Welcome to REVERB – The Sound’s recap of the top stories (and some not-so-top) involving Annapolis and Anne Arundel County that we found interesting enough to send your way… with a complimentary side of sass.
Eye on Annapolis ran a feature Monday about the dangers of texting and driving. Imbedded was a video sponsored by AT&T from March of last year of people giving firsthand accounts of lives forever changed by texting-while-driving fatalities. It’s a video with a dead serious message and probably one that all parents should show their children, but it begs the question: Are Americans really THIS stupid? You are behind the wheel of what is essentially a thousand pound killing machine (my dad’s words not mine, but still true) so one would imagine that distraction would be something you wouldn’t voluntarily inflict upon your own mind, but then again one would assume crack cocaine wouldn’t be something you voluntarily introduce into your bloodstream either, but I digress. A kid in the video raises an excellent point: If someone asked you to close your eyes for six seconds while you are driving, would you do it? If you said yes, you’re a moron. If you said no and yet you still text and are getting an increasing feeling of self-righteousness as you read this, then you’re a moron too because taking your eyes off the road while you text is just like shutting them altogether, genius. On the distraction-o-meter, texting while driving is basically the equivalent of giving yourself a bikini wax or forging a Monet while you drive, but our obsession with instant gratification and the sweating and heart palpitations that arise from ignoring a text message allow our brain to ignore the obvious. So to answer the aforementioned question: Yes, Virginia, Americans really ARE that stupid.
There’s this new phenomenon sweeping the nation. Hold on to your hats because this is pretty ingenious: People have begun working from coffee shops on their laptops instead of traditional cubicle farms. Oh wait, this isn’t 2005? It’s 2011? People have been doing this for years you say? Gosh, look at that. Hometown Annapolis took a trip back in time Monday, giving us some not-so-revolutionary information about some not-really-trailblazers parked at coffee shops around the city. The best of these was a woman in a teleconference at City Dock, and I just have to say that if I was ever in a coffee shop sitting next to someone jabbering on their Bluetooth for the length of an entire conference, I might have to pour my coffee on their laptop. It’s one thing to get work done in a public space; it’s another to annoy the crap out of everybody within earshot. For me, my feelings toward so-called “laptoppers” at coffee shops is similar to the law that states “When you are driving, you hate pedestrians. When you are a pedestrian, you hate drivers.” When I’m the “laptopper” in question looking for a space to sit before I drop hot coffee and thousands of dollars of electronics onto the floor, the unproductive slugs slowly sipping their coffee drive me mad. Yet when all I am looking for is a place to enjoy my coffee and cup of yogurt, the overachievers tapping away on their laptops nearly send me over the edge. No matter who I am though, the teleconferencing lady would for sure make me go all “Heeeeerrre’s Johnny!” on her Bluetooth-loving face.
Eye on Annapolis’ equivalent of a “Dear Abby” column is sure to offer advice on some serious personal issues, but once in a while it’s just a veritable Venus Flytrap for people whose neuroses should only ever come to light in the office of a very expensive therapist. Take Ms. “Always a Bridesmaid” who wrote in recently after a bout of Facebook stalking left her with an interesting inferiority complex. Seems she is worried that “everyone is getting pregnant or engaged” and she wonders if she should make “finding the right person” a priority. Everyone? Exaggerate much? Is it that we as a culture alter our actions to match what we perceive as the “norm” because we’re really just that insecure? Or is it that we simply can’t think for ourselves? When a girl’s best friend gets married, suddenly she’s thrown into a spiral of despair until she can walk down the aisle too. Her sister has a baby and just like that she’s haunted with nightmares that she is harboring a barren uterus. Guys are simpler but the point holds – their best friend comes to the reunion looking like he lives at the gym and next thing you know, he’s working out like there’s no tomorrow. Here’s my question for “Always a Bridesmaid”: You seem so worried about keeping up with “everyone” who is getting married or pregnant, but if instead of babies, “everyone” was giving recreational intravenous drug use a spin, would you feel rushed to do that too? You may laugh at such a ridiculous leap here, but I’m inclined to think the answer would be yes. And before you jump all over me, consider the possibility that I might just be right, and then consider exactly how sad that is.
Since I’m on a “what does this say about us as a whole” kick today, I’ll take a shot at Historic Annapolis Patch’s Valentine’s Day handy gift guide, not because I think the guide is hokey but because of what it represents. I’m not going to be one of those people who rail against Valentine’s Day and its shameless modern commercialism. Honestly I think it’s adorable to do something cutesy for that special someone on February 14, but I also would like to emphasize the word “cutesy” because I think the over-the-top grand gestures of insanity are where we’ve gone wrong with this holiday. Valentine’s Day is like that senator who cheats on his wife but stops at the jewelry store for a diamond tennis bracelet on the way home from the brothel. If you are one of the few people in this world capable of carrying on a mature, functioning relationship, then go nuts on Valentine’s Day. But if you’re one of those in the much larger population of people who think it’s the day to act like the other 364 days of the year are exempt from such gestures of love and affection, and let’s face it – those are the people who go out of their way to act like idiots on Valentine’s Day, then I hope Cupid accidentally sneezes as he shoots and gets you in the eye.
Now that the economy is supposedly in an upswing and people can again afford a what’s what of ridiculata, What’s Up Mag took the opportunity to give a list of predictions for the future of plastic surgery in America, and this list did a fantastic job of pointing out just how frightening economic growth could be to our retinas if we have to see Joan Collins every time we turn our head. The article suggested that we will likely see an increase in “body contouring after dramatic weight loss.” Or in other words, lazy tubs of lard who choose gastric bypass rather than lugging their giant bodies to the gym because they claim that exercise does nothing for them will be needing more than a few nips and tucks to get rid of all the excess skin that comes as a result of not losing weight naturally. Oh hush, I realize there are glandular conditions that make weight loss exceptionally difficult, but let’s not forget that the majority of people who get these procedures gain the weight back within few years because…oh that’s right, they’re lazy! Another point made was that since the baby boomer generation is aging, so are their breast implants. I’ll pause while you form a nice mental image of aging breast implants and again so you can either giggle uncontrollably or projectile vomit. Y’all good? Moving on. There are of course the people looking for “bargain cosmetic procedures” who will travel to Mexico or Uganda or the former Soviet Republic of Facial Paralysis-istan to try to avoid the astronomical costs of having the procedures performed in this country with sterile equipment and doctors who didn’t go to medical school in a strip mall next to a nuclear disaster only to turn around and rely on the same American doctors they avoided in the first place to save them from forever looking as scary as Nick Nolte’s mug shot. And finally, it seems Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, and Beyonce have inspired the wholly absurd trend of buttock lifts and augmentation, so look forward to seeing a bunch of insecure women walking around with butts that look like Baby Belugas.