Fair Saint Louis is coming at you starting tonight in Forest Park. Will it be a glorious kerfuffle of traffic jams and madness? Will the Pope effect keep people away? Could the weather be any nicer for the weekend? Wouldn't it be cool if Harrier jets buzzed the park at some point anyway just because?
Mardi Gras in Soulard is one thing, but this thing is quite another. It's hot (usually), it's summertime, and it's the mother frickin' birfday of this great nation. What's not to celebrate? I have always loved witnessing the humanity that comes out in full force to these events. 'Murica at its redneck best. In honor of the fair being in Forest Park this year, I decided to look back at a few July 4th memories of my own.
Summer in the city. That means excessive heat warnings, pork steaks, PrideFest, and the joyful madness that is Fair St. Louis. Today is blissfully cool and tonight will be a downright chilly 57 degrees - in July. Suh-weet! The heat has been here for sure; last week or so was pretty darn hot. I've enjoyed pork steaks more than a few times. The massive and impressive 2014 PrideFest was incredibly moving in its second year downtown. A shout out as well to the vastly smaller, but awfully cool, Tower Grove Pride event. There is certainly room for both of them in the Lou. I volunteered on Saturday at downtown PrideFest and actually marched in the massive and impressive parade on Sunday. I do look forward to attending Fair St. Louis on Saturday, but I have a very important affair to attend on Friday the 4th. I am going to a big, gay wedding.
I perpetually have way more vacation time built up than I can easily use. Around the December holidays I traditionally take a few weeks off to relax and decompress after a ridiculously busy fall. At the end of April I was feeling a bit out of sorts and scheduled some down time towards the latter half of May. What was initially only a week morphed into almost two, with a few guest appearances in the office mid-stream. I didn't have anywhere to go or any real plans, but I plunged headlong into an earned and hopefully deserved staycation in the Lou culminating on Memorial Day. Here is what I did and didn't do.
I love animals. Most of them love me too. Almost anywhere I go people's pets will seek me out at some point to spend some quality time. Dogs are my favorite furry friends, but it's often the shyest of cats that wind up curled up on my lap or chest for a brief chat and visit. We had a few dog's growing up, none of which I was especially close to.
Pets belonging to close friends and relatives became my canine and feline nieces and nephews to be spoiled and petted when Uncle Chris was around. I shared pets with a few exes over the years as well, but always seemed to lose custody in the divorce proceedings. That was rough. Tougher still was when these precious creatures came to the end of their face-licking lives here on Earth. I felt sorrow along with their owners at losing my friend. Now it's painfully close to the end for our thirteen year old named Saki.
St. Louis drivers are awful. I am one of them. Agressive, impatient, rude and on the phone. Yep, that's me. I need to be where I want to be now, so please get the f*ck out of my way.
To my credit (and luck) I have never been in a major collission while driving. I am much better at hitting things that are parked or stationary. I did slide on the ice once on Kingshighway in the 80's in my shitty Nissan Sentra and rear-ended some lady. A few summers ago my trusty Honda Civic was itself rear-ended when the driver behind me bent over to pick up his lit cigar from the floor of the passenger side of his car. Other than that, nobody was harmed or killed by me due to my questionable driving skills.
I had an epiphany recently that has caused me to work very hard each and every day to literally slow my roll. Part of it was surviving cancer, which made me realize that I did in fact not want to die. The main reason though was the unintentional advice I received from Neil Degrasse Tyson and "Cosmos."
The information that I am about to share in this post will almost certainly lead to my incarceration in some unnamed bottomless pit of a military prison somewhere, but I feel it is my civic and personal duty to share it while I still can. If I suddenly and mysteriously disappear, please try to find me and help me if you can. My safety is no longer relevant, but it is important for me to share this while I still can. I am scared and unsure what will become of me. Please share with anyone who will listen. This affects all of us.
You have been warned. I have been on high alert while driving for weeks now and it ain't pretty out there. Spring may have sprung, but this is not free license for bungholery while behind the wheel of a car. A whole new crop of deliberately oblivious drivers are out there amongst us talking on their &%*^)(@ phones, texting on their &%*^)(@ phones, and generally doing whatever the hell they want. I officially declare war on the lot of them, to be followed by an informative and cathartic safety dance.