Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Promo FOMO: Flint, Michigan

FOMO makes obsessive cataloguers of its sufferers. We want to prove to ourselves (and you) that we've been there, seen that, done something with our time. We keep spreadsheets, diaries, photo albums, calendars, catalogues, quote books, blogs, lists, and if we're really special, lists with illustrative charts. (If I ever die, someone is going to find the high school diary of mine that features "Appendix A--Boys I've Kissed, Breakdown by Nationality!", and I'm glad I will not be around to have an embarrassment hemmorhage.)

Another thing we keep: maps. Ever since high school I've had a world map tacked to my childhood bedroom wall, with a red pencil ready to go in my nightstand, so I can put a new dot on the map every time I go somewhere.

Today I got to add a new one:

I've just come back from 2 days in Flint, Michigan, home of The Velvet Touch and also my boyfriend. Prior to this trip, most of what I knew about Flint came from two sources: Matt's anecdotes ("I was thinking about getting Olivia a bunny. Maybe I'll go to the Pets or Meat store!") and the SimCity 2000 Flint scenario:

Turns out there are a lot of abandoned houses in the real Flint, too. I guess nobody's told them my genius trick of just voiding all taxes for five years until all the suckers come back and the Punishment Bulldoze begins. Then all we have to do is go up to the "Disasters" menu and scroll ourselves down to monster attac...

But I digress. Here are some pictures from the real Flint, America's Sixth Most Miserable City.

This next one comes from a road called the Dort Highway, which seems to be populated entirely by "massage parlors" and abandoned hot dog stands. Ooh, my Freud is tingling.

What can I say about Flint? Two days is only enough to get a passing impression, and mine was: don't come here if you like a good ironic dive. This is way beyond irony. This is the sort of place that requires great tour guides...

...good food, and a warm bed and comfy house in the suburbs, all of which I had, thanks to Matt and his parents.

Creature comforts are like bumpers on the bowling alley of adventure. To the hardened nomofomist, they might feel like a crutch. You're worried that you aren't really playing the game if you use them. But then you take them away and realize that without them, you're even worse at bowling than Barack Obama. They're nice to have around sometimes. Metaphor courtesy of Galaxy Lanes Bowling Alley, Grand Blanc, Michigan, and the lovely time I had there on Monday.

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