The internet was ablaze this week with news of Sketch Factor, the forthcoming app from a couple of former District residents that will allow crowdsourced ratings of “sketchy” areas. Some observers are worried that people who aren’t familiar enough with the areas they’re reviewing to have informed opinions about them might use the app to leave ignorant, superficial reviews. But the creators insist that this won’t happen. Crowdsourcing works! Why, just look at how reliable and balanced Yelp is!
Well, I’m here to settle the debate. I’ve acquired one user’s Sketch Factor reports through an undisclosed source, and they don’t seem so uninformed. I guess our concerns were baseless. Everyone’s an expert. My bad.
I was a little intimidated at first by such a swank neighborhood, but I’ve never been anywhere filled with so many helpful people. I went shopping and the whole time, in every store, a clerk or a security guard was like five or six steps behind me, ready to help out if needed. Every time I turned around, there they were, and if I picked something up to have a closer look, they’d immediately ask me if I was going to buy it, I assume so they could get started on the gift-wrapping. It really made me feel special that even though there were tons of older women around who obviously had way more money to spend, no matter what store I went to, the clerks and security guards gave me their undivided attention. It’s this kind of “personal touch” that’s missing from so many other establishments these days.
Then when I went into Starbucks, as I was waiting for my coffee, a guy in a suit came up to me and was like, “hey, you’re out of half and half.” I was really touched that this guy went out of his way to give me a heads-up. Then a well-dressed woman came out of the bathroom and was like, “there’s no hand soap left.” Again, I was touched by how considerate these total strangers were. And then as I was walking down the street, someone in a passing car helpfully suggested that I “go to Wal-Mart!!!!!” where I would find goods that were more within my budget, so I did, and boy were they right! Like my brother in law Todd is always saying, “the rich aren’t like us.” Yeah – they’re better!
Sketch Factor: 0 out of 5 Hoodies
Extremely sinister vibe in this neighborhood. Walking up 17th Street, all I saw were men, in pairs or small groups, and most of them were quite muscular. Obviously this neighborhood is a staging area for some sort of elite citizen militia. And when they decide to make their move, I’m not sure we’ll be able to stop them. Aside from the celibate lifestyle they’ve clearly embraced (no women around), from what I saw in various bars and restaurants and social clubs I peeked into, morale here is VERY high. Talk about revolutionary fervor. They must be planning a huge attack in the near future because they’re living like there’s no tomorrow. And even when they’re just out having fun, they’re still devoted to the cause. Several times I saw men spontaneously practicing basic lifesaving drills – mouth to mouth resuscitation, that sort of thing. My brother in law Todd is in the Army Reserves, at the next family reunion I’m going to suggest to him that he and his squadmates do the same.
Sketch Factor: 4.5 out of 5 Hoodies
If you’re reading this, save yourself. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT come to the downtown area. I was walking downtown this morning, a little before 9, when suddenly I saw a huge mob of people emerge from an underground train station and come towards me. The way they all shuffled forward in the same way raised some alarms, but it was when I got close enough to see their eyes that I knew it was all over. There was no hope or humanity there, just a horrible animal desperation. It was exactly like “The Walking Dead.”
I immediately ran in the opposite direction and managed to take cover in a small cafe. The owner hadn’t been turned into a zombie yet, but said I couldn’t stay if I didn’t buy something. I looked over his offerings and I was shocked to see that a bowl of soup was seven, eight dollars, and a salad was twelve to fifteen dollars! Clearly supplies have already run low and runaway inflation has set in. By the time you read this, you won’t even be able to trade a diamond necklace for a can of soup. Right now I’m locked in the bathroom sharpening a broom handle into a spear. The shopkeeper is banging on the door and saying he’s called the police, but obviously he’s bluffing because everyone knows that once the zombies move in, it’s total anarchy. My plan is to hole up until nightfall and then make a run for it. If I can just make it to the gated estate of one of those nice people from Georgetown, I’m sure they’ll welcome me and my sharpened broomstick spear. If you don’t hear from me again, get in touch with my brother in law Todd, and tell him to have his superiors nuke this city off the map. It’s humanity’s only hope.
Sketch Factor: ALL THE HOODIES