Party Favor

Our pick for the best 2004 celebration slogan

Avid followers of Unreal will recall that, about a month ago, we asked readers to submit slogans to promote the upcoming centennial partyin honor of the 1904 World's Fair-- with the cleverest contestant getting a free ride, a beerand a couple of wienersat Fairmount Park on Preakness Saturday.

With poor-sport trainer Bobby Frankelholding his Empire Makerout of the Triple Crown's second jewel after a disappointing runner-up finish in the Kentucky Derby, the field at Pimlico looks thinner than Manute Bolon a 40-day fast. But, fortunately, the race for best centennial-party slogan was robust, with Florissant's Adam Hackbarthemerging as the winner. Reached by phone for comment, Hackbarth was uncertain as to whether he'd cash in on his promised Preakness prize. Uncertain, that is, until he was reminded that his chariot to Collinsville would be a vintage '87 Buick-- the same model owned by Sean Pennthat was stolen in broad daylight a few weeks ago in Hollywood. (Actually, it's the same car. Don't tell Sean -- rumor has it Madonna's ex has quite the temper.)

Hackbarth, the 29-year-old producer of the underground cult film April Is My Religion (available exclusively at, sent in a bunch of slogan suggestions, any one of which might have taken the cake, as far as our distinguished panel of Pabst Blue Ribbon drinkers-- er, judges -- was concerned. Among the best:

· "Alcohol and Cholesterol: An American Celebration"

· "Terrorists Don't Even Know Our City Exists: The Safe Celebration"

· "No Matter What High School You Went To, You'll Still Leave Enlightened"

· "Because Shitty '70s Rock Bands Never Sounded This Good"

Although Hackbarth's manifold offerings stood head and shoulders above the rest, several contestants came close to nailing the nomenclature for our impending local bender.

Mark Lockwooddeserves kudos for "St. Louis: If We Had a Clue, I Assure You We Would Have Used It by Now!" Likewise Bob Sherron, who suggested "Seven Hills of Death With a Head Full of Meth." And it was also tempting to reward Green Park's Harvey Meyerfor his short-but-sweet "Hoosiernanny." Not fancy, just fabulous, Harv.

Civic gadfly Steven Fitzpatrick Smithgets hella props for his sheer volume of submissions, the best of which was "The S-T-L has the pimp juice." (Little does Smith know that had he instead scribbled "Big Pimpin' in the S-T-L," he might well have won -- but in fairness, those would be high expectations to put on anyone, much less a Caucasian man who thinks he can pull off wearing a white Harlem Nights straw hat 24/7.)

Hackbarth will be the only one rolling pimp-style in Penn's Buickcome Saturday, but the RFTwould like to extend an invitation to all readers to join us on the apron at Fairmount, or for pre-Preakness boilermakers at Ardie and Tiny'son Collinsville Road two hours before post time at Pimlico. It's gonna be quite the shindig.

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