8/26/2006

Angry Cities & the People Who Love Them

A recent article on MSN Health asks "How Angry Is Your City?". The 100 angriest cities have been ranked -- from most angry to least -- for your information. I was kind of hoping for examples, so I was a little disapointed by the succinct explanation & bare list.

But then I realized that the simplicity allows us to draw our own conclusions which is sometimes more fun than boring old facts. FYI, da Burgh is #90, which means we're kind of angry sometimes but not nearly as angry as 89 other US cities. Which is good, I guess.

The ratings were based on high blood pressure rates as reported by the CDC, instances of road rage & violent crime statistics. It would be interesting to know if the author considered fan behavior in stadiums because, if so, we might have ranked higher had the list had been compiled after the psuedo-punk post-Pirates show the other night.

Anyway, I've decided to randomly pick on some other cities, many of which I've never even visited, just because I'm kind of a jerk & think my own jokes are hilarious.

The angriest city in America is Orlando. That's right, our very own Disneyland is a virtual hotbed of aggressiveness. The armchair psychologist in me suspects this is a direct result of the correlation between large crowds, stupidity & aggravation.

I'm just not a crowd person, mostly because I'm just not a people person. It's one of my personal pet peeves & I could go on forever but I do realize that nobody cares so I'll just give one example. I recently chose to watch the entire second half of an NFL game not from my awesome 3 rows from the bench seats on the 40 yard line but rather from a ramp at Heinz Field.

There I was, sitting in this great seat watching the game, but the idiot next to me just couldn't stop being a dumbass. By halftime, both of my feet had been stepped on repeatedly, I'd been elbowed in the neck, face, arm, ribs & left boob more times than I could even count. I'd been whipped thrice by his terrible towel, whacked with his hat & sneezed on.

Yelling at a football game doesn't bother me one bit, as I often lose my voice after a particularly action-packed game. But this guy was really on my nerves. He was apparently attempting to start a new catchphrase & just kept yelling stupid things that made no sense.

Most disturbingly, he'd holler "Go Deeeee!" at the offense or "Go Ohhhhh" at special teams, often cheering for players that were not actually in the game.

The selfish jerk to my right was half in my seat as well but it really wasn't Mr. Steph's fault. The grotesque female specimen to his right just coughed & sneezed the entire time, never once covering her mouth but turning her head away from her companions (i.e., toward Mr. Steph) every time she let a mucous-fest fly.

She also had long, greasy unkempt hair that she was constantly flouncing out behind her. I don't know how he kept his composure the entire time because if that filth carpet had touched me even once, I would have completely freaked out then rushed home to boil myself, but that's just me.

Oh and the grandfatherly type in front of us physically shoved me out of the way as we walked down the steps in tandem. He mistakenly though that the cameraman was focused on his empty seat & that he was missing an opportunity to have his wrinkled old ass-face on tv.

I know what you're thinking, Steeler fans are all inconsiderate drunks. Well, these gems all appeared to be stone sober. But I learned something very important in my most recent frustrating encounter. I'm going to practice my pratfalls from now on.

The next time a stranger shoves me out of the way, everyone within a mile radius is going to see an Oscar-worthy performance. I'll cry out in pain & fear in a squeaky, girlish voice. As concerned bystanders come to my aid, I'll tearfully point to the offender. "That's him! That's the man who ran past & shoved me for no reason!", I'll sniffle before breaking into heartwracking sobs.

But that's a whole 'nother post.

People suck. For every normal considerate stranger you meet in a crowd, there are 20 jerks that will do something painful, disgusting or otherwise offensive. Now that I know dropping three grand will get you a VIP pass allowing you to cut to the front of the line at every attraction, I plan to die relishing the fact that I've never visited a major amusement park. Obviously, they're for suckers & I've worn that label enough times to finally know how to avoid it.

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