(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, defining 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:

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:

About these ads

27 responses

  1. Go Pats

    January 13, 2013 at 11:58 am

    • And go they did! Here’s a joke for you:

      Eli Manning and Peyton Manning walk into a bar…

      TO WATCH TOM BRADY ON TELEVISION!

      BUAWAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!

      January 15, 2013 at 7:32 pm

      • Down with the Giants, Down with the Broncos, Down with the Mannings. nuff said, except, Happy Birthday

        January 15, 2013 at 9:47 pm

  2. I bought a used volvo from Vermont once.
    Ran well. Smelled of patchouli oil though…

    January 13, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    • Of course it did. I bet if you looked hard enough you’d see hemp seat covers and an 8-track player with a Grateful Dead tape still wedged inside.

      So you bought a used Volvo, huh? You must be from New Jersey.

      January 15, 2013 at 7:34 pm

  3. Great post!

    January 13, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    • Great boots!

      (seriously, I’m diggin’ the boots. Do they come in a girls size 4?)

      January 15, 2013 at 7:35 pm

  4. You need to do a series of these on every state. This rocked. I was in Maine once… had lobster steamed in seaweed and hot rocks under a big tarp covered with dirt. It was sooooo good.

    January 13, 2013 at 12:57 pm

  5. Nothing like riding through Maine to get some much needed New England Culture, plus you get to play Frogger with Moose.

    January 13, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    • Moose Frogger. Classic.

      Don’t forget Laconia, twotiretirade. My ex got pitched into the pit there when he was seventeen. Funniest thing to see ever.

      January 15, 2013 at 7:44 pm

  6. Still fucking laughing at this. How true, yet I’ve never seen it explained so clearly nor amusingly.
    Oh, Dropkick Murphy’s play Reno once a year… always get a ticket ;)

    January 14, 2013 at 12:07 am

    • The Murphy boys in the desert? My God, I bet their Southie Ginger-skin crackles like pork rinds out there.

      January 15, 2013 at 7:45 pm

  7. And why wasn’t this taught to the rest of us in geography class? … Meanwhile, cheers to your day!

    January 15, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    • That is a very good question! I seem to remember Sandylikeabeach, TraskAvenue and BrainRants doing similar posts on the topic, if you want to swing by there to catch another take on their regions. I also seem to remember theirs being better than mine. :)

      January 15, 2013 at 7:47 pm

  8. Somehow I missed all the Birthday celebration… so I went back to your last post just to say Happy Birthday without a big fuss. I hope you are having a good one.

    January 15, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    • It’s the best. I added you to my thank you post. You are too kind, PMAO. :)

      January 15, 2013 at 7:48 pm

      • But I didn’t do anything and I feel bad about it…

        January 15, 2013 at 9:21 pm

        • Don’t feel bad, PMAO. It’s means a lot to me that you’re here at all. It’s been the best day ever because of everyone. :)

          January 15, 2013 at 9:30 pm

          • It means a lot to me that I am here at all also… er…um…

            January 15, 2013 at 10:39 pm

  9. Thanks for this very informative tour through New England – the only thing I knew about it previously was it’s pretty in the fall. I’ve always wanted to visit just to see the trees.

    January 16, 2013 at 5:20 am

    • Thanks, Benze. The trees are uncommonly beautiful here.

      In case you decide to return, I will tell you that Maine is best known for its scenic rocky shores, Vermont for its pastoral serenity, and New Hampshire for its wealth of forests. New Hampshire is especially magical in the fall.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:16 am

  10. Pingback: New England Dissected | elroyjones

  11. Reblogged this on Diabetic Redemption and commented:
    Some of my more refined readers may object to this reblog, but it is the perfect description of New England and New Englanders. The song is hard to understand — you can find the lyrics here, if you dare. http://www.plyrics.com/lyrics/dropkickmurphys/kissmeimshitfaced.html

    January 25, 2013 at 11:06 am

  12. vanillamom

    Belated happy birthday, and GREAT take on New England…(yes, I’m a native daughter of the “twin” state, and I’m still living right there at the dividing line betwixt them!) …

    Made me laugh. LOVE the idea of the Thanksgiving table of “us”…omfg. Lovely word picture there…(grampa forgot his teeth? again? Geezuz.)

    nilla

    January 28, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Lay The Awesome On Me

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 974 other followers