Like the swallows to Capistrano…


The harbingers of Spring – like the swallows returning to Capistrano every year, we in the Poconos have our own annual migration to anticipate. Unfortunately, unlike sparrows, this particular breed of animal talks, walks and generally finds many more ways to make it obvious they are here. I speak of New Yorkers. That species of homo erectus that hasn’t quite made it as far up the evolutionary ladder – unless of course you solicit their own opinion of what they know and how much they can provide you insight into that which is around us. From that vantage point, they have moved far beyond the rest of us, so much so they are above most rules that have been established to help maintain order and decorum as we intermingle.

As I ventured out this morning it hit me clearly between the eyes as our main thoroughfare again resembled a parking lot, only to be disturbed by those cars (mostly with those hideous orange and black NY plates) who felt the rules didn’t really apply to them – u-turns across the highway, no blinkers, pulling over with no warning, using the turning lane as the means to move a bit quicker to some unknown left turn that we “assume” exists somewhere down the road.  Time to begin to take the back roads – there they can only drive with their wheels across the center line and share your side of the road – especially around curves.

I also got to experience them outside of their car. I made my Saturday morning trip to the local grocery store. As my family knows, I rarely can seem to venture out without returning with some story of some idiot that I encountered – and they were out there as usual this morning but there was one person in particular that stood out – and so appropriately given it was a New Yorker. I was one checkout lane over from her and her two kids. How did I know she was one of them? Actually pretty easy – we don’t usually get the attractive ones out here – she was big – everything was big – her hair, her clothes, her butt, her mouth, her kids. You would think that being that unattractive you wouldn’t want to be attracting any more attention than necessary. Well, that is also one of the distinguishing characteristics of a New Yorker – they don’t see themselves that way, they don’t care who is around them and, because they are higher on the evolutionary scale, all the rest of us around them don’t really matter. This particular lady had an issue with her olives. There weren’t enough on the cold cut tray she had purchased so she was making it very clear to the checker (as well as everyone else in the front half of the store – and it is a relatively big store) that someone had told her she could get additional calamata olives at no extra charge – not just any olives but calamata olives – and did I mention at no extra cost to her. No matter what the checker asked her as the checker was trying to get to the core issue on her plate – how to ring up the olives – the women essentially felt the explanation she gave should suffice and just continued to repeat it again and again. She had started checking out before I did and she was still there as I left so I didn’t get the opportunity to watch the end of the show.  I do think that checker should be put up for some sort of medal to honor her patience – not sure I could have been as nice as she remained.  Actually I am sure I couldn’t.

You might ask, “why would that be your business or bother you at all” – a fair question, one that I’ve been asked by those around me on numerous ocassions. It probably shouldn’t but there are a couple of reasons. First, at this point in my life, there are alot fo things that just annoy me on general principle.  Second, I have this notion that in a public place, people should be cognizant of others around them and respect that right that we all have not to have to listen to more noise pollution than necessary. You can yell when something is on fire – not sure I need to know you have an issue with calamata olives. Third, I also watched (and heard) her basically embarass the hell out of her daughter because she wasn’t emptying the cart in the manner the mother felt was right. And she did it equally loud – maybe more so given she had to yell over the distance of the cart and form the end of the check out lane as she had to keep wandering down there to makes sure the bagger was bagging to her specifications.  And lastly, I just find New Yorkers to be generally obnoxious, rude, and annoying. I just see a NY license plate and I have a visceral reaction – kind of like a rat after spending some time in a Skinner box.

And it is only February.

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