By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
In a long-overdue move, the city of Houston has passed an ordinance intended to make the roads safer for bicyclists and other non-car users of the road.
How enforceable it is, we'll find out. Until then, it's important to arm yourself with KNOWLEDGE!!, and the best way to do that is by taking our six-question quiz on the subject. Get those No. 2 pencils sharpened, and no cheating!
6) Drivers have to stay at least three feet away from bicyclists. This makes the relationship between drivers and bicyclists the equivalent of the relationship between:
a) J-Lo's personal assistants and J-Lo
b) Strip-club patrons and strippers, supposedly
c) An Astro's bat and an incoming pitch
d) A driver going 75 mph on an amazingly traffic-free Southwest Freeway and the car in front of him
5) The new law says Houston drivers "cannot maneuver their vehicle to intimidate or harass someone." This is like telling:
a) Picasso he can't use a paintbrush
b) KTRH/KPRC-AM hosts they can't just make up stuff about Obama
c) Mayor Annise Parker that she can't wear Mom Jeans
d) All of the above
4) The law defines a "vulnerable driver" thus:
"walkers or runners; the physically disabled, such as someone in a wheelchair; a stranded motorist or passengers; highway construction, utility or maintenance workers; tow truck operators; cyclists; moped, motor-driven cycle and scooter drivers; or horseback riders."
After reading this list, most Houstonians say:
a) "For the love of Pete, who's not vulnerable?"
b) "What about that dancing guy on Waugh and Allen Parkway?"
c) "Or Aqualung in Montrose?"
d) "'Horseback riders'"? Really? What is this, Mayberry?"
3) Before this passed, Houston was the only major city in Texas without:
a) A baseball team that could consistently win against Triple-A teams
b) A "safe-passing law"
c) Decent pizza
d) An intense jealousy of Houston
2) The law says a driver "may not throw any object or substance at or against the vulnerable road user." What loopholes will Houston drivers find?
a) "At" or "against" — doesn't say nothing about "on"
b) What if you were throwing your object or substance toward something right behind the VD (vulnerable driver) and the VD just happened to get in the way?
c) I don't see anything about spitting!!!
d) Can you throw something at his bike? Like, right between the spokes?
1) What key part of a solid bicycling ordinance is missing from the new law?
a) "Those low-to-the-ground recumbent bikes are barred on grounds of excessive nerdery"
b) "If a bicyclist cannot attach his bike to a Metro bus in less than two minutes, he or she is walking"
c) "Houston Chronicle columnist Ken Hoffman is hereby barred forever from kvetching about lousy drivers threatening innocent bicyclists. (Oh, and while we're at it, let's add professional wrestling, Paul McCartney and where to get the best pizza in New York and/or Rome.)"
d) "If a rider's bicycle costs more than a driver's used car, all bets are off"
Latina Star's Kicks to the Balls
Paulina Rubio named in lawsuit.
There's nothing like a Gran City Pop to the balls, we're guessing.
There's one man who says he knows: Houstonian Hector Vela says Latina singing sensation Paulina Rubio delivered a knee right to his babymakers last month at Bush Intercontinental Airport.
Rubio and Vela were on the same flight from Miami April 26, which landed here a little before 10 p.m.
The two got into a dispute over Vela taking a photo of Rubio, who, according to the lawsuit, then approached Vela with her two bodyguards (becoming "irritated, abusive and violent," the suit says), grabbed his camera and then said hello to his little friends.
"Defendant forcefully struck Plaintiff's groin area with her knee, causing him pain and contusions," the suit says.
Pain goes away, but contusions are forever. (Not really.)
The suit doesn't say whether Vela tried to get Rubio to autograph his contused balls, but it does ask for $75,000 in monetary relief.
The suit also calls for a restraining order so that Rubio, who kept Vela's camera, doesn't destroy anything on it. Vela is a photographer by trade, for what it's worth.
Vela's suit notes that Rubio "has a history of confrontations," citing alleged altercations between the singer and a photographer in 2008, a cop in 2011 and an assistant in 2012.
Rubio has not answered the suit yet.
Aggies' New Palace
Leaving the Horns in the dust.
Texas A&M University announced recently that the board of regents had accepted a plan to renovate Kyle Field, home of the Aggies. The venerable stadium has been in need of a makeover for some time now. New stadiums around Division I college sports have the bells and whistles of pro venues including massive scoreboards, updated locker-room facilities and luxury suites where pampered alumni can relax on bearskin rugs after bathing in the blood of virgins...or maybe they just eat catered barbecue; we can't be sure.
But if we were all honest with one another, we would admit that this has as much to do with A&M's move to the SEC as anything. The Big 12 was a good conference, but the minute the Ags jumped to the SEC and had to compete with LSU, Alabama and others, good ol' Kyle Field just wasn't going to cut the mustard — the kind they use on their pulled pork in the southeastern US of A.
And what compelled the move out of the Big 12 and out of a storied rivalry with the University of Texas was the Longhorn Network, UT's private sports channel that has been picked up by ones of cable networks and features 24-7 coverage of all things Longhorn. The content is riveting. Who knew that talk shows about the UT golf program or detailed discussions of women's tennis could be so captivating?
The truth is, as much as this is a needed renovation, it's also a big fat fuck-you to the Aggies' Austin rivals. This is the equivalent of an ex-girlfriend who was cheated on before leaving first coupling with the old boyfriend's most hated rival (SEC) and topping it off by showing off the brand-new diamond ring he bought her (Kyle Field renovations). Sure, the old boyfriend can still find comfort in the arms of the girl he slept with (Longhorn Network), but that's probably because no one else wants her knowing she's a home-wrecker.
So while A&M is cavorting all over the Deep South in a brand-new Mercedes (Johnny Football), UT is left trying to figure out what to do with senile old Grandpa (Mack Brown) while living on past glories (Vince Young).
Congrats, Aggies. In about half a decade, you've gone from a burned-out roadhouse skank to a hot cheerleader engaged to the star quarterback while watching your sworn enemy go flailing in the opposite direction at the same time. It's good to be the king.