posted on January 28, 2013 00:00
No, “Old Blue Eyes” didn’t croon some song about us in his overrated, technically unsound warble, and 17-year old aspiring singers and actresses from across the country aren’t flocking here because some Aunt or Grandma oversold them on their own talent, only to wind up being double-penetrated on the top of a DVD-cover as a result of being double penetrated on the top of a casting couch.
Regardless or our sporting success, the “flagship” network will not lead with our city simply because a player stubbed a toe, is schtooping a new supermodel or took a particularly special shit in the clubhouse.
New York and Los Angeles, we are not, and thank fucking Chuck Norris for that.
We’re a special little place, or at least we like to think that we are. We’ll flock to some uncomfortable, disorganized candy kitchen for a goddamned-BLT, regardless of the fact that it sits on the corner of Baghdad and Beirut, circa 1983, and that it’s…JUST A FUCKING BACON, LETTUCE AND TOMATO!!
We do this because it’s one of those local “treasures” that we’ve been told is so charming, even though, if held at gunpoint, which is a good chance up there, we’d admit that we’re actually more content and full with a meal deal from a Subway ½-mile from our house.
You can repeat this equation with about 13-other “landmarks” of our town that we drag our miserable out of town friends and relatives to while in their heads, and the privacy of their own hotel rooms that evening, they’re laughing at our rube asses for considering them dining delicacies.
The Arch is actually the opposite. They’re not selling out snow-globes of our skyline at airports across the country, but it does look pretty fucking cool when driving in from the East. Aside from that, it’s those same out-of-towners who are dragging US to those 4-hours of life we’ll want back on our deathbed, when we’re perfectly content with enjoying it from a distance.
We do have a fabulous zoo and the park around it is pretty goddamned beautiful, as long as you’re gone 45-minutes before sundown and don’t jog the “rape trail” too early in the morning. There is a certain charm to having a working knowledge or your circle of friend’s high school alma maters while giving a shit less where they went to college and actually forged their careers, as well as who they really are as people.
You can get to just about anywhere in 23-minutes, rush hour traffic STILL moves at 57-MPH and I can choose to live in “the sticks”, yet be at work downtown in 30-minutes. These points also make you choosy about flying that middle finger because there’s a very good chance you’ll end up at the same Applebee’s or Mobil on the Run as the recipient, at some point, and possibly having to answer for that same loose finger. And there’s an odd coolness to that.
I love our city. I don’t love it for Nelly, Larry Nickel or the multiple broads of “The Office” fame. No, in all of my pessimistic, cynical glory, I love our city for the people and the camaraderie, when push comes to shove.
The last 9-days have been the essence of St. Louis, if you will, and we should all be proud. The transplanted symbol of our city was laid to rest and the nation saw what we are all about.
From a week’s worth of stories, statistics and tributes to a ceremony that, regardless of being a commercial for anti-Catholicism, was broadcast on every local network, the proverbial “we” came together in a fond farewell to our hero.
Fans turned out at the ceremony and absolutely flocked to Stan Musial’s statue at the stadium for a stirring show of support, featuring 6-year olds to 96-year olds, most of whom never saw “The Man” play a game of baseball, in person, but experienced the man behind “The Man”.
Despite the underlying racial tension that still exists and that neighborhood “better than thou” air some can walk around with (talking to you Kirkwood/Webster), there is a unity in our civic pride, whether you realize it or not.
The entire city collectively felt our Cardinal pain of Stan’s loss and then joined in emotional support of the Blues as they respectfully wore #6 sweaters (get it right, people) in pregame warm-ups to pay homage to Musial, as well as maybe Phil Housley??
We wake up proud of who we are and that we somehow feel connected to Stan Musial without really “knowing” him. We wake up in different neighborhoods and meet out at Gus’s Pretzels, Hodak’s or the Rib Shack and loudly argue with each other, propping up an underachieving quarterback while inexplicably bitching about an overachieving running back.
We’ll read tweets from the “Sign Guy” complaining that he wasn’t allowed to parade his mini-billboards into Stan’s funeral and, hopefully, taking his time waiting outside to look up the definition of “tacky”. More pointedly, we’ll all know exactly who “Sign Guy” is, as well as “The Cardinal Cowboy” and “Towel Guy”, and we all secretly wish they’d just go away…but I digress.
Be proud on Monday, St. Louis. Weeks like this last one, equally moving in different emotional directions, are what define us. Sure, it’s unfortunately also wedding parties stopping by custard joints and rappers putting us on the redefined musical map for glorifying the very real violence of the inner city, but it’s also that deep sense of brotherhood, underneath all of that bullshit, that shines for the rest of the country in tragedy and triumph…and I like to think they’re a wee-bit jealous anyway.
“Big Elwood” on a stick…KMFP-out!
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