Buffa’s Buffet: 5 things that are on my mind


Ladies and gentlemen, the buffet is open. Once a week, I’ll take aim at five things on my mind: a versatile array of sports, entertainment, and South City life. Look for the topics at hand in BOLD.

For many, the Fourth of July means fireworks, beer, and family. The barbecue pit works overtime while the cooler clocks out shortly before it, a day spent keeping beverages-and cold dishes like a well-mixed egg salad-ready for the passerby to grab on the go. For me, it’s a day to simply sit back and exist. Appreciate the little things. The fact that after a tumultuous year, the people I care about deeply are still here, and so am I.

Against all odds, the streets are full of cars again and small businesses are already digging themselves out of the red and towards the black in their books. Hugs are coming back like a slow-moving trend, and there’s Olympic trials taking back in downtown St. Louis. No matter what you say about the human species, a lack of resilience should never leave the mouth–not once.

*For the record, I’ll take a double cheeseburger with all the accompaniments included: red potato salad, mac n’ cheese, and a healthy amount of Bud Select on any given Sunday afternoon celebration. Watching Chris Pratt save the world isn’t a bad option for entertainment either.


Happy 50 years at the Post Dispatch to Rick Hummel. It’s too bad the Cards aren’t nearly as consistent. The big-league Birds haven’t played around with the .500 mark for this long in over a decade. A 41-43 record doesn’t represent the end of the world for a team in July, but time is starting to run out before the trade deadline demands direction and answers from the front office. And before we get into the 2011 nostalgia zone, remember that team still had Albert Pujols and Tony La Russa. Let’s tread lightly before we wrap this troubling 2021 team up in that gift paper. This year’s team has a lot of struggles to come back from.

Word to the wise: tip your rideshare drivers. Whether it’s Uber or Uber Eats, tipping ensures the driver actually makes money. How do I know? I’ve driven for just about every phone app-powered company in the last four years. In fact, I completed the first of 3,668 Uber rides on July 13, 2017. Lately, I have been doing food delivery to collect extra dough, and tips are everything. A few dollars for us being waiters that drive to your house goes a long way. It’s the difference between an okay and great night on the job. I mean, we’re only whisking your food across Midtown like Jason Bourne, all the while resisting the urge to eat half of it and make it there warm and safe.

One more thing on rideshare apps: Uber has the best software, hands down.

Please don’t forget to sanitize the equipment at the gym. If you scrolled the list of “things constantly taken for granted,” cleaning a machine before moving on to another one is high up there. This was a necessity before the pandemic even struck. No one-and I am talking about the sunniest soul on Earth-wants to sit down in a puddle of someone else’s sweat. Forget about it. At that point, running over to ask for the person’s soaked towel to drip over your forehead wouldn’t be out of the question. Even for a guy like me, who practically busts a pipe in his head and sweats for an hour after his workout is complete, it’s gross.

Led Zeppelin fans shouldn’t bypass a band called Greta Van Fleet. Once you push play on “Safari Song,” it will be as if you were transported back to the recording studio with Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham. Formed in 2012 by the Kiszka Brothers and Danny Wagner, these guys look more like The Strokes than L.Z. but their sound will bring back earfuls of Mothership bliss to the musical senses. Josh, Fleet’s lead singer from the Midwest, may stand next to Ben Stiller in height, but his voice could shake the deep sleep off a crashed battleship. All together, it’s like Zeppelin and Velvet Underground met in a studio. An explosive sound that should be appreciated.

Many critics shot this band down for the L.Z. inspired sound, and I can see their similarity complaints. But here’s the thing. If a group of individuals walk into a studio and create a good sound, who cares where the inspiration came from? Everybody borrows from someone. That’s the truth. It’s possible to listen to Plant howl at the proverbial moon and then take in Josh Kiszka’s vocals with equal appreciation, but people love to complain.

In the words of the great Todd Snider, I am not trying to change your mind, just ease my own. See you next week.