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'Tis the Season 

Wait — you actually can get laid on prom night? Unreal investigates!

This just in: Prom really does improve your chances of getting laid. That's the word from Darcy Luadzers, author of Virgin Sex for Guys: A No-regrets Guide to Safe and Healthy Sex.

But when Unreal attempted to, uh, score a copy locally, we struck out. So we called Dr. Darcy (she holds a Ph.D. in social work). She says she has trouble getting the book into the hands of teens and relies mostly on her Web site, www

Unreal: Is there a time of year when teenage boys aren't trying to get laid?

Dr. D.: Teenage boys are trying to have sex as often as [grown] men — every day. But they may go for the special-occasion angle: "I'm going off to the Iraq war" or "It's my birthday."

What would be bad about scoring on prom night?

Teenagers just let sex happen, and then they think about it later. Ninety percent of girls under sixteen who have sex regret it later. Their early sex experiences mess them up for life.

My God, the rest of our lives could hinge on prom night?

The biggest message I give to girls and guys is to develop a sexual voice.

A what?

They're taught, "No means no." But they're not taught, "No means no when you've already had sex, or if you're married, or if you're making out and you don't want it to go any further."

Sounds like girls have most of the problems.

Yes, but guys have a different set of problems. Let me give you a hint about your after-sex guide: Call her. E-mail her. Right away. It's between you and the girl, not you and your guy friends. Guys who talk and have big mouths and brag do not get seconds.

Do you face much criticism from the abstinence-only camp?

The chapter on virgin sex is very explicit on how to have sex without pain. They're like: You're teaching teens to have sex. And it's like: Yes, I am.

What we really want to know is: Does "The Axe Effect" really work?

I think a much more powerful aphrodisiac is kindness. Caring is a very powerful aphrodisiac. Returned phone calls are a very powerful aphrodisiac.

Varmint Corner

When we heard that St. Louis-based Sweeney's, a 115-year-old vermin-extermination company, was hosting a nationwide "I Hate Moles Because..." essay contest, we dropped our bag of Sweeney's Poison Peanuts and began composing our entry.

And not just to score the first prize — a $500 Lowe's gift certificate to finance a handcrafted indoor sauna/mini-bar for the Unreal cubicle.

In a way we've been mentally penning this essay for years: Despite our best efforts, each spring these pests tear through Unreal's yard in the manner of the awesome 1980s video game Dig Dug. The fact that submissions must be PG-13 caliber cramped Unreal's prose style just a smidge, but we made do. To wit:

Why We Hate Moles

We once ate bad mole in Tijuana and still can't stand the smell of the stuff.

Asymmetrical, large or unevenly colored or bordered moles can be indicative of skin cancer.

We didn't understand the TV series The Mole.

The only thing we remember from chemistry class is that one mole is equivalent to 6.02 x 1023 somethings. This takes up valuable mental real estate, such as where we put our keys.

Jimmy "The Mole" killed our uncle.

The company cautions that "[o]dds of winning depend on how your mole woes compare to other contestants' mole woes." We're pretty sure we've got it nailed, but if you think you can outwoe us, feel free to go to before September 1.

Somebody Buy My Crap

Item: Dale Earnhardt True Champion Portrait, circa 1994
Condition: Mint
Price: $3
Name/Age: Steve/70
Location: South St. Louis
Phone: 314-645-0322
Issue: May 6

Unreal: Why are you selling your Earnhardt picture? Have you just now realized Jeff Gordon is the greater NASCAR champion?

Stan: What? I don't know. I don't follow that sport. I bought a box of about 300 of these things. Now I'm trying to sell them.

You firm on the price?

I'll take what you got: three, four, five dollars. I had a kid come to me and didn't have any money but wanted the picture real bad. I gave it to him for free. But I'm no charity. I need to make money. I'm retired. When you're retired, you're screwed!

How else do you make money?

I'm always buying shit. I bought the Earnhardt pictures off the Internet. You can buy all kinds of crap online.

Such as?

I bought 100 computer tables. I was in business with this guy but then the sonofabitch went broke. Now I'm selling the tables myself for $29 apiece. They're nice. People are getting a hell of a bargain with those. But let me ask you a question: How long you been at the Riverfront Times?

Oh, a few years.

Hmmph. I always had an ambition to be a journalist.

Don't you know there's no money in it?

Yeah, but stick with it. Don't do manual labor. Keep to the pen and paper. I was a meat cutter. Used to be good money in that. Now it's almost obsolete. I tell you, you got to use your brain and always think about money: Money, money, money.

From time to time Unreal trolls the St. Louis Post-Dispatch classified section's "Bargain Box." We cannot guarantee any item remains available for purchase at press time.

Local Blog O' the Week:

Military Spouse Appreciation Day Edition
"Badgers Forward"

Author: Mr. and Mrs. Badger 6

About the blogger: Mr. and Mrs. Badger 6 live in St. Louis. Mr. Badger 6 is a U.S. Army officer currently serving in Iraq. May 11 was Military Spouse Appreciation Day.

Recent Highlight (May 8): A Sign of Changes to Come

Today, I received a package in the mail from Badger 6. The worn flat-rate box was postmarked Apr 20, 2007 from Ramadi, AE. Ten days later it cleared customs by a corporal whose last name even when printed I cannot make out. I knew this package was coming and I knew it contained some of the precious books Badger 6 has read while in the Sand: The Blog of War, Four Days to Veracruz, The Afghan, The Assassins' Gate, The March Up, Blood Meridian.

I was not expecting the books to contain the sand. The books are covered in a soft layer of the finest powder. At first I thought the books were just dusty from storage. I was thinking that this was just your run-of-the-mill, ordinary American house dust. It did not take but a second to realize how wrong I was. This is the sand. THE SAND. The sand that Badger 6 talks about getting into every crevice and covers every thing in al Anbar Province. The sand that connects our Soldiers to the land. The sand that binds our Soldiers to one another. The sand on which they eat and sleep and play and die.

This superfine gray talc is what our Soldiers breathe. It mixes in their lungs, wrecks its havoc on their bodies and their minds. It is coming home with them whether they want it or not. The sand will stick with them for the rest of their days. This sand will not dissipate over the years to come. It is with us. A perpetual reminder of what happened during our Soldier's time in the sandbox.

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