Chariot races for the roundabout

Stacey Gross Times Observer Reporter

I should probably state, before I let this pony fly out the gate, that I have no idea what I’m talking about.

Nothing contained within this column is in any way meant to imply that I know thing one about city planning, or roundabouts, or engineering, or traffic safety, or anything. Like, at all. I know zero things that would allow me to speak intelligently on whether or not we should put in a roundabout near my place of employment.

That being said, you guys?

We should totally put in a roundabout near my place of employment.

Because, of course, we should.

First of all, we can access the roof from my place of employment. So if we put in a roundabout near my place of employment, then that would mean that I could go up there and eat my lunch and watch people try to figure out how the heck to navigate a roundabout instead of sitting at my desk and eating my lunch whilst watching YouTube videos of hamsters on a piano (eating popcorn…on a piano).

What is “whilst,” you ask?

Why, it is British for “while.”

Doesn’t it just sound, like automatically, cooler and more important?

Doesn’t it just come off as better, in every possible way, than boring, stinky old American “while?”

Of course it does.

Know what else is British?



Here’s the other thing that makes a roundabout the clear winner in the argument over roundabout versus streetlight: the middle.

The middle of the roundabout is just a great big old sphere of possibility, guys.

“But Stacey,” you ask. “What on earth could we put in the middle of a roundabout that would be necessary, beneficial, and just generally a good thing for all concerned?”


What could we not put in the middle of a roundabout? Nothing. There is literally nothing we could not put in the middle of a roundabout you guys. The potential for awesomeness is limited only by our imaginations.

Merry-go-rounds. Flying Teacups. Tilt-a-Whirls. Bumper cars. Ferris Wheels.

Prefer something more mystical, do you?

Tank full of sharks. UFO encounter. Crop circle competitions. Stonehenge replica. Miniature Large Hadron Collider. Not for actual science purposes. Just, you know.

For fun!

Speaking of fun, how about one of those giant parachutes they used to have in gym class, where everybody had to grab a canvas handle and you could bounce dodgeballs on top and they just made the entire gym experience magical and, like, not crappy. Which it tended to be every day you didn’t get to play with the parachute? We could totally put one of those bad boys in the middle of a roundabout and I guarantee you that everyone’s lives would improve by at least six percent immediately.

Immediately, you guys.

You can’t be in a bad mood when you’re bouncing dodgeballs on a rainbow parachute and recreating gym class parachute day.

It’s a scientific fact. You just can’t.

Remember the Video Max dance? If you graduated high school in Warren within four years of 2001, then I’ll bet you cash money that you remember the Video Max dance. Beaty. Blacklights. Poofy sleeves. Crispy bangs. Cotton Eye Joe. Awww yisss, y’all. Video Max dances can be resurrected. In the middles of roundabouts. Think it over. I know I am. Can’t stop, actually.

Big wheel rally course. If Warren had a big wheel rally course in the middle of a roundabout, then I know for a fact where I would be on my lunch break even more often than I’d be on the roof watching people engage in extremely low-speed vehicle crashes. I’d be defending my real life Mariokart title on the big wheel track.


I feel like every single vendetta in all of Warren County could be solved in one day if there were a space dedicated entirely and exclusively to public, competitive Duck-Duck-Goose tournaments.

Speaking of vendettas and tournaments…and hear me out on this one: gladiator ring. It doesn’t have to be denominational, you guys. We’ve evolved. I feel confident that we could get tiger vs. human combat permitted for downtown if we all just believe hard enough. And I’m even more confident that being required to enter the gladiator ring after, like, your sixth DUI would represent a compelling incentive to make better life choices.

Chariot races would be another perfect use of that space. Or remote control cars. Or Shetland ponies. Or goats. Or toddlers. I mean, basically anything could be raced to the delight of hundreds on a daily basis if we had a free roundabout middle to exploit as a venue.

Speaking of using the space as a venue… I would totally get married in the middle of a downtown Warren roundabout. What sane woman wouldn’t?

How about a Labyrinth with hourly rates and cloak rentals? Minotaur only present on Saturdays, for an entirely different genre of the whole labyrinth experience.

Public yoga. Public meditation. Public kickboxing. Public jazzercize. Public gymnastics. Public fire hoop and sword swallowing practice.

Because to each their own.

I would vote in favor of making Victorian Picnic Tuesdays a thing, so long as we could all agree that anyone not in costume is not permitted to step foot inside the middle of the roundabout, and must surrender any sandwiches they brought with them before leaving as an offering to the Victorian Picnic Tuesday gods.

Me. I’m the god of Victorian Picnic Tuedays, alright? And I only eat two things, so take ya pick: human souls or sandwiches.

Except for those containing ham spread.

Because ew, dude.

But, if I had to pick my very favorite potential use for the center of a roundabout?


I know you can’t see me, and that less than zero people are looking for volunteers to live in the hypothetical roundabout middle bio-dome at this point, but my hand is literally all the way up right now, you guys. All of the way up. Especially if kids aren’t allowed in the bio-dome.

And they’re not. At all.

And especially if someone wants to come along and play the Steven Baldwin to my Pauly Shore.

We’re also going to need about seven really dour buzzkill scientists to harass. I’m accepting resumes starting yesterday. Don’t be shy.

So. In conclusion.

Roundabouts are cool because they’re British.

We can — and absolutely should — put a bunch of cool things inside them.

I want to live in Warren County’s bio-dome.

I rest my case.