Sunday, December 28, 2003

Assholes are where ya find 'em...
Got into an interesting online "argument" with a gentleman from New Orleans. He was bragging on how Mardi Gras is such a heck of a party and how everyone should make time to go at least once in their lives. As if New Orleans was Jerusalem or Mecca and pilgrimage should be mandatory. I told him that I live in New York, and if I want to see 20,000 naked drunks roaming the street all I would have to do is go to Times Square on New Year's Eve and get my fill. Or maybe if they ever have a free beer day at Yankee stadium.

The gentleman conveyed his regrets that I live in such a rotten place as New York City (and to a certain extent, I agree with him), but then he went too far; he claimed that New York was full of assholes, to which I replied, "we're okay, it's the rest of ya that are assholes."

The other Southerners in the chat room took it as a personal assault, but let me clarify my position for you a bit. New Yorkers would not:

1. Smash fuel-laden aircraft into office towers.
2. Fly across the country to visit the smoking ruins with six tons of camera equipment, a camcorder and his wife and kids in tow.
3. While burdened with said wife and kids, ask for directions to said smoking ruins from traumatized citizens because he cannot read a map, spot a plume of smoke and follow it, or find a 19 acre hole in the ground without expert advice.
4. Try answering some moron from Inbred-Hillbilly, South Carolina's request for said directions three to five times a day (on average).
5. New Yorkers know enough not to walk without looking in front of you to see where you're going. You can spot a tourist a mile away around these parts; she's the one with her neck lifted so high that there is a straight line from chin to throat. These people usually get run over by by busy New Yorkers on the pavement because they happen to be in the way. For this, we're considered rude.
6. New Yorkers can actually give directions without references to number of lamp posts, mailboxes, shopping centers and bowling alleys to found along the way.
7. REAL New Yorkers do not live in Manhattan. Only the pretentious ones do. We work and occasionally party in Manhattan and we know that is not the city as a whole.
8. New Yorkers do not have to give the name of their city when someone asks "Where are you from?" Upstaters regularly append the name of their city (as in "I'm from Buffalo, New York) so as not to be tarnished by the assumption that they are from "the city". Outsiders and tourists will proudly do the same, assuming that New Yorkers a) can find the place their talking about and b) actually care.
9. We know how to drive. We do not make right turns from the left lane (New Jersey drivers are famous for this), require jughandles, straddle lanes (Massachusetts drivers, aka Massholes), tailgate, try to jump speed bumps, we can drive in snow, know how to use directional signals and never back up on expressways because we missed our exit.
10. Know how to leave people alone. It's a survival technique around here.
11. We can never figure out how in a city where avenues run north-south and streets east-west, how anyone can get lost.
12. Do not believe everything we see on television as indicative of how things actually work around here.
13. We know the New York Times is full of shit.
14. Can navigate a subway system. How hard can it be when all the trains run on TRACKS? Not like they're making turns crosstown or something.
15. Can handle a cab driver that doesn't speak English because most of us don't either.
16. We know the difference between the "You've got to be kidding me" stare and the "Get lost before I kick your ass" stare.
17. Never fall for the "Beware of Pickpockets" sign trick.
18. New Yorkers know that when a menu says "Eggs, bacon, toast and juice" that we cannot switch the bacon for sausage. That's a different menu item filed under "Eggs, sausage, toast and juice". Just because bacon is cheaper doesn't mean you can order the sausage at the bacon price.
19. New Yorkers can cross a street without a crossing guard, or running for their lives, even against a light.
20. New Yorkers NEVER attempt to pet stray dogs, feed squirrels or pigeons and are used to seeing rats the size of small beavers just about everywhere they go.

For all of the bad things about New York, it's still a great place to be. We just wish the rest of you wouldn't pollute it with naivete and then call us assholes.
We have our share of them, for sure, but yours are prize winners.

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