Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Boston - One Giant Dank Cemetery
Today is May 2nd, yet in Boston the forecast is for a high of 46 degrees and up to an inch of rain.
Though I grew up in Massachusetts, I never realized how dour the climate was until I came back. A warm day in February will undoubtedly be spoiled by rain. If the sun is shining, count on a stiff northerly breeze. And quite frankly, the sun isn’t often out much at all. It’s almost like living in a lake effect region of upstate New York. Even in this “global warming” induced mild winter, it still snowed on October 28th. Inertia has got to be the only reason people continue to live here.
Devil’s Advocate: Well then C-Nut, why do you live in Boston?
I live here because of a temporary quirk in my wife’s job. Obviously, as an independent securities trader I can work from anywhere. Hopefully we will be moving soon.
So I find curious all of this militant environmentalism in New England. I could understand it in beautiful California, the Pacific Northwest, Colorado, and the like, but here there’s little to appreciate.
Devil’s Advocate: What about the fall foliage?
That is a mere two weeks long. It is very cold if you go up to the White Mountains AND I can guarantee you that it will rain half of the time. If you think that will get you through the next 7 months then I have a bridge in Brooklyn you might be interested in.
People up here (that don’t know any better) make self-justifying excuses all of the time. They invariably tout skiing in defense of the winter. Well, I don’t think you can ski in April or May. What do you do then?
Make no mistake. The climate explains so much of the bitter ideology up here. I tell people it took me 30 years to lose my New England bitterness, and in the past 9 months it has come roaring back with a vengeance.
Also I had people up here proudly tell me that, “they don’t wear their religion on their sleeve.” But I have to take issue with that. As I and Michael Crichton have posited before, fanatical environmentalism is a religion, and the believers are as evangelic as any Latter Day Saint or bible-thumping rube. Environmentalists have scolded me for not recycling, not feeding my son organic milk, and for buying a Christmas tree at Home Depot instead of supporting the local farm.
I stand by my religion claim. Some guy even admitted as much on his bumper sticker that I saw the other day. It read,
“earth is thy religion”.
Again, I don’t know how locals can be so fond of the Earth, given the harsh weather. In fact, I tell people (known to be enviro-fanatics) that “I HATE THE EARTH - IT'S MY LEAST FAVORITE PLANET”. I also have been known to let out, “I HATE THE BLEEPIN’ ENVIRONMENT”. The knuckleheads just don’t know how to respond. CaptiousNut is so oft outrageous that many people can never tell whether he’s serious or not.
Since the Boston Tourist Commission isn’t going to hire me anytime soon...
Near my house is a massive cemetery that I have to drive by to go just about anywhere. I couldn't help from thinking the other day that a cemetery is the perfect metaphor for Boston. This city is all about dead and semi-dead people.
As a teenager, I attended an enrichment program at the Rose-Hulman Institue of Technology (Indiana). There were 30 child geniuses (and me) from all over the country. One guy from California told me that “...the Northeast is a dying, if not dead part of the country.” I was taken aback if not slightly offended. But what did I know, I was all of 17 years old and had never left New England, save for DisneyWorld. Years later I would realize that pissant prodigy was right.
(Googling has revealed that the pissant went to Harvard undergrad and is now an MIT professor, firmly ensconced in the Peoples Republic of Cambridge, perhaps the epicenter of the “dead Northeast”.)
What do I mean by “dead”?
First of all, there are people on life support driving cars all over the place. Radio talkshow host Howie Carr was going off the other day on the dangers of elderly drivers. I couldn’t concur more strongly. At least once a week my life is threatened by a blue-haired old lady in a Lincoln. A few months ago, I watched my 92 year old grandfather pull into his garage, put the car in reverse instead of park, get out, get knocked over by the car door, and fall under the car. He would have been run over had the car door not gotten stuck on the side of the garage.
Two years ago, my 85 year old grandmother, after years of innumerable accidents (some where she just drove away), finally totaled her car while driving down, thankfully, an empty street. She was banged up badly, broken ribs, etc. Most importantly (and luckily), she didn’t kill or injure anyone else.
For sure it’s a hard thing, giving up one’s driving. Nobody is eager to concede their freedom and become dependent on others for errands, church, and whatnot. Someone is likely going to have to pry the car keys from my hands one day. I just hope that future generations are better at convincing their parents to let go. God knows, these selfish Baby Boomers don’t even want to care for their parents, never mind drive them all over the place or, EGADS, have them move in.
I thought this was all about the inherent complications with giving up one’s lifestyle, but Howie Carr insists that the children don’t confront their senescent parents because they don’t want to be cut out of the will. How pathetic, and in many cases how true. Make sure you get your $75,000 inheritance no matter how many small children your mother runs over. I really do collectively loathe the Boomers. I think they should be renamed "The Worst Generation".
I was surprised to find Massachusetts listed as only the 12th oldest state. 13.5% of its population was over the age of 65 during the 2000 Census. But other New England states pick up the slack – Connecticut ranked 10th and Rhode Island ranked 6th. Also, the numbers are probably somewhat understated because of the high number of college students in Massachusetts that likely skew the average lower.
I may get in trouble for this, but it needs to be said.
Another thing I hate about Boston is how homely the women dress. Women up here hardly ever wear skirts, heels, or even blouses. Everywhere I go, ladies, young and old, are wearing jeans, sneakers, Red Sox hats, sweatshirts, and tee shirts. Underneath those hats is usually unkempt hair.
No DA, it is not a lesbian thing. ALL WOMEN UNDERDRESS UP HERE.
I chock it all up to the groupthink contagion. It's easy to walk around dressed like a slob college student, if only because everyone else does.
I could easily include some pictures of homely locals - Lord knows I have my camera with me all of the time. But I have had trouble getting people to pose for me. When I tell people the pics are for my website, strangers invariably ask its name. I tell them it's "marginalizing morons" and for some reason their cooperative enthusiasm immediately vanishes.
I just don't understand why.
Remember my post on Deranged Dog People?
I have to add a couple more examples to that epic post.
My neighbor drives all over town with her dog on her lap. I have noticed countless other drivers doing the same. Not only does Massachusetts have to ban cell phone usage (at least go "hands-free"), it seems they have to address another driving hazard up here: homely dressed old women with poodles on their laps.
Speaking of laps. A deranged friend of mine made the mistake of admitting to me that she holds her dog on her lap WHILE SHE GOES TO THE BATHROOM.
I never understood while people tell me anything, given my extremely big mouth. Now that I have three websites, read globally, it makes even less sense. I had to place a note on my door warning guests that "...anything they say or do can and will likely be used against them in the blogosphere."
Here is my favorite personal Big Mouth story. I played in a golf tournament in Philly about ten years ago. One of the guys I played with took more than a little license with the rules. When I found out the guy turned in a score of 75, I let others know what actually happened on the course.
Now the word gets out and the body-building drug dealer comes looking for me. He runs in the clubhouse and pulls me aside to "talk to me".
Jerk: Did you tell SOMEONE that I cheated?
C-Nut: No Bruno, I TOLD EVERYONE YOU CHEATED.
I'll never forget how far his jaw dropped when I laid that one on him. It's a wonder I am still alive.
Oh yeah, and I recently found out that my flake sister feeds her two dogs - ORGANIC DOG FOOD.
But the biggest omission from the Deranged Dog Post was the subject of vicious dogs. Why anyone would want to own a pit bull (besides a drug dealer) is beyond me. The people attracted to these monsters are usually trash (white and black) or upper crust fruits who think no dog is inherently dangerous - "it's all how they are raised".
I was waiting in the always long line at Let There Be Bagels in Port Washington, NY. Some loud-mouthed woman behind me starts talking to someone else about pit bulls, how they are the sweetest dogs in existence and they just "have a bad rap". I turned around and screamed at the woman, in front of many people,
"MY NIECE LOST HER FACE TO A PIT BULL."
Okay. That didn't actually happen But I should have said that.
There is seemingly a pit bull attack every day in this country. Check out that 10 year old's arm.
And the 8 year old girl's face.
Pit bulls' jaw strength is something obscene like 2000 pounds per square inch.
To give that some perspective, a cheetah only bites at 600 psi.
Needless to say, when a pit bull decides to bite you, he'll let go when he feels like it - no sooner. How much flesh it leaves on your bones is up to his discretion as well.
A friend of mine in Philly has a pit bull. He told me that when he walks it, other pit bull owners (there are plenty in South Philly) come up to him and ask if he, "wants to let the dogs hit". At the time I didn't know what that meant. It is when they keep the dogs on leashes, but let out some slack so they dogs can have a controlled fight. I am no animal rights nutjob, but this is sick.
Devil's Advocate: But that confirms what the woman above was saying about how the dogs are raised, doesn't it?
Go take two golden retrievers and see if they "hit". Pit Bulls are naturally vicious. At the risk of being too presumptuous, I assert that many of these pit bull apologists who attribute the dog's innate pugnacity to "the way it's raised" are the same people who blame guns, rather than people, for gun related deaths. Like I said, that is admittedly a bit of generalization, but it accurately describes at least two vicious dog owners that I know.
It's an oft uttered refrain that pets (and children) really do reflect the owner. I take issue entirely with the Moronic owners, because many have elevated the dogs up to the same status as people.
Last week I took my 1.5 year old son to a park at 7am. As soon as I arrived, I saw that there were three dogs running around - two black labradors and a golden retriever. Obviously they really are just about the friendliest dogs known to man. So I went out to the middle of the field and let my son run around. One dog owner, was letting her dog run freely on the other side of the field. Anyway, the dog (probably 1-2 years old) comes galloping across the field and bowls over my son. Now I was about 15 feet away and not particularly worried. But the dog's owner really got me pissed.
She comes sauntering over, having never once even called the dog to stop and says to me,
"Is he alright?"
Meanwhile my kid is still on the ground, wailing away, mud all over him, and still wrapped up in the dog's 15 foot leash.
"IS HE ALRIGHT? TAKE A LOOK AT HIM YOU IDIOT!!!"
Deranged Dummy: It was an accident. (even though the dog was unleashed and she made no attempt to catch it.)
I then said to her, in my soft serial killer tone,
"If your dog had bitten my son, I'd take my golf club to its head..."
Deranged Dummy: But...
"AND I WOULD PROBABLY TAKE THE CLUB TO YOUR HEAD AS WELL."
She turned white.
"AS YOU WOULD DO IF IT WERE YOUR KID".
She sighed and nodded in tacit agreement.
Devil's Advocate: Whoa, C-Nut. That sounds like you crossed a line with that threat.
First of all, that wasn't a threat because I used the word "if". Furthermore, I was teaching this naive woman an important lesson - that's just the type of service I provide on a gratuitous basis.
Like I said above, my problem is with the owners, who too blithely think their dogs harmless - even to 23 pound infants.
Fifteen minutes later I was accosted by the entire population of dog walkers in the park who apparently didn't like the way I dealt with that dingbat. They actually had the gall to say it was my fault that my son got run over. I couldn't make this stuff up. I wielded some logic and facts, they perhaps realized the weakness of their stance and eventually conceded, "I guess you have a right to be in the park too."
I duly thanked them for their magnanimity.
Anyway the dogs all stayed on the leashes the rest of the time I was there. Apparently the Deranged Dog People are there every morning. It was a nice park that I hadn't been to before. So I went back the next morning and walked around with a golf club. Okay, I haven't done that yet. I was strenously advised against that by both my wife AND my anger management counselor. But driving by the other day I saw that without some scary guy known to make golf club threats, all of those same people had their dogs running freely throughout the park.
Okay, fresh off of that escapade, I went to Larz Anderson Park in Brookline this weekend.
First of all, I have never seen weirder people in my life than those at the park that day. This is a ripe subject for an entire other blog. On the way out, I was strolling my son up a very steep hill to get back to the parking lot. Some unleashed, nasty looking dog started chasing me up the hill. Ever vigilant, I was on top of the situation. I hollered back to the remiss owner, "Is that a pit bull?". No he assured me, it was a boxer. So it is now running right up to my son in the stroller and I ask the guy to get his dog away from my son. The dunderhead reassures me that his dog loves kids. Now I am getting mad. So I shoo the dog away with my foot and ask the guy again to "GET HIS DOG AWAY!!!"
Now the owner gets mad at me. He calls me paranoid and came very close to finding himself at the bottom of the hill, minus a few teeth.
These idiots need to get it through their head that DOGS ARE NOT PEOPLE and in the hierarchy of living creatures they are FAR BELOW YOUNG CHILDREN.
Okay, I started this post with the horrible weather forecast for Tuesday. Well, here's this morning's forecast for Wednesday, verbatim as I just heard on the radio.
"Dank, dreary, rain all day with temperatures still in the 40s".