Saturday, November 03, 2012


He looks around, turns to me and asks, "Have you seen the remote?".  I said no and went back to my reading.  "I am so sick and tired of all the coverage of the hurricane," he continues.  By then I realized he wanted to watch something else and not the channel that was showing the aftermath of Sandy destruction.  There was no one else in the waiting area and even though I let him know that I was not interested in "chit-chat", he would not stop talking.  "Eastcoast people are snobs, especially New York," he comments.  I thought it was such an idiotic statement considering the region is suffering from one of the worst disasters.  It was not even a week since the hurricane went thru and this man already felt that the damaged area should be brushed off as if it was just a minor problem!  
I looked up to see who this heartless "bast@#&" was.  He looks to be in the mid 60s, casually dressed and probably is on his way to work.  The service department at the car dealership opens at 800, so people usually get their oil change, wait for it and then head into the office.  We made eye contact and that opens the door to more unsolicitated comments from the man (let's call him JA = Jack-Ass).
JA - "I always thought people from New York are rude and don't know how to speak properly."
TOTA - "Did you have bad experience while visiting New York?"
JA -  "No, I've never been to New York, just heard from other people.  I just think people in the Midwest are nicer and not crazy like those in the Eastcoast and the Westcoast too.  I lived here all my life and I would not move anywhere else." 
(I am actually glad to hear that.) 
Having lived in NYC for 10 years, I know it's true that NYers seemed to be in a rush to keep up with the city's frantic pace, the taxi cabs in the craziness of traffic and all the noise that makes normal conversation impossible.  But for this "JA" to make a blanket statement about NY without having been there and believe that people from the Midwest are all wonderful was simply the lowest level of ignorance.  I did not want to waste my time telling "JA" about all the rude and stupid people I have met since moving to St. Louis or in my travel in the Midwest.  There was no need to educate this "JA" that there are good/bad, rude/polite, honest/dishonest, etc. in any state/region/country.  I decided to go back to my studying for my midterm exam next week.
A woman walks in and the "JA" starts again, "Would you believe that they are still talking about the hurricane?"  The woman said, "It was so sad.  Those people need lot of help and prayers."
I took the opportunity and looked at the "JA", "My family is in New York and thank God everyone is ok."  The "JA" realized he has made an "@&&" of himself, mumbling, "I am glad your family is ok."
The technician came in to let me know that the oil change was done.  The woman said, "Have a good day" as I was walking out.  The "JA" was still busy looking for the remote to change the channel. 
(These photos were taken in 2011 during the Wings-in-the-City event,  The sculpture was named Born in the USA, on display at Plaze Frontenac.)    

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