Maximized

Look for local knockout Katina Mitchell at the newsstand (and up on roofs); plus, we're feeling the Joe-mentum and want to see how John Edwards measures up, and Sanford-Brown coach John Campbell gets the kudos he deserves

Bellevillian roofer and model Katina Mitchell finds her way onto the pages of Maxim magazine this month as February's "Working Girl." The full-page feature finds the aspiring actress looking hot, giving love to St. Louis and talking about her sex appeal. Maxim may think it's the only rag that knows how to turn completely innocent comments into innuendo, but as the following transcript of our conversation with Mitchell shows, Unreal can do it too.

Unreal:How did you hook up withMaxim?

Katina:All on my own, and I'm really proud of that. I love St. Louis, but the industry is really hard here. So one night I just started e-mailing shots of myself all over. Maximcontacted me a month later. They wanted me out there in two days.

Did they pay you?

They paid for the hotel, plane ticket and everything, but not to be in the magazine. Some celebrities get paid, I was told, but even then it's maybe $200. It's atotal exposure magazine.

Are you a feminist?

[Laughs] Ye...no. I've got tomboy in me. I side with men usually. I've had so many mentell me I need to write a book on how to treat a man.

So, you toldMaxim you were from St. Louis rather than Belleville. Why?

A lot of people gave me problems for representing St. Louis. I mean, I love Illinois because it's quieter and cheaper. I like to come to St. Louis to go out and go shopping.

What's next for your career?

I got a call from a guy in California. He wants meto send in a tape and pictures for the Discovery Channel. He's trying to get me put on a show as a Home Improvement-type girl.

Would you call yourself a Democrat or Republican?

Democrat.

So, then, you must be feeling the Joe-mentum?

Um, no. I'm not feeling it. Joe-mentumsounds really corny to me.

Small Town

That the John Edwards campaign played John Cougar, John Mellencamp and John Cougar Mellencamp on a continuous loop while a sweaty mass of supporters and press waited for him to arrive in Blueberry Hill's Duck Room last Wednesday night was fine. But numbers like "Authority Song" ("When I fight authority, authority always wins") seemed counterintuitive to the Democratic presidential candidate's effort. Then again, "I Need a Lover Who Won't Drive Me Crazy" ("Someone who'll thrill me, and then go away") summed up the night perfectly.

"Once you meet a presidential candidate, it's impossible not to like them," warned a concerned citizen eyeing Unreal's press pass. That's fine, we replied. After all, we didn't come here to hate. The six beers made sure of that. No, we wanted someone to love, and we thought old Johnny E. might be our man. That soft hair, that slightly put-on southern accent. We couldn't wait to see him.

It was strictly out of boredom, then, and not out of disrespect for the North Carolina senator that Unreal couldn't resist yelling out, "When I say 'Joe,' you say 'Mentum!'"

"Joe!"

The room was silent. Evidently Lieberman fever had yet to touch down in the Show-Me State.

And then, in a flash, Edwards was there, bursting in through the room where alt-country bands from Indiana get post-show blowjobs from middle-aged female fans. Smiling, waving his hands, he strode to the stage and Unreal gasped, not having realized he was so...

...short. Call it the Jason Priestley phenomenon, but males' diminutive stature is never captured on television. Why? Does the camera add ten pounds andsix inches?

Call us heightist, but for the time being Unreal's remaining neutral in the race for a non-Dick Democratic presidential candidate. Like Joe Edwards himself, who's not making an endorsement says even though he went to college in Edwards-ville (at Duke), we're gonna invite all the candidates into our basement for beers.

Especially the tall ones.

Joe-Mentum Unbound!

Monica Marketto was feeling the Joe-mentum.

"Just watching the TV, I feel it," she said.

Of course, Marketto answers phones for Senator Joseph Lieberman, who coined the phrase "Joe-mentum" shortly before sputtering to a fifth-place finish in the New Hampshire primary -- or, in the rosy lexicon of Lieberspin, a "three-way split decision for third place."

Unreal had been looking forward to seeing the Connecticut senator in the flesh and maybe seizing the opportunity to ask him about his Joe-mentum, but we were robbed of the opportunity when the University of Missouri-St. Louis and the state Democratic Party canceled a last-minute February 2 debate that doubtless would have given Lieberman a bullet train's worth of Joe-mentum in the Mighty MO(-Joe).

"We were told that Dean, Edwards and Sharpton had confirmed," debate organizer R. Scott Brigham of UMSL informed us. "Then we were told, no, Edwards never confirmed. Then we were told Edwards had, in fact, confirmed, but Dean hadn't. Then we were told -- well, you get the general idea. We don't know now if anyone actually confirmed or not. We are obviously all disappointed, but that's politics."

Next Unreal called Missouri Democratic Party chair May Scheve and asked whether she could sense any Joe-mentum sweeping the state. "There might be some MO-Joes out there, but I haven't met them," Scheve said.

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