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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Been Around the World and I, I, I

After a long hiatus, the longest since this blog began, it's time to dive back in.  And what better time to get re-energized than Autumn in the Northeast.  The smells, the colors, the NY Jets and NY Yankees pending debacle.

This past summer I had the good fortune to drive thousands of miles in and out of our great country.  Really, it was.  In my opinion the best way to see the World is by car and they best way to explore a City (or anywhere else) is by foot.  But that's another column.  For now, this travelogue will note there were lessons to be had.

First, and I admit the sample size is small, people for the most part are more friendly everywhere outside  the greater NYC area.  In Toronto strangers engaged in conversations and were more willing to nod as you passed them on the street.  "Scorcher eh?"

In Hilton Head, SC everyone says hello and they smile without provocation.  "Mornin'"  "How ya'll doin?"  They move slow down there, but the older I get the more I feel I get get used to that.  In fact I only sighed a few times when the lines were taking an eternity.  OK, Hilton Head in itself is reason to smile, but you get the point.

Granted, if everyone in NYC said "Hello" as you passed them one would never get to the office.  But we live in the suburbs of NYC, and folks don't say a thing to you on the streets.  In fact, many times they cross the street rather than engage.  Oh wait, that's just me.  And it's just that one neighbor.  Everyone has one right???  The over the top political type with a penchant for rescuing animals.  So eager to save animals she swept our 18 year old house cat up and took her to the shelter this past weekend.   Last time we let the old gal take a walk huh?  She has little to look forward to these days.  Can't she roam the streets without ending up in a cage listening to repeats of Janeane Garofalo's Air America radio show?

This isn't to say NYC is not without its merits.  Mainly, the customer service and bar/wait staff at most pubs and restaurants is the best I have seen.  Makes sense too.  In the hungry (pun intended) City actors, singers and assorted other hopefuls are all vying for coveted jobs (both on Law and Order and/or waiting tables.)  If you cannot keep the customer engaged or at least, content, there are others eager and able to take your spot. Drinks seldom sit empty for long.  Food gets to tables quickly and it tastes pretty darn good.  Sure, these things happen elsewhere (Hilton Head does come to mind.)  But the frequency of successes coupled with the insane volume makes NYC's service industry stand out.

Found it odd that almost everyone we spoke to about our trip to Canada in July asked if it was cold there?  Really?  Is our general perception that anything from Buffalo North is a giant iceberg?  It was 30 celsius people!!!

Driving home from South Carolina last week we decided to take the scenic route.  That means avoiding the blight that is Interstate 95.  If there is a worse road in America I have not found it.

What was curious though were the prevalent billboards and advertisements for adult mega stores, excessive eating factories and fireworks.  As the DNC wraps up in Charlotte this evening a thought:  What if a candidate proclaimed his/her love of blowing sh*t up, buying his/her companion sex toys, and eating massive amounts of fast food.  Oh, and they fully support settling the NFL referee hold-out, love True Blood and are huge fans of Honey Boo Boo.  My guess is that candidate could be a viable 3rd party threat.  But what party is that?  The "Real American" party?  Think Larry the Cable Guy meets Don Draper.

After all, does either Romney or Obama speak to this group?  And isn't that the group that keeps this Country moving?

Wait, let me check my Facebook page because there are sure to be about a dozen rants from both sides of the aisle exclaiming the real truths.  "Obama is trying to take your money!"  "Romney is out of touch!"  "Ryan lied about his marathon time!"  "Biden thinks slavery is coming back!"

Bla.  Bla.  Bla.

My colleague Doc S made this adept analogy of the aformentioned Honey Boo Boo as it pertains to the upcoming election:  "Frankly, its six of one, half a dozen of the other. Both shows are about freakish 
contestants in a tasteless beauty pageant..."

At least that hillbilly family has no visible malice, unlike the debacle we call American politics.  

This Fall try to embrace the simple things: leaves changing colors, football Sundays, back to school and the continuing saga of The Guide to Somewhere.

We ain't going anywhere.  And we want your feedback, involvement and overall good vibes.  Cause there is more to this life than what big media stuffs down your throat on a daily basis.   

Maybe this space won't be as  scatterbrained next time either...  maybe.

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