(insert pithy rejoinder here)

New England Dissected

I’m sure I’ve mentioned somewhere in previous posts that I’m a New Englander, but unless you’re from here you can’t really comprehend the significance of that statement. New Englanders wear their citizenship like a badge of honor. We define ourselves not by our individual states but by our geographical region, much the same way someone from Scotland or Ireland would define themselves by their family, or clan. So to help all of you southern, inland and west coasters out there understand the Clan New England I’m going to break it down with a metaphorical example. Imagine a Thanksgiving day dinner table, and at one end you have:

MAINE

This is grandpa. He doesn’t do or say much, and he’s been around so long you almost forget he’s there. Oh, and he doesn’t have teeth. Next to him is:

NEW HAMPSHIRE

This is the oldest son, the one who went off all gung-ho to Vietnam and came back disillusioned and pissed. He rides a Harley and defends his right to not pay taxes. He’ll school you on the history of any firearm known to man, whether you ask him to or not. When he’s not at Laconia for bike week he’s at a Knights of Columbus meeting. He earns his money either by being a trucker, mechanic or working construction. And his wife is Asian. Always. Next to him is:

VERMONT

No one gets under New Hampshire’s tough leather skin quite like Vermont. Part hippie poser, part Phish fan, all organic NPR listening Vermont. He’s college educated, usually earning a degree in either history or philosophy, which makes him an expert on EVERYTHING. He’ll chastise you for driving anything other than a Prius and is forever preaching the evils of pop culture. The only reason he owns a television is to watch PBS, and he’s married to a girl from:

CONNECTICUT

The oldest daughter of a respectable family, make no mistake she is Vassar bound. When she’s not out shopping for argyle socks she’s sticking a finger down her throat or sneaking out to heavy metal concerts to bang tattooed pretty boys on motorcycles. I’m guessing. Next to her is:

RHODE ISLAND

He’s the red-headed step child; New England’s own version of Oliver from the Brady Bunch. Our own personal small ball of “why?” And that leads us to the twins. I say twins because this next state is geographically bipolar. Divided by the city of Worcester (pronounced WOOS-tuh), their personalities are as oppositional as any two children could ever be. And that state is:

MASSACHUSETTS

The child west of Worcester is the girl twin. She’s well-adjusted and lacking in any definable accent. She knows what she wants and that is to GET THE HELL OUT OF NEW ENGLAND. The twin east of Worcester is the boy twin, the one who calls you at 2 a.m. to come bail him out of jail because he either:

A. Gave a Yankees fan a beat down.
B. Defended his position that Manhattan clam chowder is, by definition, not a chowder.
C. Beat someone who said something disparaging about Aerosmith or Godsmack or Denis Leary.

He’s the guy who doesn’t actually live anywhere; he just floats from couch to couch to couch. He borrows your car without your permission, drinks all your beer and steals your stuff. And even though you know he’s going to sleep with your girlfriend you let him in your house anyway because he’s just so damned awesome.

Just like any family we fight and spat amongst ourselves, but heaven help the punk who steps to one of us, because then he steps to all of us. Whitey Bulger wouldn’t be Whitey Bulger if he were from the midwest. Well, maybe Kansas. That place is like the friggin’ Twilight Zone. So the next time you cross the border into New England, roll down your windows and listen carefully; you just might hear our siren song:

*** UPDATE ***

VISIT THE TASTY BRAINRANTS DUDE FOR HIS POST CALLED “THE LEFT COAST DISSECTED”

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32 responses

  1. This is true awesomeness. I may have to do something like this for the West Coast.

    September 24, 2011 at 11:43 am

    • You should. Feel free to brag about your superior beer.

      September 24, 2011 at 12:09 pm

  2. Not the Broth

    heheheh… “Danbury, CT is more badass…” I got one word for all the non-New England northeasterns – I’m looking at you guys immediately south and west – who complained last winter.

    Pussies.

    From the Border to the Sound we was ONE… under one m’f’ing snuggli of snow, and we was there for each other. (You got to respect a region that universally flips off mother nature!)

    We may be one screwed up family, but you hit it on the head, we’re still family.

    September 24, 2011 at 11:44 am

  3. Some days are worth getting up for and this is one of them. Thanks for the laughter this morning it went well with my first cup of coffee.

    September 24, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    • Tá tú fáilte roimh (you’re welcome in Gaelic).

      September 24, 2011 at 1:00 pm

  4. Never been in any of these states, so I’ll use it as reference material, you know just in case I take a wrong turn going to Wisconsin. Oh, who I’m I kidding, I’m Illinois. We Do Not Go…speak of…or agree, with ick. I can’t even type it again. Swell post, Big Angry is gonna love the Dropkick vid.

    September 24, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    • Illinois cool. My dad worked for United Airlines for years and I used to get free passes to fly anywhere I wanted. When I was bored I’d fly to O’Hare just to hang out. I could definitely see myself as a Bears/Bulls fan.

      As far as the song, it was a toss up between Dropkick Murphys or Flogging Molly’s BEER BEER BEER. But since I prefer west coast beer I picked the Murphys. That and because New England boys are the world’s biggest bullshitters. God help me I love ‘em, though. My ex-husband is a half a Southie. Type that into google and then point me in the direction of a good therapist.

      September 24, 2011 at 1:47 pm

  5. Brilliant!

    September 24, 2011 at 3:35 pm

  6. TheIdiotSpeaketh

    So…do you have the accent? I got a great blog friend outside Boston who calls me “Maaaaaaawwwwkkkkk”….. I think that is so cool….. :)

    September 24, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    • Sort of. It depends on who I’m talking to. I’ve lived all over New England so when I’m talking to someone important, like my kid’s parole officer, I use a very intense Connecticut accent that we call, “The Kings English.” When I talk to my ex-husband I pick up his accent, which is a much more relaxed, “Southie” accent. For examples of this watch “The Departed.”

      But my kids will tell you that when I get mad, REALLY mad, it’s all South Florida (I lived there about half my life). For an example of that, think “MRS.” Samuel L. Jackson. But yeah, when I speak I sound “wicked smaht.”

      September 24, 2011 at 4:14 pm

  7. I really do love the way you write! Yours is the blog I read regularly because it’s just so entertaining! Thank you for this!

    September 24, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    • Thanks so much! I’m going to cut and paste your comment, tape it to a brick and then pitch it through the window of the English teacher who flunked me in high school.

      How do you like my “repeatedly asinine and divergent musings of a functioning illiterate” NOW Mr. Robinson? Huh?

      September 24, 2011 at 7:02 pm

  8. We lived in St. Stephen, NB for 18mths and visited Grandpa often…they were short visits as he wouldn’t stay awake too long. I miss Grandpa…his milk was cheap and the gas was cheaper, in them good ol’ days…

    September 24, 2011 at 7:42 pm

  9. Pingback: The Left Coast Dissected « BrainRants

  10. Nice tribute! You’re a credit to your state!

    September 25, 2011 at 8:41 am

  11. This is awesome to read! Especially giggling over the Massachusetts twins, and nodding along with the boy twin description — uh. Can we totally tell where I’m from? — and laughing outloud over the chowder (because dude!!) My ex used to insisted that New York was part of New England which would tick me off to no end. It’s bad enough when, ah, outsiders, would think that, but when natives didn’t know? SIX states, not seven. Stupid boy. Anyway. This? Wicked funny.

    September 25, 2011 at 8:42 am

    • It’s so funny you mention New York, because I considered adding something about how New York is like some lame prick who brags to everyone that he’s a distant cousin of ours just to look badass. Six states, not seven. That’s wicked smaht.

      September 25, 2011 at 8:59 am

  12. I’m amazed at how these ideas flow. Your English teacher was an idiot.

    September 25, 2011 at 10:26 am

    • Thanks. I’ll add your name to the brick.

      September 25, 2011 at 10:55 am

  13. Thanks for the update note… uhm, but “tasty” ?

    September 25, 2011 at 11:25 am

    • What can I say? I was on a roll.

      September 25, 2011 at 11:42 am

  14. The whole east coast polarization can seem so peculiar, almost quaint, sometimes to us out in the far west. Like it’s a historical re-creation, instead of actual animosity. Not that everywhere doesn’t have their state rivalries and such, but I was talking to someone from the South recently who said, with total seriousness and conviction, that he “hates yankees.” All I could respond with was “Seriously? ‘Yankees’? That’s kind of cute. You know it’s not 1880, right?”

    Although talking to friends from Maine and Massachusetts over the years, you’d think there’d been some serious blood spilled between those two.

    September 25, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    • I can explain the feud between Maine and Massachusetts in one word.

      Lobster.

      September 25, 2011 at 1:31 pm

  15. Is it OK that this makes me confused? I mean I can pull a really cute confused face so … confused is OK ahaha

    September 25, 2011 at 4:47 pm

  16. Haha very nice, my step dad is from Boston and me being a native Texas, let me just say, y’all baffle me.

    September 26, 2011 at 12:42 am

  17. I was already enjoying this with a big smile on my face and the DKM song just made my smile widen (huge DKM fan, btw). I, like Maddawg, haven’t had the opportunity to venture that far east as of yet. However, if I get out that way, I will be using your breakdown like a Frommer’s guidebook. Well done!

    September 27, 2011 at 8:40 pm

  18. Pingback: Dissecting a Crazy Aunt | sandylikeabeach

  19. Pingback: The Midwest Dissected « BrainRants

  20. Never thought of myself as a Southerner, but thank god we in NY are below the “New England” line.
    Laughed myself silly then went out for a hot pretzel and a dirty water dog.

    October 21, 2011 at 8:41 am

    • I used to know a boy from the Bronx pier, so I’ve had my share of dirty water dogs. I could totally go for a pretzel though. NY has the BEST hot pretzels. And the worst sports teams.

      October 21, 2011 at 10:02 am

  21. Pingback: family dissected, city style « Trask Avenue

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