Thought Catalog

Most Depressing WiFi Hotspots in Baltimore, MD

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Stingray Tank at the Baltimore Aquarium

Aquarium volunteers have discerned that organisms accessing WiFi from within the tank to 10 feet from its perimeter (the “Hot Zone”) assume markedly grayer complexions as they semi-consciously pick their scabs, eventually ceasing all motion except to faintly urge the mouse onward in destructive internet behaviors such as Googling ex-lovers, comparing oneself to Facebook photos of ex-lover’s new-lovers, compiling clips from 3-5 porn sites into a master playlist only to watch them and feel un-aroused, and conduct hour-long searches for “This one flash game I played in high school where cute-looking chickens caught umbrellas” – once finding it, trying for 5 minutes to unsuccessfully complete level 1 before realizing a nearly paralyzing, language-halting sense of purposelessness seems to be the only answer to the question “What am I going to do now?”

This Tree

In a 2011 study conducted by the Sub-Arboreal Depression Awareness Study Services for Tree-Rallying Ecological Enterprises (S.A.D.A.S.S.T.R.E.E.) those who sat within a 3-foot radius of this tree, which receives exceptionally clear WiFi, all sensed within 10 minutes that they were being used as platforms to endure unsolicited complaints about unsolvable existential issues, though no one could discern the source of this feeling. A more thorough, unbiased investigation from the Greater Baltimore Botanical Association found that this tree has an advanced neurological communication center that essentially mimics the structure of America’s 4G network. During photosynthesis, the tree’s complaints (which are believed to be products of a chlorophyll mutation) are released as waste products, along with oxygen, into the atmosphere.

Hovering 12” x 12” Area

This perpetually in-motion, cubic, invisible mass has been hovering at random intervals over patches of Baltimore city streets since, reportedly, the creation of WiFi—though it’s been suggested that like the Northern Lights, its patterns and onset more closely follow solar wind storms than wireless networks. Areas affected by the hovering area comprised the entire “Other” demographic in the 2010 Census, exceeding every socio-economic grouping for highest suicide rates. This means whoever is unlucky enough to stumble upon this 12” x 12” area will almost certainly commit suicide (though will be privy, some say, to unreasonably clear WiFi reception before dying). Recently doomed WiFi recipient and Johns Hopkins student, Josh Hosskins, describes his experience: “I was on the way to meet my study group, like, walking the same way I always do, when it just came over me: I needed to die. I’ve never really felt that before, with that kind of clarity. When I got to the lab I was the only one getting WiFi. I’m actually still going at 804.12g’s, woooo! [laughs] Anyways, I’m drowning myself tonight.”

My Bathtub

Navigating the internet from a steamy bathtub on a Friday night sounds blissfully domestic, and might be in perhaps any other bathtub in Baltimore. Acclaimed bathroom archaeologist Stan Metts has been researching the “Claw-footed Depression Demons” of the 6 East Read Street apartment building for, he said, “I don’t even know how long.” Although answering questions about the incidentals of one’s life with “I don’t know” usually solely indicates a polite desire for the conversation to focus elsewhere, something about the way Metts’ gaze became sharply glassy, and the surreal, almost David Lynchian tone our conversation assumed following his answer made me believe he honestly wasn’t sure when he became a bathroom archaeologist. I took it upon myself to investigate Metts’ career (often from my bathtub, because it receives outstanding WiFi) and it appears that his bathtub research not only pre-dates the construction of the 6 East Read Street apartment building–carbon dating suggests his papers are at least 6.3 billion years older than the planet Earth.

Steps outside Panera Bread, Inner Harbor

Though Panera Bread’s Wikipedia page boasts it to be the “largest free wireless network in the United States,” actually attaining WiFi inside Baltimore’s Inner Harbor location has proven nearly impossible, forcing dejected, bagel-wielding customers onto the steps for years. In 2004, particle physicist Clark Faviolla theorized the step’s impeccable WiFi could be attributed to light wave-interference from the high-density carbohydrates lurking inside Panera. Sadly, his studies, often conducted from the steps where he once famously camped out for 3 weeks to monitor WiFi conditions, were widely regarded as “pseudo-science bullshit” from his peers. Faviolla’s life then took on the familiar tragic narrative of the eccentric, obsessed genius–after losing his home and family, he began living on the steps and surviving on day-old pastries from the dumpster, where he was able to mentally hijack Panera’s WiFi to write a scathing Yelp.com review before vanishing, one employee said, “into thin air.” TC mark

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    • PERFECTCIRCLES

      I'm Josh Hosskins. My actual quote was about wanting to taste death, but close enough. You got the picture. I ended up drowning myself a week later. RIP ME!

      • http://www.facebook.com/TomSmizzle Tom Smith

        whatever you do, perfectcircles, don't stop being you. and by you i mean everybody.

        • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

          i like the perfectcircles gimmick too, seems warholian

      • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

        hi perfectcircles, i always think your icon is a woman with long flowing blonde hair and then see that it's a golden retriever

    • mehhhb-more

      You don't need to be near one of these Wi-fi spots to be depressed in Baltimore :(

      • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

        i hear that!

    • http://richardchiem.blogspot.com richard chiem

      sweet.

      I used to get perfect WiFi near 'This Tree' but in La Jolla, CA.

      lol re (S.A.D.A.S.S.T.R.E.E.)

      • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

        hehe

        damn…i remember seeing ads for “lose weight at summer camp” summer camps that were all in la jolla, ca

    • http://richardchiem.blogspot.com richard chiem

      ╔═══╗ ♪
      ║███║ ♫
      ║ (●) ♫
      ╚═══╝♪♪

      ╔═══╗ ♪
      ║███║ ♫
      ║ (●) ♫
      ╚═══╝♪♪

      ╔═══╗ ♪
      ║███║ ♫
      ║ (●) ♫
      ╚═══╝♪♪

      • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

        nice

    • http://heheheheheheheeheheheehehe.com/ tao

      sweet

      panera-nera-ass

      • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

        paneraschnitzle…

        • mario

          pantera bread

    • icwhatudidthere

      Damn this was sweet. Consider yourself nurtured.

      • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

        feeling the cool, calming, refreshing effects of your nurturing, icwhatudidthere

    • http://avantgardebagpipesolos.tumblr.com/ Omar De Col

      images of laptops/toasters/mini tvs/hair dryers falling into bathtubs flashed through my head when i read the 'my bathtub' bit.

      intense.

      intense article megan boyle.

      • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

        hi omar. my comment got deleted, but i said “damn, mini tvs…”

    • Tommmmmm

      whats a panera? thanks.

      • Tommmmmm

        And I enjoyed this. But I'm never going to Baltimore.

        • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

          sweet, i'm glad tommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

          i understand and respect your decision to never go to baltimore

      • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

        i think it's the word for “great uncle” in some portuguese dialects

        • http://avantgardebagpipesolos.tumblr.com/ Omar De Col

          lol 'great uncle bread'

          bearded baguette

          bespectacled bearded baguette

        • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

          hehe

        • Tommmmmm

          oh cool. i wouldn't know about panera bread or the portugese. i live in toronto.

        • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

          i only first had panera in lisbon on a study abroad trip ~4 months ago. “panera” is actually from the limici winter bread festival which marks the end of “great uncle's burden” (an ancient 3-week carb fast it was customary for mother's father's brothers to endure). on the 21st night of the fast, the family would get together and kneed a giant sourdough bread bowl (a “panera”) for their great uncle. through the years it just became customary to call the great uncle “panera”

          i should've put more background info in the article, i think. now that i think about it, it seems like a really obscure reference…

        • nuh uh

          i am portuguese and you are insane

    • stephen_tully_dierks

      lol

    • stephen_tully_dierks

      Megan, I have heard at least two people IRL refer to you as “my favorite TC contributor.” just letting you know :)

      • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

        oh damn, thanks for letting me know stephen, that makes me feel happy/humbled

        • PERFECTCIRCLES

          As long as you keep responding to comments like these, I will never overtake you as #2 most prolific commenter at TC.

        • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

          your commenting style seems strong/prolific/mysterious to me. who's #1? do you have the formal top 10 list?

        • PERFECTCIRCLES

          Megan,

          1. Thank you.

          2. Most active members:
          tao
          409 comments

          megan boyle
          318 comments

          PERFECTCIRCLES
          182 comments

          christopher lynsey
          157 comments

          Joseph Ernest Harper
          152 comments

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=505759069 Julian Tully Alexander

          There should be one of those plaques like in High School in the office for perfect attendance. That would be sweet.

    • http://pleasureiseasy.info math

      im confused

      • AaronWB

        Generally or in this particular instance?

        • http://pleasureiseasy.info math

          specifically confused

      • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

        what are you confused about? i'll try to help if you want

    • Jody Fossler

      TC is getting better and better. Good job, MB.

      • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

        hi jody fossler, thanks :)

    • “What am I going to do now?”

      yeah what

      • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

        taking a shower always seems good

    • derekbc

      i love this sentence –

      “Although answering questions about the incidentals of one’s life with “I don’t know” usually solely indicates a polite desire for the conversation to focus elsewhere, something about the way Metts’ gaze became sharply glassy, and the surreal, almost David Lynchian tone our conversation assumed following his answer made me believe he honestly wasn’t sure when he became a bathroom archaeologist. “

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Parker-Baldin/516709205 Parker Baldin

      this was nice. it was very well written.

      • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

        sweet, parker

    • http://www.theuglynewyorker.com Stephanie Georgopulos

      I like this Megan, good job. S.A.D.A.S.S.T.R.E.E. made me L.O.L.

      • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

        hi stephanie, sweet, happy to garner a lol from you

    • http://twitter.com/NGodSavage N. God Savage

      magnificent

      • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

        thanks n. god. your icon reminds me of a sticker of a band that would have toured with a butthole surfers-like band.

    • http://www.critiquemanque.org Morgan

      This is good, really good.

      • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

        hi morgan, sweet

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=505759069 Julian Tully Alexander

      Fuck Panera Bread.

      I have never used my computer in the bathtub, I feel like I should try it now but it might be weird.

      • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

        hi julian

        i took a bath from 3am-8am today, doing computer things the entire time. i suggest giving it a try.

    • thezack

      Sorry Megan

      I read this on Gizmodo (congratulations) and thought it was stupid (congrats revoked). Obviously you can write – but it felt like you were just really, really bored and wrote a bunch of BS for the sole purpose of putting words in sentences.

      Just being honest.

      • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

        damn, thezack. thanks for your honesty.

        most of the time i am really, really bored. i guess now that i think of it, i'm unsure of the “purpose” of any of my writing, other than to be words in sentences.

        • Ihatelowfatmilk

          I wouldn't say its BS or no “purpoes”, I can understand this article from the title but your description of each of the hotspots doesn't seem depressing at all, I 1st thought it might be like a complicated song from the Decemberists with all the crazy wordy lyrics, so i read it three times but still failed to relate.

          I've read enough things that made less sense than this. However, what's more interesting to me, actually, is that almost all Gizmodo readers have the same kind of reaction as THEZACK-they didn't really get your article, doesn't matter if they've lived in baltimore or love/hate baltimore. But coming to ThoughtCatalog, it's a complete different story, all commenters seem to get the joke and like this article, I live in baltimore but that did not help.

          I'm dumbfounded and as a first time visiter to ThoughtCatalog I need to know what's going on here, maybe this is a very personal rant for your close friends? are these inside jokes? I need to know!

          *This reply contains NO sarcasm*

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