Last week St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke generated headlines when he demanded that Rick Majerus be "disciplined" for comments the Saint Louis University Billikens basketball coach made in support of stem-cell research and abortion. Outside of denying the coach communion, Burke would not elaborate on how he felt Majerus should be punished.
Always eager to help, Unreal posed the question to local dominatrix Mistress Morgana.
Unreal: How would you discipline Rick Majerus?
Mistress Morgana: First I'd like to say that as a former Catholic and a very spiritual person, I support the coach. He has a right to express his beliefs. But if he's into role-playing, I think we could have some fun.
I have a rubber nun's outfit that I could wear. I'd put the coach over my knee and rap his knuckles with a ruler.
He's a big man. Are you sure you want him over your knee?
I'm a very strong woman.
What about his big fat mouth? How would you stop him from crying out in pain or — worse — spouting more of his wacky political views?
I have a big red ball gag. I'd stuff it between his lips and you'd never hear a peep out of him.
How about Archbishop Burke? Do you think he needs discipline, too?
Oh, yes! That's a fantasy of mine. I'd like to do to him what hundreds of Catholic priests have done to altar boys.
Yowza! You'd probably need some leather-clad man-slaves to assist you, huh?
Mmm. I'm going to stop there. I don't want to get into too much trouble.
You're not afraid Burke will excommunicate you?
Ha! Honey, that happened a long, long time ago.
No Mere Puffery
Michigan scoutmaster Jerry Riggs is on a quest to revive an ancient Boy Scout skill called "sherlocking," which helps boys improve their powers of observation, deduction and crime-solving. As a practice exercise for his charges, the 57-year-old scoutmaster made up a series of mysteries featuring the original Sherlock: Inspector Holmes. ("If I used an original Sherlock Holmes story," Riggs explains, "some smart little fella might have already read it. You can't trust a boy to keep a secret.")
Riggs' stories proved so popular that he compiled them into a book, The Unusual Sherlock Holmes, and a sequel, The Unusual Sherlock Holmes: To the Country, which comes out this year. Unreal tracked down Riggs and practiced a li'l sherlocking of our own.
Unreal: Is there a Scout merit badge for sherlocking?
Jerry Riggs: Sherlocking no longer exists. But I had a pin made up as marketing for my book — it takes some doing to get attention. I got my first shipment in a month ago. I've gotten a few people to buy it.
I understand that your new book has a Missouri connection. How does that work?
Mark Twain had written a satire called A Double-Barrelled Detective Story that describes Holmes' methods of detective work as pretentious and makes Holmes out to be a buffoon. In my book he sends Holmes a corncob pipe as a peace offering. Sherlock Holmes was an avid pipe-smoker, but there's an error in most depictions of him. He didn't smoke those big expensive calabashes. The pipes he was best known for smoking were inexpensive. There was a cherrywood that he smoked when he was in a disputatious mood, and a black and oily clay pipe that was his "consolation pipe." I'm a corncob pipe smoker myself — I'm fond of the Missouri Meerschaum. In 1907 Missouri Meerschaum had a model called the Model 49 that had a tall cob. It would have been a plausible pipe for Holmes to like, and by golly, it's one of my favorites!
What exactly did Holmes smoke in that pipe?
He smoked a particularly strong brand of tobacco called Black Shag.
Local Blog O' The Week
"Yet Another Web Site"
Author: James A. Chappell
About the blogger: Mr. Chappell lives in St. Louis and works as a software engineer. A graduate of Medina High School in Medina, Ohio, he "did the drum and bugle corps thing" from '78 to '81, which explains the URL. He is not related to the pianist of the same name.
Recent Highlight (January 25): A Technical Summary of the Major Presidential Candidates' Web sites
1. So far, Clinton is the only Democratic Presidential candidate to host their web site on a Microsoft server
2. Giuliani's one redeeming quality — he's one of only two Republican Presidential candidates to host their web site on a non-Microsoft server
3. Must be because of all the time he's spent in Massachusetts
Know of an Unreal-worthy local blog? Send the URL to email@example.com