Friday, 02 August 2013 08:24

Opening Lines For Novels About St. Louis That Should Probably Never Be Written

Written by 

He was the mayor that everybody loved, but they didn’t call him Slay for nothing.

Tuesday, March 30, 2014, 3am:  Someone was up there peering out the window of the Gateway Arch.  My job was to find out who he was and take him out before the sun came up and St. Louis commuters saw this man exposing himself.

What makes an ex-news anchor flip that switch from “most trusted local news personality” to a mass killer barricaded in an abandoned mall in Crestwood, MIssouri?  Only Larry Conners could say.  But he wasn’t talking.

“Where did you go to high school?” she asked teasingly as she reached for another toasted rav.

I’m Kent Ehrhardt and I like to rub mustard on my feet.

His new friends laughed when he said, “Let’s just take the Metrolink to St. Charles.”  He was an outsider and would never really understand the St. Louis way.

It was a day that began like any other St. Louis day.  Highway 40 was backed up at Jefferson, the STLtoday app still had yesterday’s stories and it smelled funny in Sauget.

He was a Cardinals fan.  She was a Cubs fanatic.  It was a match made in hell.

When the lights are dimmed and the maddening crowd retreats to the quiet comfort of their St. Louis County homes, the darkness that surrounds the giant plaster whale on the first floor of this cavernous brick structure wakes up the monsters within.  And the haunting night just off Washington Avenue begins.  Night after night, away from the safety of daylight, the lonely janitor arrives to once again face the unbearable horrors of cleaning the toilets at City Museum.

He was a jolly old man selling frozen custard to his swarm of rabidly loyal fans.  But something snapped.  Those close to him thought it was the constant sight of that dayglo lime green yellow t-shirt that finally flipped him out.  Others figured he sold one too many Christmas trees at his custard stand.  But only Becky the Carpet Lady knew the truth.  Because only Becky truly understood what this crazy town of local advertising spokespersons can do to the otherwise sane mind.

The heavily feathered yellow Big Bird wannabe was motionless, face down on the pavement of Hanley Road just a short block from the store that made him famous.  As the detective sketched a chalk line around the body, careful not to ruffle the lifeless feathers, he had only one suspect on his mind. He would soon pay a visit to his old friend, Fredbird.


It’s the number one city of crime in the nation.  Number three, if you don’t count the downtown parking tickets.  But that never bothered Mike Shannon, who was pretty much oblivious to crime.  In fact, he was pretty much oblivious to, well, everything except the microphone and the tall cool one in front of him.


Hi. I’m George Weber.   Car dealer by day, party animal by night.  Thank you and here’s my address.