From the Mountains to Maryland. After living in our Rocky Mountain heaven for almost 10 years, I joined my wonderful wife and turned the wagon east. A new journey was decided upon and we left to settle down in the wonderful city of… BALTIMORE! That’s right, we traded in pristine mountain air for the smell of dirty water and gunpowder. The towering peaks of the Rockies, for the soaring crime rates of Charm City. The chance to be one with nature swapped for the opportunity to be mugged and left for dead. Yes my friends. Change is good!
All kidding aside, the move was made for many reasons both serious and important. That being said, allow me to use this canvas to paint a portrait of 2 people who love Colorado and who are now living in very strange and unforgiving place. I no longer wonder why people look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them our story. Now I am just left with questions without answers.
First of all, why did God invent humidity? I was fine with the nice dry weather and my golf-ball sized boogers back in the mountains. This 95 degree/100% humidity stuff is ridiculous. If I’d been running a 5K in Breckenridge in July, I’d be prepared for the gallons of perspiration streaming off of my body, but not when I peel an orange. Or sneeze. Or blink. This is on another level!
Secondly, I know I was in a part of country you couldn’t really call ethnically diverse and the population was composed of mostly pasty-white European descendents. But outside of Colorado, there is a whole other kind of white person, one I had no idea even existed. The only way I can describe them is as a crack-head, baggy-jean, wife-beater, snow-white sneaker wearing white boy with multiple tattoos and buzz cuts. Think… Kevin Federline!
Second, wasn’t the Slim Shady thing like 10 years ago? And they’re always walking somewhere in the middle of the day when it’s hotter than Africa outside. Hmmmm… they must not be employed, though I assume it’s not because they’re an out of work financial advisor or real estate agent. I guess that’s why Federline got so fat. He got his hands on some money and now doesn’t need to walk around in his jorts-and-tank ensemble anymore burning off the meals he pilfered off of Britney. Have you seen him? He looks like he ate her! Wasn’t it enough that he devoured her money, fame, and last shreds of credibility?
Thirdly, everyone drives like it’s the Indy 500. I see the speed limit and immediately go that posted speed while everyone else is doing twice that. And apparently all turn signals are broken, because nobody uses them. I wonder if they see mine and think they’re hallucinating because a light is blinking on the back of the Subaru in front of them.
I’m used to only going 1 or 2 mph over the speed limit because the cops were so bored they’d pull you over PRAYING you’ve had more than 1 beer. In Baltimore, the police don’t really give a hoot if you’re going 90 in a 25, just so long as you’re white not shooting automatic weapons in the air while throwing bags of heroin and rusty needles at children. They have other things to worry about like murders, drugs, kidnappings, car accidents, dog-fighting, prostitution, racketeering, smuggling, riots, car bombs, crabs with laser beams, killer robots, mutants, crocodiles in the sewers, alien abduction and wild tigers taking over the city. Me going 100 in my LL Bean Subaru? Please… I’ll get a medal for being so well-behaved! Have you seen “The Wire”? The part of the city where it was filmed is so bad they couldn’t even film there. Rambo III was filmed IN Afghanistan and HBO couldn’t shoot in East Baltimore!
And lastly… everyone’s overweight. Now, it is your right to eat whatever you want, whenever you want. You can smoke a pack a day and drink a case of PBR for all I care. I believe in a thing called PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. It’s your body and this is a free country. But people here are flat-out obese and could care less! Again, I realize I have lived in places where the local population is very active, eat a vegetarian/low-carb/soy/free-range/cage free diet and Colorado has the thinnest population this side of Ethiopia, but what happened to these people??? Everywhere you look, there’s a pregnant man walking out of a Dunkin’ Donuts. (FYI to all Western friends: DD is taking over the world out here. Call Chuck Norris and tell him to get his feathered mullet,
sleeveless jean jacket and Uzi ready!) It doesn’t help that fast food chains and convenience stores are everywhere either. Driving on the beltway, I noticed all the highway sponsor signs are all paid for by Royal Farms, which is a like 7-11, but you can get gas AND raise your cholesterol by 2000 points in one stop.
While it’s good PR for the convenience chain it really is excellent advertising on their part. Fatty McBaltimore drives down the highway in a 1991 Pontiac Sunfire and they see the sign, they say to themselves:
“Man, I haven’t eaten in about 6 minutes. I need a bag of Cheetos and 90 oz. Mountain Dew. I’m getting off the highway!” As a result, Royal Farms makes more money, can sponsor more highways, and the circle of fat continues in its zen-like journey of perfection.
All of this was observed in only a few days, so I can only HOPE the next few YEARS will continue to provide even more enlightenment and paradoxes for all of our enjoyment!
Your Rocky Mountain Ex-Pat: Roger Mecca