Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Boston: You Can Visit, But Don't Expect Us To Like It

It seems that whenever I am entertaining an out-of-town guest, some asshole does something incredibly rude to perpetuate the myth that Boston is a hostile territory.*
For instance, today when I was having lunch with one of my oldest and dearest friends from Bombay, Vik, our waitress handed me the bill--while I was taking a bite of my sandwich.

“Uh, we actually aren’t done yet,” I said through a mouthful of hamburger (my mom would have been so ashamed), “We wanted a coffee as well.”

Our waitress quickly ran in back and brought out two mugs of what looked to be milk with a splash of coffee. She then brought us the check, which Vik kindly paid for: a thirty dollar bill that she paid for with two twenties.

“Do you want change?” our waitress asked.

I nervously glanced at my friend, who could be rather outspoken at times. To her credit, she did not respond with, “I’d like a change of attitude, you greedy whore,” but rather with a polite, but shocked, “Of course!”

Vik, kind person that she is, then went into her luggage to retrieve a gift for me.

“What are you doing?!” the waitress snapped.

I again nervously glanced at my friend. I could actually see the steam rising out of her head.

“I’m getting a present out of my luggage for my friend! Do you mind?”

To which the waitress retorted, “This isn’t your home!”

At this point, I was sure we were being punked. I looked around for cameras and Ashton Kutcher’s smiling, doofy face, but alas, all I saw were two pissed off chicks.
Vik, enraged, took back the tip she had left on the table.

The waitress laughed. “Oh, like I care about five dollars?” This waitress was obviously not familiar with Ben or Jerry and their tasty ice cream. Five dollars could get you a whole pint!

Unbelievably, we managed to make it out of there alive, although the lunch had been spoiled. It’s been about eight hours since I ate there, and so far, so good. I’m going to hold out hope that we did not receive any special cream in our coffee.

On another occasion, I was entertaining two friends from New York at a local bar. It was during the seventh game of the World Series: Marlins versus Yankees. My friends had no sooner expressed how much they were enjoying the bar, when a loud chorus of “Yankees suck! Yankees suck!” filled the air. The bartenders were passing out free shots to everyone and effigies of Derek Jeter were being burned at the stake; my friends looked on in stunned silence. The Marlins had just beaten the Yankees, and Red Sox fans always enjoy it when the Yankees get a beating, even if it isn’t by their hands.

“We hate this bar,” my friends muttered not two seconds after they were about to buy the joint.

“Heh, heh,” I nervously laughed. “You wouldn’t have by any chance driven into the city?”

My friends looked at each other in confusion, “Yes, why?”

“Oh dear. Does your car have NY plates?”

Confusion giving way to mounting fear. “Yes! Of course! We live in New York!”

I clutched at my heart. “Did you park in a garage?”

Now sheer panic. “No! We found street parking! We’re New Yorkers, what, like we’re going to pay to park? Fuggedaboudit!”

“Well, you can sure fuggedaboud finding your car in one piece. That poor car is going to look like Britney Spears got a hold of it by the time you reach it. Never underestimate how much Bostonians hate the Yankees.”

Luckily, they got away with only a few minor key scratches, but it could have been much, much worse. Now whenever my friends visit from out of town, I preface their visits by playing up the city’s sometimes rude behavior, like it’s a fun tourist attraction: Behold! The crankiest city on earth! If you want a coffee with a smile you can just fuggedaboudit. Now get the hell out of my blog!

*Author’s note: This is true only if one is a Yankees fan.