I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. We have been named "murder capital of America" and recently made the list of "10 Saddest Cities". They came to this number by analyzing fun stats like suicide rates and depression medication intake! I'm still proud to be from the Gateway to the West (or Best!...*drinks*) but I decided to move to a much more upbeat city to pursue my career. One with no history of police violence, polluting urban sprawl, or ultra-competitive, godless members of the entertainment industry!
Of course I'm talking about Los Angeles.
Whether big or small, some cities just lack the fortitude to be happy. If it's a college town, everybody's getting drunk, if it's a huge city, everyone is isolated and unhappy, if it's a river town, people are jumping off the bridge.
I want to save you from an untimely demise by your own hand. Information is power. See if you recognize these tell tale signs of a depressing city...
1. Major reason to visit city centers around famous heart-bursting food item
If it's a Coney Island Dog or Deep Fried Twinkie, nothing indicates the absolute desperation of a city's people than indulging in slow, possibly cheese-covered death. Los Angeles might suck in a few areas, but at least we offset all that In-And-Out burger with several vegan food options. Don't let yourself become a greasy-fingered statistic. Or get fingered, period. You don't know where those hands have been.
2. Your city's "job surge" was the hiring of 50 additional coroners
At least one thing is in demand in this s***y economy! When the majority of your populace is unemployed and the only way to generate income is assisting your deceased six feet underground you got problems. Hate life? Then work in the area where you are constantly reminded of the sweet, indifferent release of death! Bonus: grave diggers are known to run awesome softball leagues.
3. You become 'Mayor' of your local McDonalds
This is more of a 'small town' dilemma, but needless to say, if you feel the need to "check-in" on Foursquare just because you needed a McRib...well, it's an indicator of a larger psychological issue. Seek immediate help. Preferably the kind that involves exercise and removing the chocolate shake feeding tube. Your body will love you for it. Also, if your town is less than 1 mile in diameter, there is absolutely no need for you to have a smart phone, let alone Foursquare. That's what the town bulletin board is for.
4. The only theatre/musical act coming through your city is "Shrek The Musical" and Mannheim Steamroller
This might seem a little high brow, but art is a critical part of a happy city. It's the "part of a balanced breakfast" that urban areas need. And nothing signals the death of your art scene faster than "Shrek the Musical". Great cities like Paris, France might pay tribute to Jerry Lewis, but they still have The Lourve, okay? If you LOVE repurposing old pop songs and a good fart joke then maybe you don't care...but you should. It's just a lack of caring on your part. You DO care about art, don't you? Know who doesn't? Mannheim Steamroller.
5. Your city's happiness hinges on a victory by the local sports team...that will always disappoint you. Like your lover.
I am a Rams fan. Sam Bradford's rookie of the year jersey hangs in my closet. And that's where it shall remain. Because I have no reason to wear it this season. It's proud blue and gold will not adorn me like a new skin. Since 2000 we haven't bathed in the glow of a super bowl victory. The rush of positive Rams' emotion rarely if ever engorges my swelling fandom nowadays. We remain stagnant. Impotent.
The curious rumbling of new experiences with an 8-8 season last year has given way to the 2-9 lonely evening at home. Eating pizza, playing Modern Warfare 3, gaining weight. We're not as sexy as we used to be. Will we ever be the bell at the ball again? Who knows...who knows...
...wait, the Cardinals won the World Series? AWESOME! ...but Pujols is a free agent!?
*slowly starts car in a locked garage, falls asleep*