Something in the Way You Squeak

Unreal cuddles up to singing mice, sends some postcards home and praises the Grant Writer of the Year. Plus, a local blogger sidesteps Mr. Porn Man.

A few weeks ago Washington University researchers Timothy E. Holy and Zhongsheng Guo released a study that sent shock waves through the scientific and songwriting communities. Turns out that male mice, like male humans, understand the power of lyrical seduction. When a Valentino mouse sniffs the pheromones emanating from a lady mouse's urine, he attempts to croon her into his lair.

"These vocalizations have the characteristics of song," the researchers write, "consisting of several different syllable types, whose temporal sequencing includes the utterance of repeated phrases."

Of course, that's all last week's news. Unreal has learned that the Wash. U. scientists are well into the next phase of their research: translating human song into mouse-squeaks in an attempt to make the rodents rut.

So far they've struck out with mouse versions of R. Kelly's "I Like the Crotch on You," Prince's "Soft and Wet" and the Captain and Tenille's "Muskrat Love."

But their translation of John Mayer's "Your Body Is a Wonderland" caused the ladies to melt like fine French Brie. The lyrics, translated into mouse:

We got the afternoon
Your pee smells like perfume

One thing I'll have to do
Discover me
Discovering you
One mile to every inch of
Your fur like peachy sin
One sexy snoot and
Your Limburger tongue

And if you want love
We'll make it
scurry through a haystack
Of blankets
Take all your lab plans
And break 'em
This is bound to be a while
Your body is a wonderland
Your body is a wonder (I'll use my paws)
Your body is a wonderland

Something 'bout the way your whiskers frame your face
I love the shape you take when crawling towards the pantry case
You tell me where to go and
Though I might leave to find it
I'll never let your head hit the trap
Without my paw behind it

(repeat chorus)

Damn pipsqueak
You frustrate me
Wrap my prehensile tail tenderly
You look so good it hurts sometimes
Your body is a wonderland....



Carded

Unreal loves us a good postcard. Seriously: We can get scarcely get our fill of grinning chimpanzees wearing bikinis, obese women straddling pack mules and panoramic views from atop Blytheville's Mount Nebo Missionary Baptist Church. So imagine our delight when we stumbled upon an announcement for a Missouri Historical Society lecture entitled "A Postcard Tour of the 1904 World's Fair."

On a recent Tuesday, about 35 of our fellow postcaphiles congregated in the Southwestern Bell Multipurpose Education Center and caught some slides of the Fair's Palace of Electricity, the Palace of Liberal Arts, the Palace of Manufactures and the Palace of Varied Industries, not to mention the Temple of Fraternity and Festival Hall. This last, as Mike Truaz, president of the 1904 World's Fair Society, expertly illustrated with his red laser pointer, was capped by a dome bigger than that of St. Peter's Basilica! We also learned that the rare Aerial View Hold-To-Light cards, which originally sold for a few pennies, are worth $150 to $200 today. And that Adolphus Busch was pissed that Lemp was declared the Official Fair Beer. And that the Philippines sent members of their Igorettes tribe to the fair, where people paid to see them boil and eat a dozen dogs for Thanksgiving dinner. And that the axle of the Great Observation Wheel, which held 2,000 people and weighed 70 tons — with its phalanges! — was most likely blown up and buried 60 feet beneath Wydown Boulevard.

The highlight of the morning came when Truaz read aloud some of the notes scribbled upon the postcards — like the Chicago woman who proclaimed, "I dearly love beaten biscuits!" and another correspondent who confessed that she "[l]ike to have giggled myself sick last night in that mirror maze!"

One message was a short, catchy verse that rhymed "night" with "Pike." That one was signed "Nelly." Coincidence? Or an otherworldly link to a rapper spirit from the past?



SLU Grant Writer Wins National Award

A team of researchers at St. Louis University is examining racial difference in treatment of job-related lower back pain to try to figure out why the disparity persists. The four-year, $900,000 grant from the federal government will allow the researchers to study why African-Americans in Missouri receive less treatment for lower back pain than whites.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 1

Saint Louis University research aid and proposal writer Brent Rowley has been named Grant Writer of the Year for a funding request that netted the school $900,000 in federal aid.

Industry trade group The Grantsmanship Center honored Rowley with its highest honor at a banquet last Friday in Los Angeles.

"In an epoch marked by famine, pandemics and natural disasters of biblical magnitude, Mr. Rowley's proposal might 'fly under the radar,'" said Grantsmanship Center director Hugo Thomas during a ten-minute tribute that included a video montage of Rowley at work researching and writing grant proposals. "Yet Mr. Rowley's captivating prose seized federal regulators by their white collars (figuratively, of course), yanked them out of their torpor and induced them to open up their coffers."

Thomas said this year's recipient may be the best of his kind, trumping even the Grantsmanship Center's legendary 1998 victor, who penned a $40,000 grant for Stanford researchers to study why physicians recommend colonics in disproportionate numbers to Americans of German ethnicity.

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