Auto e-Motive

Unreal might e-kiss, but we don't e-tell. Plus, Plus, we get a (painful) lesson in Judaism, find a local blogger in a gorilla suit and read real essays about harmful pranks.

Granite City native Steve Shaw has been looking for love for a long, long time. The 36-year-old St. Louis Community College-Forest Park grad has trolled for babes online since 1997. Worst encounter? "Everyone has their 'big girl' story," says he. "Mine was six-foot-eight and a very big girl. In twenty minutes I think I was already in the parking garage and driving home."

Shaw's prospects improved when he moved to LA and got work at a Saturn dealership. "My first day on the job she walked into my office. I thought: I gotta date this woman. Tiny little brunette, great body, captivating. Me fresh from the Midwest, and I thought I met thatLA Woman, day one."

Their affair didn't really heat up until she moved to St. Louis, whereupon the two undertook a torrid e-mail love affair. Shaw recently included a year's worth of those missives in a nonfiction e-book called Does She Know?

The book includes goofy poetry and narrative penned by Shaw and his co-writer, LA hairdresser Helene Sheptin. ("I wanted to make sure I got my point across as a man, but I didn't want to offend anyone either, so she helped me control my words," Shaw explains.) But its focus is hundreds of e-mail exchanges, like:

Her: I can totally pick you up. Are you planning to go back to IL on Sunday (you can stay at my house on Saturday....) or I can take you to the airport sunday! Don't get too crazy on friday nite...you need to be bright eyed for Sat nite out with yours truly[....]

Him: Oh, FYI, I hope you like dating a guy with a great body because the next time you see me...Ill be buff....started offi cially last nite with the no neck trainer and it was great...im working on that six pack and im not talking Budweisers...

Shaw says he has already moved 500 copies of Does She Know? "It's a reality story, but it's done over the Internet, and that's how millions of people are dating these days," he notes.

Why is it called Does She Know?"Because that's the first thing people ask me when I tell them I wrote the book," he says.

The book's "Her" does indeed know, and Shaw says she's cool with it. But because of her "prominent position in the St. Louis rental-car industry," she's identified by a pseudonym: "Catherine Tracy."

Perhaps not coincidentally, the two are no longer an item.



Spare the Rod
Catholics are opposed to lots of things: the death penalty, abortion, consubstantiation. But infant male circumcision? Who knew? That's why Unreal felt a prick of excitement when we read a press release from Catholics Against Circumcision. The Boston-based group trots out the typical pro-foreskin agenda, pointing out that an "intact" penis requires no special care, that the foreskin contains an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 nerve endings, yadda, yadda, yadda, but adds that St. Paul cautioned the Galatians against the bris, going so far as to say: "I tell you that if you have yourselves circumcised, Christ will be of no use to you."

We're no theologian, but wasn't Christ Himself circumcised?

"Jesus was circumcised because he was Jewish, but Jesus was also crucified," imparts Catholics Against Circumcision spokeswoman Petrina Fadel. "If people are going to promote circumcision because Jesus was circumcised, why aren't they also promoting crucifixion because Jesus was crucified?"

Hard to argue that point.



Essay It Ain't So, Part 2
A few weeks back a charitable Unreal offered our counsel to the two unfortunate drunk-dialers who'd accidentally pranked Iron County Circuit Court Judge Thomas L. Ray. As part of their punishment, the two, Ryan Fleming and Gabriel Wichman, were ordered to write essays titled "How Practical Jokes Can Have Serious Consequences." Turns out the young men didn't need our template. Their papers, copies of which we obtained from the court, exhibit an impressive grasp of the material — especially Mr. Fleming's, highlights of which appear below:

"Each year millions of dollars are wasted in the American workplace due to office practical jokes and horsing around. In addition, each year Americans are killed, maimed, fired, sued, and arrested, all an unintentional side effect of seemingly innocent practical jokes that have gone wrong...."

"Old standby physical jokes like the classic pulling of a chair from a person who is currently in the act of sitting down are mean-spirited, unoriginal, and will probably injure and anger the person being had. Many people are hurt and killed unintentionally each year as a result of friends and acquaintances trying to be comedians. Some get lucky, like a man in Perth Australia who nearly lost his life when he passed out at a gathering and was thrown into the back of garbage truck by his drinking buddies. Luckily the man was rescued when a surprised garbage worker happened to notice a human arm sticking out amid the refuse.

"Other innocent victims of practical jokes are not so lucky. Take the Syracuse, NY man who fell to his death when a coworker tossed a tree limb (THINK FAST!) at him whilst he was trimming a tree...."

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