By Jeff Girod
In a national survey conducted by Public Policy Polling, California was ranked the least liked out of all 50 states. Think of it, people actually had a higher opinion of Alabama, where—little-known fact—it’s legal to marry your trailer hitch.
Americans generally have a positive opinion about almost every other state, especially Hawaii, which is beloved by more than half the country.
More importantly, what’s wrong with the half who hated Hawaii? It’s Hawaii! Anyone who doesn’t like snorkeling in paradise or eating pineapple roasted pork while enjoying the melodic sounds of a fake Don Ho should be forced to live somewhere gawd-awful like North Dakota . . . or Hemet.
But back to our Golden State: In response to the question, “Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of California?” only 22 percent responded favorably. Which I completely understand—because I, too, can only tolerate living in California about 22 percent of the time.
I hate the smog. I hate the crime. I hate the taxes. I hate that on the few days I actually forget about the smog, the crime and the taxes and actually have a song in my heart, I’m surrounded by other, disillusioned Californians, raging and pissed off for all the same reasons I probably should be.
I hate that everything always seems to cost more in California, yet somehow my house still isn’t worth two damns and I never feel like I’m getting paid enough.
I hate that California has the second worst unemployment rate in the country at 11.1 percent (locally it’s over 12 percent, so bend over and take it again, Inland Empire) so I should be lucky I even have a job.
I hate that you can live 10 miles from somewhere and it can still take three freeway changes, 90 minutes, a flare gun and an act of God to get some place else.
I hate that one of the few remaining jewels in California is the UC and Cal State systems, yet our state government is run by chuckleheads who apparently never graduated eighth grade and are inexplicably determined to dismantle our education system one Speak & Spell at a time.
I hate that I will live the rest of my life with a silent, persistent dread that no matter where I am or how much bottled water I hoard, there remains the very real threat that the “Big One” will hit, sidewalks will split open and I will be swallowed whole just like a ride at Universal Studios.
I hate that I’m supposed to feel empathy whenever anybody in Malibu loses a summer hideaway to fire, flood or the Pacific Ocean that’s parked five feet away. Here’s a tip, Malibuans: Don’t build your mansion off the side of a dirt cliff like a tripod made out of chopsticks. Most of us figured that out by the age of 4 after listening to The Three Little Pigs.
I hate that somehow we live in one of the driest climates, but I’m supposed to have flood insurance because this is California so sometimes whacked-out shit like 500 gallons of water falling from the sky happens.
I hate that my lawn comes in two colors: brown and hay. I hate that the second I try to make my lawn grow, I get a fine and a nasty letter from the water department stating, “Stop watering your brown, hay lawn!”
I hate that the Dodgers are still owned by a guy who sounds like a dead Kennedy and refers to the team as “us” and “we”—even though he wouldn’t know his Koufax from a Fernando and is cheaper than the nosebleed seats (which come to think of it, aren’t that cheap).
I hate that I live driving-distance from Disneyland, but I never go because admission costs $100 per person. For that kind of money, there should actually be a live talking mouse, and I should get to travel everywhere on the back of a singing dwarf.
Some people will say, “What about all the nice things in California?”
Yeah? Those people are tourists to California. I hate them, too.
Contact Jeff Girod at email@example.com.