The Rip Post




       I'm sorry to rile up all the "creationists" out there, but I have conclusive evidence that human beings were descended from apes. And it hasn't been much of a descent, either.
        The proof: all L.A. transit officials. They're the missing link.
        Decisions regarding Los Angeles transportation can only have been made by something very closely related to a gibbon or marmoset. I know, you're going to insist that the mayors, councilpersons, state senators involved in this issue through the years are clearly homo sapien, not simian. Just look at their relatively hairless skin, you will say, and the fact very few of them drag their knuckles as they walk.
        No matter.
        Only screaming, idiot rhesus monkeys could do what they have done.
        Only things with great, shiny pink-and-purple hinds could have voted, over and over and over, decade after decade, to add more freeways.
        Only creatures that recently lost a prehensile tail could speak the words, "dedicated bus lanes," without expecting to have dung hurled at them.
        Only something that goes "ooo oooo oooo" and sleeps in trees could have supported the idea of destroying 700 homes and 250 businesses in the Valley in order to widen the Ventura Freeway.
        This means you, Sheila Kuehl! I don't care if you are a state senator, and that you were funny when you played Zelda Gilroy on "Dobie Gillis." You pick out grubs on the sly. You secret bananas in your purse. You scratch your armpit and scream like Cheetah, when no one is looking.
        But this is not necessarily a bad thing. Apes are fine animals, with great dignity and often substantial intelligence. You remember Koko the Gorilla? Who could allegedly sign-lingo a few hundred words into simple sentences? You know, like "Koko don't like bad kitty?" Sheila, I compliment you. Your sentences are far superior. Especially this one:
        "There was such an outpouring of grief and concern," you said about public reaction to your plan to give the 134 a steroid injection, ". . .it really wasn't worth it."
        Bravo! Like Koko, you show evidence of learning. You backed off the Champs d' L'Freeway! This was the more evolved part of your brain at work---the thing that somewhat separates you from lesser primates. You got the message: People don't like bad freeway! But I must be fair here, Sheila, you are far from alone. Every single elected official and behind-the-scenes monkeyman---er, moneyman---(or woman) who has voted to stop, remove, delay, or otherwise derail light rail in this town in the last 40 years should be criminally prosecuted. Or at least deprived of tire-swings.
        What? You think I'm just beating my chest, do you?
        Put down your termite stick for a second, and think of all the humans who have died in car accidents. Who have been maimed, brain-damaged, or psychologically scarred in flaming freeway freakouts. Think of all the ulcers, cancers, nervous breakdowns, chancre sores, rashes, hair loss, miscarriages brought about by spending years of life sweating in 5 mph 405 traffic. Oh, the heartbreak of sore asses-ness! Think of the deafness incurred through countless hours of raging car stereos buffering the tyranny of gridlock. Think of all the bullet holes you wouldn't have had to Bondo. Think of all the hours, days, months, years of life stolen---yes, stolen---by what insipid traffic reporters call "tough drives."
        And most of all, consider that you would never once have had to suffer through "Life in the Fast Lane," by The Eagles.
        Mayhem, for starters, don't you think? Definitely. Then manslaughter. Lawsuits for willful infliction of psychological abuse, even alienation of affection. Commuters, after all, spend more time with the 101 than their loved ones. Grand theft---auto? Sure. Wouldn't have been suckered into buying a new car every two or three years, confusing it with fulfillment.
        Oooo ooooo oooooo!
        Raze hundreds of houses in the Valley? Kick people out of their homes of ten, twenty, fifty years? Been into the fermented fruit, MTA? (Mandrill Transit Authority.) The Ventura Freeway is already about as wide as the city of Ventura. If the way is seldom free, it's not because the freeway isn't wide enough. It's because the MTA's collective head isn't wide enough to solve the problem with light rail. It's the ape-x of absurdity.
        Oh, wait---Sheila Kuehl isn't the only Bonzo on this bus. There was the report a couple weeks ago that the proposed light-rail line to the West Side has been kissed off in favor of buses. Well, let me tell you Monkey Boys and Girls something about buses: they are loud. They stink. They're ugly. Light rail is almost silent. It smells like rosewater and cotton candy. Oh, what about more car pools, you say? Yessiree. There are as many cars in freeway car pool lanes as there are cars that crash into backyard swimming pools every year. "Rapid buses?" When is the last time you saw a "Rapid bus" moving rapidly?
       Yes, the new Blue Line took away some travel blues. Of course, it was the easiest and cheapest to build, seeing that the south-central communities it bisected had little not-in-my-backyard clout---and the greatest need, having been stranded after the Pacific Electric Red Cars were destroyed in the '50s by a collusion of oil company, auto company, and rich people with the surname, Chandler. Those poor folks, abandoned decades ago when P.E. was allowed to peter out, can now reach downtown without much problem.
        But the Red Line? It's the most colossally expensive freak this side of Michael Jackson.  L.A. needed a subway like King Kong needs a computer. The blunderbuss sun lands with a thud on the L.A. Basin 350 calendar-holes a year. The only people who ride the Red are immigrant maids and busboys who used to sweat their way around town on buses. The Hollywood Freeway is still as clogged as Marlon Brando's arteries, day and night. But, well, I guess the devil needed the train to run a little closer to home, and he's got a lot of pull with L.A. civic officials. Never mind that for the $300 mil-per-mile that Big Red cost, MTA Supe Gloria Molina could have singlehandledly laid light rail from the flatlands of Venice to Boyle Heights.
        As for the soon-to-open Gold Line to Pasadena, well, it was built despite the MTA, with much help from private funding. No wonder it was completed so quickly.
        The  places where light rail has most been needed all along, to alleviate congestion---across the Valley and out to the West side---remain under study for "dedicated bus lanes" and widened "mini-freeway" arterial routes.
        Whooooop, whoooooop, whooooop!
        The worst, most pressing problem L.A. has faced every day for the past 40 years has been the lack of efficient light-rail, and it still is.
        Any damn monkey can see that.

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