Local businesses, politicians and upright citizens have been working diligently in recent months to keep Midtown weird. But it can’t be too weird because we still want visitors to feel comfortable in our quirky town.

Last week, local real estate heroes stole a deal to buy a bunch of Midtown businesses from some greedy, chain-loving out-of-towners. Last month, the righteous City Council kicked out all of the strippers and woman-hating stripper-lovers from the area because they were stirring up crime. Now, spitting on sidewalks will be outlawed because decent humans keep spit in their mouths.

All of these acts will surely keep Midtown weird but make sure it doesn’t get too weird, like Albuquerque. We want to be more like Portland and Austin, maybe EXACTLY like Portland and Austin if possible. Maybe one day we’ll have a television show about Midtown with Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein to replace our current cultural icon, Lieutenant Jim Dangle. We need rules so everyone keeps the weird (but not too weird) brand consistent.

Portland and Austin are super hip and diverse, so obviously I want Midtown to follow suit. Here are some of my own rules that Mayor Schieve and the rest of the hipster public servant nobility should consider in their efforts to keep Reno weird (but not too weird).

Looking like a vagrant is illegal unless you can prove you’ve been to Burning Man

Cities generally prefer to not have vagrants walking the streets. It’s bad for the city’s image. If visitors see a few wayfarers wandering Midtown looking scruffy, they will automatically assume the whole town has gone to the dumps. We won’t be weird like Portland and Austin, we’ll just be yucky like Los Angeles.

On the other hand, nothing is better for a weird town’s image than people who look like vagrants, except they aren’t really homeless, they’re just Burners. They may look financially and hygienically challenged, but in reality, they can afford to dine at Midtown Eats regularly, and they often attend the steeply priced art festival every year in the Black Rock Desert. Nobody should be sleeping on benches unless it’s for an art piece.

We should really try to find the balance between the real homeless and the ones who only look homeless. Let’s make it illegal to look like a vagrant unless you can prove you’ve been to Burning Man. Let’s clean these streets up so that they’re only ironically dirty. That’s how we’ll be more like Portland and Austin.

Businesses may not encourage vice unless it’s something cool like tattoos or marijuana

In our current day and age, certain things that may be considered morally reprehensible to some are now morally acceptable to liberals. Who should decide which is which? Local politicians of course! The city council should decide which vices are allowable and which should be pushed out of Midtown for inducing crime.

Sex is a “no-go” for businesses because that’s not cool. If we want Midtown to be cool like Portland and Austin, we need to allow our citizens to participate in some of the cooler vices like low-risk drugs and body art. Marijuana and tattoos are cool because liberals like marijuana and tattoos and liberals are cool. If someone is opposed to these cooler vices, they must be conservative and conservatives belong in the suburbs. Do Portland and Austin even have suburbs? I doubt it.

Your business cannot be a chain unless it’s a local chain

Chains are for posers. Applebee’s? That’s for middle-class families caught in the soul-sucking cycle of corporate America. Ross? Get that pretend high-class, consignment, Calvin Klein nonsense off my weird streets. Locally owned franchises? That might be a bit of a gray area, but let’s get them out of here anyway because there’s some hotshot in Martha’s Vineyard taking the money out of our second-hand Patagonia pockets. Weird towns thrive on locally owned chains.


Opinions expressed in The Nevada Sagebrush are solely those of the author and do not necessarily express the views of The Sagebursh or of its staff.