Rock On and On and On and On

Make Sweet Meat proud in the KSHE 95 March Bandness: Tournament of Rock; plus, give us your juiciest Berger Bite, check out some cranky public art and a Branson Idol hopeful -- and don't pack heat in Dierbergs

Bauer, who claims more than 200,000 Web site hits a week and more than 50 supportive e-mails a day, says he won't be happy until Missourians are allowed to bring guns into every commercial establishment in Missouri.

Hospitals, schools and churches he'll leave alone: "They're off-limits according to the law and that's fine. I have no problem with that."

Fresh off the grill: We want to hear your juiciest Berger stories.
Fresh off the grill: We want to hear your juiciest Berger stories.
Eyes on the prize: Roy Clark and Doug Gabriel await the lucky Branson Idol champion.
Eyes on the prize: Roy Clark and Doug Gabriel await the lucky Branson Idol champion.

Berger Bites

Jerry Berger rules. Honestly, how can Unreal compete with such a well-connected workhorse, a man who has been putting the "G-O" in River City gossip since Gaslight was a Square?

But it has come to our attention that the Post-Dispatch tidbit jockey's restaurant manners leave something to be desired. We couldn't resist sharing the following unsolicited e-mail, in which one Brandie Kettmann tells of a recent brush with Berger at Patty Long's 9th Street Abbey in Soulard:

"If you don't know who Jerry Berger is, you're probably not old enough to care about reading the Post-Dispatch -- that's why you're reading the Riverfront Times. Well, today he came to eat at the restaurant I work at as a server. He came in and sat down like he owned the place, and when I was told who he was (I didn't know either), I was like 'OK, I'll give this man good service.' I was excited because I had never waited on anyone that's publicly notable, and I thought to myself, 'Isn't this neat -- I get to wait on a columnist for the paper I want to write for someday.'

"But my thoughts quickly diminished when I introduced myself. I walked up, offered beverages, the same thing as usual, and tried to joke around with him a bit, but he and his guests were not enthused. They looked at me like I was the biggest piece of crap they had ever seen, and they treated me that way the entire time they were at my table.

"So after they are all done eating, he asks my boss for an ashtray and sat there and smoked cigarettes in a non-smoking facility, like he was the king of the place. He and his guests were all provided with a free meal, free dessert, and good service, but when this man stood up to leave, he handed the busboy a $10 tip and left me nothing.

"It's always nice to know that people like Jerry Berger are out there waiting to make you feel like the scum of the earth. Perhaps it's just because they can't see any further than the blue-collar workers and the $20 entrée they just ordered -- minus the spit. So to all you fellow servers out there, if you ever see Jerry walk into the restaurant you work at, don't wait on him. Why waste your time and table space for someone who's going to talk down to you and then leave you nothing, like you don't deserve it after you kiss his ass for an hour and a half? Don't ever wait on Jerry Berger."

When we got back to Kettmann, she told us she'd just been fired for dissing Berger to her co-workers. (Terry Kraus, general manager of Patty Long Catering, says company policy prohibits him from commenting.)

In Kettmann's honor, Unreal is hereby putting out a call for submissions. Got a Jerry story? Send it to BergerBites@riverfronttimes.com, or mail to BergerBites, c/o Riverfront Times, 6358 Delmar Boulevard, Suite 200, St. Louis, MO 63130. If we get good stuff, we'll publish it in an upcoming issue. Only a few requirements: You need to supply your real name and contact info (we'll withhold your identity from publication if your job's on the line). Keep in mind that no story is too old or cold for Unreal. But it does have to be true, cross your heart and hope to die.

Jesus: Cooler Than Danny Glover

It was only a matter of time until Branson approximated American Idol. Branson Idol, the brainchild of mustachioed Branson mainstay Doug Gabriel (who frequently shares his stage with Hee Haw legend/Branson retread Roy Clark). Auditions were held this past weekend at Westfield Shoppingtown South County Mall, where sixteen-year-old Lemay resident Heather Sutton was among the contestants. The cream of the audition crop will compete every Friday from April 9 through October 22 at the Legends Family Theatre in Branson, vying for a first prize of $5,000 and a guest slot on Gabriel and Clark's show -- proving once again that the road to Hollywood goes through Southwest Missouri.

Sutton was kind enough to grant this exclusive interview to Unreal:

Unreal: How'd you hear aboutBranson Idol?

Heather Sutton: My grandma found out about it, I'm guessing off the Internet. She gets on and she finds different talent things for me.

What will you be singing this weekend?

I'm not exactly sure if I've decided. I think one of 'em is "Life Goes On" by LeeAnn Rimes. I may also sing "It's My Time" by Martina McBride.

Can you sing us a couple lines from "Life Goes On"?

Sure! [Sutton sings, with a healthy helping of vibrato] "You sucked me in/And played my mind/Just like a toy/You would crank and wind."

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