Deconstructing a Douchebag


It was brought to my attention that the author of the article skewered below has responded to this post (kind of, mentioned is more like it). When I cruised on over to “Exile in the Lou” to see what he had said I was sad to see that his response was civil, gracious even.

So, since my last post I’ve been trying to get out and enjoy STL and I’m starting to see why people so fiercely defended the city/hated on my article on Thought Catalog that went up today. In defense of the article I wrote that mostly for myself right after I got here before I had the chance to really meet anyone or see what kinds of places this city had to offer. Foxxrob over atlifeafterhavingalife did a much better job lampooning the piece than I did writing it.

*Sighs* It seems like I’ll have to look elsewhere for my long coveted blog war. We’re coming for you next Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama! You cookie slinging Dixie sluts!

In all seriousness I give credit to the guy for taking it in stride. According to his latest post he is exploring (and enjoying!) the city now, he even took a Schlafly tour! As a St. Louisian I can tell you good sir that drinking copious amounts of Schlafly is a good way to start enjoying the city (St. Louis, that is).

Good luck and have fun. /posts  //immediately receives eight text messages calling me a pussy

The original article below:

I found this horrendous excuse for an article on the blog “Thought Catalog” the other day. For those unfamiliar with the blog it’s a sometimes amusing collection of dozens of authors’ observations of the world. One author in particular decided to provide his (weak, poorly written) thoughts about my hometown, St. Louis. I felt the need to deconstruct.

The bars sit empty here. They sit empty at three when only a few of the most hardened patrons would normally be sauntering in to their favorite spots

I’m alone, drinking, at a bar, because I’m a writer, and writers sit alone, and drink, alone, drinking. Have I established that I’m a tortured writer yet? This totally legitimizes me.

in the City (for the purposes of this writing, or any writing, or any conversations anyone ever has with me, “the City” means New York City).

You could stop reading at this sentence and have learned everything you need to know about this article and this author (that it/he sucks, a lot). I dreamt up a few different responses to this but couldn’t settle on one. I’ll let you pick your favorite one and continue on, like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” version of a catty blog post.

  1. Oh, phew, for a second I thought you were kind of pretentious.
  2. /head explodes
  3. I’d rather have a conversation with someone who prefaced our introduction with “Just so you know, I’m a Holocaust denier, there’s no way those furnaces were hot enough” than someone who refers to New York as “the City.” True story.
  4. Go fuck yourself.

Unless their favorite spot serves brunch and it’s a weekend in which case the most dedicated of patrons have been there since ten in the A.M. and by now are sitting propped up against walls, edges of tables, or the bar itself wishfully thinking about a time when they could have lit one of those cigarettes they have in their back pocket right where they stand/sit/lean instead of making the trek out to the street.

That sentence wasn’t a sentence. It was a word abortion. Seriously what just happened?

No, here the bars sit empty at three, the tender behind the counter more surprised than excited that you’d be wandering in at this time of day to claim a stool.

Tender? Your douche vocabulary is staggering. So far we have New York City as “the City” and bartenders as “tender.” You talk like this to seem, what? I don’t even know, you’re going for pretentious, right?

The drinks are cheaper here, which helps you justify buying all of your beers by the bucket.

You know you don’t have to buy a bucket, right? Did you just assume St. Louis is so backwoods that everything comes in a bucket? Well you’re close, a bucket is actually our primary unit of measurement. For everything. As in: “I’ll take eight buckets of gas.” “Congratulations m’am, you gave birth to a three quarters bucket baby.” “I have nineteen buckets of meth in my basement.” (To be fair, a bucket might actually be a common container for meth).

Either way, I’m with you. There is absolutely nothing worse than getting more than one beer at a time, and cold to boot. If there’s one thing I value when I go to a bar it’s interacting with the waiter/bartender (my bad, ‘tender) as much as possible.

Also, I enjoy the fact that before the author lodges one solid complaint against St. Louis he mentions, and overlooks, the best thing about St. Louis: how cheap it is. St. Louis, and more accurately, Missouri, might be the cheapest place in America. It is glorious, and I am spoiled forever because of it.

When friends come in to St. Louis from the east coast, this is generally the scenario that plays out (3:45 mark):

One of the six bottles being finished and inverted back into the bucket at a rate of one every fifteen minutes. Four thirty when the first bucket is done and maybe one other soul has wandered into the establishment. Maybe. Probably not to drink though, probably a high school friend of the bartender who just stopped by to say hello

God you go out drinking at the worst Houlihans ever.

(everyone here went to high school together, perhaps there is only one school that serves the entire St Louis metropolitan area).

Umm there are six, jerk. Two for the blacks and four for the Catholics.

The stools sit empty again at six when you’ve finished the second bucket. Six o’clock is usually a bustling time in the city

You mean THE CITY!!! It’s a proper fucking noun Goddammit.

when the business people get off work. They stop in for one drink if they’re the bridge and tunnel crowd and those from the outer boroughs settle into chairs and stools for the night. No one knows what people that live in Manhattan do, for no one has actually met a person that lives there.

I wish I got that joke, but I don’t, because I’m not from New York. Still though, I appreciate being fortunate enough to even read an inside joke about the City, even if I don’t get it.

Meanwhile in St Louis you are still the only person drinking at the bar, really drinking at least.

“Why more people weren’t getting shitfaced at the TGIFridays in a strip mall in suburban St. Louis, I’ll never know.”

This is the land of Anheuser-Busch sir, St. Louis is filled with filthy drunks. I do not buy into the illusion you’d have us believe, that you’re the only person in St. Louis who really drinks, whatever the fuck that means. I assume, since your frame of reference for “real” drinking is New York, that in your mind “real drinking” involves sitting alone, sulking, and killing a bucket over the course of an hour and a half. Also, an hour and a half to drink six beers? You’re a pussy.

A few others have come who sit at a table and order food and a pitcher of beer between them. “More cost effective,” you think,

…as you meticulously analyze their eating and drinking habits. “Hmm, non-chilled mugs huh? They probably don’t know how to drink a beer, not like the perpetually drunk patrons of every bar in the CITY. Or perhaps they have sensitive gums.” You continue to wonder and stare as they slowly consume their mozzarella sticks, those deep fried, caterpillar shaped heart attacks that had to have been invented in the Midwest, a land whose obese occupants’ ingenuity is fed by their necessity to be constantly fed. They take a medium sip from their glass of beer, “Why not a large sip, or a small sip?” you wonder. Because medium is simple, and the Midwest is simple. These people are a predictable breed.

FYI it is really easy to write like that, i.e. make shit up and sound like an asshole. How is this guy not better at it?

until you realize that will be their only pitcher for the night before getting back in their cars and driving home.

Don’t worry, I’m sure there will be someone else for you to creepily stare at in no time.

Everyone drives here, which might be a reason why there are so few people at the bar. Everyone drives and the public transportation is awful.

So over halfway through the article and we have our first legitimate, 100% spot on complaint about St. Louis. You do have to drive everywhere, it sucks. And the public transportation is pretty terrible. This guy has to take the bus? Regularly? Okay maybe I don’t blame you so much for hating St. Louis. But to be fair, taking the bus in just about any city will make you hate life.

This is a lesson you will learn later in the night when you finally stumble/saunter back out of the bar and try your best to figure out which bus goes where and where to transfer and eventually whether or not there even is a bus that stops here godddamnit because I’ve been waiting for thirty minutes and I haven’t seen a single one and the schedule says there should have been one ten minutes ago.

But for now you don’t think about how you’re going to get home.

You think about how you’re going to get back to New York, the greatest place in the world. Heaven, but with better house music.

Your car is parked outside and it won’t be until you stand up at the end of the night and steady yourself on the bar that you realize getting behind the wheel of anything right now would be a very very bad idea.

A group filters in around eight. They sit together, close to you at the bar. You gather that it’s on of their birthdays so you throw a “Happy Birthday” that direction, not really sure who the intended target is. One member of the group turns to you, a conversation has been struck.

“You muster the energy to speak to someone else, temporarily abandoning the reason you came to the bar, to drink alone and watch people eat. Someone responds to your half hearted attempt to establish that you aren’t a date rapist lurking in the corner.”

“What high school did you go to?” he asks.

…in the most Midwestern-ey way possible. In the City any respectable person would have told you to “fuck your own face” and shove you just for speaking to them. In the City people don’t say “hello.” They spit in your mouth, and you spit back, until everyone involved has hepatitis. Then, and only then, do you begin a dialogue, and by dialogue I mean a race to see who can name the most underground clubs and bars with the best PBR specials.

So it seems that there is more than one high school.

Yes, there’s six, blacks and Catholics, we established this.


“Oh, I’ve never heard of it, what county is it in?”

“York County”

Why can’t you KNOW what York is you simple Midwest mouthbreathing farm-tard! Ugh! Seriously!?! York! Of York County!?! Never heard of it? Well it’s near THE CITY. You know? The place where hobos ejaculate more culture into a dumpster than your backwards ass one horse town can produce in a decade! LOVE ME! I’M FROM NEW BUTTFUCKING YORK! EPICENTER OF ALL THAT IS COOL AND IMPORTANT.

“Ah, so you’re not from the city?” It isn’t clear whether this is a statement or a question, but one thing is for certain, when he says “the city” he isn’t referring to NYC like a reasonable person would.

By “reasonable person” I assume you mean asshole New Yorker.

He is referring to St Louis a city whose most recent gift to the world was Nelly, a rapper who hasn’t even been relevant for going on five years now.


You want to explain to him that really I did live in the City for four years

And by virtue of me being from said CITY I am in fact the coolest fucking person he has ever met. You desperately WANT to tell him that, by being a legal resident of the CITY and state of New York, you deserve blow jobs from every man, woman, and child you see. You WISH you could tell him that because you once lived where the film “Maid in Manhattan” took place you are actually a living deity, a powerful god on Earth, like Thor, but armed not with a hammer, rather an encyclopedic knowledge of bands that are “over” and reasons why people from the Midwest still like them anyway.

before I came here on a flimsy promise of a job that didn’t come through which is why I sit in empty bars all day drinking buckets of beer for twelve dollars and trying with all of my strength to avoid the ketchup and provolone topped crackers they seem to think are pizza.

You really can’t write an article about how New York is better than everywhere else without mentioning how much better the pizza is, can you? I hate you.

“No, I’m not from St Louis.” The response unwittingly initiates a game with your potential new friend, the game is called “Let me demonstrate my complete and thorough knowledge of Missouri state geography” it is a game in which the person you are talking to begins bombarding you with local landmarks, highway numbers, and obscure city names in order to determine exactly where it is you are from.

Which is intolerable, because then you don’t have a chance to demonstrate your complete and thorough understanding of why New York is better than St. Louis, and bombard them with obscure references to shit they’ve never even heard of.

“Is that down near X?”

“No it’s actually in Virginia”

You mean the Commonwealth, right? Or do you just call it “Dom” (as in Old Dominion)? That feels like the coolest (see also: gayest) way to refer to Virginia. Also, WHAT!?!?!!??!?! You’re not even from New York?!?! Remind me to write an article later about how Dallas is better than Salt Lake City, just ‘cause.

“Oh, so you really aren’t from around here are you?”

“No, I’m not even really from Virginia, my dad was in the army so I moved around a lot growing up.” In the City this was a tried and true conversation starter.

In St. Louis, even though it started a conversation, it is not a conversation starter.

“Oh, well it’s my friend here’s birthday so we’re going back to his house now to hang out, nice to meet you.” Damn, I thought that was going to be my first real connection in The Lou.

Alas, yet another potential friend was averse to my obvious disdain for his presence and my lack of respect for any opinion or friendly gesture he offered.

So at the end of this utterly useless article we have two complaints about St. Louis:

  1. The transportation situation sucks (truth).
  2. People don’t hang out with the author.

That’s it. He doesn’t even spend but a sentence or two on the fact that he can’t find a job. It’s one of the reasons I was so frustrated with St. Louis for so long. It’s one of the worst things about the city. I feel like that would be a far more understandable reason to hate a city than “the friendly people talk about annoying stuff.” But what do I know, I’m not from New York. I’m a Midwesterner who suffered brain damage while in the womb because my mom fell off the tractor she was driving and into a pool of pesticide where she was then trampled by the 3 o’clock cattle stampede.

He also fails to touch on all the other annoying things people in St. Louis talk about. It’s July buddy, I’m guessing you’ve had at least twenty St. Louis Cardinals conversations shoved into your ears by now. That’s something I’d consider reading about: the intolerable, unrelenting optimism of St. Louis Cardinals fans. Want to make friends in St. Louis? Talk about the Cardinals, or just baseball. That will arouse any St. Louisian (sexually…seriously, probably).

This isn’t the only attack on St. Louis written by the author. He has a whole blog dedicated to how terrible living in St. Louis is compared to New York. It’s mostly just him hating on Nelly (bastard) and commenting the various cell phone plans of St. Louisians. Unlimited texting is so 2007.

St. Louis is not New York. It doesn’t pretend to be. What this guy thought he was getting himself into when he moved here is beyond me. But why be a whiny bitch about a situation you got yourself into? Make the most of it buddy. It’s not a bad city. At the very least, find some more constructive fucking complaints. If I haven’t made it clear, you sound like a fucking douche bag, and this is coming from a guy who is wearing wayfarers, a bow tie, and a seersucker suit in his Facebook picture. But then again, I had always assumed most New Yorkers were douche bags. But then again, you’re not even a fucking New Yorker, so never mind.

One Response to “Deconstructing a Douchebag”
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  1. […] is a new weekly(ish) segment called “Thought Catalog Douche of the Week.” The first Thought Catalog article I deconstructed I assumed to be an aberration. Apparently though that site has publishing standards almost as low […]

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