Daily Prompt: Local Flavor – Welcome to south St. Louis…

Daily Prompt: Local Flavor – Write a piece about a typically “local” experience from where you come from as though it’s an entry in a travel guide.

You’ll find that St. Louisans are eager to make visitors happy.

There is an effort, especially by locals inhabiting the city limits, to make sure that visitors understand what it is that St. Louis is about, and they’ll wait with bated breath to hear that you love their fair city as much as they do.

St. Louis folk are very traditional and proud of their city.  They are also very sensitive to any criticism from those who aren’t from St. Louis about any of their beloved institutions.

When you engage a St. Louisan in a conversation, before they even ask your name, they’ll want to know where you went to high school.

It’s a very peculiar, St. Louis specific oddity, and to many, if you tell them you didn’t attend high school in St. Louis, their brain and tongue become flaccid and they lose all interest in continuing a conversation with you.

When you ask somebody in any other part of the country where they went to school, they’ll tell you what college they attended, or if you’re in Alabama, what elementary school.

Not in St. Louis.  A real St. Louisan will tell you, without flinching, where he or she spent their awkward teenage years schooling.

There has even been some debate as to whether the question is causing a local rift; it’s that ridiculous.

Thankfully, a local publication has done some work to make sure that you can speak the locals’ language by answering the question “Where did you go to high school?” by offering a flowchart (.pdf at end of article) that answers where you would have gone to high school were you from the area.

If you stopped a normal St. Louisan on the street and asked him how to spend a day with your family, here’s the itinerary you’d get from 90% of those asked.

This assumes that you’ve asked a good old South St. Louisan, born and raised.  They are the best, most loyal St. Louisans.

If you’ve stumbled across one of the old money tree huggers or their Midtown/Downtown inhabiting descendants, they’ll want to steer you towards art museums, parks, and other culturally boring activities.

You’re here to have fun, so be sure to find somebody who doesn’t look homeless, but is on the street drinking a Budweiser and wearing either a Cardinals jersey or Blues sweater.  He’ll know how to have fun.

Here’s how most of these encounters can be expected to go:

Excuse me sir, my family and I are in town for some fun, how do you suggest we spend our day?

Huh, oh, sorry man, I was just takin’ a leak, what?

We’re looking to spend the day in the City, what do you suggest we do?

First, uh, what you gotta do is, hey, where did you go to high school?

I attended Northwestern, in Chicago.

What the fuck is that, like a private school in St. Charles or sumpin?  I went to St. Mary’s High School, WHOOOOOO!  Fuck yeah, GO DRAGONS!!!!  I once scored four touchdowns in a game against DuBourg.

Wow, that’s impressive.  Uh, so anyway, can you recommend anything fun to do in your City?

Oh, yeah, lots of shit.  See first, you take your family to de zoo, you see.  It’s free as fuck and it’s the best zoo in the world!  I guarantee you that!

Then, after that zoo, you go and get you some lunch at Imo’s Pizza.  You gotta try Imo’s man, IT’S THE BEST FREAKIN’ PIZZA EVER!

Oh, pizza does sound good, is that a deep dish pie?

*Perplexed look*

What?  What the fuck, no way, it’s thin crust, like a cracker!  Best pizza in the world, man! I guarantee you that!

Then, then you take your family over to Budweiser and you take you a brewery tour.  It’s free as fuck to see, and it’s the best brewery in the world.  I guarantee you that!  Well, it used to be anyway, before that foreign fuck bought it up.  The beers is still pretty good though, am I right?!

Sure, sure is, well, is that kid friendly?

Awe yeah, sure!  They got them Clydesdales horses and shit, lots of stuff for the little ones.  Hey, what the fuck?  Your daughter’s wearing a Cubs Jersey, what, is she like a lesbian or sumpin?

Wha? Wait, what?  That’s my son.  He’s 6 for God’s sake!  We’re from Chicago, sir.  We root for the Cubs and we’re in town to watch them play the Cardinals.

No fuckin’ way, awe, you’s a little fag!!! *playfully punches 6 year old in the arm* I’m just teasin’ little girl, we loves you Cubs fans since you lose all the time and stuff.

Fuck yeah!  Wooooooooo Cardinals!!  They’re gonna kick the Cubs’ asses, man!!! Whoooooooo!!!  I guarantee it!

Ok, well thank you, we’re going to check out the zoo then I think, thank you.

Oh, wait now, for dinner, you gotta go to The Hill!  It’s freakin’ awesome!  Best Italian food in the world.  I guarantee it!

Well, they let a lot of non-Italians into the neighborhood lately, so it ain’t as great as it used to be, but you gotta go check it out.  There’s like a million restaurants and they’re all the best!  Eat some toasted raviolis!  They’re like raviolis, but toasted! They’ll blow your fuckin’ mind!!  Whooo!!!  I guarantee it!

That does sound good, thank you.  Actually, our concierge mentioned The Hill.

Consiwha? Who the fuck is that, some foreign fuck?

Uh, no, that’s the guy at the hotel…

Aw yeah right, I seen one of dem once.

Well, I gotta get another beer someplace, I’m all out.

Uh, it’s 8:40am, sir, can I buy you a coffee?

Wha?

Nevermind sir, thank you so much for you help.

Hey, if you get time, after that brewery tour, you should go up in the Arch!  It’s fuckin’ awesome!  Best Arch in the world!  I guarantee you that!!!

Is that free?

Oh, I don’t know, I ain’t never been up in there.

Oh, well thank you sir, you have a nice day too.

Oh yeah, and one more thing.  You GOTTA go to Ted Drewes for some custard after the game, it’s fucking awesome!  Best custard in the world, I g..

You guarantee it, yes, thank you!

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Daily Prompt: Local Flavor

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15 Responses to Daily Prompt: Local Flavor – Welcome to south St. Louis…

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  3. whinybaby says:

    The St. Louis zoo is the best in the world. It inspired some serious questions I’ve been struggling with for four years: how do they keep the jungle plants so jungly through such a cold winter?

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  5. Mike says:

    You had or have to live in STL to get this one. Completely true. 🙂

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  8. Go Jules Go says:

    Okay the high school thing is just completely fascinating to me. I’m trying to think of the NJ equivalent… maybe “Where do you go down the shore?” (Meaning which of the bajillion shore towns do you go to.)

    • Where do you go down the shore? Hmmm, now that’s fascinating! Rumor in the midwest is that the New Jersey shoreline is all one big garbage collection center. Is that inaccurate?

      The high school thing is pretty funny and uniquely St. Louis. Many kids go to private, Catholic schools around here, and I think that’s where it started. I was once in a business meeting in Dallas and the regional vice president came to town and my group hadn’t met him yet. In the meeting we had, he asked (I was first of course) where we went to school, and without even thinking, I told him where I went to high school.

      Lol, yeah, I felt like a total stroke, but that’s how we roll!

      • Go Jules Go says:

        Ha! That is so great.

        The Jersey shore is a totally mixed bag, but there are actual a lot of stunningly beautiful shore towns. Cape May is one. Actually, people are shocked to learn most of NJ is farmland/wetlands. “The Garden State”!

      • The Dago stereotype really gives you guys a bum wrap…Thanks for opening my eyes!

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  10. Eilene says:

    Lol. I grew up in Michigan but have been in St. Louis area (from east side of Mississippi River to west side of Missouri River) for almost 20 years. And because of your post I just now learned that if I had grown up here I would have attended Fox. I’ve never heard of that school! 🙂

    • The best parts are between the two rivers, so I hope you’ve spent a considerable amount of time there as well! Lol. Fox is one of those schools that wants to be cool, but can’t shake it’s reputation as the education mecca of Former Arnold residents everywhere, whatever that means.

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