In the interest of fairness, before I begin this post, I have to divulge that I've worked in Marblehead for almost five years and have never really felt comfortable in the town since day one. Nobody has really said anything, but any time you go into a store or restaurant the locals always give you an attitude that says, "We know that you don't live here, so eat (or buy whatever) and get the hell out."
Yesterday I was in the local Richdale and there were a few kids in there and two guys probably in their mid 50s or so (maybe a shade older). I was getting a soda and some chips in the back of the store when one of the old guys just starts yelling at the clerk. "How can you serve these kids in here? Who the hell do you think you are? Why aren't you calling the school? You're a disgrace."
He then left leaving the clerk, the kids and the rest of the customers perplexed. I know the clerk a bit, enough to say hello and ask how he's doing, so I didn't feel weird to ask him what had just happened. He said that the guy just started screaming at him to call the school on the teens in the store because "there is no open campus."
I asked him why the guy did that and he told me that he thought it was because of his skin color. The clerk is either Indian or Pakistani, yes the Simpsons cliche of Apu plays out albeit without the robberies, and he was getting upset as he explained what happened.
"If I was your color or the color of the kids, I'd hear nothing. But that guy thinks because I look like I do, he can give me a hard time. And this isn't the first time it happened."
I truly felt sorry for him, because as much as I think I get the evil eye when I'm buying stuff in the down town area, this guy must get it ten times worse. And when you think about it, what the fuck does Marblehead have to be so damn smarmy about?
Yes, they have a nice stretch of ocean and beach, but they aren't Cape Cod or the Hamptons. They're in the middle of a blue-collar ring arond the town, boardering on Salem and Peabody and parts of Swampscott. Never mind the fact that they're within ten miles of Revere, Lynn and Everett. Their biggest hero, cyclist Tyler Hamilton, is a cheat who should probably give back his Olympic medal, which he won with the help of blood doping and Lance Armstrong not entering the games.
The guy who mans Richdale probably works 14 hours a day, every day and this isn't an easy job, yet here is a guy in his 50s on a Tuesday afternoon yelling at him that he should "do his job". Unbelievable. The day that I leave my job, I'll leave Marblehead for good and never return.
Today wasn't a bad day at all, I worked half a day and then had to be in Boston to set up for the American Physical Therapy Association show at the Hynes Convention Center. I came home around 1:30 ate some grub, did a little work on the computer and then went in to town.
I had to go into the Hynes T stop on the way home and saw that the good people of Scientology have set up a booth to get people to try and convert to their way of thinking through "Free Stress Tests!" If all of the Scientologists weren't busy with converts, I was seriously considering going over and seeing what kind of spiel they sing in order to get someone to come to their side.
Their man, L. Ron Hubbard, was a frustrated sci-fi writer before he came up with Dianetics, the cornerstone of the religion. Why someone would place their faith (and money) into his hands, I have no idea. Maybe tomorrow I will find out.
Also coming tomorrow, my initial reaction to the first week of class and some thoughts on recent comic strips. Peace.