‘Burb People

THE BURBS is a movie I don't have to see. I lived it.

THE BURBS is a movie I don’t have to see. I lived it.

If you’re looking for a review of THE BURBS, the movie, well, sorry, folks, but you’ve landed on the wrong page.  I can’t review it because I haven’t seen it.  I don’t want to see it.

I already lived it.

This week an incident reminded me all over again of why I’m so glad to have left the ‘burbs, and that phase of my life, far behind me.

Those who think the cities are filled with all manner of crazies have always made me laugh.  Yes, cities attract a lot of nuts, true that, but most of them manage to get lost in the crowd, and who pays attention to them when there are so many better people to be inspired by here anyway?

In the ‘burbs, it’s different.  I always have said that when people in the ‘burbs are crazy, we’re talking they’re major-league, world class, save the world, save the whales, bay-at-the-moon-and-call-it-religiosity crazy.   It was like growing up in a zoo, or better yet, a bat cave.

I’ve always wondered just how I might have turned out had I not been stuck in a lifeless suburb from the ages of 11 to 25 and surrounded by so many different types of fanatics.  It’s been really easy for me to go in other directions than the ones I’m about to recount here.  I didn’t just walk away, or even run – I all but flew.

Suburbanites are, by their very choice of living locales, usually the sort of people who are afraid of the cities.  In some instances they’re downright phobic, believing if you so much as boarded a bus to go to Broadway, “You’ll be murdered!”  Yeah, right.  Ridiculous!  But that’s the sort of nutty thing people would say – to a kid like me, when I was all excited about going to see my first Broadway show.

I knew all kinds in the suburbs, and let me tell you, it wasn’t “Mayberry RFD.”  I don’t remember what “RFD” in that old TV show used to stand for, but “OCD” would have been a good designation for a lot of the suburbanites that I knew.  I knew fanatical freaks.  I knew hippie freaks.   The hippies professed peace and love but were breaking the law by doing drugs and thus patronizing violent drug dealers.  Peace?  Where’s the peace in that?  I knew the sort of screaming Democrats who were such bullying motormouths to anyone who disagreed with them that to this day, the minute I hear someone is a member of that party, my first thought is, “Oh my God, are there any headphones handy?  How bad is this one going to get?”

Did I mention that the time period I’m speaking of is the 1970s?  Do I have to, or is it already obvious?

On top of all of the above, all over town, there were members of The Crowd with the Complexes.  I’m sure you know the type.  These are the top nuts on the suburban fruitcake, the whipped cream with the cherry on top of the which-exit sundae.  It would be one thing if they left the rest of us alone, but they don’t.  They’re not just miserable, they’re desperate for company, and want to take you along with them on their, ahem, inner journeys.  Fasten that seatbelt!  This one’s trying to find herself, that one’s trying to lose himself, a religious bunch were all complaining they’d lost their “inner peace,” whatever that means, this one hates his mother, that one hates her father, another bunch was off to the nudist colony because they didn’t like it that “society” was “forcing them” to wear clothes…

I used to have a blast getting a rise out of all of them, but the non-clotheshorses were a really fun group to give a little backtalk to.  “You don’t like society for forcing you to wear clothes?  Well it’s January in New Jersey, honey, so if I were you, I’d either move to Tahiti or put on a parka and suck it up!”

Was I disrespectful at times like that?  Sure I was – and proud of it, too!  How much respect were they showing to anyone else when this nonsense would begin, eh?  Aha, now, answer me that!

Is it also any wonder my favorite song involved how “these little town shoes are longing to stray?”  One of the happiest days of my whole life was the one when I moved out of there.

A ‘burb character, a blast from the past who’s like a bit of flatulence upon the wind, has been giving me some agitation this week, but hey, I don’t live there where you’re all fascinated by your own navels anymore, so you can take your self-involved nonsense, dearie, and place it where the sun doesn’t shine!  Woo-hoo!  I live in the Big Apple, not in some place where somebody’s attention-getting “complex” is made into a problem to be projected onto all those they know.  Have fun “finding” yourself again, dearie, but please, do it over there!

I’ve said it before, and I’m saying it again: I love living in New York!


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