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Over the next few weeks, we’ll be introducing some shorter, more frequent posts to pair with our feature-length columns. 

Ah, St. Louis. Because of the many peculiarities of my new home I have decided to count my time here not in days, weeks, or months, but in “weather-related ‘dammits’” (WRD). When calculated thusly, my eight months in Misery roughly translate into 186 WRD’s. A WRD is registered anytime the Heat Index is over 100, Ia freakin’ tornado siren goes off, or there is snow on the ground with no mountains to ski upon. The wonderful charm of St. Louis is that most days begin with a “weather-related ‘dammit’” and end with desire to drink heavily. Before this, I had never lived in a place that experienced all four seasons. After my time here is done, I’m quite sure I never will again. Luckily for you and I, the weather in St. Louis is not the only unique and awful thing to be experienced here. This column is a tribute to the best, the worst, and the flat-out weirdest that my new hometown has to offer. In a world where every good story must end with a hashtag, please enjoy the following tales of St. Louis Fail. #SLF

Cab Drivers

As the driver of a taxi you have only three responsibilities.

Responsibity #1: Speak English well enough to understand what your passenger is saying.

Responsibility #2: Talk on your cell phone for the entire trip.

Responsibility #3: Know where things are located in your city.

The last responsibility is where St. Louis supremely fails.

In London, cab drivers study for 3-5 years before they are allowed to drive those cool black cabs on the wrong side of the road. Most of that time is spent learning where stuff is and how to reign in a cockney accent. On a taxi adventure in San Diego, I had had a few cocktails and asked the cabby to take us to “that place with the pink elephant.” 20 minutes and one burrito stop later we arrived at Bar Pink.

The point here is that knowing where stuff is located is damned important to succeeding as a taxi driver. If on the other hand, you rail on about the cinematic miracle that is The Muppets, encourage me to try transcendental meditation throughout the entire trip, and stop talking nonsense only to ask me for directions to midtown, then you fail. Miserably.

Pub Crawls

A pub crawl is no place for toddlers, children, or really, anyone under the age of 21. I would have thought this was pretty obvious, but as always, when you assume it makes you an asshole in St. Louis. A tip for the organizers of this weekend’s event: scheduling a golf-themed pub crawl and a family-friendly winter carnival on the same street at the same time is not a good decision. Luckily no children were hurt by drunks doing the Tiger Woods fist pump. Thank God for that.

Meteorological Sign of the Apocalypse

This column started with weather, so it might as well end with it too. Typically I am woken up in the middle of the night by my cat humping my leg, my wife steadfastly holding a pillow over my face, or dreams where my life depends on Tony Romo in the fourth quarter. Monday was a different story. I was jerked out of my slumber by what sounded like forks, knives, and spoons in a garbage disposal. I quickly checked the flatware drawer. Nothing was out of place. I ran to the sink. Nothing doing there. I opened the window. Outside huge chunks of hail were pelting the side of my house as lightning streaked across the sky and the thunder rolled like a tubby Garth Brooks. It was the most frightening and bizarre weather I'd ever seen, and I grew up in New Orleans. I’ll let the always angry, always great Lewis Black take it from here.

“I was in Boston, Massachusetts, and in four days I experienced five seasons. It was 30, it was 60, it was 90, then it was 12! On the last day there was thunder, there was lightning, and there was snow.. TOGETHER! And I hadn't done drugs, cause when you're lyin' in bed and you hear thunder outside, and you get up to look, you have an expectation. And it's not snow, with lightning behind it. That's fucked up. They don't even write about that weather... in the Bible. I imagine if a Prophet had seen that kind of crap, after he wiped the poop out of his pants, he'd a told us about it!”

I can’t really say it better than that. Thanks so much St. Louis. When you fail, you fail hard.




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