This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Wednesday, August 6

"Marijuana. There -- we said it. We say it because we want to feel comfortable saying it -- not ashamed and guilty. We worry about marijuana. We worry about what people think about marijuana users. We worry about getting caught with marijuana. But mostly, we worry about getting more marijuana." The Marijuana-logues, a delicious parody of the Vagina Monologues, is performed by three club comedians who've joined forces. Arj Barker, Doug Benson and Tony Camin dress in all-black, sit on stools and read from notebooks, sharing their cleverly worded observations on hiding the stash, bogarting the joint and getting the munchies. They say that this show is funny whether you're sober or as high as a monkey shot into space. Check it out now, before it goes to New York and becomes an off-Broadway show, at the Funny Bone-Westport (614 Westport Plaza, 314-469-6692) tonight through Friday, or at the Funny Bone-Fairview Heights (6900 North Illinois Street, 618-628-4242) Saturday and Sunday. Tickets go for $12-$20; visit for more. tastes good.

Thursday, August 7

Scream down a water slide at Raging Rivers (100 Palisades Parkway in Grafton, Ill.), the 24-acre water park with a variety of slippery temptations. These include the "Swirlpool," which spins you around and around in a whirlpool until you're "flushed" into the deep pool beneath; the 600-foot fast-paced Runaway Rafts slide; the Treehouse Harbor, a jungle gym with tunnels and a giant bucket that dumps 1,500 gallons of water on your head; the Breaker Beach four-foot-wave pool; a deluxe kiddie pool with fountains, tunnels and a "Rain Tree"; the Cascade Body Flumes and 500-foot Slide Flumes (you can go down with or without an inner tube); and the dark and mysterious Shark Slide, which invites you to enter the bloody mouth of a Great White and, 45 feet later, emerge from his rubbery bunghole. We recommend a dénouement on the Endless River, a lazy stream of chlorinated agua that you meander down in your inner tube. You can also lie on lounge chairs and bake under the Illinois sun -- "take the melanoma back home-a"! Get wet from 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. seven days a week, for $9-$16. Call 618-786-2345 or visit for more. No thongs, coolers or unapproved floaties.

Friday, August 8

Anthrax are all things to all people: Thrash pioneers; rap-metal crossover progenitors; straight shooters who walked away from a major label with the rights to their own albums; role models for all who actually are doing it for the music, not for the money, etc., etc. They could rest on their back catalog and tour every summer on the strength of their reputation (yeah, that's a dig at the Poisons of the world), but instead they've released a new album, We've Come For You All, which is their finest since [Sound of White Noise]. It's a little less frantic than their mid-'80s thrash, and a little more melodic, but it still packs the big punch of Scott Ian's übercrunchy rhythm guitar and Charlie Benante's double-bass fury. Anthrax get metal-thrashing mad at Pop's (1403 Mississippi Avenue in Sauget, 618-274-6720). Tickets cost $20.

Saturday, August 9

If you are one of those people who goes to the supermarket on a Saturday just to eat the samples while your significant other does the actual shopping, you need to swing by Whole Foods Market (1601 South Brentwood Boulevard, 314-968-7744) today. From noon until 4 p.m., Whole Foods will be celebrating Fiesta del Sol ("Festival of the Sun," for you Anglos) with music, games, a "guess-how-many-beans-are-in-the-jar" contest and the answer to the hungry sampler's prayers: a taco-eating contest. Finally, you can stuff your mouth with free food without having to endure the withering stares of the sample lady. There may be prizes for the winner (a gold sombrero? An economy-size bottle of antacid?), but when it comes to eating contests, it's not whether you win or lose, it's how much food you can eat for free. Wear your buffet pants and prepare to place second, because we're fasting all day Friday...

Sunday, August 10

Did you know that Nikola Tesla, a scientific genius and rival to Thomas Edison, was a Serb? Have you tried cevaps (the spicy Serbian beef-and-pork sausage)? Do you know anything about the native country of those South-Sider Serb neighbors of yours? No? Well, get to Serbfest, the sixteenth annual celebration of all things Serbian at the Holy Trinity Serbian Eastern Orthodox Church (1910 McNair Drive) for delicious foods and answers, from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. today. Try lamb dishes, stuffed cabbage rolls, raznici (pork kabobs) and desserts. Dig the strolling musicians, along with Chicago's Kolo Dance Troupe, church tours led by the parish priest and craft sales. Let's go Serbin' now.

Monday, August 11

In one of Nicole Northway's new paintings, stuffed bunnies in freaky colors, worn from the years-long attentions of a child, lie scattered on the ground. The painting is simultaneously comical and disturbing and, explains the artist, very personal. Many of the new works on view at Northway's solo show at Fort Gondo Compound for the Arts (3151 Cherokee Street) depict stuffed animals from her childhood and signify the enigma of memory. Visitors to her artist's reception (7 p.m.-midnight Saturday, August 9) will not only see images of the homely stuffed rabbits, elephants and giraffes of her youth, but will be encouraged to sit in a teepee that's a replica of the one her father made for her as a kid. For more info, call 618-972-3865 or e-mail [email protected]. The work remains on view through Thursday, August 14.

Tuesday, August 12

The image of World Wrestling Entertainment's costumed pugilists calmly reading to children is jarring, but that's exactly what the WWE Get R.E.A.L: Read! program entails. Two wrestlers descend upon the Carpenter Branch of St. Louis Public Library (3309 South Grand Avenue, 314-772-6586) at 11 a.m. to impart the core values of Respect, Education, Achievement and Leadership by reading to the kids. Literacy and self-esteem-building are great causes, and the wrestlers who take time out of their busy schedules to encourage kids are undoubtedly great guys (or ladies; WWE did not specify which wrestlers would be reading). But the thought of, say, the Undertaker sitting cross-legged on the floor, surrounded by kids, while he morbidly intones the immortal lines: "I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them," (growled at the nearest child), "SAM I AM!" is both bizarre and compelling. The event is free, and absolutely no autographs will be given.

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