If there's one thing Unreal hates, it's when people resort to name-calling, insults and race-baiting. Especially when we're not involved. So our Alfred E. Neuman smirk was wiped clean off our puss when we picked up the July 12 issue of the St. Louis Metro Evening Whirl. Venerable (and anonymous) scribe "The Shadow" shed the gloves in response to an item in another under-the-radar local broadsheet, the Arch City Chronicle.
"Dumb Shit Heads at Arch City Chronicle Lie!" hollered the front-page headline. "The idiot micks and Jew males running the Xerox copy of 'Arch City Chronicle,' a sparsely circulated communist rag recently lied about the Whirl and one of the City's most respected and prominent businessman," wrote The Shadow. Further, the ACC is "a cry-baby faggot-type publication to vent their over-blown egos."
We're not sure, but we think it was the following bit from ACC columnist "Hot Potato" (also anonymous, natch) that got The Shadow's unitard in a wad: "The Evening Whirl's latest attack on Chief Joe Mokwa and Jennifer Joyce contained expletives that were both unprofessional and unprecedented in their meanness even by Whirl standards. Seems Gentry still has not gotten over being caught in a car with a gun by the City's finest. Sounds like a grudge match that will never end."
Whoa, Nelly! One veiled dirt-disher attempting to out another!
Whirl editor Anthony Sanders won't say if longtime local schmoozester Gentry Trotter is indeed The Shadow. The ACC's Dave Drebes' lips are likewise sealed about Hot Potato's identity.
Enough already. Unreal knows all there is to know about hurling spitballs at undeserving targets. So we hereby offer ourself up as peacemaker.
Hot Potato, The Shadow, Unreal. RFT offices. High noon this Friday. You bring the conciliatory spirits, we'll bring the boxed wine.
We promise not to reveal your identities if you don't reveal ours.
Participants from all over the 3rd Congressional District are coming to Camp Russ Carnahan this weekend to learn the fundamentals of winning elections.
--"Russ Carnahan in Congress Committee" press release, July 21, 2005
"Welcome to Camp Russ!" cried U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan as attendees gathered at his July seminar at the Washington University School of Law. Clad in a Boy Scout jersey and a park ranger hat, Carnahan seemed pleased by the turnout, estimated at six people.
"I never got to go to camp when I was a kid," he said ruefully, then quickly brightened. "Who wants to go canoeing?"
"Are you on crack?" asked one young gum chewer. "We're in a law school. Just tell us how to win elections."
"Fine," said Carnahan. "I was going to show you how to start a fire with two sticks or a magnifying glass, but I see Miss Prissypants here wants to get the show on the road.
"It's very simple. I won a tightly contested election last cycle versus Bill Federer by employing a three-pronged strategy:
"One: Stay on message.
"Two: Keep your campaign positive.
"Three: Be the son of a famous politician."
Taking a handful of gorp, Carnahan added, "Number one's definitely the most important, though. The one about staying on message.
"Now, who wants to go off the rope swing?"
Remember the beer helmet? What an invention: One beer on the left ear, one beer on the right ear -- brew buzz on the center ear. Frickin' awesome! So imagine our jubilation a week or so back when the mail brought a package from locally based LAK Enterprises, containing a contraption called the Beer Bra.
Though no stranger to brassieres, we were a little taken aback to find this one came wrapped in cellophane, was constructed out of paper and lacked straps, hooks and cups. In short, it looked suspiciously like gift wrap. Undeterred, we summoned all the high school chemistry we could remember and set out to test this newfangled drinking accessory via the scientific method. We divided the experiment into three parts:
1) The control group: wearing the Beer Bra without drinking
2) The first independent variable: drinking without wearing the Beer Bra
3) And finally, drinking with the support of the Beer Bra
First, we secured the Beer Bra to our chest with duct tape and took a spin around the office. This particular model was emblazoned with "Cheers to 21 Years!" The celebratory display was unobjectionable, but hardly exceptional.
Next we cracked a Foster's oil can and enjoyed it sans Beer Bra (as anyone drinking at 3 p.m. on a workday naturally would). It made us think of our dream job: pilot for America West. Ah, good times!
And then we reattached the Beer Bra and opened a fresh oil can. Call us crazy, but the second and third brewskies went down better than the first. We cranked Warren Zevon a little louder, grew a bit introspective and fought the urge to call significant others from our past.
After that we found ourselves craving a cigarette. Venturing forth from the Unreal cubicle and out onto Delmar Boulevard still clad in our Beer Bra, we attracted the attention of a field-trip chaperone who stopped to wish us a happy 21st birthday. We offered a demure thank-you, but inside we were enraptured.
What do you know? The Beer Bra makes you feel younger, drunker and happier!
Edified, we went back inside and drained an Olde English 800 we found lurking at the back of the employee fridge. Our cups runneth over.
LOCAL BLOG O' THE WEEK
"St. Louis Oracle"
Author: St. Louis Oracle
About the blogger: "The author of this blog has been a political junkie in St. Louis for over 50 years and is actively engaged in progressive politics. He is a retired attorney currently engaged in arbitration and mediation."
Recent Highlight (July 12, 2005): The hottest 2006 St. Louis area state senate contest is shaping up in the 4th District, where incumbent Democrat Patrick Dougherty is term-limited. The district comprises roughly the western half of the City of St. Louis, from Walnut Park on the north through St. Louis Hills on the south. Overwhelmingly Democratic, the winner is decided in the Democratic primary.
For the generation preceding 1991, the district was situated wholly in north St. Louis and its residents were mostly African American. When redistricting after the 1990 census forced the city to give up a couple districts, the two African American districts (the 4th and 5th) were reconfigured into elongated north-south boundaries with integrated populations and African American incumbents. Lacy Clay, son of the city's African American congressman, won the 4th District without Democratic primary opposition.
The 2001 redistricting caused the 4th and 5th Districts to expand south into new predominantly white territory. The redistricting coincided with Clay's midterm resignation to move up to succeed his father in Congress. In behind-the-scenes bickering, the Democratic committee nominated Dougherty to succeed Clay. Dougherty is white. In the succeeding election for the full term in 2002, African-American State Rep. O. L. Shelton challenged Dougherty one-on-one, but voters re-elected Dougherty by a surprising 2-1 margin. With Dougherty's term at an end, African American politicians are hungry to take back a seat that many regard as rightfully theirs.
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