Recently, Boston was voted 50 out of 50 for being the meanest city . Even though this article is extremely short, I’d like to take a deeper dive on the matter. Mean (or in other words: Masshole) can encompass so many different qualities, so many different attitudes--that it’s not fair to just peg the word ‘mean’ on us, is it? There are certain principles one must understand in order to exist in this great state (and more importantly, city) if one wishes to thrive, or even, survive.
Driving. People that claim Massachusetts drivers are the worst drivers don’t know shit. Believe me, when you get cut off in the middle of an intersection by a man driving a Crown Vic smoking a cigarette with an oxygen tank seat belted in shot gun attached to his nostrils, you’ve gotta grow some balls. Fast. We Bostonian drivers know our roads well and are not afraid to let you know it. Why should we be bashful? After 20+ years of the hell that will forever live in infamy as The Big Dig, we’ve earned it. The Buick La Sabre in front of you doesn’t need to put his left turn signal on, he already knows where he’s going, so fuck you for not figuring it out. The problem with tourists and travelers is that they think they’re driving a vehicle on a road. As soon as you realize that Bostonians are all in one big game of Super Mario Kart, the roads will seem a lot friendlier. I’d like to think of myself as Yoshi.
The Sarcasm. Just because someone says something with a straight face does not make it acceptable to believe them right off the bat. Hey hun, I could really use anothah Mastah cahd bill that’s ovah a thousand bucks this month. Shocked (and new to the area) bartender: Really? No, but I’ll take anothah bud heavy. In many cultures, it’s custom to refuse to eat a platter of food if it’s past in front of you once, even twice, but on the third go around, you indulge in the gorgeous stuffed grape leave offered. Upon seeing an old friend, you might hear: What the fuck! Who the fuck does this kid think he/she is? What a fuckin’ knuckle head, ohmygawd jesus christ!!! (large bear embrace ensues.) Midwestern or West Coast Translation: My goodness! It’s been so long since I’ve seen you, my long lost childhood friend! How are you doing? My heart is swelling with happiness! Some might cringe at the gruffness of it; that’s ok. If you’re not interested in what’s underneath the sandpaper exterior, we’re not interested in showing you.
Whether you are black, white, purple, green or magenta, Boston is and will always be a sports town. It’s literally in the water, air and food we consume. You can’t exist one season in Massachusetts without a game being on of some sort. My father gets so excited watching a Sox game, he’ll forget to sit down in his chair in the den. He’ll just stand 2 feet in front of the tv for the better part of 45 minutes. Only after three or four attempts of shouting at him will his ear canals clear of sports jargon and register that his family is yelling at him to get out of the way. People plan their weddings, christenings, engagements and various other life milestones around sports. Sure, I’ll drive down to the Cape, but if the Bruins make it to the Stanley Cup Finals, I can’t. I need to be at my bar wearing my lucky socks. Sports events create long lasting friendships, relationships and babies. Plus, everyone in Boston knows that beer just tastes better inside the park.
So that’s that. If you get it, great. If you don’t, who gives a shit.