The Uncommon Life

Why is Austin so Angry?

November 10, 2011

The holiday season is rapidly approaching, and as gift-giving authorities, we’re doing our part to stay informed of recent gifting trends. Many gifts are given with love;  heartfelt and caring with tears of pure joy. Others are slightly more abrasive. For example, consider our F-Bomb paperweight. Over the past few months we noticed that certain cities were purchasing an irregular amount of F-Bombs. Perhaps, we thought, this was indicative of a broader trend.

Maybe there are cities out there that are full of angry gifters? We had to investigate. We put our heads together and decided to visit every city in the country, going door to door, soliciting hugs, and counting door slams vs. warm embraces. We figured that the cities which slammed the most doors were the angriest. However, the logistics were a bit hairy. We called Santa Claus for advice but his cell phone service was terrible (he lives in the North Pole). Discouraged but not defeated, we decided to scrap the hugs across America model and asked our Organic Search Analyst to pull city-by-city data on some of our angriest products. To be fair, we decided to look at some of our kindest products as well.

So what else constitutes an “angry” gift? Gun Vases do, obviously. The following cities ordered more F-Bombs and Gun Vases than average, so maybe they’re a tad angry. Or maybe that’s where all our cowboys and crime fighters are… you be the judge.

Cincinnati, OH – From 1978 to 1982, Cincinnati had its own Emmy-nominated sitcom, WKRP in Cincinnati. Perhaps they never fully recovered from the cancellation of WKRP. Now that’s something to be perturbed over.

Alexandria, VA – They’re very generous, lending out their zip code to neighboring Fairfax. Still, having to take the overcrowded Metro into DC every day must be pretty infuriating. Plus, with a state motto like “Sic Semper Tyrannis” (Thus always to tyrants), an attitude seems to be in their blood.

Los Angeles, CA – If any group of people is known for being moody drama queens, it’s definitely Hollywood stars and west coasters in show business. After all, a lack of seasonal change can be pretty aggravating.

Austin, TX – Legend has it that Spanish Gold is buried in Shoal Creek. Treasure maps have been sold, a Travis County treasurer allegedly embezzled county funds to find it, but the bounty has yet to be uncovered. How frustrating!

Houston, TX – According to the City’s Official Website, Houston is home to a vibrant, youthful population. Hormones are a raging in Houston, so we’ll assume the dark gifting is the result of teen angst.

Sure, the angry gifts are funny, but some folks would rather give a mushy gift over an amusing one. Also, friendly gifts are less likely to prompt retaliation from disgruntled recipients. To determine which cities had the most happy-go-lucky gifters, we looked at the sales of some of our sunshine-heavy products. If our Random Acts of Kindness Kits, 5 Rules for Happiness Paperweights, and Love Tokens aren’t material replacements for bear hugs, we don’t know what is.

Dallas, TX – It makes sense that Dallas is at the top of the list. We’ve all heard those stories of kindhearted, fun-loving cowboys. They’re everywhere in Dallas. Even at board meetings in office buildings…

New York City, NY – We’re glad to see our hometown in the top five! Maybe our study will put the “rude New Yorker” stereotype to rest once and for all. After all, we do have big beautiful parks, a rich art scene and world class dining (we’re not biased or anything). The city that never sleeps may prove that staying active is the ticket to happiness.

Atlanta, GA – Atlanta is home to the World of Coca-Cola. Perhaps caffeine could have something to do with this city’s overflowing kindness…maybe we should have looked at purchases after 2 a.m.?

Los Angeles, CA – Yes, we realize LA was on our Angry list. As we said, they’re moody! Angry, happy. Newlywed, divorced. Famous, broke.

Houston, TX – Apparently, Houston is full of extremes as well. I guess those last vestiges of Southern hospitality are holding strong. Much like the Texas secession movement.

This post was written by Cassie Tweten Delaney, Zack Notes and Nina Mozes, without any academic peer review or serious fact-checking.

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  • Reply Lori November 20, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    They’re probably angry because you guys refuse to update the shipping address on an order if the customer makes a mistake entering it and has to deal with being told by your customer service reps that you cannot make any alterations once the order’s been placed under any circumstances.

    Seriously, if someone places an order well after midnight when the business is closed, and then contacts you just a few hours later – before anything’s been shipped, or the order’s even been packed in boxes – why can’t you just change everything to the CORRECT address right then? Why insist that the shipment can’t be changed, force me to watch several hundred dollars’ worth of goods go somewhere I can’t retrieve them, and insist I wait for it to be “re-mailed” much later – only AFTER someone contacts me again? I’ve already contacted your company twice about this situation and it will be the last time I ever order anything from your site.

    These are expensive products; it’s sad to see that none of that cost includes decent customer service on your part.

  • Reply cassie November 23, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Thanks for the feedback, Lori. We work hard to provide great customer service, and we’re so sorry to hear about your frustrating experience. We’d love the opportunity to do some more research on your order and determine what went wrong. It seems evident that at least one member of our Customer Service team is unclear on policy / procedure and we’d like to get that addressed right away. We would be grateful if you could contact us at or call 1.888.365.0056.

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