissal," says Pearson.
According to court documents, Lancaster earned about $240,000 in 2000 from photos sold on Smith's now-defunct Web sites. Following a subsequent dispute, the enterprising young woman eliminated Smith as a middleman and launched her own "modeling site."
Lancaster now has full control of the images she chooses to post. In describing her Web site on Winfrey's show last year, she said, "Let's be honest: There is autoeroticism. That's what it is. That's what we're talking about here. Are we going to say that that's not hygienic, or that's not natural, that it doesn't happen?"
Just the sorts of questions Unreal asks every day.
I just turned in my resignation to St. Louis Public Schools. I feel so much better. I could cite a litany of reasons, most of them common knowledge to those who watch the news.
My question: Can the district expect sound, stable leadership from board members who admit prior threesomes in "serious relationships" and divulge views on anal sex in a column in a local paper? How would you feel about SLPS students reading the content of your new column? Bill Me!
I could answer letters without recourse to any personal experience, but they're more entertaining and real if I have personal experience to share. For the record, I didn't say I had threesomes; I said I had a friend who was married to a bisexual woman and they had threesomes. Regarding the letter on anal sex, I think I gave an answer that was both serious and humorous.
Writers need to know their audience. In December I wrote the RFT requesting consideration for a column, after the Post-Dispatch, Suburban Journals and St. Louis Magazine had turned me down. The questions and answers are bound to be different in an alternative weekly from what they'd be in a family publication like those mentioned above. As I said, one needs to know his audience.
I'm teaching six college courses and working retail full-time -- that's 80 to 90 hours a week, plus the school board. I've worked like this for thirteen years, since I was laid off from my law job at a corporation that went bankrupt. Some months I didn't have money for rent, and if my family hadn't helped me out, I'd have been on the street, or worse. I don't expect people to feel sorry for me, but I could use the few extra dollars a week. If I'm giving good advice on dating and relationships, that's honorable work as far as I'm concerned. I'm a nice guy. I've led a bit of a hardscrabble life since Yale and Harvard and I think I deserve whatever success I get.
As for my school-board position and schoolkids reading my column -- as far as I'm concerned, if they're reading the RFT, their souls are already irredeemably lost. And voters will be able to express their opinions about my eight years' service on the board when my term's up next spring.
Finally, people who really care about our kids don't resign when the going gets tough. You gave your opinion; that's mine.
E-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or stamp and send to Bill Me! c/o Riverfront Times, 6358 Delmar Boulevard, Suite 200, St. Louis, MO 63130.
Despite what the cops say, the chicken strips with honey-mustard dipping sauce at the Denny's in Waterloo, Illinois, are simply delicious, albeit a bit greasy. If there was semen in the sauce (which former kitchen-worker Anthony Lindhorst allegedly spilled into it on at least two occasions), Unreal, an expert semen taster, could not detect it. We, of course, also wanted to sample the brownies, knowing full well that Lindhorst was fired in April for feeding pot-laced brownies to a couple of fellow employees. Some kind of guy. Some kind of joint.
Unreal first ordered an iceberg-lettuce salad with Italian dressing on the side. The dressing was a clear, whitish fluid speckled with miscellaneous herbs, thicker than your average vinegar-and-oil and a little salty. So maybe there was something funny going on.
Then we moved on to the Waterloo Denny's specialty -- the aforementioned chicken strips. One can order the strips two different ways -- as an appetizer or as an entrée, the latter of which offered us the choice of two sides. Unreal chose the entrée, opting for orders of stuffing with gravy and applesauce. Our server perspired profusely and seemed somewhat overwhelmed -- this despite the fact that the lunch crowd was virtually nonexistent.
Frustrated by the lengthy wait for those tasty strips, Unreal couldn't help but notice that the harried server, when he finally arrived with the food, was even sweatier than when we last saw him some fifteen minutes earlier. What, Unreal wondered, was he doing back there?
Four phallic-looking strips of fried chicken sat next to a pile of stuffing dripping with gravy and a bowl of applesauce. The honey-mustard sauce, presented in a little plastic cup, was a very pale yellow. Both honey and mustard are usually much darker, which gave us pause. Had it been contaminated with you-know-what? Unreal chose not to care and hungrily dunked a strip into the special sauce. Again and again, Unreal dunked, so quickly that some of that special sauce dribbled down our chin.
Unreal proceeded to Denny's specialty dessert, brownies topped with ice cream. We ate about half of it, and no, we didn't get the least bit high.
Make Your Own RFT MeatGina
We've all heard stories about people seeing things in their food such as the Virgin Mary in a tortilla or Jesus in a cinnamon roll. But Unreal was surprised last week when several readers claimed to see a certain area of the female anatomy in the butterflied filet mignon that graced last week's RFT cover accompanied by the headline "Eat Me." It's not so much that they were offended: They wanted a MeatGina of their own. Unreal aims to please, so simply follow these instructions (illustrated below) and enjoy.* And ignore what your mom told you about playing with your food. 1. Go to your butcher and get a five-inch-long section of beef tenderloin (the RFT went to the Straub's in Webster -- plug plug). Place it on a cutting board so the more round section is facing up. 2. Using a sharp knife, cut almost all the way through the meat. 3. Flip it over and fold it in half. 4. Stand on end so the area you cut is on top. Look on in horror. Write a letter to the editor.
* PhotoShop not required.