Chillin' at the Holidae In

We award the coveted case of Pimp Juice to the worthiest ride in the Lou, get sex tips from Wash. U.'s student paper and reminisce about the grocery strike; plus, a tribute to Westfall and an attempt to crash the hotel party in room 490

Congratulations, Lee -- your Pimp Juice is on the way! Unreal will have you know that it works great as an antifreeze substitute should you blow all your money on porn and Pong.

Live Where You Shop, Shop Where You Live

Unreal would like to thank the grocery workers' strike for reminding us of one of life's simple pleasures: shopping in a neighborhood market. It was on the way home from the office the other day that the craving for rocky road ice cream struck. What to do? Crossing a picket line isn't cool (and Unreal is nothing if not cool). But when you get to hankering for large quantities of chocolate ice cream studded with marshmallows and al-monds, it's hardly any time before you're thinking: Picket, shmicket.

Then it appears, as if in a dream. Gewinner's Market on Clayton Avenue in Dogtown. Inside, the butcher at the meat counter is greeting customers and asking after their kids. Folks in line are chatting with one another. When they leave, the bagger holds the door open, then insists on carrying out the groceries.

Misty-eyed, Unreal recalls a recent conversation with members of a new group called BUILD (Businesses United for Independent Local Development), which aims to convince consumers that shopping at small, local businesses has advantages: unique selections, a relaxed buying experience, civic betterment. The movement is fueled by a nationwide umbrella organization called the American Independent Business Alliance, which reminds consumers that 45 cents out of every dollar spent at a locally owned business stays in the community, compared to 15 cents of each buck laid down at a national chain.

BUILD is trying to recruit small businesses into a co-op of sorts that would give them name recognition, political cachet and joint buying power (think insurance, payroll services and advertising). The group promises to produce a buyers' guide of locally owned, independent businesses and schedule monthly socials.

Sounds good. As long as they tell us where to get our rocky road.

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