A Depressing Sign of the Times, Or Just Unoriginal Trend Reporting? TV Station Sells San Franciscans On Wonders of Tourism -- In San Francisco.

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As California teeters down the road toward the day when even pot roast-fed Republican legislators could earnestly suggest a Marijuana-based economy, the word "staycation" has grown as annoyingly ubiquitous as tabloid headlines about those reality TV folks with all the kids.

After stumbling across this video on Channel 7, one has to wonder: Is this really a sign of the terrible times -- like our Joad-esque state unemployment rate -- or simply a case of journalists feeling the need to churn out a "save money -- it's a recession!" story? Personally, I'd like to think it's a little of Column A and a little of Column B.

But, if it really is motivated by hard times, I wonder -- why try to pitch cheap hotels to folks who live here? Doesn't staying in a hotel when you live in the city beat the whole purpose of a staycation -- i.e. to save money?

Notes Channel 7: "The hostel comes with its own kitchen, common areas such as a family room, a recreational area and Internet access." You know what else comes with all that? My apartment!

In fact, if you really wanted to mimic the broke student traipsing through town experience, why not go to someplace like couchsurfing.org, save the 28 bucks, make some friends, and enjoy the complimentary potato chips wedged between the cushions?

Other Channel 7 suggestions: Go to a restaurant -- another great way to save money in your city of residence -- or visit City Lights Books and revel in its history. The final travel item for our suggested itinerary: Go sit in the park.

So, let's run down the suggestions we've been given for our dream staycation: Stay in a hostel in our hometown, eat out in our hometown, go to a bookstore for its historical value (no mention of the books within) and go sit on a park bench.

Is this some sort of secret plot to induce folks to never leave the office?

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