It's official: Unreal is smarter than you. "But," you may say, "I am a doctor who has the power to save lives and you are a mere newspaper column that exists for the sole purpose of mocking humanity." Or you may say, "I scored, like, 2,000 on my SAT, and you got only 1,250." (We say, "The scoring scale changed, bitch!") True, we still regularly have our ass handed to us at online Scrabble and have not mastered certain basic tasks, like balancing our own checkbook or figuring out how not to get busted by traffic-light cameras.
But Unreal has just been invited to be a member of Mensa, and you have not. (Well, probably not.) Once we pay our $52, we will be able to present our Mensa membership card whenever we get asked for ID. Or we will occupy a table at Starbucks and prominently display our copy of MSLaneous, the official newsletter of St. Louis Area Mensa. Or something. No doubt our fellow Mensans exert their considerable brain power to come up with strategies to let other people know how smart they are.
For now, all we have to say is: We are a certified genius. In the unlikely event that you are, too, you're doubtless edified to know you're in good company.
Looking for an excuse to take in a Cardinals game while also learning valuable leadership skills? Well, look no further than Championship Leadership, a new three-day workshop that "combines the focus and mental toughness of elite athletes with a proven model of corporate leadership development." The seminars take place at Busch Stadium and include a tutorial by Jason Selk, the official sports-psychology consultant to the St. Louis Cardinals. Last week we caught up with Selk just prior to his visit to assist the Cardinals at spring training.
Unreal: Where in Busch Stadium will your classes be held? Center field?
Selk: No. It's inside Busch Stadium. They have some really nice conference rooms, and there will be some behind-the-scenes tours and probably some special guest appearances. The price of admission also includes tickets to a game in a luxury suite.
Does that include soft drinks and hot dogs?
Oh, yeah. Everything is included.
What will people learn at the workshop?
First, we'll teach mental-toughness skills that have been proven successful among the professional and Olympic athletes I've counseled. Second, we'll teach individual leadership skills. And third, we'll provide techniques you can use to motivate the people around you to also become leaders.
Speaking of motivation, the Cardinals are projected to finish in third or fourth place in their division this year. Is there any truth to the underdog mentality? Or is it just Freudian mumbo-jumbo losers use to make themselves feel better?
No, I think there's some truth to it. I believe any time you have the pressure on you, it makes it more difficult. I think 2006 is the classic case. Everyone predicted the Tigers to beat the Cardinals to win the World Series. They had everything to lose. We didn't.
Regarding the team's battered psyche this year: Would you recommend psychotropic drugs or should they just continue their normal regimen of HGH, steroids and amphetamines?
That's a loaded question. I don't endorse performance-enhancing drugs of any kind. As far as the Cardinals go, I know they don't either. They are as quality a team as you'll find.
Last season Scott Spiezio left the team because of substance-abuse problems. Then in December he allegedly crashed his car while drunk, beat up his neighbor and hid in a closet as police searched his condo. On a scale of 1 to 10, how cuckoo is he?
I wouldn't say he's "cuckoo." He has a great heart and I imagine some of his problems are related to the pressure of the job. I hope he gets the help he needs and experiences success on another team.
As for Cardinals skipper Tony La Russa, what does it say — psychologically — about a person who wears sunglasses day and night?
Unreal has fond memories of working on our high school yearbook. Mainly because "work" entailed running around without a hall pass and taking pictures. So it was with deep regret that we declined an invitation from Clayton High School teacher Christine Roney to speak to more than 650 high school journalism students at the Sponsors of School Publications' spring conference. (Alas, deadlines are upon us!) Still, we were flattered (if slightly mystified) that Ms. Roney would consider us as a role model for young scribes.
Unreal: Are you sure you want the staff of Riverfront Times to influence your students?
Christine Roney: I would consider you guys journalists. Would you consider yourselves journalists?
Sure. One of our most important works in the past twelve months was a full-length review of a squirting toilet.
That's the kind of thing that kids would love. The broadcast kids did a story on the best toilet in the high school.
That's a good one! What other ideas could we steal from them?
They did a Cribs kind of thing; they've done that for teachers' houses. This teacher had seven strollers.
What's the controversy of the year at Clayton High?
Our school brought in a Breathalyzer to test kids who were under suspicion of drinking before they came to a dance. It's Clayton — you know the kids are very protective of their freedom.
I'll bet The Globe covered the heck out of that one.
One headline said the PTO bought the Breathalyzers. They had to run a big correction. A student wrote [that] the homecoming dance wasn't successful in the eyes of the students. There was a little bit of bias in the front of the story.
At least you're selling ads, right?
I actually don't run the paper. I just do broadcast and yearbook.