Forbes, the master of list making, recently released its list of the Most Miserable Cities in the U.S. , pulling from the 150 largest metropolitan cities. Detroit tops the list, and three California cities managed to make the ranks: Stockton appears at number two; Los Angeles comes in at number seven; and Modesto sits at spot eight.

Forbes created its own criteria for the list, including things like unemployment, personal tax rates, commute times, weather, crime and closeness to a toxic waste dump. The numbers don’t really mean much to me – what the heck is “weather 18”? – but the explanations clear things up.

Stockton sucks because of its high crime rates, high unemployment rates and high foreclosure rates. But really, I think all of that can be ignored because Stockton has a Sonic , which is the best fast food ever invented.

Los Angeles is tricky, says Forbes, because the beautiful weather can fool people into thinking that it’s a splendid place to live. Then they notice that there is a crapload of traffic, which means there’s a layer of smog in the air all the time, which means they could become some sick people.

Modesto blows mostly because the unemployment rate is so high, at 8.7 percent in 2007. Also, it’s Modesto.

I agree that all of those places aren’t picture perfect, but the list also includes New York City (number four), Philadelphia (number five), and Chicago (number six), which are places that I’m sure millions of people love to call home. Maybe Forbes isn’t the list master after all.