Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » August 2004 » Apropos the "You know you're from Missouri when" list....

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08/13/2004: Apropos the "You know you're from Missouri when" list....

I mentioned that you could probably put together a "You know you're from St. Louis when..." list. Of course, I should have said that someone already did, and it didn't take Google long to find it (comments in italics are mine):

You Know you're from St. Louis if:

  • You love toasted ravioli with Budweiser beer.
  • "Vacation" is a choice between Silver Dollar City and Lake of the Ozarks. As I mentioned earlier, for my family and most of the kids I know, it was more of a "stay at home" or "visit relatives out of state" choice (for my family, my aunt in Chattanooga, TN).
  • You can find Pestalozzi Street by aroma alone.(the street by the brewery) If you can't, there's something wrong with your sense of smell.
  • You can get anywhere in 20 minutes, except on highway 40.
  • You've seen all the biggest bands ten years AFTER they were popular. Actually, you can extend this principle. When the world comes to an end I want to be in St. Louis, since everything happens ten years later there.
  • You can debate for 30 minutes whether Missouri Baking or Marge Amighetti makes the best Italian bread. Only 30 minutes?
  • You know what "Party Cove" is, and where the "lake" is.
  • You still can't believe the Arena is gone.
  • Your first question to a new person is, "Where did you go to High School?" The quintessential St. Louis question. The only other one that comes close is "What [Catholic] parish do you live in?" St. Louis is so Catholic even Jews know what parish they live in.
  • Your non-St. Louisan friends always ask if you're aware there is no "r" in "wash." I am an alumnus of Washington University in St. Louis, and one of my favorite T-shirts from the school was a variant on the standard WU T-shirt, only the school name was spelled "Warshington Yewniversity". Other classic South St. Louis mispronunciations are "wrench" for "rinse" and "zinc" for "sink" (giving you the classic South St. Louis imperative: "Go wrench the dishes in the zinc before you warsh them.").
  • You know at least one person who's gotten hurt at Johnson Shut-ins. Johnson Shut-ins is a state park a bit southeast of the St. Louis area. A favorite underage drinking venue in my youth.
  • You know in your heart that Mizzou can beat Nebraska in football. I commented on that one in the "you're from Missouri" piece
  • You end your sentences with an unnecessary preposition. Example: "Where's my coat at?"
  • You think the four major food groups are Beef, Pork, Budweiser and Imo's.
  • You've had to switch from heat to AC in the same day.
  • You know there are really only three salad dressings: Imo's, Zia's and Rich and Charlie's. I have to confess I have never had Zia's. As between the other two, I like Imo's the best. The Good News: now that the St. Louis based Schnuck's grocery chain bought the Seesel's chain here in Memphis, you can now get Imo's salad dressing in Memphis (though it's a bit pricey). I will have to get after them to carry either Roma's Frozen Pizza (basically, pre-built and packaged Imo's Pizzas you bake yourself) or Roma pizza kits (make your own Imo's Pizza at home: the kit contains the St. Louis thin crust pizza shells, shredded provel cheese, Italian sausage or pepperoni for topping, and the genuine Imo's pizza sauce)
  • You'll pay for your kid to go to college unless they want to go to KU.
  • You can't think of anything better than sitting on the porch, in the summer, during a thunderstorm. Another comment on this in the preceding piece.
  • You would rather have a root canal without anesthetic than drive on Manchester on a Saturday afternoon.
  • It just doesn't seem like a wedding without mostaciolli. AND YOU PRONOUNCE IT 'MUSKACHOLLI'. The balance of the menu is ham, boiled roast beef, string beans with ham and of course pitchers of Busch Bavarian (class weddings have Bud) It's a bit more complicated than that. There is a little known, rarely cited provision in Canon Law in the St. Louis Archdiocese which holds that one cannot validly contract a marriage in the Archdiocese unless mostaciolli is served at the reception--no mostaciolli, and you can get an annulment.
  • You know, within a three-mile radius, where another St. Louisan grew up as soon as they open their mouth.
  • You know what a Pork Steak is...and what kind of sauce to put on it! Probably the thing I miss most about not living in St. Louis anymore; you simply can't find pork steaks anywhere outside of St. Louis
  • Everyone in your family has floated the Meramec River at least once. As mentioned in the "you're from Missouri" comments, I've done a float trip, but it wasn't the Meramec River....
  • A hoosier is someone that lives just south of Chouteau, not a person from Indiana. Probably the single most confusing bit of St. Louis usage for non-natives. And for those of you lacking familiarity with St. Louis geography, the best explanation is this: calling someone a "hoosier" in St. Louis is equivalent to calling him/her "redneck" or "white trash" anywhere else.
  • You have made fun of Mike Shanahan and tried to imitate him ordering another cold, frosty Busch Bavarian Beer. Uh, technically, "Busch Bavarian Beer" ceased to exist sometime in the '70s. It's just "Busch" now.
  • You have listened to Mike's broadcast on KMOX, while watching the game on TV and wonder what game he is watching. A tear forms in your eye as someone mentions their favorite Jack Buck story.
  • You've ever said, "It's not the heat, it's the humidity." Ever? A true St. Louisan says it an average of three times per day from June to mid-September.
  • Your favorite summer treat is handed to you upside-down (Ted Drewe's - YUM!) Um, it's "Ted Drewes" (no apostrophe; the possessive would be "Drewes's"). And for the record, Ted Drewes (who, incidentally, played competitive amateur tennis with my maternal grandmother back in the 20's and 30's) sells frozen custard, not ice cream. There's a distinct difference. I'm also not going to get into the "Fritz's" vs. "Drewes" controversy; as a native South St. Louisan I maintain my preference for Drewes, but when I was living in St. Charles/St. Peters I was reduced to relying on Fritz's for a regular frozen custard fix. Fritz's is pretty good, but Drewes's custard is the Platonic Form of Frozen Custard. Period.

Len on 08.13.04 @ 08:54 PM CST


Replies: 1 comment

on Saturday, August 14th, 2004 at 8:57 AM CST, rlrr said

You know what a Pork Steak is...

The first time I ever had a pork steak was on a trip to Israel...

A few months later I moved to St. Louis.

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