Spaulding Bogosian

Not as political as the Other A-Holes, but yet the kind of Funny Meanderings of a Jersey Guy

Friday, September 09, 2005

Now I live in Jersey!

Can’t we all just get along? I like to start some times with a question. This does not imply that I have any of the answers, sometime you can seem smarter if you ask the right question. Since this is the first in what I hope to be a long line of informative, educational and at times, humorous essays, I guess I’ll introduce myself.
My name is Jeff, let’s just leave it at that. Maybe if I knew you a little better I could tell you more but since I’m new to this and have no idea how much hate mail I might generate, let’s just leave it at Jeff. I live in New Jersey. Being originally from New York, I’ve always considered New Jersey to be sort of a red headed step-child. Aside from knowing how to get to Giant’s Stadium or Great Adventure, I had no knowledge of the state. And I was proud of it in a weird way. There’s a Chris Rock joke that say’s that certain black people are proud of “not knowing”, that this is part of “Keeping it real”. Well, I can identify with that because that’s the way New Yorkers are. Most that live within an hour of Manhattan consider themselves close enough to be lumped in with the true in habitants of the five boroughs of New York City. And that, in addition to New York being the center of the universe, puts most above acknowledging the rest of the country. You can sing “I love LA”, and “Yellow Rose of Texas” until your blue in the face. New Yorkers will remain stubbornly unaffected by your allegiance. We are so aloof about being from New York that we may actually feel sympathy for you and your small minded patriotism. In the long line of states that we feel are inferior, we give perhaps the biggest nod toward New Jersey. Sure there is affection for New Jersey, kind of like having a brother with Down’s syndrome. But true New Yorkers pride themselves on not knowing anything about it. If you asked a New Yorker how to get to Edison, New Jersey he probably wouldn’t even favor you with a reply. If you’re lucky you might get a “What are you, some kind of comedian?” look and then he’d dismiss you. That just the way it is. If you were walking along, and an ant pulled on your pants leg to get your attention, and you bend down. The ant says “Hey buddy, down here.” So you look down mostly out of curiosity, and the ant asks, “Hey buddy can you point me in the direction of large rock and elm?” Do you A) Step on the ant. B) Say “How the fuck should I know? Do I look like a fuckin’ ant to you? C) Stare at the ant stupidly until it goes away. Or, D) Consider how to direct this ant to the proper destination. Now, even if this happened to you while you were walking though your backyard in East Bumfuck, Kentucky, and you answered A, B, or C, well then, you understand a New York mentality. If you answered D, then you’re a fucking tourist.
But now I live in New Jersey. I couldn’t move straight here I had to first move to the Midwest to deprogram myself. And believe me that will deprogram you. If you are from New York and move to the Midwest it’s kind of like joining a cult. Suddenly everyone is nice, and will give you change of a dollar for the meter. Without making you buy something. People say hello out of the blue. The smell of apple pie has replaced the smell of homelessness and urine and the streets are clean. Now at first you’re stubborn, you don’t want to give in, but then you do, and it’s not like you feared it would be. You thought it was going to feel like someone replaced you with a pod, but it feels good. You might even become a Cub’s or a Bull’s fan. But you hold on to your Mets cap just in case.
So long story short, I can now tell you how to get to Edison. I live in New Jersey with my family, wife and three boys. It’s a bit rural but I can be across the Holland Tunnel in forty minutes. So I hold on to my status.

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