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Opinion

Few changes are required for an improved River Falls

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November 13, 2008

A few weeks ago, our lovely columnist Teresa Aviles wrote about her experience in River Falls. She described some of the interesting, quirky places she’s discovered around town while going to school here. I recognized a few of her discoveries and I agree that River Falls is a wonderful place filled with plenty to explore, if you’re willing to dig around a little.

But I also think it’s lacking . . . something, a few things, maybe. I started thinking about what my city needs. What would make River Falls a better place to live and play? I began to brainstorm and I came up with a list of improvements that the city elders might want to review. These improvements aren’t petty or shortsighted; these ideas are grand and far-reaching. This is me at my most dreamy:

1. Sharks in the Kinni. What would make a dip in the Kinni more thrilling than a few great white sharks swimming around? Hazing is discouraged, but making a pledge swim across the river wearing a Speedo of raw meat might make for a rollicking evening of entertainment.

2. River Falls also needs a volcano to make every day a tiny bit thrilling. It would be the coolest to walk out of my apartment in the morning and stare upward at a humongous mountain hunched over the city, belching out black smoke and spitting up magma.

3. Another addition for the pure principle of thrill: a man-eating dog. My walk home every day is so boring-what would spice up that daily journey more than a German shepherd gone berserk, roaming the streets, jaw foamed and slavering and eyes lit with the fires of hate-getting home would become a damn achievement!

4. River Falls needs a prohibition-era speakeasy. Thanks to my friend Tyler for this kick-ass idea. It would be the coolest to go hang out in a sleazy little speakeasy filled with hustlers and bootleggers and drink big tan jugs of moonshine with three Xs printed on the side. There would, of course, have to be some sort of movable wall or secret door leading to an opium den, which would then lead through to an intricate web of underground tunnels linking all the hotspots around town. What a great way to evade the cops AND the weather!

5. River Falls also needs a coliseum in the tradition of the great Roman stadium. The proud Greek columns and white stone of a huge stadium would bring our tiny burg instant credibility, and the gore-splattered, blood-soaked violence inside will bring our town unparalleled infamy. Suck it, Hudson. Time and time again we see that violence sells. If it bleeds, it leads. Why not give the people what they want? Instead of ticketing minors who are caught drinking alcohol, let’s throw ‘em in the pit with a tiger and a psychopath with a mace!

6. We also need a German clog warehouse. In case we need a lot of shoes.

7. We need the world’s only trillionaire. With that much money, he or she would surely bestow gifts carelessly around town-a free lunch here, a BMW coupe there. . . I could get used to that kind of mooching.

8. Lastly, we need an ossuary (finally). An ossuary is an underground building that serves as “a depository for the bones of the dead” in order to make room for new bones. In case last week’s zombie apocalypse happens, we want to have an ossuary installed and fully operational as soon as possible. And our ossuary has to be bigger than Ellsworth’s.

Maybe I should send my list to City Hall and see if there’s room in the budget for a volcano or a few great white sharks. But with the economy like it is, I doubt we’ll ever get to build that Coliseum . . .

Joe Hager is a student at UW-River Falls.