It's been a long year in St. Louis. A very serious year dominated by one main story. Yet even amid the most trying times of hashtag Ferguson, unintentionally humorous side stories developed. Remember, for example, Governor Jay Nixon's tortured response during a Ferguson press conference when questioned, "Does the buck ultimately stop with you?"
Moreover, as 2014 makes its slow crawl into extinction, it's arguable that if ever St. Louis needed to laugh at itself, it's this year. So it is that Riverfront Times has once again composed our annual News Challenge of the most regrettable, odd and funny occurrences of the year — Ferguson included.
Sharpen your pencils and see how much of the detestable 2014 you can recall by comparing your answers to the correct answers on Page 2 of this post.
Sorry, perennial News Challenge champion, Don Weber: There's no bucket of RFT swag to win this year. We're providing the answers in the current issue because everyone wants instant gratification. Also, we're all out of crap.
1. In January a man walked through Kirkwood High School without permission to
expose security flaws there. He told school officials he was a KSDK (Channel 5) reporter,
but the school went into lockdown because that couldn't be confirmed. Why not?
A. The reporter's superiors at KSDK were (literally) out to lunch
B. The reporter had identified himself as "Haywood Jablowme"
C. KSDK's phones were tied up because Art Holliday kept pranking Mike Bush
D. The man was actually KHS alum Scott Bakula drunkenly trying to relive his glory days
2. Several ride-sharing apps jockeyed for position in the St. Louis market this
year. How is Lyft unique among its competitors?
A. It refuses to operate in neighborhoods with Schoemehl pots
B. Its drivers adorn their cars with fuzzy pink mustaches
C. It repeatedly gives the Dirt Cheap Chicken free rides to strip clubs
D. It proudly adheres to a "No pants, no problem!" policy
3. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department hit upon a new strategy for
fighting prostitution this year in the 1st District. What was it?
A. Busing the prostitutes to downtown Clayton where demand is higher
B. Shaming those charged with prostitution or solicitation by sending them
bright yellow postcards to remind them that it's illegal
C. Airdropping giant crates of blowup dolls into Carondelet Park
D. Reminding johns that St. Louis leads the nation in STD infections
4. St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez made a splash on social media in
A. He "liked" the Facebook page of the Chicago Cubs
B. He listed his job title on LinkedIn as "Fredbird's understudy"
C. A New York art gallery exhibited his Instagram selfies
D. He favorited dozens of hardcore pornographic images on Twitter
5. The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge opened in February. Which of the following alternative names were also considered for the bridge?
A. Jerry F. Costello-William Lacy "Bill" Clay Sr. Veterans Memorial Bridge
B. The Chuck Berry-Miles Davis Superstar Stretch
C. The Brooklyn (Illinois) Bridge
D. The Mark McGwire Steroid Span
6. Missouri State Representative Courtney Allen Curtis, a Democrat from
Berkeley, introduced a bill to make what the official greeting of Missouri?
A. The high-five
B. The "Show Me Love!" handshake
C. The Ozark Yodel
D. The M-I-Z / Z-O-U chant
7. Advocates of LGBT rights in Missouri scored which major victory this
A. They convinced Governor Jay Nixon to sing "I Will Survive" at the St. Louis
B. Three different Missouri courts ruled the state's gay-marriage ban
C. They got House Speaker Tim Jones to switch from frumpy to slim-fitting
D. Just John Nightclub in the Grove was finally listed on the Missouri Register of Very Gay Places
8. The ALS Association's social-media fundraiser, the Ice Bucket Challenge, went
viral this year, but the Archdiocese of St. Louis asked Catholics not to support it.
A. The ALSA destroyed the archdiocese in their last ultimate frisbee matchup
B. The ALSA was funding a study that used embryonic stem cells
C. The ALSA funds LGBT-rights advocacy groups
D. The archdiocese considers ice buckets a sacred tool for repressing sexual feelings
9. What did Sunset Hills mayor Mark Furrer allegedly yell at bicyclist Randy
Murdick when he passed by him in his Mercedes convertible?
A. "Eat my exhaust, spandex boy!"
B. "Race ya to the stoplight!"
C. "Glad to see you enjoying the public roadways of our fine city!"
D. "Get off my fucking roads!"
10. In June construction of the new IKEA in St. Louis halted when crews struck
A. Human bones
C. Toxic waste
11. In early 2014 travel analysts noticed a significant spike in flights from
St. Louis to Denver, Colorado, and hypothesized that the big draw was:
A. Great snow conditions at ski resorts
B. Legalized marijuana
C. Cheaper Southwest Airlines fares
D. Peyton Manning mania
12. AB-InBev's Superbowl commercial for Budweiser, which quickly went viral,
featured a Clydesdale horse that befriended whom?
A. Full House funnyman Dave Coulier
B. Mr. Ed
C. A puppy
D. Spuds MacKenzie
13. What happened when Washington University brought a petting-zoo bear to
campus to serve as a stress reliever for students during spring finals?
A. The Wash. U. chapter of PETA demanded that the petting zoo release the animal
into the wild
B. Petting the bear proved to be so relaxing that several students slept through
their final exams
C. Members of the Sigma Chi house kidnapped the animal for their "Bearly Legal"
D. The bear bit fourteen students, creating a campus-wide rabies panic
14. How did Mizzou students respond when the Westboro Baptist Church came to
Columbia to demonstrate against gay football player Michael Sam?
A. They posted personal information about the church's leaders online
B. They tweeted the hashtag "#WBC=WackyBigotedCretins"
C. They formed a half-mile-long human "wall of love" to support Sam
D. They surrounded the protesters and sang "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga
15. Conservative Christian lobbyist Jack Burkman tried to mount a national
boycott against the St. Louis Rams this year. Why?
A. He doesn't want the team to move to Los Angeles
B. He views ram horns as sinister pagan symbolism
C. Rams players pray too softly after games
D. The team drafted an openly gay player
16. When Ballpark Village opened, all eight of the bars there instituted a
strict dress code. Which of the following were always and explicitly prohibited?
A. Sagging pants
B. Assless chaps
Once again the St. Louis area received several accolades and a few rotten tomatoes in
quasi-scientific city rankings. Match the survey below with St. Louis' overall finish in
17. Cities most in need of a superhero (per Estately.com, a real estate blog)
18. Best cities for writers (per the social aggregation site MyLife.com)
19. Most smoke-free cities (per Men's Health magazine)
20. Cities with the worst potholes (per Potholes.info, a pothole-news website)
A. Within the top five (but not No. 1)
B. Top Honors!
C. No. 8
D. Dead last
21. This year St. Louis celebrated its 250th birthday! What is that officially
B. Bicentury Cinquennial
22. The St. Louis flag turned 50 years old this year. What do its squiggly lines represent?
A. The merging of Budweiser and Bud Light into Bud Select
B. The meeting of River Des Peres with city sewage runoff
C. The confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers
D. The path blazed by impaired drivers returning from Sauget
23. In April, Miley Cyrus had to cancel her much-anticipated show at the
Scottrade Center. Why?
A. She hit traffic on Highway 40
B. She was hospitalized for a severe allergic reaction to antibiotics
C. She was hospitalized after eating "The Heartstopper BLT" at Crown Candy
D. The board of aldermen passed an emergency bill banning twerking within city limits
24. Our city's professional soccer team, which will begin playing in 2015, was
given a name in June. What is it?
A. Rams Fútbol
B. River City FC
C. The St. Louis (Cleveland) Steamers
D. St. Louis Football Club
25. Former Sixth Ward alderwoman Kacie Starr Triplett admitted to the Missouri
Ethics Commission that she had misused campaign funds. On which of these items did she
spend more than $1,000?
A. Spa and salon services
B. Clothes, shoes and jewelry
C. A brutal three-day losing streak at a Casino Queen craps table
D. A tray of four beers at Busch Stadium
26. During the MLB playoffs, Mayor Francis Slay issued a faux apology for St.
Louis' many assets and accomplishments. Which of the following did he faux-apologize
A. Doing the worm (and totally killing it) at the last Mayor's Ball
B. Having the most impressive "guns" (biceps) of all Midwest mayors
C. Eating his weight in hummus at St. Raymond's Wednesday lunch buffet
D. Presiding over a city where Energizer produces one of the world's best-selling batteries
27. Pleased by the passage of Amendment 5 in Missouri, dozens of activists
marched from CityGarden to the Gateway Arch carrying what?
A. Battery cages stuffed tight with chickens to celebrate the "Right to
B. Semiautomatic weapons to celebrate the "Right to Bear Arms"
C. Loud boomboxes blasting the Beastie Boys to celebrate the "Right to
D. Rainbow flags to celebrate the "Right to Marry"
28. The U. City Loop Trolley project hit a snag and had to delay construction
this fall. Why?
A. Washington University blocked the trolley's path with a low-hanging skywalk
over Delmar Boulevard
B. U. City police put a "boot" on all the bulldozers for unpaid parking
C. The project bids came in at $11 million over budget
D. Joe Edwards' short shorts left too many construction workers distracted and sexually confused
Match the Missouri offender to his/her fifteen minutes of fame in 2014:
29. Jevon Brown
30. Bud Weisser
31. Andrew Steven Jung
32. Matthew Rouch
A. The self-described "ice cream junkie" sentenced to six years for drunkenly
breaking into a St. Charles church and gobbling down frozen treats
B. The veteran from St. Louis who mailed cat feces to companies that didn't
offer him a job
C. The Northwest Missouri State University professor who made a joke online
about shooting people on campus, which led to a police search that uncovered his
D. The improbably named seventeen-year-old from south St. Louis charged with breaking into a Lemay convenience store
33. The St. Louis Police Officers Association condemned five St. Louis Rams
players for doing what during the pregame ceremony of their November contest against the
A. Holding hands and skipping onto the field to Body Count's "Cop Killer"
B. Openly selling illegal bootleg DVDs of their last winning season (2003)
C. Taunting an off-duty police officer working private security
D. Assuming the "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" posture in solidarity with Ferguson protesters
34. According to Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, Michael Brown had
superhuman strength akin to that of whom?
A. Hulk Hogan
B. The Incredible Hulk
C. Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse
D. The unholy child of Superman and Batman
35. In August someone defaced a chalkboard sign outside a St. Charles bar. The
result made waves on social media. What was the sign's message?
A. "Mike Brown Special: Six Shots of Something"
B. "Darren Wilson Happy Hour: Limitless White Whine"
C. "Bob McCulloch Buffet: You Choose! (So I Don't Have To)"
D. "Police Chief Jon Belmar's Tear-Gassy Appeteazers"
36. After Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency in Ferguson, he was
asked in a conference call with the international media, "Does the buck ultimately stop
with you?" What were his first words in response?
A. "I cannot recall at this time."
B. "Is this thing on?"
C. "We're, um, you know, it uh, it uh, you know..."
D. "I did not have sex with that woman."
37. According to a journal entry submitted into evidence in the grand-jury
investigation of police officer Darren Wilson, what compelled Sandra McElroy (a.k.a.
"Witness 40") to visit Ferguson on the day Michael Brown was shot to death?
A. "[T]o understand the black race better so I stop calling blacks niggers and
start calling them people"
B. The voices in her head ordered her there
C. She had heard that "Ferguson is beautiful this time of year"
D. She was told that the taquitos at the Ferguson QuikTrip were superior to those offered at the gas station's other locations
38. What prompted FOX 2's Tim Ezell to finally hang it up after sixteen years as
a morning-show host?
A. He'd "run out of zaniness"
B. John Pertzborn's morning breath
C. He decided his real calling was to become a pastor
D. He was offered a better gig annoying morning viewers in a larger TV market
39. Justin Timberlake was spotted in St. Louis on December 4. What was he up
A. Singing backup for Chuck Berry on "My Ding-a-Ling" at Blueberry Hill
B. Giddily enjoying a Garth Brooks show at the Scottrade Center
C. Trying to join the Ferguson Commission
D. Soliciting advice from Post-Dispatch columnist Bill McClellan on how to really "bring sexy back"
40. Late in the year the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
declared St. Louis had the nation's No. 1 and No. 2 per capita occurrences of what,
A. Lead poisoning/diabetes
B. Warm beer/cold women
Continue to the next page for the questions with the answers!