St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Diane Toroian Keaggy came up with a clever lead for her May 10 story about a pregnant orangutan at the Saint Louis Zoo, the salacious hook being that mommy-to-be Merah may or may not have boinked her eight-year-old son, Sugi, en route to conception.
"Quick, someone call 1-800-WHO'S-THE-DADDY," Keaggy led off.
At least one Post reader did precisely that, dialing the first eleven corresponding digits: 1-800-946-7843. He was greeted by a piping-hot pre-recorded message that'd make your average zoo ape stand up at attention:
"Ooooh, hey lover, don't be shy. Come on in for a hot party. That's right -- you can get it all right here. Oooo-oooh, let my girlfriends and I show you a hot time. That's right, baby, we can go privately one-on-one for our own private party, or join us on the live party line. Or try my live virtual chat and meet a friend or two.
"You don't have to stop there, I have a date line that will tickle your fancy. It's sooooo easy to play with us. Just reach down and grab your big -- ooooh -- hard credit card. Experienced callers, enter your credit card number anytime. Don't forget: If you're experienced -- mmmmmmmm -- as a caller, you can enter -- mmmmm -- your credit-card number at any time.... So, give it to me anytime you want. That's right, just give me your credit-card number at anytime during this message.... Each call has an access fee of $5.99. Take out your credit card and put in the number so I can talk to you now. This is a hot, sizzling adult line, so you've got to be at least eighteen to join us.... Oooh, I'm waiting for you, stud. Enter your credit card number now!"
Three Wounded During "Nice Tuesday Evening" Cardinals Game
By Todd C. Frankel and Bill Bryan Of the Post-Dispatch
Three people were injured in separate violent incidents last night at Busch Memorial Stadium during a major-league baseball game between the Cardinals and the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates.
A 43-year-old Hazelwood steelworker and Cardinals fan, Taylor Beckwith, was in serious condition at Barnes-Jewish Hospital after a fellow union steelworker from Pittsburgh shoved a souvenir bat up Beckwith's ass in Section 231. Beckwith, a season-ticket holder who allegedly referred to Pirates relief pitcher Jose Mesa as "a friggin' rapist," suffered a rectal tear when the suspect retorted, "You want rape? I'll show you rape!"
The 37-year-old Mesa was acquitted on rape charges in 1997.
In an unrelated incident in Section 318, two Redbird fans suffered flesh wounds when an unruly Pirates fan clad in a feathered cap and eyepatch shot live ammunition from a vintage musket into the cool spring air after Pittsburgh catcher Jason Kendall flied out to end the top of the third inning.
Both suspects escaped.
Police Chief Joe Mokwa called the ballgame "a nice Tuesday evening event.
"There were a couple of incidents," said Mokwa. "But on the whole, considering the magnitude of the crowd, everything went well."
The events marred an otherwise beautiful evening for a baseball game at Busch, a wholly serviceable ballpark near the Mississippi River downtown that is slated for demolition at the end of next season. Well-dressed young professionals cheered for Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols as they sipped from frosty cups of Budweiser, women swooned over third sacker Scott Rolen and balding granddads bounced chubby babies on their wrinkled knees as catcher Mike Matheny deftly blocked errant pitches in the dirt.
The crowd was estimated at 32,000, or roughly one-third of the turnout at the May 16 Annie Malone Parade on Natural Bridge Road in north St. Louis, a recent "nice event" where "everything went well," according to Chief Mokwa. Six citizens were wounded by firearms and sharp objects during the parade.
When it comes to excitement, nothing quite matches those late-night sessions in front of the tube, watching Magnus Samuelsson shot-putting refrigerators and bench-pressing Yugos on ESPN's World's Strongest Man.
Nothing, that is, besides watching wannabe Magnuses shot-putting refrigerators and bench-pressing Yugos in the flesh.
So it was that on Mother's Day weekend Unreal ventured downtown to America's Center for the Show-Me Pro-Am Strongman Wild-Card Challenge, the winner of which stood to earn the honor of joining the Sweaty Swede on the pro tour. Though amateur hefters from across the nation had converged on St. Louis for the event, a goodly portion of the smart money was on 31-year-old St. Peters resident Mike Wortham -- all six-foot-three and 350 pounds of him.
Hometown hope faded fast on the first day of competition, however. After toting an 800-pound steel yoke designed to look like the Gateway Arch, Wortham failed to lift a 320-pound steel pole over his head. He gained no ground in the next event, "Stones of Strength"; though he managed to thrust four 300-pound boulders into the air with much the same ease Unreal exhibits when hoisting twelve-packs of Stag into our shopping cart, Wortham walked away exhausted from the fifth stone.
"I've dug myself a pretty deep hole," he confessed at day's end.
Unfortunately, hole-digging wasn't one of the events.
On Sunday, following a replenishing NyQuil-induced slumber and with his pistons firing on a breakfast of Egg McMuffins, Wortham forged onward. Over the course of the day, he bench-pressed two ATVs, lifted the rear end of a Ford Escape, tossed a 780-pound tractor tire and carried a Harley-Davidson across the convention-center floor.
Alas, it was too little, too late. Wortham was only able to salvage fourth place, as Utah's Van Hatfield (who bore an uncanny resemblance to the Terminator) snagged top honors and the chance to go up against the likes of Samuelsson.
The big guy from St. Peters took the defeat in stride, preferring to look forward to the Strongman National Amateur Championship, which comes to town in October. "I'm in better spirits," he said after wolfing down a post-tournament pizza. "This was the toughest field I've ever competed against, and I rebounded."
It's not always easy being St. Louis' foremost authority on all things Unreal. Sure, there are perks: the deluge of press credentials. The free drinks. The adulation. But it's not all Pimptinis and adoring throngs. Worst of all is the mail, the anguished pleas from readers who seek our advice on everything from matters of the heart to fondue hints to which genital piercings are "in."
For a while, we just let the stack mount. Then it hit us like a two-by-four to the skull: We could hire Bill Haas as our personal assistant in charge of answering mail! Haas, after all, wears many hats: member of the St. Louis Board of Education, retail manager at Wal-Mart, American Candidate candidate. Why not add one more piece of headgear to the collection?
As of this week, Bill Haas dons the propeller-topped beanie of Unreal Advice Columnist. Got a dilemma? Ask Haas! He might not know what the hell he's talking about, but you can be damn sure he'll supply an answer. To get the ball rolling, we tossed Haas this poser, which he fielded with aplomb:
I'm in my late twenties and I think I might finally have met the Woman of My Dreams. I love spending time with her, we're both into all the romantic stuff -- rose petals in the bathtub, à la The Bachelor! -- and the sex is totally out of this world. There's only one problem: I think she might be a lesbian. She's been open about it, telling me she's had same-sex encounters and enjoyed them, but she says they're only a passing experimental thing and she's really all hetero. If it hadn't been for her talking about it, I don't think I ever would have known -- she really seems to enjoy scaling Mount Woodmore, if you know what I mean. But then, you know what they say about women and faking it. I really do love this woman, and I want to believe she loves me, but I already feel the jealousy beginning to eat at me. What's a guy to do?
Jealousy of any kind -- regardless of her orientation, or yours -- is a bad sign for the relationship right there.
What exactly are you jealous of? That she likes women more and you'll never be able to compete successfully for her attentions, physical or emotional? Would you rather she be attracted to other guys, or are you worried about that too? How would you feel if she told you she wanted to marry you but reserved the right to have relationships with other women from time to time, but no men? I think many if not most men could handle that; I know I was able to in one of my most serious relationships, and I have a friend who's in a happy marriage like that; she often brings her partners home for threesomes. How would you feel about that?
As I often say: "If you have to ask whether you should marry her, you shouldn't." If you can't trust her word that she loves you, then that's a bigger problem than her past bisexuality should be. And if you can't accept the reality of the present and let the past go, then that will destroy your relationship long before any bisexual feelings she has, has had or might have, will.
E-mail your questions to email@example.com, or stamp and send to Bill Me! c/o Riverfront Times, 6358 Delmar Boulevard, Suite 200, St. Louis, MO 63130.