Townspeople, listen to me. In a recent survey by the University of Vermont, we were chosen the Second Saddest City in the U.S. This is unacceptable. I believe if we all pull together as a team we can be No. 1.
I heard that the first saddest was Detroit. OK, that is setting the bar pretty high. Didn’t they just have their mayor go to prison? I’m sure if we did a little research we could send a couple of our politicians to prison. And the state of Michigan is set to take over the government of Detroit because of incompetence and widespread corruption. Well, I don’t want to brag or anything, but we are no slouches in that department either.
However, research reveals that, in fact, Detroit was No. 1 in the category of Most Miserable City in the U.S. From what I’ve seen, I’ll give them that one. The No. 1 Saddest City in the U.S. was Beaumont, Texas. Beaumont, Texas! On our worst day we could be sadder than them.
The only thing I know about Beaumont, Texas, is that Johnny Winter grew up there. In case you don’t know who that is, he was a big rock star in the ‘60s and ‘70s. He is a skinny, albino white guy who played the blues. If it wasn’t so funny, it would be pathetic. The blues is music rooted in the black experience after the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation; and the fact that, constitutionally they were equal, but actually, well it was enough to give you the blues. Then Johnny came along and turned everything upside down.
I should reveal that I am one of Mssr. Winter’s biggest fans. The man could play guitar, wrote the book on slide guitar and didn’t sing as much as growled and roared. But I digress. The man oozed blues from every pore of his body and if that came from living in Beaumont, well then, we have our work cut out for us. Why don’t you take a break and I will google Beaumont, Texas? Have another cup of coffee or a beer or something. Or better yet, do something sad. I’ll be right back.
OK, unfortunately, I have good news. The University of Vermont study was based on a survey of tweets that looked at happy words and sad words. The happy words aren’t important. What is important are the words found to indicate sadness. I think you know where I’m going with this.
We need to start tweeting the words gone, no, boo, hurt, ugly and a smattering of curse words. I suggest we all include in our tweets something along the lines of “I was gone say, ‘No, don’t hurt me’ and then this big ugly man gave me a boo boo.” Throw in a smattering of curse words and the title is ours. Not for nothing, but Beaumont, Texas, doesn’t even want the title. Sounds like something a loser would say. If everyone would tweet that once a day for the next year, we should cruise to victory. Just don’t be happy if we do.
Look, I am tired of driving through town and seeing all these smiling, happy faces. Knock it off. Don’t you have any civic pride? We should embrace our sadness. It gives us something to be proud of. And that reminds me, our nickname has to go. “The Good Life City.” What kind of name is that for the Second Saddest City?
How about something like, “Albany, GA, the Second Saddest City in the U.S.” Or, “The Hanging In There City.” Maybe, “The Doing the Best We Can Under the Circumstances City.” Unless one of you can lift yourself out of the doldrums long enough to come up with something sadder.
And remember, when some out-of-towner asks how you are doing, tell them “Sad, about as sad as I can be.” If we do become No. 1, we can include it in our tourism brochures. “If you think you have it bad, come to our city; you’ll be happy you don’t live here.” With our new hotel tax, it should rake in millions.
John Wallace lives in Leesburg and — sadly, he says — works in the post office in Albany.