You students are back. We locals, many of the best of whom began our lives here as scholar-transplants from that Other America ourselves, know this without consulting a calendar because, overnight, the ease of a city all but abandoned to reason (and a reasonable-size population) for the summer has been defeated by a general rise in noise and disruption. Goodbye, relative tranquility, parking spaces, and seats on the T. Hello freshmen. Welcome back, Classes of '11, '12, and '13.
It's not that we don't like you kids. Exactly. Along about February, we'll be co-existing. You'll know your place; we'll have accepted your inevitability (and your money). It's just that . . . well, it's bad enough that you block the sidewalks unloading all your clothes and microwaves and shit, but you arrive carrying an excess of civic baggage as well.
For one thing, you all get here at the same time! — usually in the middle of a heat wave and a week-long Red Sox home stand when the streets of Back Bay would be sufficiently overtaxed without your parents' double-parked minivans and your damn curb-hopping U-Hauls.
We weren't ready for you. We never are. You paralyze our easily-paralyzed city, and we resent it.
Even after Mom and Dad have scurried back to their empty nest, your presence intensifies and institutionalizes our traffic chaos. Native Bostonians are terrible and uncivil drivers. You may be able to handle a car, but unless you learned to drive in, say, Rome or Beirut, you are unprepared to compete here, because you don't have the chops to know how to get the fuck out of the way!
You can't even cross streets properly. Like the numerous out-of-town visitors who die beneath our raging wheels in summer, you fell for that shit about crosswalks and pop yourself randomly into traffic actually expecting that somebody's going to stop and let you get to the other side. Fools! In Boston, only tourists and suicides cross at corners. Natives cross at mid-block, where there are fewer surprises and they can see what's coming.
But you're entitled to the right of way, you whine. Think about it. You're on foot. You can give me the finger. I'm in a car. I can end your life. Where either of us has a right to be isn't really part of the equation.
And the same goes for your green-so-green bicycles. Sorry. This city talks a good game about becoming bike friendly, but Amsterdam, this is not, nor will it be. Go ahead; assert yourself in traffic. You're on two flimsy wheels saving the planet one street at a time. You can give me the finger. I'm squandering the world's petro-resources and hastening global decay in a multi-ton contraption. I can end your life. You're good; I'm bad. Agreed. So?
Nor do you behave well when drunk. Look, we've got our quota of native-born belligerent, staggering fat fucks. Just stroll down Brookline Ave after a Red Sox game and see. Compared to those big-barfing brawlers, you're the amateur hour. Piss on somebody's lawn? Ha! These guys relieve themselves on cop cars and baby strollers. Your childish displays of over-indulgence (and that includeS karaoke) are neither needed nor appreciated. Drink and go home.