Genome Whiz!

Learn fun things about the humble mole rat, getting busted in East St. Louis and why our city wants to have the blues

How to Get Busted

Hollis Riggins knows exactly where to find the hookers on any given Saturday night, and the flesh peddlers sure know him.

"Please, Riggins, tomorrow's my birthday," pleads a strung-out, short-shorn vixen with "HOT" emblazoned across her silver belt buckle as Riggins guides her into the back of his silver East St. Louis Police Department cruiser. "I'm just tryin' to get to St. Louis," she says. "I don't wanna be a ho on my birthday. Please, Riggins!"

Riggins, who grew up in East St. Louis, has known this young woman since she was skipping rope down the street, and he has cut slack before to plenty of would-be holding-cell residents. But on this night, neither he nor Deputy Chief Rudy McIntosh is in a charitable mood.

"I hate prostitutes," says Riggins, whose six years on the force were preceded by seven patrolling the strip joint-dotted streets of Washington Park. "You should have seen last night. Grown men cryin', 'My wife's gonna kill me!'"

Those grown men were among the three dozen johns rounded up October 11 and 12, during the first weekend of a sting McIntosh orchestrated with his motley crew. Unreal, inexplicably, was invited along for the ride.

"They warned us not to come to East St. Louis," admits a mustachioed New Jerseyite in town on business, after being cited for soliciting an undercover female cop at the infamous corner of First and St. Clair, between Mustang Sally's and the building formerly known as the Discreet Motel.

Collared along with Jersey are two compadres, their rental car, an empty bottle of Southern Comfort and six master cylinders of Bud Dry.

"We ain't bought no pussy," protests the lone black member of the trio. "They took Kobe [Bryant] down. I can understand that. But we gotta go to work in the morning."

As usual, Riggins' younger fellow officers leave him to complete the suspects' paperwork. "All they want to do is run and dunk," he gripes. "They don't want to do any fucking work."

As midnight approaches, so does the rain. Riggins' wife calls to make sure her Hollis is wearing his bulletproof vest. He responds in the affirmative, then leaves her with a final thought: "Get y'ass out on the street if you want your name in the paper."

Apartments for Rent

FREE RENT IN TONY WASHINGTON AVENUE LOFT for one Cubs fan, preferably named Steve Bartman, with headphones affixed to ears. Without you, Stevie, St. Louisans would have had to eat crow for God knows how long. Besides, it’s high time you moved out of your folks’ house, and St. Louis is far cheaper than the Windy City. If you move here, dork, we’ll toss in a free Cardinals hat and give you another Little League team to coach (the latter without a flock of disgruntled fans mercilessly beating your left fielder to fly ball after fly ball). Oh, and you can sit in the press box for every Cards game. Hell, you can announce the friggin’ games — that way you won’t be able to screw up any potential foul snares by Uncle Albert Pujols. And Stevie, here’s the clincher: If you come here, no one will kill you.

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