East Bethesda 06.11.2007

As someone who lives in Silver Spring, this is sad but true.

I noticed this way back last year when looking for a place to live.

Typing “Silver Spring” into Craig’s List would give listings located in places like Hyatsville and Takoma Park and the not-quite-Silver-Spring part near Glenmont metro.

Typing in “Bethesda” gave paces from Rockville, “Potomac”, Potomac, and “North Bethesda”, which, really, should just be renamed “that place near Monkey Mall.”

With the new expansions underway, Montgomery Mall is now also apparently trying to be the Tysons of Montgomery County, or, more accurately, “the other really big mall”, or, even more accurately, “like Tysons except you won’t stare across the street with envy at Tysons II.”

Michelle had a client in the boonies several weeks back, and to get there, ended up going down further on 270 into what can only be described as the van by the river — I mean Hagerstown. Don’t try to find places there, because all you’ll see is places named Shootz and Eatz and small Asian fastfood take out places manned by sketchy Hispanics who will extend to you mandarin chicken impaled on chopsticks that have, more likely than not, sat on the demo plate for the past six hours. Six hours because there is, quite literally, zero foot traffic. The only people passing through are those who stop for gas, need to pee so badly they can’t even wait until the rest stop, or burdened with such unfortunate karma that they must have been some horrid combination of child murderer and donkey rapist in a past life.

(And I mean this in the kindest way possible, in case anyone who reads this lives in Hagerstown. And I’m sorry.)

But as much as it is the world’s foremost gathering place of extreme boredom, the gas prices in Hagerstown — and it’s slightly more sociable cousin Germantown — are disproportionately high.

This past weekend, I was in Annapolis, and there’s this stretch of MD-2 that apparently drills their own oil locally. Because other than that, the only way I can fathom the prices of $2.97 for regular unleaded is if they’ve come across some ingenious way to make petroleum from crabs and drunken sailors. Which, if they have, I don’t want to know about.

I suppose a third possible reason is that everyone near and around Annapolis drives cars that require premium gas, because the gulf between regular and premium there when compared to someplace like Rockville or Bethesda is like the difference between, say, the Grand Canyon and the cracks when Angelina Jolie gets dry lips. That might not seem like very much at all, but then you have to realize that Angelina Jolie’s lips holds enough spit in its crevices to quench the thirst of all Africa. The Grand Canyon’s water reserves could maybe, maybe slightly moisten Jolie’s upper lip.

But anyway. In summary.

Hagerstown, stay the hell away from.

Annapolis, buy gas if you drive car needing regular. Stay the hell away from if you need premium.

Silver Spring, East Bethesda.