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Tuesday, August 17, 2021

The Big Mad: Grass-Eating Goats, Parson's Problem and St. Louis Intersection Hell

Posted By and on Tue, Aug 17, 2021 at 12:29 PM

click to enlarge Somebody should have told us sooner that this is a lawn-mowing option. - VIA FLICKR / IVAN RADIC

Welcome back to the Big Mad, the RFT's weekly roundup of righteous rage! Because we know your time is short and your anger is hot:

At a Crossroads: St. Louis is rich in sadistically designed intersections. One time, we made a list of really terrible ones (behold “The 25 Worst Damn Intersections in St. Louis”), and probably could have doubled it. That spaghetti-plate nightmare at Brentwood Boulevard and highways 40 and 170 is particularly insane. Then there’s the inexplicable X-shaped interchange within a V at Chippewa Street, Jefferson Avenue and South Broadway. And the impenetrable Memorial Drive at Lumiere Place/Dr. Martin Luther King Bridge that will spit you out in Illinois before you figure out which direction you’re going. But one we keep coming back to, unfortunately and literally, is the bizarre wedge at South Kingshighway and Christy boulevards. The genius of its evil is the way it sneaks up on you. One minute, you’re keeping an eye on the standard racetrack wildness of Kingshighway, heading south, and before you know it, cars are coming from all directions and you’re heading toward a fork, creating a complex hierarchy of right-of-way issues for you to unravel in a second or two. In less than 950 feet from the McDonald’s to the north there are more than a dozen places to enter the road: side streets, alleys, commercial drives. The fork itself falls behind not one, but two triangular islands. And if you think you’ve got a handle on those, wait until a truck rolls out of the St. Louis Fire Department Engine House No. 36, which sits at the dull point of the wedge. The whole setup was clearly designed for maximum distraction, and well, we’re honestly impressed by the sheer disaster of it all.



No Mo Mowing: If someone would’ve told us we could’ve just had goats do our landscaping for us, we could have traded in our lawn mowers eons ago. A cuter, natural solution to a growing problem in Webster Groves took form in 39 goats. For the past couple of weeks, goats have been eating away at a problematic landscape in Webster. Webster Groves Parks and Recreation’s employee Scott Davis told KSDK the pilot project is paying off — and we would like a piece of this solution, please. Surely, Webster can spare one or two goats for us to manage our lawn. We’re tired of being out in the heat pushing a lawn mower when we could have a situation that makes everyone happy. Let’s let the goats prove they are the greatest of all time by letting them out of their pens and into our lawns.

Wrong Division: The pretzel logic of Governor Mike Parson’s COVID-19 response has twisted around to bite him on the ankles — and while he has only himself to blame, the GOP blowback from Parson’s August 11 press conference — in which he simply implied that health risks differ between the vaccinated and unvaccinated — is a prime example of what happens when Republican brain worms are running the show. During the press conference, a reporter asked the governor’s view on mask mandates in light of rising infection cases in children. Parson reiterated his opposition, saying, “I think at some point the people that have had the vaccine, that have had COVID, that have been tested for antibodies, and they've got in their system, I think there needs to be a division between those people and the people that are unvaccinated.” Of course, the reply produced headlines and instant attack ad material for disgraced former governor Eric Greitens, who is running for U.S. Senate. He blasted Parson’s statement as an example of “woke RINOs who bow down to the tyranny of the left.” Parson, of course, took to Facebook to play rhetorical contortionist, explaining that his statement had been an argument against mask mandates in schools because, um, asking kids to mask up “undermines faith in the vaccine” — a remarkable spin as health experts warn that the delta variant is increasingly filing ICUs with unvaccinated kids. The governor may have slid out of a political jam, but his bad faith is keeping Missouri sick — and further divided.

Slow Nation: Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre is going to start requiring proof of vaccines at its shows — starting October 4. You may note that October 4 is a month and half away. You may also note that the delta variant is running rampant right now. That’s why a growing list of St. Louis-area venues are acting right now, making the hard decisions to require vaccines or negative COVID-19 tests at shows ASAP. But Hollywood’s owner, Live Nation, is slow rolling their new policy, putting it on the backs of performers to make the call. So Maroon 5 will require vaccinations on Wednesday, but Luke Bryan won’t on Thursday. The rest of the schedule is a similarly inconsistent mess of protocols. But here’s the question: If the currently rising threat of spreading the virus is serious enough to require a new vaccination policy (it is), why is Live Nation waiting until October?
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