Hold the Relish

Neil Hamburger just might be hipper than you are, but that doesn't mean you can't take his calls; meanwhile, St. Louis courts record their cases on handy stone tablets.

Cases from each of the state's 45 circuit courts were supposed to be available on line by next year, but the computerization project started in 1997 is far from finished.

Why not put existing courtroom databases, now accessible only from courthouse computers, onto city and county Web pages? Paul Fox, director of judicial administration for St. Louis County, says that takes time. "I've got my computer people working on it," he says, predicting that at least some county court records will be online by year's end. In the city, Circuit Clerk Mariano Favazza, who has managed to put records involving landlord-tenant disputes online, won't say why he hasn't put anything else on the Internet.

Of course, the rules are different if you're a lawyer: For nearly ten years, licensed attorneys have been able to use their own computers to search public court records in St. Louis and St. Louis County. Linda Oligschlaeger, membership services director for the Missouri Bar Association, says the lawyers' dues help pay for the online system. "Do you have a lawyer on staff?" she suggests. "It would save you a lot of trips to the courthouse, that's true."

America's Funnyman, stand-up comic Neil Hamburger
America's Funnyman, stand-up comic Neil Hamburger

Who You Callin' Hipster?

The Hipster Handbook, written by Brooklyn -- that's Brooklyn, New Yawk -- resident Robert Lanham, purports to be the ultimate source for tips on what's hip (e.g., complacency, cosmopolitans) and what's not (aerosol deodorants). There's also a Web site, hipsterhandbook.com, which allows visitors to ascertain their own hipster quotient by answering a few dozen impertinent questions.

But who has time for it? Here in St. Louis, we like to keep it a little more real. Without further ado, Unreal presents the "Are You a St. Louis Hipster?" quiz. Because after all, hipness is relative, even if your relatives aren't hip.

1) Which type of hat would you most likely be found wearing?
A) The tall striped kind favored by characters in Dr. Seuss stories.
B) The green mesh kind that say "John Deere."
C) Rams, baby!

2) KFC or Church's?
B) Church's
C) I don't eat fried meats.

3) What do you do when someone calls you a "hoosier"?
A) Throw them over your knee and spank them like a baby.
B) Raise your can of Milwaukee's Best in a toast.

4) You went to Wash. U.
A) True
B) False

The hip answer to each question is B. A score of three correct answers qualifies you for membership in this exclusive club. Godspeed, STL hipster!

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