In the Bible, Jesus tells the parable of the Good Samaritan, who, on the road to Jericho, nurtured and saved a man beaten and robbed by thieves. The moral of the story: Even people considered to be the most sacrilegious and despicable within a society are capable of showing tremendous acts of charity and kindness.
In Jesus' time those outcasts were the Samaritans. In modern times you might equate them to the folks who hang out at dingy, topless bars all day. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch bolstered this comparison in a story published September 1 that began: "Two women who were brought to St. Louis and forced into prostitution were rescued by a strip club customer, an FBI agent said Monday."
According to the daily, the women were being held against their will by a pimp named Terrence A. Yarbrough (a.k.a. "T Rex").
The 34-year-old Yarbrough allegedly coerced the women into prostitution, telling one that he'd drive her to the "middle of nowhere" and abandon her if she didn't work for him. Yarbrough met the other woman when he promised her a modeling job and then physically beat and intimidated her into prostitution.
Last month one of the women was working at C-Mowe's strip club in Washington Park, Illinois, when she told a customer of her plight. The man took her from the strip club before her first shift ended and had her call the police.
Police later arrested Yarbrough at a downtown St. Louis hotel where he had been staying with the women. Yarbrough now faces a federal charge of sex trafficking that carries a minimum sentence of ten years in prison. As for the Good Samaritan, the story doesn't say what became of him. Hopefully, he's now settling into a bar stool at some strip club — keeping an eye out for injustice and making the world a better place for all.
Jesus would be so proud.
Hey, Donnybrook: We Have Your Next Provocateur
Last week Daily RFT conducted a poll asking readers to choose the next provocateur of KETC-TV's (Channel 9) popular Donnybrook talk show.
Our field of geezer candidates to replace the program's current host — 88-year-old Martin Duggan — included local geriatric celebrities such as Father Time, Jerry Berger, Ed Golterman and Joe Pollack.
But in the end it was former Rams and football Cardinals coach Jim Hanifan who ran away with the vote. Hanifan beat out his nearest contender, Father Time, by 4 percentage points to capture 31 percent of the vote.
For the past several years Hanifan served as the color analyst for Rams radio broadcasts but was demoted prior to the start of this season to pre- and post-game commentary. That should leave "Hanny" plenty of free time to host Donnybrook. And who knows? Perhaps Hanifan can help the show once more live up to its name.
During his time in the Rams radio booth, Hanifan was known to have one-way arguments with referees, players and coaches, shout out the occasional on-air expletive and get so excited he literally pulled a hamstring in the broadcast booth.
The injury occurred after Hanifan correctly predicted a fumble and jumped up to shout, "I told you! I told you!" Moments later Hanifan changed his tune, grabbing his hamstring to inform the listening audience: "I'm cramping up! I'm cramping up!"
Similar enthusiasm could only up the ratings over at Donnybrook. So what do you say, Hanny? You willing to give it a shot?
I recently spoke with a casting director for a new television show produced by American Idol host Ryan Seacrest.
The show is to be called Chance and is scheduled to debut on a yet-to-be-named cable network late this fall. Before then — on September 19 — the show will arrive in St. Louis in search of contestants.
The casting director describes the show as a sort of combo between America's Got Talent and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. To me, it also sounds a bit like one of those old Jerry Lewis or Lou Rawls telethons.
Here's how it works...
Talented people or folks with hard-luck tales appear on the program and ask a panel of judges for money to help them achieve their goals. As the casting director energetically informed me, contestants can run the gamut. They could include a promising musician who needs help paying for a new instrument, an Olympic hopeful who needs money to pay for his training, an unemployed mother who needs groceries and a home for her children, or a cancer patient with unpaid bills.
Those selected to appear on the show will go before the judges and either showcase their talents or tell their sob stories. The judges will then decide whether or not to award cash money (up to a maximum of $250,000) to the contestant.
St. Louis is one of just five cities from which the show is initially drawing contestants. So, people of the Gateway City, got a talent or a pathetic tale to tell Mr. Seacrest? If not, you have less than two weeks to come up with one. Auditions for the show take place Saturday, September 19, at Patricia Stevens College (330 North Fourth Street) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Why the Rams Suck
If you haven't read it yet, Deadspin is having its readers write NFL previews on the weaknesses of the league's 32 teams.
During the last week of August, a reader named Adam S. critiqued the St. Louis Rams. Along with recalling the dark days of Rich Brooks (who coached the Rams in their inaugural St. Louis season), Adam S. also picks apart Mike Martz for trading away Kurt Warner. But the most convincing argument Adam S. makes against the Rams (and St. Louis) is on the matter of Brenda Warner. He writes:
"In St. Louis, she had that mom-jeans-shorthair-middle-aged-I-never-want-my-husband-to-fuck-me-again look that is so popular in the Midwest. Now she is in Arizona; she looks hotter than the cougars we tried to pick up while we were in Nashville this weekend. The Midwest just does that to you."