In his long and deeply rewarding career as an indiscriminate omnivore, Mr. Night has eaten many items of dubious provenance. But even he must tip his soiled chef hat to David Gordon, better known as "The Bug Chef." Gordon, a biologist by training and a daredevil by nature, has eaten more insects than you can scrape off a truck's windscreen.
Oh, but to say he's eaten them is an understatement; Chef Gordon never eats insects when he could dine upon insects, as he demonstrates in his kitchen tome, The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook. Packed with recipes for preparing such unusual dishes as "Cream of Katydid Soup," "Cockroach à la King" and our favorite (at least in name), "Gregor Samsa's Samosas," Eat-a-Bug offers background on the history of insect consumption, nutritional information on various species and several compelling arguments as to the health benefits of eating farm-raised bugs. And, of course, there's Gordon's own engaging sense of humor about the whole art of convincing friends to tuck into a cricket-based dish (or what have you) and his ill-fated attempt to acquire a goliath bird-eating spider (for baking, naturally).
Gordon appears at the Saint Louis Science Center (5050 Oakland Avenue; 314-289-4400 or www.slsc.org) at noon and 6:30 p.m. to educate and entertain with his "From Soup to Gnats" program. He'll offer advice on catching, cooking and cleaning your bugs, as well as preparing a few dishes for sampling. Admission is free. -- Paul Friswold
Jack Russell Sprouts
At "An Evening for the Animals," pets from everywhere will descend in packs and kitten-caboodles on the Regional Arts Commission (6128 Delmar Boulevard) to listen to music and enjoy a gourmet vegan dinner with tiny forks and knives -- all while wearing the finest of pet costumes. This fundraiser meal for START (the St. Louis Animal Rights Team) costs a mere $15, and the animals have all the fun beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Oh, but wait -- closer inspection of the press sheet about this annual event reveals that while it is "for the animals," it's not actually "for" the animals. Costumed humans are supposed to eat, listen and bid (there's a silent auction, too), and the proceeds go toward efforts to end animal abuse. Gotcha! (Sorry for the mix-up, furry friends!) For more information about the fun, call 314-851-0928 or visit start.enviroweb.org. -- Alison Sieloff
The Music's Over
SAT 10/29 To some people the closing of Velvet (www.velvetvibes.com) is akin to the demise of Busch Stadium. For them (and for us), more hours were spent at 1301 Washington Avenue than at all the Cardinals games combined. After Velvet's official bye-bye and Halloween celebration, which features Oscar G as a headliner ($10), no more will we get to the club right at 9 p.m., so we can have a seat to people-watch. No longer will our favorite local and national DJs make us dance till 3 a.m. on this dance floor -- and still beg for more when the lights have come on. Sadly, after this weekend the lights are out on Washington, only for the street to become a soulless, almost-clubless district. So farewell, Velvet! Your thumping beats were like the heart of this city, and you will be missed...forever. -- Alison Sieloff
Meet Your Soul Mate
SUN 10/30 Until recently, Sunday nights for you have been a drag: sitting around listening to the same old CDs all alone, just wishing someone else would be sitting alongside you, singing along with you. But now that the weekly party 5Spot is back, you get to spend Sundays with like-minded music listeners! Don't forget that the party this week is at the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue) at 7 p.m. At this appropriately titled "Neo-Soul: The Modern History" event, Isis Jones, DJ Needles (pictured) and the band Level Ground are joined by Eric Roberson. Tickets for the special neo-soul night cost $15 (a small price to pay for good company). For more information visit www.mohistory.org or call 314-746-4599. -- Alison Sieloff