Reno does NOT SUCK

Former RN&R editor trapped in Vegas defends his hometown

So I had lived all my life in Reno, except for college and five years when I was a kid, and those five kid years were in Elko, which is in northern Nevada too, so there.

But a while ago I moved to Las Vegas, along with the rest of the planet. Las Vegas is the fastest-growing city ever for reasons that escape me. It’s like 109 outside right now. No exaggeration. And I find the excessive heat to be highly unnecessary.

Seven of the area’s 1.3 million residents were actually born here, meaning the other 1,299,993 of us weren’t, which means everybody is always asking where everybody else moved here from. When asked this, of course, I proudly answer: “Reno!” And the response I often get … ooooh, it makes me angry.

People will often wrinkle their nose or grimace or say something like, “Wow! Glad ya escaped?” Some of them even go “Yuck!” or “Bleargh!” And then I punch them in the neck.

OK, I don’t punch them in the neck, even though I’d like to. I mean, I like Reno, for crying out loud. It’s big enough to have most things (although it could use an In-N-Out Burger, and we all realize that) and small enough not to have massive traffic jams (usually). The weather’s decent, and Lake Tahoe’s just up the road, along with every other kind of nature you’d ever want.

So, after I have managed to refrain from punching whomever I am talking to in the neck, I’ll ask them where they are from. (Note to anal-retentive grammar types: I know “them/they” is technically wrong, but it’s my rant and “them/they” works better, so bite me.) And inevitably they say the name of some unnecessary city that is so lame, the only reason I can think of that God Almighty hasn’t annihilated it yet is some sort of technicality.

“You’re from (name of really heinous city)?” I want to say. “Isn’t that where they send poodle abusers for punishment?”

But because I am not a massive bonerhead, I don’t say that. I politely acknowledge their hometown and then ask them why the hell they don’t like Reno.

Inevitably, they say they don’t like it for one of following reasons:

1. They’ve never been there; they just heard it sucked from their cousin Mortie.

2. They went there once and didn’t like it because they had a bad experience—they were expecting it to be like Las Vegas, or they lost money there, or Jeff Griffin tried to bite them, or Topsy the Clown scared the bejesus out of them or something.

3. They drove through on Interstate 80 and didn’t stop, the bastards.

4. They are just assholes who have pea soup for brains.

If they fit in categories one, two or three, I politely tell them that I disagree with their assessment, and that Reno’s actually a nice and charming place once you get to know it.

And if they’re in category four, I just smile and walk away. One of these days, I swear I am gonna punch someone in the neck. I mean, seriously, this heat can really put a guy on edge.

Jimmy Boegle, former editor of the Reno News & Review, is news editor of Las Vegas City Life.

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