Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Specials, Pt. III

Typical snow path width.
Note Asshat-neighbor's vehicle blocking said path.
Welcome back to the show. We're talking about The Specials -- those lovely Massholes for whom the rules do not apply.

Because it's Boston, and FUCK YOU!


Since we have three dogs, shit detail is a way of life. Of course it's not fun ... we have a small yard and if you go more than a few days without picking it up ... well, you can figure that out.

But The Specials have special dogs, too. Picking up poop is for the plebes.

I don't really need to go into detail on this one. You know what happens.


Another thing some people don't comprehend is the concept of personal space. It's forgivable on the T; at rush hours, there's just not enough room to comfortably have enough elbow room between you and your 1.3 million daily friends.

But elsewhere, when standing in a line somewhere, BTFU. Arm's length is a good standard.

This does lead to a brief (I promise) treatise on T etiquette. Here are some simple rules:
1) When the train stops, let the people on the train off FIRST. Then, and only then, you can get on.
2) Telling women (or men) on the train that they're "pretty" etc. isn't going to get you a phone number, a conversation, or laid. It just makes people uncomfortable. Don't be a creep.
3) If an elderly person, someone with walking challenges (a cane is a helpful clue), someone with an infant or young child, gets on the train? Get up and offer them your seat. And don't think because you've got headphones on that we don't know you know. Stop being a selfish dick.
4) Don't jump the turnstiles, cheap-ass. The T is in financial straits. Do your part.
5) Don't leave your trash on the T. And slyly dropping trash from your pocket doesn't mean we don't see you.
6) Can the cellphone conversations. It can wait. (Fun trick: Carry on the other half of the person's conversation. "Yeah, I'm going to Larry's now." "I hate Larry. He has hygiene issues." "Yeah, we're going to party." "If by party, you mean circle jerk, yeah, it's a party."
WARNING: Not everyone appreciates this humor. But it does interrupt their cellphone call.
7) Bathe.
8) The buskers and what have you: Tolerate. At least they're brave enough to try.
9) To groups of people standing in the middle of stations at the T or otherwise blocking ingress and egress on the street: Move your ass. People got shit to do.


And now let's circle back to the epic snows. After a couple more inches between the start of this novel and today, we're officially over 100 inches for the season (most of that in February) and into the record books as the No. 2 all-time Boston snowfall. Yay! Yay?

Some broad thoughts on this:

1) Blowing snow into the streets is illegal; so is blowing it into the neighbors' spaces. I've called the cops on a trolling neighbor this season. M talked me off the ledge a couple of times, but if I could say what I want, it would be: Bitch, if you blow that snow over here one more time, I will go all Boston on your ass. She absolutely could not pull that in some parts of Boston without her head already being on a platter.

Truth be told, I'm a pacifist, so I'm never going to act out on stuff. But Jesus, what a jerk.

2) Help your (nice) neighbors out. (I'm looking at you, third floor.) Don't shovel into their areas, in fact, help them clear out. Work together. Take turns. Most of us learned this in grade school. If one person does the walk a couple of times, on the third snowfall, maybe you put down your gluten-free muffin, shelve your home-brewed beer, put on your Alpaca toque and pitch in.

3) Other general propriety is recommended. In Harvard Square several days ago the following happened...

The walks are a mess. A single path is carved between snow piles so that only one person can pass through at a time. As I approached a corner the other day, a woman came from the other direction. She was first, so I stood at the other side of the five- or six-foot long path and waited for her to pass. As she entered, a guy jumped out of a door and got in behind her. Hmmm. OK. Now two people crossing. Before the second person got through, a woman coming from the other side sped up and now SHE got into the path.

I wasn't happy, but I was too shocked by the sheer shittiness of it to react. The concept of "community" was trumped by the "Community of The Special." I dearly wish I had jumped into her path before she got through. I could have. "Huh. Impasse. Guess you're either going to have to back up or find a way through someone a foot taller and twice your weight. Well, maybe not twice -- might wanna try my hipster neighbor's organic muffins."

What kind of thought process creates this mindset? That people outrank someone else? That some people have to wait, and some don't? It's brazen.

I kind of am hating the people here because of this stuff.

This sort of thing somewhat explains the box-blocking and the cars passing on snowy streets that have been reduced to single lanes. (I heard that fistfights have broken out in Southie from people unwilling to cede to oncoming cars.) But in cars, people feel emboldened because they have a 3,000-pound shield around them. This woman had some balls. Some day she should get kicked in them.


Also witnessed in the PRC (People's Republic of Cambridge) ...

I've never seen city streets where someone could just annex a parking spot.

The first blizzard hit the last week of January. We've driven past vehicles barely visible, or entirely invisible, buried in snow.

In the PRC, you obviously can cop a squat and never leave.

I guess this is doable in other cities, although I've never seen it. Most large cities require people to move at least once a week for "street cleaning" or what have you.

The idea that you can do this is interesting to me. In Cambridge, resident parking is a thing. But how would anyone know if a buried vehicle belongs to a resident? Theoretically someone could have cold-camped in these vehicles. Hell, someone could be lying dead in one of them, preserved like a Wooly Mammoth from the Ice Age.

If anything represents entitlement thinking, it's the idea that you can commandeer a space.


OK, and now, the main reason I had to write this set: Something called "space savers."

If anything speaks to the entitlement mindset of The Specials, it's "space-saving."

Boston's parking shortage is legendary. It's an irritation shared by anyone who's lived here. There simply isn't enough parking available. So people are territorial about parking.

Because the government here is corrupt and stupid, the response to a big snow is supremely inadequate. In Montreal, it's smart and civilized.

Here, it's Boston, so FUCK YOU!

The streets are plowed right down the middle. Cars in most places are allowed to just sit through a "snow emergency" and often get buried under snowpiles.

I've seen cars parked in Cambridge that have been under it since the first snow. So they've sat there for at least a month.

In some places, after a snow, when someone needs their car, they have to dig it out on their own. After a plow's work has added snow to the pile. So it's a total pain in the ass, and takes someone an hour or two to free their car.

At which point they put a lawn chair, or some other totem, to "save" the space.

The twisted thinking is that, they dug out the spot, so now it's theirs.

A public parking spot.

Watch out if your common sense tells you "Hey, if I remove that lawn chair, I have a place to park." People will trash your car. Keyed is the least of your worries. Most likely your windows will be smashed.

Apparently people here are OK with this. Or at least, too scared to stand up to the bullying and selfishness to do anything about it. Vandalism is OK!

This guy or girl, whoever, is my hero:

What shocks me the most is that these terrorists have cowed the authorities. If they did their job clearing the streets, this wouldn't happen. But they let these things be determined by The Specials.

And The Specials are a community of assholes.

And that's why, for as many great things there are here, Boston is nothing but a Ghost Town. It's not mentioned with the great cities of the U.S. New York, L.A., San Francisco, the list goes on. People don't respect Boston because Boston doesn't respect itself. It's a town filled with self-loathing, pretentious, selfish jerks. It's Buffalo with better history.

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