Hit Parade

Says Sarich: "The goal of our program has always been 'The city does certain things well, other things not very well at all. It's up to the citizens to take care of the rest.'"

ANOTHER "HIT PARADE" EXCLUSIVE! Yes, the answer to another of life's puzzling questions is coming into view. Recently this investigative column noted the troubling absence of the Southwest City Journal in the Kingshighway Heights area, which was robbing South Citians of all the following highlights: the riotously funny "Town Talk"; Jim Fox's armchair musings on life and how it used to be better; and those slick discount-store circulars. Where did all the papers go?

Just last week, our thorough (OK, thoroughly inadvertent) research netted these startling results: Three large stacks of Southwest City Journals were found in an otherwise empty neighborhood Dumpster! Is this the Journal's policy of tending to our fragile Earth? Do "Town Talk" callers know that their insane ramblings are going straight into the circular file? Like, what's the deal here?

Even the thought of rescuing those recyclable papers from the Dumpster was a sticky, stinky and not-altogether-pleasant experience. Geech!

THE INFAMOUS SOUTH SIDE BRAIN TEAZER: In our newest gimmick aimed at attracting readers bored by the tedious pablum normally offered up by this increasingly self-referential column, we offer the "Infamous South Side Brain Teazer." In our first installment, we ask a tough one: The South Side tavern named Pooh's Corner, 6023 Virginia, is decorated, in large part, with images and stuffed likenesses of what whimsical, fictional, golden-haired bear? The first correct respondent (send answers to the e-mail address below; no phone calls, please!) will win a title randomly selected from the RFT Gratis Book Bin!

"HIT PARADE" TOP SEVEN, PART 1: The letters-to-the-editor section proves this new truism: "Food is hot." Never slow to jump on a bandwagon, this week we salute Tangerine's move to a challenging veggie cuisine while offering our top seven suggestions for new menu items at the Courtesy Diner, where the world's first vegetarian slinger has been hatched by the fertile mind of chef Peter Neukirch:

7. Bok-choi kebabs
6. Poached bananas accented by a mung-bean-and-starfruit jam
5. Grilled habaneros on a bed of toasted pumpkin seeds, with a rosemary-and-thyme garnish

4. Kiwi-turnip chowder
3. Persimmon-scented new potatoes with a pinch of chutney and peanut
2. Radish-lettuce salad topped by a prune/cilantro dressing
1. Mockingbird stew

"HIT PARADE" TOP SEVEN, PART 2: With no Monday to toss away this week, the RFT's whip-cracking editors forced an early deadline, condensing the usual seven-day search for foolishness. Thus, a bonus list. (The only winner here is you!) This week, we examine the underlying, yet key, subtexts presented by Die Symphony on their bristling Codependence Day EP/CD-ROM:

7. My black clothes reflect my troubled soul.
6. True love is like falling through glass; putting guns to our temples; a never-ending process of self-doubt and inner turmoil.

5. Our ripped fishnets make us unpopular with the athletically inclined.
4. The newly found attentions of a beautiful woman can be flattering but also bring thorny issues of possession and alienation.

3. Individuality belongs to us (and those of like mind).
2. Let's knock boots ... no, let's not.
1. Modern times are indeed vexing to the spirit.

E-mail tips, quips and Infamous South Side Brain Teazers to: Thomas_Crone@rftstl. com.

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