You are currently browsing the archives for the Idiots Everywhere category.
Boston is a very historic American city. Every year millions of tourists, some from international locations, visit this famous venue. Unfortunately, some of them end up getting more than they bargained for. If visits to the emergency room are not part of your itinerary while visiting the east coast, then you should plan accordingly. You can’t just walk around Boston (like you can everywhere else in the world) and expect to be treated with common courtesy. As a matter of fact, mingling with the natives puts you in serious danger of physical harm here.
It probably sounds like I am exaggerating. I mean, Boston is a popular tourist destination. You got the Maine lobster, the clam chowder, the green monster, and all that American Revolution history. If it were dangerous, certainly you would know about it by now. Right?
Not necessarily. Boston is actually a dangerous place for normal human beings. Why haven’t you been warned about this? Perhaps it’s because those of us who have experienced first-hand just how dangerous of a place it really is are a bit embarrassed to admit it. Getting punched in the face is not something you normally brag about when recounting your vacation details to your friends. But that is exactly what is going to happen if you visit Boston and attempt to mingle with the locals.
You see, Boston is populated by people of Irish decent. This particular heritage involves a lot of foolish pride. Most of that pride can only be validated by fighting. Irish folk love to fist-fight, and that stereotype is not exaggerated when you see television shows full of Irish folk beating each other half to death. The doctors in Boston love it.
If you avoid the locals when in Boston you will probably be OK. This means going directly to your hotel room after dinner. Do not stay out late. Do not engage local residents in any kind of conversation whatsoever. If you do, they will see it as a wonderful opportunity to put a fist into your mouth, removing a few important teeth in the process. Don’t think this can’t happen. Boston residents are just looking for the opportunity to do that to you.
If you do decide to risk visiting a sports bar, act like a Red Sox fan. Try to dress like one as well. If somebody asks you if you like the Yankees, be ready to profess your internal burning hate for that organization. If you are not believable, you risk a very dangerous physical assault.
The final tip I want to give you has to do with driving in Boston. Merging doesn’t work here like it does in other places. The first people to clue you in on this will be the nice folks at the rent-a-car counter. They will tell you to basically commit to wrecking their car, otherwise you will never be able to merge into another lane. The drivers in this city can smell fear, and courtesy is not in their vocabulary. You have to stick you nose in between the two cars and force your way in. That’s the only way they will think you are a local and allow you to merge.
If you must visit this city, please take my above advice seriously.
Walking around in public places should be a fairly simple process, don’t you think? It would seem like people walking to and fro could all blend into a harmonious flow like some kind of synchronized swimming exhibition. At least that’s my fantasy. Unfortunately, it is far from reality. The problem seems to come from select individuals who apparently have the idea that they are royalty and everyone else should be getting out of their way.
I wish these select individuals were few, but the truth is they are everywhere out there. Just as too many cooks spoil the pot, too many self-appointed kings create major jams on the sidewalks of busy city streets. As bad as they are, they are only part of the problem. Throw in the huge segment of society that are evidently living their lives in an oblivious fog and you really have some serious negotiating to do anytime there are people between you and your destination.
It blows my mind. Either I am in somebody’s way or they are in my way. I don’t know what the self-appointed kings do when they encounter an oblivious human obstacle, as they always seem ready to execute me - and I am courteously trying to yield to them! Most of the time, that is. Once in a while you run across someone who is so arrogant you just have to get in their way on purpose to try and bring them down to earth a little.
Mama Riah and I were on a cruise recently and took some excursions which involved bus tours. Now everyone in America knows how to properly exit a plane, right? You know the people in the row in front of you also need to exit so you wait your turn and exit after them. Apparently this common etiquette doesn’t extend to tour busses. The people in the rows behind us jammed the isles and forced us to sit there until they had all passed, as if the protocol is last row exits first or something. It was like driving in Boston.
With that in mind, here are some pedestrian merging tips:
• Walking in a crowd is like driving - you don’t just stop on a whim as people behind you will run into you.
• Remember that you are not the center of the universe.
• Traffic flows on the right in America. This goes for walking as well as driving.
• The sidewalk was not invented just for you, we all are supposed to get to use it.
• People in front of you might turn right or left at any moment.
• When everyone needs to go to the same place, going in the current order that you are arranged makes the most sense.
• You really are not more important than everybody else.
• To receive courtesy you might want to try extending it once in a while.
Sushi restaurants have become a staple in modern society. Where Papa Riah lives there is just about one in every strip mall, and all of them do a good business. The popularity of sushi in modern American society isn’t very hard to explain. The food is both delicious and healthy, and what’s more it’s served in a fun atmosphere. You just can’t beat it. However some people just have to push the envelope in whatever they do until they ruin it. I like to refer to these folks as extreme sushi knuckleheads.
Extreme sushi knuckleheads are looking for shock value. They want to eat something that other people won’t. Which would be fine if they kept it to themselves. But if they kept it to themselves there would be no point to it, and so they wouldn’t even bother. They need you to notice them. They want you to think they are really cool for doing such hardcore sushi. What’s worse is they want to order you some of that ridiculous crap they are eating. So don’t pay much attention to them when you come across one, or you might find that they ordered you a special caterpillar roll - perhaps one crawling with actual live caterpillars.
When an extreme sushi knucklehead pulls up to the sushi restaurant he probably isn’t driving an ordinary car. It will usually be pimped out in some degree or another, no matter what kind of car it is. These guys like to be noticed. If they are bringing a date it’s probably a short little Asian girl (as they don’t seem to be too picky and usually don’t have a problem doing hardcore sushi themselves).
They won’t be dressed in ordinary casual clothes. They will be displaying some bling and have an expensive or unusual shirt. Perhaps expensive designer shoes as well, and many of them like to wear trendy sunglasses even at night. There will be a certain air about them, and everyone in the restaurant will soon become aware that they are on a first name basis with at least one of the chefs.
They will often start out ordering something rather run of the mill - for them that is, as it will likely be the most extreme thing you ever order. Maybe a special, colorful rainbow roll or something. Their drink of choice will be something really cool - a Scorpion for two in a porcelain clamshell shaped vessel, or premium cold Sake that comes out of a special hip-looking blue bottle.
But after their first course things will start getting interesting. They just can’t stand to dwell with the mere peasants anymore and will order something from their favorite chef which nobody else even knows exist. Perhaps a large fried fish head with the eyeballs raised up on toothpicks. And it only gets more bizarre from there. The last extreme sushi knucklehead I encountered had lobster heads which were still moving their tentacles placed on the bar next to him and his date’s plates while eating I-don’t-even-want-to-know-what.
One thing I never understood at sushi bars are the quail eggs. Why in the world would you want to eat a little raw quail egg? In my youth I tried a couple specialty items which included them and I’m here to tell you that they contribute nothing enjoyable to the dish. They are just there so you can be hardcore, and they really are not all that safe. All risk, no reward. If you are into Uni (sea urchin) it is much better served plain (no quail egg) and dipped in the wasabi/soy sauce.
In fact that’s really what eating sushi is all about. It’s that soy sauce and wasabi (which is really just a green horseradish) flavor. You just need a good substance to flavor it with, and cooked white rice plus some fresh raw fish happens to be the perfect texture for it. A good sushi experience simply means the fish was a good cut and extremely fresh. You aren’t going to improve upon that by ordering weird stuff or exotic looking rolls. It’s fine to tell the chef to make you something special; in fact some of the most enjoyable dishes are discovered that way. Just let him know you aren’t into anything too weird.