Unreal dreams of a cougar-vs.-pastor cage match, blesses a bowling-alley wedding and gets the skin-ny about vitiligo 

As you may have heard, Unreal is hunting for a cougar to pen RFT's new Ask A Cougar! column. Oddly enough, just as we set out on our safari, we heard from an evangelical Christian pastor in Belleville who was looking to pen his very own advice column in our pages. This fellow, Chris Oswald, noted that he is 32 and has been preaching the gospel for ten years.

He also said he enjoys hate mail, has never solicited a prostitute, male or female, and would work for the price of an RFT (read: free). He's a fan of South Park who composts, paints and thinks his twelve-year-old daughter would look cool with a nose ring.

A "hybrid hipster-fundamentalist," as he put it.

Well! All kinds of ideas began to occur to Unreal. And yes, one of them involved cougars. So we got Oswald on the blower to answer a few questions. A little job interview, so to speak.

Unreal: So you're self-taught with no degree, and you think you're qualified to be an RFT columnist, huh?

Chris Oswald: [Laughs] I think so.

Tell us about this "Bible-based theology" you say "RFT readers have grown to expect." Have we missed something in our own pages?

[Laughs] I read the paper all the time. I think you have room for somebody who has what most people would view as a completely antiquated perspective on life but who is humorous and gets the fact that most people think his way of seeing things is ridiculous.

We do like ridiculous. And you apparently like hate mail. Do tell!

I can be extremely gracious. One of the things that underlines my life is Jesus' saying, "Before you pull the speck out of your brother's eye, pull the log out of your own." My first response to hate mail would typically be, 'You're an idiot, and here's why.' But that's not what the Gospel says. It says, "Let me listen."

Do you have a MySpace page?

I don't.

Facebook?

Yeah, I'm actually looking at it right now.

So you would be cool with our readers. You wouldn't hit 'em over the head with the Bible.

If I hit anyone over the head, it'll be in a humorous way. I don't need to be a jerk to people. I'm a really busy guy.

What do you know about cougars?

[Laughs] I actually know a lot about cougars. Pastors are special bait for cougars. People don't know this.

Oh, really.

I'm 32, in a position of authority. There's a lot of people who think that's cool and say, "I'd like to get a piece of that."

Perfect! You're hired!

Unreal's quest for a cougar advice columnist continues. In the meantime, have you got a question for a pastor? A question for a cougar? A question for a cougar and a pastor? Address one and all to unreal@riverfronttimes.com.

With This Spare, I Thee Wed
It was before league night two years ago that Michael Lichtenberg (high score 289) proposed to Connie Gross (high score 155), so Unreal finds it only appropriate that the Oakville couple has settled upon Concord Lanes in SoCo as the backdrop for their August 9 nuptials. "It's a nicer bowling alley than a lot of the ones around," the bride-to-be enthuses.

Lamira Martin, the couple's celebrant, is crafting a traditionally worded ceremony for the lane lovers. Martin has also presided over a pirate-themed wedding that included a lot of "arrrrrr!" and looks forward to donning a bowling shirt. "Why not have fun and get married at the same time?" says she. "It's just as legal."

The ceremony is to be held in a party room and attended by roughly 50 guests who will dine on Concord Lanes' own roast beef and mostaccioli. Though the lanes have never hosted a wedding per se, Gross reports that she and her beau won't be the first to try to knock down a few pins after exchanging vows. "They've had brides there before, bowling in wedding dresses."

Playing on a bowling-1950s theme, this bride will wear a black-and-white polka-dot skirt with red crinoline and a bowling shirt. In fact, the entire wedding party will wear bowling shirts, embroidered with their names. "It was less than $400," Gross says. "That's a heck of a lot cheaper than a white gown and a tux — and it's something we can wear again."

(Amen, says Unreal.)

Gross was planning a fall church wedding, but the 39-year-old mother of two confides that the whole affair was stressing her out. Once she decided she'd rather march to the sound of colliding pins than bells, she had about six weeks to pull the event together. "The bowling leagues start the end of August," she notes. "We had to get it in before league started, or we wouldn't have been able to get a Saturday night." 

Local Blog O' the Week
"Vitiligo-ville
http://vitiligocover.com
Author: Nathalie Pelletier
About the blogger: Nathalie is a personal trainer who teaches aerobics and yoga. She has vitiligo, a condition characterized by blotches of unpigmented skin.

Recent Highlight (July 22): Back From London
Hello Everyone. You may have noticed a lack of updates over the past few weeks...I've been visiting friends in London. It was my fourth visit to the fair city, but on the whole, this was the best time I've had because my daughter and I got to explore the city alone, and we had the comfort of knowing friends were just a phone call away if an issue arose.

Since my first visit five years ago, I've been talking up London to my children because I want us to move there. With all of the hype I had built up, I was a little bit nervous that once we got there she would be disappointed...I know, you're thinking "how could London disappoint?" But the fact is, I wasn't sure if she would appreciate the hustle and bustle of a big city and it's menagerie of inhabitants or enjoy walking & taking the tube everywhere...not to mention, it's a bit difficult finding a restaurant that serves her favorite dish...chicken fingers.

It was my daughter's first trip abroad which made it amazing for both of us; i got to watch her face as she excitedly viewed new sites and people. And she incessantly took notes on the fashions kids her age were wearing...she loved our visit so much that now she is pushing me even harder to find a way for us to move to London.

Alright, so what does all of this have to do with vitiligo? I get a lot of email from people with vitiligo expressing their unhappiness at not feeling comfortable to go out in public, and I wanted to share that bit of personal information to show them that it is possible to go out and live a normal life...you just have to want it bad enough.

Know of an Unreal-worthy local blog? Send the URL to unreal@riverfronttimes.com

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