Hagerstown, Maryland — the town where I was born, the home of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, the Hagerstown Suns, and, according to the website TotalBeauty.com, the second-ugliest men in the country.
The website, which so far as I can tell serves no purpose other than to provide space for Oil of Olay and Herbal Essences to place advertising, has posted a list of the eight American cities with the ugliest men. For their purposes, TotalBeauty.com has defined “ugly” to be the poor state of one’s “brains, muscles, teeth, fat and lungs — they’re all on the inside of the men in these cities.” Nice to know a website plastered with ads for makeup, with a huge chunk of its content seemingly taken up by reviews and recommendations of beauty products, isn’t superficial.
Here’s the assessment of Hagerstown:
Less than 10 percent of the men in Hub City hold a bachelor’s degree. They’re not spending their spare time in gyms, either — nearly 30 percent don’t exercise regularly, 30 percent are obese, and an off-the-charts number of Hagerstownians smoke, compared to the rest of the country.
Was this the shittiest place ever for Planet Fitness to open a franchise, or what? I wonder how they’re doing . . .
It’s obvious to me that Colleen Rush, who wrote this list, has never been to Hagerstown. Otherwise, the review would not have been nearly as complimentary. She doesn’t mention, for example, Hagerstown’s ongoing history of racial and sexual bigotry, or its embarrassingly inept one and only newspaper, the Herald-Mail. (Thank fuck she’s never seen Mail Call.) Neither does Ms. Rush comment on my hometown’s weird combination of self-loathing and vanity, which has made its inclusion on one of the Google-bait bullshit best/worst lists of a lame cosmetics website into an irresistible story for the local media. In the last few hours I’ve heard or read about Hagerstown and its second-ugliest bunch of dudes on the radio, TV, and several places on the internet.
Does anything on TotalBeauty.com really warrant this much attention? I mean, okay, we were four slots lower than Detroit, for fuck’s sake. That stings. I understand. But let’s not wallow in it! Instead, look on the bright side: at least we beat El Paso! It ain’t much, but shit . . . we’re doing something right.
What we need to do is call up Bethesda, which somehow landed at the #1 spot on another TotalBeauty.com list, the one for the ten cities with the hottest guys. That place is what, 60 miles down the road? We need to find out what they’re doing. And Frederick, too. Ever been to Frederick? God, that’s a nice town.