St. Louis author Wm. Stage will be reading from (and selling) his new book “Not Waving, Drowning,” at The Royale this week. Look for him on the back patio on Tuesday, May 22 at 5:30. He’ll be reading off-on from then until 7:30, revving it back up as new patrons and interested parties arrive. Please join the longstanding local columnist, photographer and gadfly in a celebration of his newest work.
A panhandler has a plum situation in the city, until she takes in a stray dog. A process server is caught relieving himself in an alley, a seemingly mundane event that sets off a cascade of ever-worsening misfortunes. During their getaway, two bank robbers make a wrong turn and accidentally end up in St. Louis’ Hibernian Parade—a serious problem since Black Irish are not welcome. These are some of the hapless characters in Not Waving, Drowning, Wm. Stage’s new work containing eight short stories, all set in the St. Louis area. Drawn from people he has either known or observed, the characters in these stories ring true, evoking drollery, pathos, and wonder.
And a tip of the cap:
“For what it’s worth, reviewing serious literature from ‘Midwestern’ writers always seems to be an afterthought versus the treatment given to newest, hottest writer emerging from New York with her trendy version of life in the Big City, a story that frankly makes you want to gag. Stage’s stories are about real people who face up to life like the rest of us. No bullshit, no pretense, just the guts of what makes life work for the fringe players in this old river town.”
– Steve Means, author, The Blue Kat
Using the traditional ghost pepper, along with two other strains, a British pepper grower has recently produced what’s now considered the hottest pepper in the world, trumping the ghost pepper’s running claim on the title. We’ll spare you some of the measurements used to produce the Scoville scale, but we’ll simply let you know that the heat produced by the good, old-fashioned ghost is enough to make you weep, as dozens of YouTube videos attest.
Now, while we’re not slicing-and-dicing ghosts into our food at The Royale, we are known to mince up a few for drinking purposes, and this fall’s no exception. On the back bar, near our selection of call vodkas, you’ll notice “xxx” on a bottle of ghost pepper-infused vodka, taking a bottle of rail liquor and elevating it to a status while beyond its birthing. The ghost vodka can obviously be used for a spicy kick in a Bloody Mary, though you’re imagination should be your guide. Once we’ve completed this particular bottle, we’ve still got a fridge full of the last fruits produced at the Connecticut Street Garden, overseen by one of our employees. Their plant produced over 100 peppers this growing season, with the final 10 coming off the vine in November; we’ve got the last 10 to be clipped off, before winter set in.
Now that the cold weather’s officially on us for the season, consider warming your belly (and every major nerve center in your body) with a drink infused with our ghost pepper vodka. Ask for it by name.
Ladies, procure your finest Derby hat and spring dresses. Gentlemen, get your seersucker suits pressed and your hats boxed. It is time to cheer on the ponies at the 5th Annual Royale Kentucky Derby Party on Saturday May 1st. We have a contest for best male and female hat as well as best dressed race jockey. Proper Derby dress code will be enforced.
Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three will be performing the ragtime jump blues on the courtyard. Mint Juleps and featured cocktails will be available at an additional satellite bar in order to keep the cheer flowing and the Royale BBQ grill will debut to quell the peckish.
Young grade school scholars Ben and Molly Stein will be selling 50/50 chances on horses benefiting the Cabrini school.
A limited number of advance $5 tickets will be available on April 22nd at the Royale, and there will be allotted tickets available on the day of the race.
The party starts at 2pm with music starting at 3:30. Post time at 5:04.