It’s been crazy. Since my work week ended last week, I’ve been running wide-open. Steve and I went to that show on Thursday, everybody was home Friday/Saturday and it was a carnival of chaos around here, we went to some snooty suburb of Philly on Sunday to attend a cookout for Toney’s cousin’s kid, and I got called into work early yesterday for a training class.
There’s been no down-time, whatsoever, and it’s starting to make me a little goofy. I think I’m only a couple days away from smiling all the time. And I can’t have that.
Toney has a cousin in Philadelphia. They grew up in Nevada, but ended up living near each other in Pennsylvania. Sorta like me and Steve: still living close to one another, many hundreds of miles from where we started. Weird, huh?
Anyway, the cousin is married with a couple of kids, and resides in a very upscale neighborhood where people probably wipe their asses with imported lace. One of their neighbors has many acres, and keeps “exotic animals.” Like ostriches and llamas, and possibly pterodactyls.
Toney sees them every once in a while, but I haven’t been to their house in four years. It’s a cordial, but not exactly close, relationship.
Their oldest kid just graduated high school, and we were invited to their big blowout celebration. Toney wanted to go, and I wasn’t passionately against the idea, so we went. It would be something to do, we figured, and there’d probably be good food and plenty of beer, etc.
So, we plugged their address into the GPS unit, chose “British female” (Penelope), and hit the road. We always have trouble finding their house. After exiting the highway there are roughly five hundred turns, and we get lost every time. But we put our faith in Penelope; she’d take care of us.
And she did, except she chose a route with lots and lots of stoplights. After we got off the Pennsylvania Turnpike we drove for at least thirty miles(!?), through town after town. We must’ve passed twenty Applebee’s, and fifteen Fashion Bugs along the way.
But Penelope took us to their front door, without incident. And it was quite a shindig. They had several tents set up in the yard, a movie theater-grade popcorn machine, a sno-cone maker, three long tables overflowing with food, and barrels of icy soda and beer.
And within fifteen minutes I remembered why I haven’t been there in four years. Toney’s cousin was friendly, but everybody else ignored us. They all knew each other, and made no effort to engage anyone outside the Circle of Familiarity. I tried to start a few conversations with people, but it was a wasted effort. Even Toney, who can talk to a pine tree, was having trouble breaking through with these people.
It’s a completely closed society at their house. It was all coming back to me now…
So, after an hour of trying to be friendly, the four of us just sat at a table on the patio, and nobody paid us any attention. We had a little food, and some of it was good, and some of it was not. The so-called pulled-pork barbecue was beige and shockingly bad, and I sneaked a mound of it into the trash. Blecch. I think I ate an off-white aorta.
And the accents of some of those people carve a hole straight through my soul. I don’t know what it is about it, but my entire body goes rigid. It’s sorta like Carmella Soprano, run through a nasal passage, or something. It causes my entire central nervous system to cut in and out.
And there was a guy I remembered from last time. He’s all bombastic and sure of himself, and fancies himself an expert on Disney World. That’s obviously his “thing.” He’s the go-to guy for Disney information. East of the Mississippi, anyway.
I sorta recall writing about him four years ago, and he was holding court on the exact same subject on Sunday. “I’m tellin’ ya, October is the best time to go to Disney. Trust me on this, October is the time to go!”
I couldn’t believe it. Is that the only thing he ever talks about? When they lower him into the ground, his headstone will probably read: Father, husband, and friend. He looked like Frankie Valli, and knew a lot about Disney.
We were there for about two and a half hours, and finally told Toney’s cousin we were leaving. I was braced for her to launch into a campaign of objections, but it didn’t happen. I think she had so much going on, she didn’t even hear what we were saying.
When we got to the car, I asked Toney to check the GPS to see if we had it set to “shortest distance,” instead of “shortest time.” She monkeyed around with it for a few minutes, creating five thousand beeps, and we took off.
And we drove and drove, through even more small towns than last time. What the hell, man? We drove for an hour, and still weren’t on the Turnpike. Penelope was really starting to get under my skin.
Toney finally snatched the thing off the windshield, and started up with all the beeps again. And she learned that we’d somehow checked a box beside “avoid highways.” Heh. The thing was trying to get us all the way home, on back roads. We’d probably still be driving, if we hadn’t checked it.
And that was our Sunday.
On Monday morning my boss’s boss called and asked if I could come in at one o’clock to attend a four-hour “change management” seminar. Which is exactly what I went through at my previous job, two weeks before I was laid-off.
I’m not really a fan of the change management…
My notebook is loaded up with stuff, but I’m going to stop right here. There’s always tomorrow, right? Well, not always, I guess. But so far there’s always been a tomorrow… I’m hoping the trend continues.
The Questions of the Day: What accents or dialects irritate you beyond all reasonableness? Are there any? If so, tell us about it in the comments.
Also, what U.S. city do you believe is the rudest? The only time I’ve ever proclaimed an entire city RUDE, it was Philadelphia. But that was years ago, and I’ve had a few pleasant experiences there since. So, maybe I wasn’t being completely fair?
If you have anything on these subjects, we’d like to know about it.
The T-Shirt Lady just sent an email, literally five minutes ago, telling me the shirts are ready. So, I’ll be picking them up on Thursday, my next day-off. Here’s the link, once again. Order seven or four today!
See ya tomorrow, my friends.
The only seat available on the train was next a well dressed middle-aged French woman and was being used by her dog.
The weary traveler asked, “Ma’am, please move your dog. I need that seat.” The French woman looked down her nose at the American, sniffed and said, You Americans. Your are such a rude class of people. Can’t you see my little FiFi is using that seat?”
The American walked away, determined to find a place to rest, but after another trip down to the end of the train, found himself again facing the woman with the dog. Again he asked, “Please, lady. May I sit there?”. I’m very tired.”
The French woman wrinkled her nose and snorted “You Americans! Not only are you rude, you are also arrogant….Imagine!”
The American didn’t say anything else, he leaned over, picked up the dog, tossed it out the window of the train and sat down in the empty seat. The woman shrieked and railed, and demanded that someone defend her honour and chastise the American.
An English man sitting opposite spoke up indignantly “You know, sir, you Americans do seem to have a penchant for doing the wrong thing. You eat holding the fork in the wrong hand. You drive your cars on the wrong side of the road. And now, Sir, you’ve thrown the wrong bitch out the window.”
Paris, New York, London, The rudeness is not personal it’d just the only way to deal with living in such close proximity to the huddled masses! Lived in all 3 In every case it’s not the people who are rude just the effin waiters!!
Jen in Brooklyn says
I’d have to say the rudest place is Philadelphia, and Los Angeles wasn’t great either. I love NY accents (good thing) and Boston accents, not a fan of the Midwest, or PA Dutch accents. I grew up in PA and moved to Brooklyn 4 years ago, people here can’t understand why, all they want is “the countryside and green grass” I HATED living there, and am reminded of why I moved every time I go back to visit the family that is still there.
Jen in Brooklyn says
Wow, what a run on sentence!! lol
I had no problems in London, Berlin, Tokyo, or any other city I visited. So I am going to say it is personal.
It’s not like I barged into a shop and screamed “WHERE ARE THE CHEESEBURGERS!” When I travel, Ii make a effort. Sure, I am a tourist, but I am not going to expect the society to change for me. I am respectful.
Every city OTHER than Pairs, people would help me out. In Paris they treated me like I was wearing a dog turd beard.
Ben K says
@ junkfood: I’m totally going with “yardarm!” from now on.
@Misselle: You seem to have met one of the 5% or so of the Islamospooks who are totally out of their minds, too bad for you (and for them, for the impression their dumbass brethren leave). I sat among six – count ’em, six – of Farrakhan’s goons on a flight from Oakland to Chicago one time some years ago, and not only were they extremely dignified and well-mannered to everyone around them, the one sitting next to me cheerfully put up with me asking him all sorts of questions for three hours.
Oh, and people from Tennessee sound like complete retards, they substitute “don’t care” for “don’t mind”, as in “If you don’t care, would you pick me up a rebuilt radiator core for my still while y’aller at the Auto Zone?”
CBS…wearing a dog turd beard!!! LOL! I’ll think about that all day long and every time I see some dude with a beard. HILARIOUS!
garrett - g1g3m says
I guess I’m blocked or something – my comments wont show up
@ CBS….”like I was wearing a dog turd beard”. BRILLIANT! I’m using it…if you don’t mind…
Southern or “country” drawls. I don’t care who’s got it, how educated they are, or what they’re saying. I think they sound like idiots
WB in OH says
Most annoying accent-James Carville.
I can’t say much about any specific city, although, in my limited travels – people around New Jersey seem pretty of rude – unless you’re throwing money around in Atlantic city.
Maybe it’s just the stereotype that people in that area are not friendly that just made me jaded.
Generally speaking, I’d say Texas is pretty friendly, with some exceptions:
1) Austin drivers are fucking rude and selfish. The people are extremely weird and Seattle-like, but ok other than that. I guess annoying does not always = rude.
2) People who move here from farther north (and Canada) with their, “Well, that’s not how we do it in New York / Schenectady / L.A ./ Saskatoon / San Diego / DC.” and point their snoot up real high, will piss off MOST Texans to the point of gunplay.
3) Small towns here can be kind of cliquish and hard to get social right away.
4) Some border towns are VERY rude – if you are white AND are visibly uncomfortable being in a 95% Mexican area. Eagle Pass, Laredo, Del Rio.
Lee Harvey Ramone says
Flying monkeys can tend to be very rude. Especially when they are kidnapping Dorothy and Toto and dismembering the scarecrow in the process.
Not uncomfortable, but it seems like Snorasota is now 95% Mexican, and yes, they are rude here. Can’t get a goddamn glass of water in a restaurant if you ask Juan for one. It’s like the Hispanic “Fuck you” to ignore me. So yeah Snorasota is very rude, as well. Anybody else been here?
Did you know- Only two states’ names begin with double consonants: Florida and Rhode Island?
On IPOD right now- “The Bends”- Everlast
Shiny Rod says
Rude is people who come to America and refuse to learn or speak english. I can deal with just about anyones accent as long as they make they attempt and pronouce the words in proper english. Besides, Iv’e been to Australia and they have a whole new twist to language down there. Shrimp don’t do good on the Barbie here…
On iPOD right now – “Even Then” – Hiroshima
Shiny Rod says
@ Lee Harvey Ramone – Then Toto shouldn’t have pissed on the Tin Man…
Shiny Rod says
@ garrett – I’m from New Jersey and the only thing I found rude was the smell coming from Bristol, Pennsylvania.
On iPOD right now – “Night Rhythms” – Lee Rittenour
Shiny Rod says
@ pagan – “And now, Sir, you’ve thrown the wrong bitch out the window.”
Now that was hillarious…
On iPOD right now – “Mr. Blue” – Michael Franks
Wow, have you guys seen Metten’s rip into someone that posts here over at Mockable?
Did you know- Florida’s Governor is married, but is really not that way?
On IPOD right now- “Don’t Change”- INXS
My son just went to Philadelphia a few weeks ago. We are from a small town west of Cleveland. He was so impressed with Philly that he wants to move there! And he has been to Chicago and New York City. Personally the place where I was treated the worst was Texas. I needed to use the bathroom which there were never any to speak of, and this biatch drawls…Aint got no bathroom heeear. Their roadside rests were areas where you would go over a fence and do your business on the ground. There were turds and t.p. all over the place ewwww, This was west Texas in the boonies. That is only one example of my experience. We decided to go up to Colorado for our Honeymoon instead of staying in Texas. I love most accents and try to mimic them. Only the French accent speaking english really annoys me. Anthony Bourdain had a show in Romania and that must be the armpit of the world! Total rudenss and disregard for human life there.
Yeah, I don’t have much to say about West Texas, except that the rest area thing is true out there (30 years ago they were ALL like that) and that it’s the only place that you can see a mailbox beside an unpaved driveway ON an interstate highway (IH10).
I second Cincatardy – My roommate and I have lived a lot of places (me Army, him Navy) and by far this is the worst city.
Casey J says
I love accents!! I never realized I had one, till I moved to Atlanta from northern illinois. ugh. I got the hairy eyeball every time I opened my mouth. With a disgusted”yous a yankee, aint ya??”
Umm, yea. also dated a man who loved the preposition ending thing..my phrase “wanna go with” sent him rolling every time. Made perfect sense to me but whatever. I though atlanta was rude…but maybe I turned all them off with my “high faluting northern accent” hahaha
Ian Coleman says
sorry I’m late I’ve been in Hospital.
I’m not sure if anyone will ever read this but….
Worst accent – strong Glaswegian. ‘awrightbigman’ its really over the top. Whats with the nasal blockage or ‘Clyde sinus’, as I call it? Blech!
Rudest city – Amsterdam.
This was a surprise for me too, but those Dutch fucks suck!
I’ve been there many times and it never fails blow me away how rude they can be.
To quote Dr Evil- ‘ya freaky Dutch bastard!’