Damn Tall

Unreal chats with some lovely ladies and gets the scoop from Jay Farrar-endorsed candidate Mark Smith (who's perfectly lovely too); plus, Bill Haas gets a love letter and Unreal heads to court

Adoring me is required; not being able to sleep or breathe if I'm not there is better. Your and my most erogenous organ should be our heart -- most else is negotiable.

Though relationships come with no guarantees, if we find that good love, you'll live. And, when the time comes, you'll pass on in the arms of someone who adores and loves you more than air and will never let anything bad happen to you. And if you want me to follow you into the next life, too, I will.

As I always say, it's healthy to follow your dreams, so feel free to find me -- at the least we should be friends forever. (And hopefully you're a female. That's not a value judgment, just a personal preference.)

Address matters of love and lust to billme@riverfronttimes.com, or stamp and send to Bill Me!, c/oRiverfront Times, 6358 Delmar Boulevard, Suite 200, St. Louis, MO 63130. You can also call 314-754-6411 and leave a voicemail -- but only if you promise to speak in a sultry bedroom voice.

Ticket in a Cold Climate

There are times when Unreal must vent, and this is one of them. Unreal is miffed -- no, make that seething -- over a parking ticket written by a Richmond Heights police officer on the coldest night of the year. That's why we're using our most trusted weapon, procrastination, to fight back.

Yes, we should have gone to court to plead our case sometime back in January. But really, should this kind of abuse of authority be justified by missing even one second of UPN's Monday-night lineup? Clearly, the answer is no.

Plus, when we did attempt to talk sense to the judge, the line outside city hall was so long it snaked out the door. Once Unreal got past the metal detectors and inside, a squatty cop with a crewcut kept yelling, "Hey, this is a courtroom! Keep it down." All of us in the peanut gallery looked at him with a mixture of contempt and pity, then kept talking.

After watching every ambulance-chasing attorney in suburban St. Louis get first crack at the judge while the rest of us poor schmucks waited and waited, a thought occurred to Unreal. The pint-size patrolman at the front of the room is probably the same meathead who wrote the ticket! The car, which was parked in the car owner's driveway, was ticketed because (gasp!) the back bumper protruded over the sidewalk!

This kind of lawlessness will not stand in Richmond Heights! No matter that the officer wrote the ticket at 1 a.m. and the temperature was colder than a well-digger's ass. The absolute indignity of it all! Someone might be walking their dog -- bundled in a down parka, of course -- on that ice-encrusted walkway in the middle of the night. That bumper was obstructing justice!

So here's to you, Mr. Arbitrary and Capricious Law Enforcer. We'll see you when the sidewalks freeze over in Hell.

Trolling for Endorsements

Forty-two-year-old Mark Smith is one of approximately eighty-five thousand candidates seeking to replace Dick Gephardt in Congress next year. He has no elective-office experience, but he does have the endorsement of local songster Jay Farrar. So he has that going for him. Sort of.

Unreal: So, Jay Farrar endorsed you?

Mark Smith:Yeah. His new CD is very good; it's a live thing but he's got two new songs and the first one is very political. He's always talked about people living kind of a blue-collar life and everything, but this is more overtly political. Jay's a good guy. Have you heard his new CD?

No. So did he officially endorse you as a solo artist, as a former member of Son Volt or as a former member of Uncle Tupelo?

I think all of the above. I would assume that.

Why did he endorse you? Was it because you were the candidate with the wordiest and most confusing narrative structure in your speeches?

No, I don't think that was the reason. I think...I'm not thinking of anything particularly funny for this one. I'll tell you a funny story about the first time I met Jay. I was president of the neighborhood association, the Holly Hills Improvement Association. I was coming from work in a pressed shirt and a cardigan sweater; I look like Ward Cleaver or something. I see Jay and his wife there. Jay looks very hip: He's got the big sideburns and hipster clothes. I just felt like such a square, and he looking very hip and cool and rock-star-ish. I just felt like such a dork, you know.

One widely perceived reason for the split between Jay Farrar and Jeff Tweedy in Uncle Tupelo was because Jay thought Jeff was selling out. Considering Jay's noble intentions, does this mean you're the candidate who will raise the least amount of money?

No, it means I'm the candidate who will not sell out. That said, I don't think Jeff has sold out. I like the Wilco stuff a lot.

One Son Volt lyric goes like this: "Another non-issue/In around that commonplace/Free loose dirt/Free the minds of those who gainsay/Living it down/Just enough time to revel." What the hell could that possibly mean?

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