Unreal kicks it with a 64-year-old college student, attends a Jell-O-shot-fueled party at the Tri-City Speedway and peruses a local mom's Blog o' the Week; plus, why eat a Thickburger when you can have Butter on a Stick?

The lesson in Hardee's' new ads is simple: If you can fit a human fist, 300 plastic straws or, presumably, four large penises in your mouth, you're equipped to take down a Monster Thickburger. If you can't, well, you're going to have to cut the gluttony in half with a knife. The 1,420-calorie Thickburger in these TV spots hits the counter like a wet fart, casting the St. Louis-based chain as a fiendishly counterintuitive menu programmer in the post-Super Size Me era.

This is nothing new to Hardee's, which boasts nine different sandwiches that contain more calories than McDonald's' 560-calorie Big Mac. But wait, there's more! While Dumpster-diving at Hardee's world headquarters last week, Unreal espied a top-secret draft menu labeled "Spawn of Thickburger" and initialed by CEO Andrew F. Puzder. Among the highlights:

Fat Ass Fries™ A 2,000-calorie Pantload o' 'Tatoes™ available in a cardboard container made to resemble an XXXXXXXL pair of drawstring sweats

Butter on a Stick™ Butter as main course! A quarter-pound of Land O'Lakes™ unsalted, served on a popsicle stick (chocolate dip optional)

Fried Chicken Skin Salad™ What's the best thing about fried chicken? The skin! There's no lettuce in this salad, just the fried skin of two entire chickens -- 3,000 calories' worth (side of discarded meat available for $2 extra)

Celebrate Obesity! Burger™ Six quarter-pound all-beef patties, twelve strips of bacon and three center-split franks, held together by two bear-claw doughnuts and topped by a can of Hormel™ chili (cf. "autographed" Orlando Pace replica sweatsuit tie-in)

Mayonnaise smoothie A tasty, creamy 24-ounce shake that goes great with any burger!

Shots to the Heart

Unreal was not an honoree at Tri-City Speedways annual awards banquet, but we did come away with a nifty passel of purple Hoosier Racing Tire paraphernalia. The event, held at the Granite City Knights of Columbus lodge, began with a prayer, but formalities were quickly left in the figurative rearview. The chief culprit: no less than 1,700 Jell-O shots available in the rear rotunda of the K-of-Cs well-lit banquet hall.

Usually they make 2,000, reported a blond female concession worker who works at the track and goes by the unlikely nickname of Frank.

Augmented by all-you-can-drink pitchers of Bud Light, the liquored-gelatin shortage did little to dim the mood of the dirt-track drivers and their families and fans, who imbibed straight on through track owner Bob Wentes emotional announcement that hed agreed to sell the Granite City oval to longtime Pevely driver and team owner Kevin Gundaker (Wentes next gig will be as general manager of the River City Rascals).

The coincident scheduling of the Rams divisional playoff game did little to distract the sellout crowd, which actually applauded when banquet emcee/track announcer George Depper let it be known that the Atlanta Falcons were handing the Rams their heinies. (A similarly enthusiastic response was elicited when Depper announced that a twelve-year-old hunter in attendance had bagged his first deer earlier that day.) Theres something to be said for auto racings Southern roots, it seems a notion that was bolstered when revelers began dancing with a cardboard cutout of NASCAR pretty-boy Jeff Gordon during a set of chicken-fried wedding-reception licks courtesy of the Z Band.

Buff Stuff

Betty Rabin is a 64-year-old student at St. Louis Community College at Meramec. Having bypassed higher education back in the day, this American Automobile Association travel consultant and Crestwood resident decided to get her college groove thang on in her spare time. Although she takes some of her credit hours through "telecourses" -- courses broadcast on TV or on videos that can be checked out from the library -- she can often be found roaming the campus. She tells Unreal she's "got the heart of a 25-year-old," and we agree.

Unreal: Since you're over 21, do a lot of your classmates hit you up to buy beer for them?

Betty Rabin: Um, no comment. You have no idea.

Where are you going for spring break? Will we see you in an upcoming Girls Gone Wild video?

I'm gonna pass on that. I don't drink beer and I don't do wet T-shirts.

Which sorority are you going to join?

Gee, it's a tough decision. I would go with the most intellectual group. I think I could scour up something.

Do you know where I can get some good 'shrooms?

I would say -- I hope I don't get in trouble -- I would talk to Dan Billman in the horticulture department. He's a groovy guy, he's a younger teacher, one of those "whole earth" types.

How many profs did you nail first semester?

Did I "nail"? A lot of gray hairs there. I would have to say -- no comment? I will say that at Meramec -- lot of good bods walking around. Buff stuff.


"Fluid Pudding"

Author: "I'm Angela in Nashville, Angie in St. Louis, Gigi in Springfield, and Ang at home."

About the blogger: The quote above is from the section of her blog called "One Hundred Things About Me" (it's number 53). Other revelations: 7) "I may or may not own the soundtrack to Dawson's Creek"; 54) "My husband has a toe for a thumb"; and 57) "I often think about how nice it would feel to take a nap in a bathtub filled with warm scrambled eggs." She has one child and is pregnant.

Recent Highlight (January 10, 2005): A few days back, Mimi Smartypants posted an interesting point about the importance of apostrophes.

I am very aware of apostrophes. I know that Starbucks does not have an apostrophe. Hardee's? Yes. McDonald's? Again, yes. Applebee's? Yes. Borders? No.

MC and I took a trip to Target this morning, because we were in need of crib sheets and an Elmo DVD. (Shut up.) On the way, we were behind a car with personalized license plates. In bold letters, the plates proclaimed that the driver of the car was a SIDS MOM. This broke my heart. Because I've been fragile these past few days, I actually turned down our David Mead CD and slowed down a bit.

But then I got to thinking. Although the car seat in her car was empty, the car was decked out with all things kid-like. Winnie the Pooh window shades, Fisher-Price jungle hanging toys, stuffed animals crammed into the back window...

Not SIDS Mom. Sid's mom!

Time to write my Department of Revenue and suggest the apostrophe for use on plates. In my opinion, this will prevent quite a bit of confusion and distress.

Know of an Unreal-worthy local blog? Send the URL to [email protected].

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