Picking on St. Louis is like picking on the fat kid at school -- the city is already so beleaguered, so desperate for approval, that giving it a hard time feels like nothing short of sadistic.
And yet as the Dodgers take on the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series tonight, we're the underdog here. Yes, the Dodgers swept the Cardinals in a 2009 division series, but while the Dodgers have mostly been floundering since their last championship (in, um, 1988) the Cardinals are a playoffs juggernaut. They've won two World Series since 2006.
So why not undermine their confidence? If you feel like a jerk rubbing it in, just remember, this is the city that stole the Rams. Fuck these guys. And anyway, they started it.
Here are 10 reasons why L.A. kicks St. Louis' ass.
We're one of the safest big cities in America. They're a crime-ridden hellhole. (Just ask Clark Griswold.) In addition to a high murder rate - which, yes, city officials dispute every single time St. Louis makes one of those lists of the most dangerous cities in America, aka every single year -- St. Louis also sits right in tornado alley (a few years ago, a tornado sent plates of glass flying through the airport!) and is also susceptible to dangerous floods. That was enough to get STL -- place where elderly immigrants get beaten to death in broad daylight -- named the most deadly place to live in America a few shorts months ago.
9. Local Industry
We're best know as the home of the movie industry. St. Louis is best known as the home of Budweiser -- a shitty beer that is not, in fact, even headquartered there anymore. Like most things that grew up in St. Louis, it got the hell out as fast as it could, setting up HQ in (of all places) Belgium after being purchased by InBev in 2008. Today the biggest thing going in St. Louis is Monsanto, which is both slowly destroying the Earth and suing any farmers that dare to resist its destruction.
We've got celebrities up the wazoo. Theirs have all fled in disgust. Yes, Jon Hamm grew up there, and so did Jenna Fischer. But if you see someone described as "St. Louis' own," you can guarantee they left years ago for greener pastures. It's been going on all the way back to T.S. Eliot, who took to pretending to be British so as not to be associated with the place, and Tennessee Williams, who derided the city as "St. Pollution" and wrote, "I found St. Louisans cold, smug, complacent, intolerant, stupid, and provincial. I hate the place."
We're a world-class dining town; their food sucks. St. Louisans all rave about their so-called "famous Ted Drewes concrete." Um, we hate to break it to such a sad sack of a city, but no one's heard of your damn concrete, much less gives a shit about it. Also, your pizza sucks; it's essentially a cracker topped with provel cheese which, spoiler alert, is not real cheese. Oh, and your toasted ravioli tastes like crap, and it's not actually toasted; it's fried. Why do you think you're all so fat?
OK, so the CIA allowed crack to take L.A.'s inner city. But that was nothing like the nasty trick the feds played on St. Louis. During the Cold War, the Army carried out a series of ultra-secret experiments on the Midwestern city, literally spraying it with dangerous zinc cadmium sulfide -- y'know, just to see what happened next. Chemical sprayers were placed on station wagons and atop buildings, with the greatest concentration aimed at low-income housing. Try to tell us that didn't have an effect.
We've got year-round mild temps and sunny skies, but two of their four seasons suck. Yes, fall in St. Louis is a site to behold, and spring can be lovely when it's not raining. But winter is surprisingly freezing in light of the city's latitude -- and the place may have the single worst summer in America. In late July, the average temp is 89 degrees -- with 92 percent relative humidity. It's like trying to breathe in a steam room.
While we're busy legalizing pot, St. Louis is smoking itself to death with cigarettes. You can still smoke in many St. Louis bars, meaning you inhale something that will give you lung cancer and won't even get you high. Losers.
3. Urban Core
Our city center is thriving. Theirs is so bad that St. Louisans aren't just fleeing for the suburbs -- they're leaving the suburbs for the exurbs. Miles of St. Louis are vacant land, dotted only by stop lights that, yes, you do have to stop at. So where are all the people? Why, St. Charles -- a pleasant 45-minute drive from the city center. Or Belleville, Illinois, which, it goes without saying, is across state lines. If St. Louisans hate St. Louis so much, why not just move to Chicago like everyone else?
2. Inferiority Complex
Speaking of Chicago. L.A. is a second city to none, much as San Francisco and New York like to pretend otherwise. But St. Louis has a strange, but constant, inferiority complex to Chicago -- itself a crime-ridden underdog. How is that even possible?
And on that subject: Every time someone makes fun of St. Louis, someone in St. Louis fires back angrily about all the wonderful culture within its borders. We have a free art museum, they cry, and a world-class symphony. Oh, and we have a free zoo. A free zoo! Why, that changes everything. We're sure the tens of thousands of St. Louisans fleeing every year have a difficult calculation to make as they pack their bags. On one hand, innocent people are getting pistol-whipped in broad daylight. On the other, there's a free zoo!
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We've got the Hollywood sign, while they're stuck with the St. Louis Arch. We'll admit the sculpture itself is strikingly beautiful. But stop for a moment and think about what the Arch means. It's the "Gateway to the West" -- meaning it's celebrating the people who passed through and just kept on going until they made it California.
Using the Arch for inspiration, could you blame Albert Pujols for getting the hell out? Could you blame anyone?