By Lindsay Toler
By Chad Garrison
By Allison Babka
By Lindsay Toler
By Jake Rossen
By Lindsay Toler
By Kelsey McClure
By Lindsay Toler
Unreal is always on the lookout for studies that compare St. Louis to the nation's lesser cities and townships. So it was that our head burst with pride last week when a survey ranked St. Louis as the No. 5 "hot spot" for migraines.
Conducting the survey: renowned listmaker Bert Sperling, whose Sperling's Best Places (www.bestplaces.net), creator of Money magazine's annual "Best Places to Live" study, ranks cities on everything from well-stocked libraries to respiratory infections.
Unreal: What does this survey tell us about St. Louis and why it's such a great place to live?
Bert Sperling: To get the best places, you have to rank all the cities on the things that make them great and the things that detract from them. This is one of the studies you don't want to be on top of.
If being a "hot spot" for migraines isn't a good thing, why don't you change your company's name to "Sperling's Worst Places"?
I believe each town has something about it that makes it a good place for the people who live there. This study simply suggests that people in St. Louis might be more susceptible to headaches.
There are a number of things, St. Louis' mercurial weather being one of them. Rigorous exercise can also cause migraines.
But we're routinely ranked as one of the nation's fattest cities.
Lack of exercise can also be a factor. So can food and drink like cured meats and alcohol.
What about Long John Silver's? We have a boatload of those.
I don't know. That wasn't one of the causes mentioned by the medical community.
Any idea where we rank in rectal discomfort? There are a lot of people around this office, in particular who can be a real pain in the ass.
No idea. I guess the question would be: A discomfort for whom?
Well, are there any surveys in which St. Louis ranks favorably?
I'm glad you asked that. We're coming out with a new survey that shows St. Louis is one of the best cities to take advantage of telecommuting!
The military can teach us the darnedest things, as Unreal was reminded not long ago when we heard this roll off the tongue of a U.S. Marine: "Yeah, man, I pounded hole pretty hard last night!" To pound hole: a dandy little construction, n'est çe pas?
It sprung to mind last week when we opened an e-mail touting a contraption called the Gravitizer, "the biggest news in toys since the vibrator!"
The Gravitizer, as far as we're able to discern, is a small black rubber trampoline mounted on a rockable red steel frame. In the center: a hole.
Arnold, manager of Hustler's Boutique Erotica in Washington Park, concludes her critique with an I'll-be-darned laugh.
Although advertised with heterosexual illustrations, couples of most kinds and girths (up to 500 pounds) could probably pitch a Gravitizer near their happy hearth. From the Trot to the Bliss Box to the Plunger and Doghouse, some twenty ways to pound hole are illustrated and described in loving detail.
Still, we're left with so many questions: Can ya Gravitize on a waterbed? On a picnic? Any celebrity endorsements? And whose Eureka! moment do we have to thank for the Gravitizer, anyway?
Alas, messages to customer service go unreturned and our e-mails bounce back like...a Gravitizer?
Dang. We'd sure like to know if we could put one-a them $189.95 love machines on layaway.
Old Father Hubbard
Unreal has made no secret of the delight we take in mocking spokespeople from Scientology-front groups. There was the fellow who didn't want us to have sex with our psychiatrist, and the guy who thought L. Ron was mightier than Katrina. Somewhere along the line, though, we got a little paranoid. When we found ourselves telling our oh-so-hot shrink about how we dreamed we woke up to find the severed head of our Schnoodle, Fluffy, beside us on the pillow, we resolved to lay off awhile.
But time heals all wounds, and after receiving a plethora of press releases from Narconon Arrowhead, an Oklahoma-based drug- and alcohol-rehab center that employs technology developed by L. Ron Hubbard, we kissed Fluffy on her furry little noggin and picked up the phone. What we learned put a real scare into us.
Unreal: How did you get our e-mail address?
Holly Conklin, 41-year-old Narconon counselor: Our press releases are sent out through a media contact list program called Campaigner.
So you're probably not aware that we have a, um, history of mocking Scientology?
[Laughs.] That's fine. We get that a lot. About a year and a half ago, I came to this program with a severe addiction to methamphetamines, prescription pain pills and marijuana. I'd lost everything. I didn't think that any program would help me get my life back. But the bottom line is that this program works with a 76 percent success rate. I don't know much about the Scientology aspect.