Wednesday, May 07, 2008

#395 How We're Different

#395 How We're Different

(NOTE: This post contains adult language and adult content.)

(New York) -- This has been a puzzle for a long, long time. What makes New Yorkers different from the rest of Americans?

It's no secret that outside the city, we're looked upon with scorn if we're looked upon at all. And it's no secret we think New York is the capital of the universe and all else is footnotes, that the rest of the world is supplier and/or trading partner, which, of course, isn't true. We think of the rest of the world as our support system, if we think of it at all.

This is not unique. Same thing goes on in any major city (are there other "major" cities?) Probably goes on everywhere.

The outside world thinks of New York as a place overwhelmed by third world immigrants (legal and illegal,) and where members of what we'd best stop thinking of as "minority races" take welfare, sell drugs and commit crimes. Plus no one speaks English, right? It's all Espanol and Albanian and Russian and Yiddish, Italian and Greek and Ebonics and on and on.

And don't forget rude. We're rude. Loud and rude.

But all that's inaccurate. We're no louder or ruder or multilingual than a lot of other places. Even in combination, these factors are not unique.

In this latest visit, we encountered the usual cast of New York Characters. The stately, plump pregnant blonde blocking pedestrians and bellowing into her cellphone about a soccer game. The doped up parking lot attendant. The waitress who moved the customer out of a large booth and into a small one in a hole-in-the-wall greasy spoon because it was lunchtime and they "needed the table," which they didn't. The doctor's waiting room where most people left sicker than they came in... mostly from blood pressure spikes because the doc doesn't know how to keep an appointment, the dope who tried to cross Park Avenue against the light, and didn't notice the oncoming traffic, the other dope who crossed Park Avenue against the light and DID notice the oncoming traffic, butcrossed anyway.

Like the guy who during an eight lane, five mile backup at the George Washington Bridge, got out of his car -- stalled in the fast lane, and tried to pee on the ground and failed, to the amusement of everyone who noticed, which was everyone.

Just the usual suspects.

Most of these people, maybe all of these people, knew what they were doing it when they did it. There were no excuses, there was no "cover-up," and there was no intelligence insulting phony stories; no trace of the plausible deniability syndrome.


So, here's the difference: The run-of-the-mill New York asshole knows he's a run-of-the-mill New York asshole, but does that stuff anyway. Out of town, they all think they're "something."

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2008

1 comment:

Nick Ciavatta said...

Amen. I was just in Hong Kong and saw a lot of the same behavior. Cities in general (and New Jersey) make people ornery...