This is certainly not a title that a town would be proud to include on its welcome sign for all to see as they drive in.
Nevertheless, one “small town” in Kansas with a population of about 24,000 was just named the best small town in America to escape from by The Onion on Dec. 11.
Disclaimer: The Onion is a satirical publication.
“Calling it a tough decision with hundreds of other dispiriting options available, a report released Monday by Forbes magazine declared Emporia, KS the best small town in America to escape from,” the Onion said.
Never miss a local story.
Editor Martha Collins said they examined a wide range of quality-of-life indicators, including housing conditions and the overall health or residents.
Emporia’s conditions “made it ideal for packing one’s bags for the big city and never looking back,” she said.
As for the schools?
“The school system is perfect for someone who wants to jump on the first bus out of town so they never have to see those people’s faces again,” Collins said.
And the local economy?
Oh, that “provides a range of dead-end jobs for people to quit because they don’t want to wake up 40 years from now having wasted their lives like their old man — ultimately, there was no better town for dreaming of a better life somewhere, anywhere else.”
Do you agree?
The Emporia Gazette shared the Onion’s report, and the comments were a little mixed.
“I laughed pretty hard reading this, because it sounds a lot like something my 18yo, circa 1990 self would have said,” one reader wrote. “But I'd say now it's more like the Best Small Town In America To Go Back To. There's SO much more to offer there now than there used to be! It's really not at all the same town that I grew up in at all.”
Another reader had a different opinion.
“Lived here and this hits the nail right on the head,” one reader said.
So, what do you think? Does Emporia deserve this title?
Or do you, like one person on Twitter, think any town in Kansas can take this title.
As for the time Emporia was actually mentioned in Forbes? That took place in September.
The town was named one of the seven places in the U.S. that are so cheap you can afford to be an entrepreneur.