Hogs and Dogs

God smiles on bikers and barkers

It's a dangerous world out there. You need to know someone's got your back, and if that someone has a direct line to the Man Upstairs, even better. This weekend offers two opportunities for you to get a little somethin' extra in the way of spiritual protection.

First up is the Seventeenth Annual Blessing of the Bikes. Freedom of the Road Riders Local 24 sponsors the event, which marks the official start for the iron-horsey set's social season. Bikers will congregate at the Charlack Pub (8334 Lackland Road, 314-423-8119) on Saturday around 11:30 a.m. for registration and to turn in their $5 donation; then it's off on a leisurely spring drive to Falling Springs Park in Dupo, Illinois. Black leather and denim make a bold fashion statement for the fashionable man this year, and for the ladies, a pretty smile and a spandex tank top are your best assets. The blessing takes place at 3 p.m., and God doesn't tolerate stragglers, so keep it hammered down on the ride over.

On Sunday, the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog (1721 South Mason Road) will hold its first-ever Blessing of the Animals. Father Gary Meier of St. Peter Catholic Church will perform a nondenominational service for pets of all sizes; seriously, they're reserving space for horse trailers, so anything from Clydesdale size down to wee mice will be welcomed. And when was the last time you saw your dog in church? Don't you think it's about time he had a little face time with his Lord and Master? Call 314-821-3647 for more info. -- Paul Friswold

Of Mice and X-Men

SUN 4/27

Mothers throughout the metro area will breathe a sigh of relief this Sunday as their thirtysomething sons exeunt the basement for the first time since Farscape was canceled in search of that finest grade of pulp gold, the comic-book back issue. The St. Louis Spector Club's Comic Book Show lacks the size and scope of ChicagoCon or the San Diego show, but the small pleasures of back-issue hunting are dependent on the chase, not the scenery. Manchildren with graduate degrees will while away the afternoon at American Legion Post 111 (7300 Lansdowne Avenue, 314-544-2812), rooting through mylar-sealed copies of Alien Legion while debating the potential continuity errors in the new Hulk movie. The $2 admission charge is a small price to pay for such gratification. Oh, the humanity ...

Deep-Sea Creeper

THURS 4/24

Those young turks in the Mountain Dew commercials need to step off, because Captain Alfred McLaren, U.S. Navy (Ret.), has truly "been there, done that." The speaker is best known as a polar and deep-sea explorer who captained nuclear subs. When his ship Seadragon surfaced at the North Pole, he and his mates played a little game of baseball in which "the pitcher stood at the North Pole, a home run circumnavigated the globe and a right-field hit crossed the international dateline, landing the ball into tomorrow," according to the captain's press materials. Hear stories from the man known as the Arctic Fox at 8 p.m. at the Deer Creek Club (9861 Deer Creek Hill, www.explorers.org/stl, $10). -- Byron Kerman

She-Wolves of the SS

SUN 4/27

If you're naming epic, passionate foreign movies of the last 25 years, you'd better include the 1999 German gem Aimée & Jaguar. The free film series at the Holocaust Museum and Learning Center (12 Millstone Campus Drive, 314-442-3711) scores again with this screening of a movie about a doomed lesbian affair during the twilight of the Third Reich. Felice (Jaguar) must be the boldest Jew in 1943 Berlin -- keeping her religion a secret, she works for a Nazi newspaper, gets drunk at decadent all-girl parties and skips amid the bombed-out rubble in the streets. Lilly (Aimée) is a married mother of four who discovers her Sapphic side and falls for the wild Felice. See this beautiful dramatization of a true story at 2 p.m. -- Byron Kerman

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