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Thank God It's Over

It had its moments, but we knew it was too good to last. Herewith, Metro's 100 reasons why we can all celebrate the return of normalcy.

1. Real-estate ads will stop saying, "Charming 900-square-foot fixer-upper is real bargain at $750,000."

2. No more pretending you actually thought Business 2.0 was something you wanted to read.

3. Your boss is older than you again.

4. Streets are no longer blocked for weekly presidential visits.

5. We never knew what to say at launch parties anyway. "Yeah, eYada.com sounds real viable to me."

6. Capitalists need no longer be referred to as "angels."

7. Your neighborhood dry cleaner and shoe repair shop are less likely to go out of business.

8. The arugula shortage is over.

9. College grads can be enthusiastic again about making $29k a year at a worthwhile nonprofit.

10. We no longer have to see William Shatner reminding us, "You know what to do, dawg! Bust a mooooove."

11. Elvis Costello should never have had to play parties where people were younger than the song "Alison."

12. Super Bowl ads can go back to being frogs and Wassup? again.

13. Children shouldn't own cell phones.

14. The smug prick who fired us six months ago is scanning name tags and handing out his résumé at pink-slip parties.

15. Day traders can return to their original careers--Amway salesmen.

16. We no longer have to abide by absurd company titles like "Chief Goatee Boy," "Chief Ponytail Guy" or the chipper/condescending "Office Mom."

17. Dogs probably weren't really ever meant to come to work.

18. Twenty-eight is too early for a midlife crisis.

19. Independent bookstores will remain more than just places to browse for titles before buying online and will stop going out of business.

Computer Screen 20. Fewer coke-and-stripper binges means more time to work on tell-all memoir.

21. Paying for one's own $7 beers functionally limits incipient alcoholism.

22. Rats accustomed to foie gras leftovers are now dying out.

23. A Foosball table is no longer considered office equipment.

24. Now that portfolio's gone, no more annoying frantic margin calls from broker.

25. We can say goodbye to a simplicity movement that confused cleaner closets with cleansing the soul.

26. Lunch hour was meant for lunch, not yoga.

27. We can find receptionists who speak in complete sentences, and use words like "Please" and "Yes."

28. Dorky, geek eyewear has returned to its preboom status: dorky and geek.

29. We no longer have to listen to: "You live on less than $90,000 a year? How do you do it?"

30. The crash hit before "click-n-sniff" was perfected.

31. With stocks as a bad conversational gambit, party chatter can return to its proper content--gossip, backbiting and rumor-mongering.

32. Silicon Valley's aspiring trophy wives can now get a life. Or at least a job at the auto show.

33. There are fewer clueless yuppies with purebred puppies pretending to be animal lovers in the park.

34. No more stupid logos that resemble children's toys, animals, flying electrons or the Nike swoosh.

35. We can look forward to dramatic TV programs about laid-off dotcommers looking for something emotional and human, with titles like My So-Called Stock Options, Offline and Burnt Beyond Recognition.

36. Fewer people from New York are moving here.

37. Dumb ideas can die with the dignity of never being funded, instead of being pitched to pension funds as lucrative investments.

38. We no longer have to dance under a cloud of the Clinique fragrance "Happy" in local clubs.

39. Those of us who never bought in (and thought we missed out) can once again raise our heads with dignity.

Coffee

40. Starbucks can return to its status as the coffee belt for soccer moms, cops and professors, not aspiring entrepreneurs who can't afford office space.

41. We've seen the last of incomprehensible dotcom advertisements for incomprehensible clients during the Super Bowl.

42. Elegant restaurants can return to being a place for intimate gatherings between friends and lovers, not corporate hangouts for swarms of polo shirts trying to bond.

43. Accepting all that customer-appreciation graft--the free dog food, the maps, $10-off certificates--made us feel kind of sordid anyway.

44. Hello grad school!

45. No more dotcom nonsense on freeway billboards. They made even The Gap ads seem clever.

46. We can book a room and a massage in the wine country without a yearlong wait.

47. Lines at the coffeehouse no longer snake out the door because of people ordering 12-packs of double caramel macchiato, with whip.

48. No more rants about "shallow Californians" from people who moved to California because they thought they could get rich quick.

49. Experience and talent can once again mean something.

50. All that shouting over cubicles, using excessive profanity and gorging on junk food didn't really reflect the company's mission statement.

51. Webvan won't have to change its logo again and PacBell Park, thankfully, will have to replace its Webvan cupholders.

52. Evening visits to supermarkets will replace chat rooms as the pickup spots of choice.

53. Maybe San Francisco will get some of its soul back.

54. Launch parties were becoming love-ins for former sorority sisters and frat boys.

55. Teens with pink hair who listen to MP3s for a living no longer get paid more than the national median wage.

56. Because an REI outfit doesn't go with an ROI discussion.

57. We no longer have to see Whoopi Goldberg stumping for Flooz.com.

58. The dotcom generation will have to retire at 60 after all--not 30.

59. Grandparents will stop asking us about this "Internut mumbo jumbo."

60. We might not have to wait a century or two for DSL installation.

61. Job attention span for twentysomethings can pass four months.

62. We don't have to put up with unsolicited career advice from recent high school grads who think that the Ray of Light album is old-school Madonna.

63. Too many intellectual property lawyers were being spawned.

64. All of that free pizza and soft drink consumption was going to end up as a whopping Medicare bill around 2050 or so.

65. There are fewer people in skin-tight Spandex on $7,000 bikes that they don't know how to ride.

66. No more Solutions Architects.

67. Smarmy landlords have to go groveling for tenants again and engage in the humiliating process of upgrading their property before charging exorbitant rents.

68. Al Gore has stopped boasting that he invented the Internet.

69. We can return to more aesthetic ballpark names like Candlestick and Fenway--and fewer like 3Com, PacBell, Network Associates and Compaq.

70. There will be enough yellow beets and old vine zinfandel to go around at restaurants.

71. People finally have been forced to trade their gas-guzzling, highway-hogging, rollover-happy SUVs for cars you can see past of when riding behind them.

72. Money didn't buy refinement.

73. Civil service employees can go back to surfing for porn on their work computers, instead of constantly checking their stocks on the Internet.

74. Extraterrestrials will revert to visiting rural Midwesterners for attention, rather than wealthy young web CEOs.

75. People finally agree that dropping out of college after reading HTML for Dummies wasn't such a good idea after all.

76. Coming to a bookstore near you: Poverty for Dummies and Down and Out in Palo Alto.

77. The .com TLD isn't tacked onto every company's name, regardless of its product or service.

78. Slacker II.

79. Humvee limos aren't parked in front of every nice restaurant on Friday night.

Idea Man 80. Price/earnings ratios can orbit back from their parallel universe to the old textbook reality we know and love.

81. Service workers under the age of 30 will actually show up for work again.

82. Working at Lockheed has regained a measure of cachet.

83. All those "Silicon" place names were monotonous and unimaginative. Silicon Alley? Silicon Forest? What was next? Silicon Bowery? Silicon Rockies?

84. Kids will stop mistaking Bill Gates for the President of the United States.

85. After two years of trying to hail a cab in San Francisco, you can actually get one.

86. Silly topiary projects, untrimmed since the 2000 Q2 financials came out, are regaining their natural shape.

87. Stupid people are no longer "visionary," now just plain stupid.

88. You are finally able to determine who your real friends are (Sorry, friend).

89. Wearing Armani to pick up your unemployment check makes welfare fashionable again.

90. We're finally able to reach the eighth level of CoolBoarders.

91. Unemployed guys + unemployed gals = great sympathy sex.

92. A new last-hope website: Sparechange.com.

93. Excessive, tasteless spending can go back to its proper domains: aging English rock stars and one-hit-wonder hip-hop artists.

94. No more stock tips from the newspaper boy.

95. Liquidation auctions feature excellent prices on Aeron chairs.

96. We can wake up to alarm clock music again, not nail guns from a neighbor's monster home addition.

97. Walking someone to the door will once again be considered a courteous gesture.

98. An American Studies degree will no longer qualify one for employment at a high technology company.

99. Just like they said about the '60s: It had to end sometime. Thank God.

100. Psychiatrists are no longer suicidal from treating cases of "Sudden Wealth Syndrome."


Contributors: Corinne Asturias, Justin Berton, David Boyer, Eric Carlson, Michael Gant, Heather Zimmerman, Kelly Luker, Dan Pulcrano, Genevieve Roja, Larry Smith, Mary Spicuzza, Richard VonBusack, and Christina Waters.

The Morning After: Farewell Dotcom, We Hardly Knew Ye.

Car Jam: Freeways speed up from a slow crawl to a fast crawl .

Low-Rent Rendezvous: From greedy to needy, the valley's landlords have shapeshifted in the face of changing market values.

Whistle-Blowers: Patience, tolerance and attitude separate the wise Caltrain commuter from the fool.


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From the July 19-25, 2001 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2001 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.




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