Long gone are the days of doing something just because you aren't supposed to. R-rated movies? No problem. Heck, "adult" movies aren't even an issue. You're so far past the legal cigarette- and alcohol-purchasing ages, you can't remember when you were that young. It's sad, really, isn't it? But along the way, you've grown to appreciate the privileges that come with age, and now these activities give you a different kind of rush -- the rush of responsibility. Well, it's time you forgot all your age-related worries and pointed your car in the direction of the Schlafly Tap Room (2100 Locust Street; 314-241-2337 or www.schlafly.com). At 7 p.m. you'll find the Arch Rivals Comedy Showcase, which consists of all different kinds of folks who will make you laugh about some "adult" situations. The show costs $5, and those younger than sixteen aren't welcome (that should make you feel a little better about being older). For more visit www.entertainmentgroup.biz.
Thursday, September 1
Well, it's official. Summer is over. Not by any written calendar, but by nature's calendar: The apples are ripe and ready for the picking at all three Eckert's Farms (in Belleville, Millstadt and Grafton, Illinois), and today's the first day you can get your hands on the tempting fresh fruit. Too bad you have to work. Well, no worries, since the wagon rides to the orchards run from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. every day. Admission is free at all the farms (but only through Monday, September 5, at the Millstadt farm). And if you want to forestall beginning your autumn for one more week, head out to the farms from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. next weekend (Saturday and Sunday, September 10 and 11) for AppleFest, a festival of food, music, pony rides and, of course, apples. Admission to the fest is free at all locations except Millstadt ($6); call 618-233-0513 or visit www.eckerts.com for exact farm locations and more information about the festival and apple-picking.
Friday, September 2
At the time of this writing, Hillary Duff has the best-selling album in the nation. Clearly, people are at a loss for interesting music. So why not set aside the albums for an evening and get some perspective? Ravish Momin's Trio Tarana plays the Christman Studio (6014 Kingsbury Avenue; 314-995-4963 or www.newmusiccircle.org) at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $6 to $12. No Swedish-engineered pop beats here -- Trio Tanara rocks hand percussion, oud (a stringed, vaguely mandolin-shape guitar antecedent known in Arabic as "The Prince of the Instruments"), bass and violin to create a melange of sound that hints at Indian, Middle Eastern and Western music. The conglomeration of sound should suit the eclectic décor of the Christman Studio perfectly, and the evening will be an intoxicating feast for the senses.
Saturday, September 3
If we discovered anything when buying postcards across the Atlantic (in Ireland especially), it's that you can learn a lot by looking at a city's doors. Groups of many metropolis' doorways are photographed for the cards that travelers send back to family and friends, giving them small portals to what the tourist has seen and felt. Now St. Louis' doors have been immortalized, but these images haven't made it onto postcards -- yet. Doors of South St. Louis is an exhibit of Sheila M. Harris' watercolor images of some of the entranceways in neighborhoods like Benton Park, Tower Grove East and Lafayette Square. The exhibit's free opening reception is from 2 to 4 p.m. today at the Carondelet branch of the St. Louis Public Library (6800 Michigan Avenue; 314-752-9224); the show remains on view through September 30.
Sunday, September 4
OK, the idea of throwing a baby shower for an elephant (actually, two expectant elephants) seems a little nuts. But these mothers-to-be are carrying the seed of our beloved Asian elephant, Raja, so the hoopla is understandable. After all, the Saint Louis Zoo in Forest Park (314-781-0900) throws a birthday party for him every year, and we never miss it. Sri and Ellie, the mothers in question, aren't due until late October of 2005 and June of 2006, respectively, but the zoo staff plans ahead. You have to plan ahead if you have a 265-pound baby on the way. So Saturday, Sunday and Monday (September 3 through 5) have been designated Elephant Labor Days at the zoo, and all manner of educational activities take place to educate the public on how exactly one prepares for elephant deliveries. Kids can make shower gifts for the moms between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day, and curators stationed along the River's Edge Trail give presentations and answer questions about topics such as babyproofing for elephants. All activities are free, and a full schedule is available at www.stlzoo.org. Now, when is the bachelor party for Raja?
Monday, September 5
Wheeled ones, rejoice: The annual Michelob Ultra Gateway Cup Bicycle Race Series returns to St. Louis, and we really mean all of St. Louis. With four races in as many days, you're going to have to leave town to avoid seeing the two-wheeled warriors slice through the streets. The series starts at 6 p.m. Friday, September 3, at Lafayette Square Park; Saturday, September 4, the riders race through Kirkwood Park beginning at 9 a.m.; the Hill provides the old-world charm and backdrop for the Sunday, September 5, race (noon start time); and University City closes out the series Monday, September 5. Monday's race takes place in the famous Loop (6400 block of Delmar Boulevard; www.stlbiking.com for more information on all races), and from 9 a.m. till late in the day, you can watch hundreds of cyclists navigate the perilous 90-degree turn in the Loop-South-to-Melville-Avenue section of the course. Each race is free to watch, and at just about a mile per course, you can see the racers frequently, no matter where you set up.
Tuesday, September 6
Good things are being uttered about ECHO Theatre Company's Reading Series, which takes place the first Tuesday of every month at the Soulard Coffee Garden (910 Geyer Street). This being the first Tuesday, ECHO has another reading ready, the darkly comic Schoolgirl Figure. Wendy MacLeod's high school satire skewers ideas of body image and popularity as the female lead diets herself almost to death to win the attention of the hot boy (sister, don't you know he's never worth it?). A comic play about anorexia may not be for everyone, but the Soulard Coffee Garden serves coffee and food, so if you're a nervous eater, you'll be all right. Check out www.echotheatrecompany.org for updated information on start times and admission.