You may have seen that Short Pump and Mechanicsville were recently named two of the most boring places to live in Virginia by Movoto.com. That’s the online real estate brokerage and referral site that brought us such listicle-clickbait-gems as “14 Things You Need to Know About Dating Someone in Virginia,” “These 21 Photos of Richmond Will Make You Want to Move There,” “30 Things People From Richmond, VA Have to Explain to Out-of-Towners” and the classic, “10 Richmond Stereotypes That Are Completely Accurate.”
Stereotypes from that list include: The River Is Absolutely Gorgeous, College Sports Are a Hot Ticket, Richmonders Love Their Festivals and lastly, to show that Movoto did a modicum of basic research on us — Richmond (Still) Loves Ukrop’s.
Awww! Ukrop’s is part of my heritage! This list is spot-on!
Before you start feeling too special about yourself, know that Movoto churns out lists like these for cities in almost every state. It’s a catch all. They get people to click on stupid, ill-informed lists, drive up page views and then possibly get people to use their real estate services.
Plus, they understand that lists are great. Anyone would much rather have bullet points and quick paragraph breaks. It makes writing easier to digest. That’s why the Internet page-view colossus Buzzfeed intersperses its occasional long-form pieces in-between thousands of lists such as “15 Hedgehogs With Things That Look Like Hedgehogs” and “18 Photos of Henry Kissinger Being Super Chill” and “11 Dogs That Are Sad About Benedict Cumberbatch’s Impending Marriage.”
I know what Internet bullshit looks like and how to avoid it, but I’ll admit, some of these Movoto lists still pique my interest because they seem so hyper local. Every local media outlet [including the two I work for, he said, as he hung his head in shame] picked up on the Most Boring Virginia list and ran with it. The bottom line is, it gets people talking.
“Short Pump isn’t the most boring! Have you been to Bon Air? They still use outhouses over there!”
“Mechanicsville? Boring? Would a boring place have both an Applebee’s and a TGI Friday’s?”
“You should’ve seen Short Pump back when I grew up there! By golly! We had to walk 10 miles, uphill, in the snow, to get to the nearest house of ill-repute!”
Now I have used a list here in this very column space multiple times through the years and almost inevitably, they tend to be the columns that get read the most. People are sheep. I can make up anything and put it in list form and people will read it.
That being said, I’ve compiled the Top 13 Lists That Richmonders Most Want to See:
13. 4 hunkiest Civil War DILF statues of Monument Avenue.
12. 23 abandoned kittens that just can’t even with Richmond City Council.
11. 6 locations of Mexico Restaurant that will leave you thinking, “Margaritas tonight?”
10. 41 troll-doll pencil toppers that support baseball in the bottom.
9. 9 gifs of penguins who are malnourished and ill-suited to the humid subtropical climate going the wrong way down Cary Street
8. 7 times that Richmond Flying Squirrels VP Todd “Parney” Parnell got caught in an embarrassing position.
7. 5 pinecones that resemble Doug Wilder.
6. 23 Brandermill couples who are shocked — shocked, I say, to find out that most of their neighbors are swingers.
5. 16 artichoke hearts that miss the Frog and the Redneck.
4. 17 hobos in Monroe Park with a serious case of bitch face.
3. 7 adorable Midlothian children who have no idea that one day they will have to face their own mortality.
2. 16 upskirts of Dirtwoman that will help restore your faith in humanity.
1. 38 Short Pump moms in yoga pants at Trader Joe’s that will leave you saying pass the 100 percent grass-fed raw-milk Dutch Gouda!
See, lists are fun and for the most part, absolutely worthless.
So the next time Movoto, a website that’s based exactly nowhere near Virginia comes out with a list that presumes to tell you the 10 happiest places in Virginia or who the 10 most basic bitches in Richmond are or even the 10 best spots to break the news to your significant other that you are considering a divorce, just please remember to trust the results.
Who cares who made the list? It’s on the Internet, damn it!
Connect with Richmond bartender Jack Lauterback at firstname.lastname@example.org. Lauterback also is co-host of “Mornings with Melissa and Jack” on 103.7 Play weekdays from 6-9. On Twitter @jackgoesforth.