1.3.06

I Love Livin' in the City - An Homage to Butt-*%#ck-Alo

I love my town. Not in some corny John Mellencamp or Bruce Springsteen vein. More like in a corny Lee Ving way. I love its convenience. If I want an egg roll at 1 a.m., the Chinese Restaurant around the block might still be open. If not, I can come home with spanakopita instead. Beat's the hell out of the suburbs, where you've got eight Olive Gardens, a Subway and one of those fake rustic places that let you throw the peanut scraps on the floor.

(I hear that if you sh*t in the suburbs, you have to get in the SUV for an eight minute drive just to flush. And you do it in a homogenous environment.)

It's not just the convenience and cheap eats that I love - it's the grit, too. Last week, some poor soul stepped in front of a spray of gunfire a block and a half from my school building. That must've hurt. It happened in the wee hours of the morning, so I was the denied the unpleasant sight of a bullet riddled corpse on the sidewalk, and the even more unpleasant sight of smiling, pointing on-lookers. It's a minor cause for concern, but not so much that it would send me fleeing to the 'burbs or to K-Mart for a bullet-proof jacket.

Whoever shot him obviously had his reasons, so strapping English teachers are not likely to be high on the sh*t-list, unless it's one of the kids I failed (nervous shudder).

That's one of the neighborhood's charms... An illustrious body-count. Last year, a heavy-shakin' momma was found cut to pieces jammed in suitcases, trash bags and the EZ bake oven. No garlic or shallots were found near the crime scene. That's more of an Elma or Franklinville thang.

Other creatures succumb to such horrible fates. I had to sidestep a pancaked rat recently, as I was getting out of my car. Its flesh and coat were a pulpy mess, through which you could see its spinal cord. Other identifying features were crushed beyond recognition, so the Mrs. had a tough time identifying the body. What I'm trying to figure out is how many hoodlum rats it took to operate a large vehicle.

In all honesty, it's been a while since I've even seen a rat - breathing or otherwise. One of the most brilliant decisions our civic leaders wrought was the 'blue bin' distribution. Every household was given a large, wheeled trash receptacle with a hinged lid. This drastically cut down on the sidewalk trash. The local rodentia suddenly found themselves without their traditional cornucopia of half-eaten goods on which to feast. They decided to move further east, to the suburb of Cheektowaga (pronounced CHICK-ah-to-WAH-GAH, if you actually live there), much to the chagrin of its residents. They couldn't believe the city had the audacity to rid itself of its rodent population. Stories circulated about family pets being ganged up on by tough city rats looking for some Chef-Boy-Ardee cans.

You still see some trash, though, but it's usually blown about in the wind - along with convenience store grocery bags, which always manage to entangle themselves in the highest branches of our trees. Also dangling over our heads are the ubiquitous pairs of sneakers and shoes, hanging there like an old ski pass on the zipper of some pansy banker's North Face jacket. NIKEs seem to be the most popular shoes to toss up there, though I did see a pair of Timberlands recently. I'd be pretty impressed if I saw a pair of wing-tips, but I'm not holding my breath. Pennyloafers would be a flat out miracle, though they're still attempting that in Cheektowaga, I hear.

On occasion, if you know where to look, you'll find the classic wooden bumper, fashioned out of a 2 X 4 and bolted securely on the back of a POS Monte Carlo. Some of our more accident prone denizen prefer a beefier 4 X 6, which provides much more rear-ending protection than the factory installed styrofoam/plastic models. I'm not sure how this additional fortification would help them if they happened to get T-boned while rolling through one of the many "optional" STOP signs in the neighborhood.

While on the cost-saving topic of auto repair, nothing replaces a window better than duct tape and Glad Bags. What? You think we can actually afford the glass rider on our insurance policies?

Finally, the people. Not the aforementioned dead ones. A resourseful bunch, if I ever saw one. F*ck paying retail and F*CK paying exorbitant delivery charges. At least that's the vibe I got from the homes I saw riding his bike, carrying a faux brass head and footboard for a double bed. His lady's getting some class tonight. Or my man carrying a bootleg La-Z-boy over his head for several icy blocks. I'm not sure if it was a curb-side score or not, but if it was a purchase, it takes balls the size of coconuts to walk out of the store with it.

"Nah. F*ck all that. I'm carryin' this sh*t home myself."

Then there's the devil-may-care homegirls, bravely darting out into the street to cross to Mc Donald's with their toddler. I'm sure the little ones are only happy to hone their Frogger skills so they can do the same once they reach third grade. Along with automobile dodging skills, the little ones are treated to a myriad of profanities while mommy goes off on da 'muther f*ckin' cell phone. Several of these choice obscenities will come in handy for kiddy when the 'muther f*ckin' teacher gets all in her grill.

Yes, these are the sights and sounds of the neighborhood. It makes the drive home interesting, makes the sun shine all the brighter and it makes me put my wallet in my front pocket. Somehow I manage to escape the drive unscathed, and the sketch factor diminishes substantially, block by block until I get home. When I consider the alternate: cul-de-sacs and manicured lawns - I get a frightful chill down my spine. I'd much rather talk about the wino who stole my shovel and then asked me if I wanted my driveway done for five bucks.

Thank you Buffalo! Good NIGHT!

26 comments:

Maryanne said...

Someone is experiencing a little NHL withdrawl?

Prego said...

No... I actually appreciate these aspects of city living - minus the corpses and crazy bitches wit' children, of course... But since you mention it, I am glad the Whores (Sabres) are back in action.

Incidentally, the "Butt-*%#ck-Alo" reminds me of sitting behind the Dallas Stars wives during the 1999 Cup Finals. They were under the impression that they were being witty when they used the phrase, as if we hadn't used it ourselves.

Plumkrazzee said...

I wanna see a rat's spinal cord!!!

Electric Short said...

I f in the case where corpse is in the way walk around it not over it. Blood is very slippery, so try not to step in it...

Viamarie said...

Just dropped by to say hello from Michelle.

Linda said...

You have a way with words! Michele sent me!

Dave said...

Here from Michele's this time and I have to say you haven't convinced me!

Terri said...

Although I'm still chuckling...I think I'll stay put on my little island of 800 residents.
You do make it all sound quite humorous though..lol
Visiting here from Michele's today.

A Year of Style said...

I think that I am going to have to move... Life is pretty boring on my street.

Garnet said...

I live in the boring suburbs and you're right about the shitting procedure. It's sad but true.

Here via michele.

surcie said...

Are you serious about the Easy-Bake Oven?? What a shame.

I don't think I could live in your neighborhood now that I have a child. My anxiety just wouldn't let me. I'm not in the 'burbs--I'm 20 minutes past 'em, 2 miles from the ocean. No crime to speak of here. But I definitely miss the ethnic, religious, and political diversity of the major metropolitan area we left 3 weeks ago.

Sandy said...

Ah, such a tribute. ;)

Michele sent me over.

Ash said...

Hmmm...very interseting! :) I have never been to Buffalo...and I do love city living as well. Word here on my streets is that shoes thrown up over the line are a sign that a gang is there. Don't know if its true or just another great urban legend generated...in one of those colorful cities like the kind you like. LOL
Here from Michele's!

Jacques Roux said...

Damn straight, homeslice!! Besides the family of 10 rats I share my flat with and that useless twat-breeder upstairs neightbor of mine, other joys of city living are: the delight I take in kicking the resident junkie in the head to wake him from his evening nod in the stairwell when I get home from work each night, or the free goodies you get when caught in the middle of a convenience store hold-up. Funny how the Asian proprietors don't pay attention to you while the gangbanger jumps in his souped up Civic to make his getaway. You'd think they'd try to avoid getting ripped off twice in the same 15 minutes.

Meghan said...

Yeah, my suburb (inner-ring, mind you) lacks sidewalks.

I think that reveals a deep rooted community hatred for chilren.

"Here Jimmy! You can learn how to ride a bike! Just cycle down the driveway! There you go!" and then SPLAT. Little Jimmy is crushed by the Jones'es Ford Expedition.

Because people LOVE SUV's in the suburb with no sidewalks.
The underlying assumption being, one must be in a CAR to get from point a to point b. That, and we are more likely to run over small children that way.

Poppy Buxom said...

Hi Prego--here via Michelle's.

I live in a suburb with no Olive Garden, although we might have a Subway, I'm not sure. Oh, and no cul-de-sacs, either. Unfortunately way too many SUVs.

But hell, those damned things are everywhere. I know a couple in Chicago who drive an Escalade. It's valet-parked in their building and the valets struggle to get the damned thing in and out of the car elevator.

Killired said...

dropping in to say hi from michele!

Joe said...

Glad you like. But I'd rather not live in a place where someone getting shot is no big deal.

Here via Michele.

Viamarie said...

Am back from Michele's.

Have a great weekend!

Prego said...

joe,

Sixty-five asses capped per annum in a population of 280,000 is barely noticeable. We do a pretty good job of hosing off the sidewalks, too.

Linda said...

So descriptive! Love your use of words...and you're not afraid to offend anyone! Michele sent me!

Karen said...

Thanks for stoppin' by my site from Michele's!

Liked your post but can't imagine living in the city since I've been a suburbanite all my life. Did visit NYC a couple of times & it was very interesting, to say the least.

margalit said...

Here via michele to thank the lord that I live in the nice quiet suburbs only 6 miles from downtown Boston, but with little crime and no rats and no corpses spread out on the streets. Those shoes you see haning, they're a memorial to someone who was killed.

ribbiticus said...

it definitely looks as though for you, there's no place like home. :)

Plain Jane said...

There's a funeral on Monday for the brother of a co-worker... shot down by a stray.

I could do without.

utenzi said...

Wow. Buffalo's gotten a lot harder than when I visited there back in the early 80's. I went to college over in Brockport and would visit Buffalo every month or so. I guess these days I'd just stay in the 'burbs. I don't need no gritty city life!