Day One: It's Monday in Riverside and I Might Have to Choke Someone
Riverside is driving me insane, and it’s flooring the gas pedal. This isn’t a slow, slippery descent into madness; it’s a giant jolt every new day. At this rate I should be giggling into my bedsheets at the sanitarium by October. Do they still have sanitariums anymore? Am I secretly 80?
For those of you in Denver who are unfamiliar with Riverside, California, let me give you a brief summary: Riverside is a city built around a very nice hotel that was built in the style of a Spanish mission. It’s a very neat hotel, but not quite worth building a city around. Riverside is part of the Inland Empire, a title that is grossly ironic. If this is an Empire, then a Marlboro-smoking UFC enthusiast driving a jacked-up truck is her Emperor. Imagine Pueblo with less culture and class. Sorry, Pueblo. I wish I were in you instead.
It’s been almost a month and I have yet to find a job. Before I left Denver, I joked to my friends, “Yeah, watch, I’ll end up working at Starbucks!” As it turns out, Starbucks is a highly coveted job here in Riverside. Working at Baskin-Robbins is a coveted job. This is an experience both humbling and infuriating.
If Riverside were a person, I’d tail him (and it would be a him, make no mistake) as he sped twenty miles over the posted limit, and when he stopped I’d pull him out by his dumb-ass crooked ballcap and shove him up against the steaming grill of his gas-chugging fuck machine, and I’d demand some answers. Why?! Why do you trick people into living here? Why do you suck so bad? I’d shake him so hard his wad of chew would fly out of his mouth, and some would land in his eye like coffee grounds. In the end, he’d just laugh in my face, and I’d realize the sad truth: No one forced me here; I chose to follow my sweet ladyfriend and now I have to make the best of things.
Then I’d knee him in the balls, just for good measure. -- Andrew Orvedahl
Andrew Orvedahl is a comedian, and person, born and raised in Denver who recently moved from sweet Denver to Riverside, California. He hopes this Week in the Life blog series will provide a tiny glimpse into the magnitude of regret he feels.
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