If’n you didn’t know, I’m from Montana, the 4th largest state in the nation where we actually say stuff like “if’n.” We have a saying out here that, “Minneapolis is Back East and Spokane is the Big City. California is Off-Planet.” In my visits with Jim, I’m thinking that we might consider Jersey to be off-planet, too.
Case in point: In Montana, if you are walking down the street and see someone coming toward you, it is likely that one of you will say, “Mornin’!” as you pass. (Or “Afternoon! or Evenin’! depending upon the time of day, naturally.) The other will reply in kind, with the same greeting; only with the pitch direction inverted. The exception to this rule is if you are in Butte, where the correct greeting is “How she go?”
Jim and I were visiting about this and he remarked that in Jersey, the proper response to “How’s she go?” or “Mornin’!” would be either disembowelment, or a double-tap in the thinking machine.
Earlier this week, I happened to be on the campus of one of our two state universities. I’d just finished lunch and was on my way back to the parking lot and had to cross a street.
I approached the crosswalk and stopped, checking for traffic. Vehicles approaching from both sides stopped to let me and another gentleman pass.
As we crossed the street, he remarked to me that he’d been in Montana for quite a while and was still taken aback at how polite people were. He then went on to talk a little bit about how he’d grown up in a small town in California which had been swallowed into Los Angeles and so on, and people there used to be polite to each other until the people started moving in from the city . . .
I said, “Does it look like I’ve got time to sit around and listen to your fuckin’ life story?”
Sheesh. What an asshole. Couldn’t he see that I’m a busy guy with places to go, people to see and things to do?