'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
THE SNOBS VS. THE SLOBS
A few years ago I read in a magazine that Greenwich, Connecticut, was voted one of the best places in America for the wealthy to live. Well, duh! Of course Greenwich is a great place for the wealthy to live—only the wealthy can afford the real estate prices in that Gold Coast community.
I once looked on a real estate website and found a Greenwich location listed for only $300,000. Wow, what a deal, I thought. But on closer look, it turned out that was the price for just the tool shed. The rest of the property cost an additional $6 million. (On the other hand, the tool shed still was quite a bargain as it had central air conditioning and a servants’ entrance.)
Personally, even if I won the lottery, I’d never move to Greenwich. You see, I don’t feel very comfortable around rich people. It’s not that they are rather superficial—I mean, what am I, after all, Mr. Deep Thinker? It’s just that I have nothing in common with wealthy folks, other than we’re both carbon-based life forms (Donald Trump excepted). Honestly, how long can you carry on a polite conversation with someone who spent more money on his or her dog than I spent sending my kids to college?
Also, when rich people start talking about various types of wines, I’m completely lost. I only know a couple of facts about wines: some come in bottles, some come in boxes. Some have corks, some have screw tops.
Anyway, the magazine article also said one of the great features about Greenwich is that it is “a haven from over-franchised America and its ubiquitous corporate logos.”
To be honest, I kind of like ubiquitous corporate logos. (By the way, I think “ubiquitous” is a snooty Greenwich word that means, “Hey Cletus, them things is everywhere!”)
It’s not that I would prefer to live, say, right on the Berlin Turnpike, in a house wedged between a Circuit City store and a Burger King. (Although the idea of only having to walk 30 feet to pick up either a Whopper or a DVD player is kind of attractive.) It’s just that with franchised retail establishments—especially when I’m out of town on business—I know exactly what I’m going to get. There are no surprises involved.
For example, when I stay in a Courtyard by Marriott, I can count on having a room that is slightly too small and an air conditioning unit that makes the following noise every four minutes all night long: “CLUNK! Yannnnng, yannng, yang, yan-yan-yan-yan woooshhhhh…”
Although I’m unable to get a good night’s sleep, it gives me peace of mind to be in familiar surroundings, even when I’m in a foreign country—such as my recent business trip to North Carolina.
In the morning, when I stagger out of the hotel room, half asleep because of the noisy A.C. unit, I can count on tripping over a copy of “USA Today.” I also can count on that newspaper to give me a brief overview of every major news story in America—written at a sixth grade level—in less than ten minutes.
When I visit a Dunkin Donuts store before my first business meeting, I can mumble, “Large black coffee and a jelly donut,” and know exactly what I will get: a caffeine and sugar rush that will prevent me from snoring until almost 10 a.m.
So call me a middle-class elitist if you must. But I have very high standards regarding mediocrity. And I don’t care what the snobs in Greenwich think about it.
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