The Luv Doc: America’s 40th-Best City

Because Ted Cruz is the Rat King

The Luv Doc: America’s 40th-Best City

Dear Luv Doc,

I'll admit it. I am an East Coast transplant (arrived in January) and I had no idea that Austin could be this hot and humid. I thought Austin would be a dry heat. In the time it takes to walk to my car my face literally melts off. How does anyone wear makeup in this town? My clothes are soaked in sweat when I get to the office ... and I go to work at 8am! Does business casual in Austin include swimsuit cover-ups and muumuus? Because it's not even August. I took a "cold" water shower yesterday and the tap water was so warm it fogged my bathroom mirror. How is that even possible?

– Boobsweat247

First of all, let me welcome you to Austin – America's 40th best city according to U.S. News & World Report. I have to admit that being ranked below Des Moines, Rochester, and Fort Wayne stings a little, but to be completely honest, there is a lot of shit that clearly got left off Austin tourist brochures back when we were riding our pre-pandemic boomtown high. For instance: grackles. There's a lot of swoony prose about the majesty of Austin's Mexican free-tailed bat community, but you never see Dwell magazine articles about Austin grackle swarms. Maybe that's because the grackles in Austin are almost as intimidatingly gangsta as desert flies. They may not necessarily rough you up trying to lick the precious moisture off your eyeballs, but they will straight beak-shank you for that stray tortilla chip the waiter dropped on the edge of your table. "What are you looking at, wet eyes? This is my side of the table!"

Oh shit, I just remembered ... you got here in January. You probably haven't even seen a grackle. That's adorable. Fall jacket-weather tip: Don't walk under trees or power lines without an umbrella you're willing to give up permanently. Also, spoiler alert: There is no fall jacket weather, but the good news is that swimsuit cover-up should get you almost all the way through grackle season. And winter? Well, the last one was pretty mild, but usually temperatures range from plus 100 to Ted Cruz dragging his roller suitcase through Houston International like he's a toddler on the way to day care. If you see that clip on the news it's a good sign that your house rats are about to get really active. Why? Because Ted Cruz is the Rat King. Why is that not the cover of the January issue of Architectural Digest?

I know a lot of people complain about Austin traffic now, but they're forgetting that shortly before South by Southwest 2018 Austin's traffic congestion problems got solved when thousands of electric scooters appeared miraculously on nearly every usable pedestrian thoroughfare in town. "Eureka!" exclaimed giddy social media influencers as they drunkenly zipped through bumper-to-bumper Austin traffic on their way to day parties and trendy taco trailers. "Austin is so livable!" Jesus those were heady days – especially for Austin orthopedic surgeons, who started opening branch offices like Subway franchises. Of course, nowadays nearly every B-list burgh in North America is littered with electric scooters and strip mall minor emergency centers. It's nice that Austin pioneered replacing benign, sweaty pedestrians with reckless, out-of-control, electric-propelled human meat rockets, but let's be real: Electric scooters are so over they might as well be tattoos in an Arkansas Walmart. Did they solve Austin's traffic congestion? Of course not. Like the grackle swarms, they just made Austin a much more perilous place to take a sweaty sidewalk amble.

But the heat, yeah, that's a real thing. It's been a trademark Austin feature since well before the wet eyes decided to pave paradise and put up a parking lot/future bangin' SXSW day party location that would lure gullible East and (to be fair) West Coasters to what could conservatively be described as Satan's taint for six months of the year. I truly can't imagine the sense of betrayal you must feel – like a German immigrant lured to the windswept plains of the Texas panhandle by a railroad company broadsheet promising cheap, fertile land. You can sit around and bitch, or you can make the best of it. How do you think this city got built? Exactly, and they were wearing swimsuit cover-ups and muumuus.

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