There are a lot of "official surveys" created as backdoor marketing strategies for companies. And by "a lot," we mean approximately 7,213 per week and each and every one comes to my inbox. Car companies will release clever angles on road trip statistics or someone like a doggy poop pick up service might release a list of the poopiest cities in the country. Then, they'll send these lists out to journalists in said poopy cities with the subject line, "Did you know Dallas dogs poop less than other dogs?" (That's an entirely hypothetical example, as anyone who has ever walked more than 75 yards in Dallas knows.) Usually I ignore these blatant hustles for publicity, but sometimes a clever marketer hits on just the right subject line, one I can't resist. This seems most likely to happen on a Friday as the slow minutes tick by on the way to drinks and the blessed start of the weekend, but that's just a coincidence.
This week, an odd and totally devastating email popped into my inbox listing the most pretentious American cities. Apparently, Cafe Valet, a company that sells some kind of beans, counted things like the number of independent coffee shops, Whole Foods and opera-related events per capita, and Dallas ... didn't make the list. In fact, with San Francisco topping the most pretentious list (SURPRISE!), we were assigned a spot on the list of least pretentious cities in America.
We know, we know. We're dazed and confused too, and we swear to you: This will not stand. If you are one of the proud people constantly discussing your beloved Big D, then help us take the following steps to rise up the ranks. We're less pretentious than Birmingham, Alabama, for God's sake. BIRMINGHAM.
Put down the BBQ. You'll have the kale orange juice deluxe.
Valet stands at Sonic drive-ins.
More Hummer limousines with prices listed on the windows.
Do a winter-clothing drive for downtown homeless featuring nothing but opera capes.
Build a dedicated neighborhood devoid of local artists, galleries, street art or any sign of indigenous culture and call it the "Arts District." No, wait ... forgot. How did Dallas not make this list again?
Ban truck nuts on F150s, thus encouraging Mesquite to finally kick in its share and join DART, or discouraging Mesquite commuters.
More concerts by bands "before they're cool."
Provide amuse bouche and warm hand towels before meals at the Stewpot.
A luxury holding pen to sequester all the cranky people on a juice cleanse.
Finally break the $75 burger barrier.
More fancy beards. Beards on ladies, maybe?
Instate mandatory mid-afternoon shopping trips to Neiman's for all City Council members.
Add more varieties of salt to the menus at local restaurants.
More yoga classes on rooftop lounge decks of craft cocktail speakeasies tucked away in luxury boutique hotels.
A blow-out bar dedicated to spa treatments for designer dogs.
Transform historic buildings into designer parking lots ... wait again, we already ... OH C'MON! Birmingham?
More city organized panel discussions about the "future of the arts."
Use downtown TIF money to hire roaming herds of juggling mimes until Trinity park opens up.
Continue to foster the illusion that a city with four months of 100+ heat will ever be "bikeable."
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Fund massive advertising campaign to remind nation that Jerry Jones is from Arkansas and lives in Highland Park.
Once and for all: Pull up your damn pants.
Refuse to drink any cocktail containing fewer than nine hand-crafted infusions of herbs you never heard of and costing less than $15. Kick anyone who orders a macro-brewed beer or frozen margarita right in his truck nuts.
One word: charette.