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Fishing With Dynamite 

Hookers trade tricks

Fishing is hip. No, seriously, it is. Witness ESPN's hot new 29-year-old bass-fishing color analyst Ish Monroe, who just happens to be black. Monroe is pulling in a younger, more urban audience with his mad skillz and trademarked phrase "Come an' git you some!"

Bass fishing is not yet a trend that has reached TiVo or Vespa proportions, however. So if drinking beer in a relaxed outdoor environment sounds like something you could get used to, check out the Let's Go Fishing Show this weekend at the Gateway Center in Collinsville.

Everything you need to get started will be on hand -- from lures and rods all the way to boats. Take a seminar to improve your casting technique. Go watch Guido and Dion Hibdon (pictured), father-and-son world-champion bass fishermen who will be speaking on Saturday; it'll be an A River Runs Through It moment -- there won't be a dry eye in the house.

You don't have to be a Christian or a girl to take part in the casting games provided by the Federation of Christian Anglers and the Gateway Bass 'N Gals, but you should probably be a kid to take part in the free face-painting (4 to 10 p.m. Friday, January 2; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, January 3; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, January 4; adults, $6; ages ten to fifteen, $3; younger than ten, free; 618-288-9952; -- Ben Westhoff

Horse & Carriage
A pair you can't disparage

You've hacked down an organic Christmas tree, turned your front lawn into a Christian theme park and trampled less athletic shoppers at the mall. Now what? How 'bout an old-fashioned horse-drawn carriage ride?

If you can't make it to the streets near the Adam's Mark (Fourth at Chestnut streets), Laclede's Landing (First, Second and Third streets) or Old St. Charles (Main Street), check out the business locator at the Carriage Operators of North America Web site,

Or, if you can't stomach the sight of proud equines being paraded around in S&M regalia, call Eric Brende of St. Louis Rickshaw (314-773-6227). All rides are pending while one of his pedaling feet is on the mend, but we're sure he'd be glad to hear from you. -- Tom R. Arterburn

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