Judge me, go ahead.

I’m an NPR person pretty much all day, but especially in the morning. Not because the reports confirm all my liberal biases, either, but because I’m pretty much constitutionally incapable of tolerating snappy radio banter before I’ve been sufficiently caffienated. I need Carl Kasell. In a pinch, I can handle Don Imus. He always sounds grumpy; suits me fine.

That said, there is some news that just cries out for snappy banter. Moments ago, the local NPR news mentioned how pleased the residents of Holland, Mich., were over a line on “The Simpsons” recently, in which, the newscaster said, “Homer looks at a fully equipped recreational vehicle and says, ‘Wow, I’d like to drive that to the Tulip Festival in Holland, Michigan.'” The episode, he added, has been “the talk of the town.”


Met Ron downtown for lunch yesterday. He said we’d walk someplace. I needed cash, but figured hell, we’ll be walking through downtown — I’ll just hit an ATM. I’m still getting familiar with the strange, open, brownfield-prairie landscape of downtown Detroit, which in many places resembles the set of a movie about the post-apocalyptic future. Which is to say, we didn’t pass an ATM. We arrived in Corktown and found a perfectly nice, funky place to eat that…didn’t take plastic. And Ron had $11 to his name.

“Will you accept a personal check?” I asked with some desperation. It was a nice day, but I didn’t want to go back out there and look for an ATM, which could easily be a mile away. The waiter said yes. With some evident exasperation.

So we ate our sandwiches and drank our diet Coke, and I wrote my check. The waiter peeked over my shoulder. “I knew it!” he exulted. “I knew you were from Grosse Pointe. People from Grosse Pointe never carry money.”

That’s because restaurants in Grosse Pointe generally take plastic.

I thought of Carol Kane in “Annie Hall,” telling Woody Allen, “That’s OK, I enjoy being reduced to a cultural stereotype.” I wonder how long this is going to bug me. And to think, all I wanted was a functional school system, a manageable commute and proximity to a large body of water.


Sarah Jessica Parker turns 40, gets dropped by The Gap in favor of a 17-year-old. The WashPost’s advice: Look on the bright side, S.J. — one year of work grossed you $38 million.

Why some stories, like snappy banter, are just made for new media — Slate’s stories on the Jackson trial, with this pithy headline: How scuzzy is the accuser’s family? Answer: Pretty durn scuzzy.

And is that all? It is, for now.

Posted at 9:58 am in Uncategorized |

12 responses to “Judge me, go ahead.”

  1. mary said on March 23, 2005 at 10:39 am

    Only in the past five years have I been able to find ATMs in downtown LA. Downtown was not at all pedestrian friendly. The larger office buildings had their main entrances through the underground parking garages. There were ATMs in lobbies of buildings, but those buildings were locked up on weekends. You’re lucky the restaurant would take a check.

    On a completely different subject:

    I made the infamous page 26 macaroni and cheese last night. Remember? The six tablespoons of butter, one cup of heavy cream, lots and lots of cheese recipe? It’s wonderful, and incredibly rich. I will post the recipe if anyone is interested.

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  2. Connie said on March 23, 2005 at 10:57 am

    Glad you enjoyed my recipe. And don’t be putting down Tulip Time, you know I used to be one of those dutch dancing girls.

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  3. mary said on March 23, 2005 at 11:11 am

    The leftovers will be lunch today for me and the 11 year old on spring break. We’ll be having something like fish and salad for supper tonight.

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  4. Mindy said on March 23, 2005 at 1:55 pm

    We lived in Colorado Springs once upon a time and were delighted with having ATMs absolutely everywhere. I went something like eighteen months without setting foot inside the credit union. 7-Eleven was the ultimate in convenience; gas, pretty decent coffee, cash (no fee, either), buckets of Diet Coke, all in one quick stop. The grocery stores accepted cards from all of the credit unions and banks and were always right at the entrance. Saved gobs of time. No such luck here in the Fort. Gotta drive hither and yon to find an ATM without getting slapped with a fee.

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  5. Jeff said on March 23, 2005 at 2:46 pm

    I just moved within this county, from a very rural (NASCAR rural) village to an upscale town (Hebron to Granville for those who know Licking County just east of Columbus OH). My wife had gotten a college job in the new town a year before we moved, and the schools are listed as best in the state, so when the right house came available, the die was cast.

    But what i didn’t expect was how people i’d known for *years* would suddenly start treating me differently, let alone how clerks, cashiers, etc. would offer a totally different affect in conversation and interaction. Mainly, there was a sudden assumption that we were now “loaded,” when our income probably dropped by 40% on our move (i resigned my fulltime job to be the home daddy and freelance scribbler). People who never hit me up for charity event tickets not only asked but were offended when i declined, weird remarks about my car (or next car, likely another 70,000 miles away), or assumptions about vacation plans were the least of it.

    But no one carries money here, ’tis true, versus the more down-home ambiance of our former neighborhood, where people paid at the door for their Scout popcorn from a fat roll of $50’s. If you asked about ATMs you would likely get confused with the ATV sales and repair place. So it is different, it’s just that we aren’t…yet.

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  6. Nance said on March 23, 2005 at 3:53 pm

    The money-in-your-pocket thing is an interesting demographic and/or class marker. Not that I’m claiming higher status for myself, mind you, but I’ve always found this thing interesting. I had a colleague once who said his personal comfort level for cash-in-pocket was $100 — if he was carrying any less, he felt as though he didn’t have nearly enough. Whereas I rarely carry more than $20, and have been known to walk around for days without so much as phone-call change. If it weren’t for debit cards, I’d be dead.

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  7. basset said on March 23, 2005 at 9:45 pm

    macaroni and cheese? post, please post.

    going to Dayton soon for a couple of days, don’t really know the place so I checked virtualtourist.com, which made Dayton sound either boring or scary depending on what part of town you’re in.

    at least one former resident has told me that sounds about right.

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  8. brian stouder said on March 23, 2005 at 10:06 pm

    I remember – many years ago – using atm’s all the time, and thinking the whole concept of ‘debit cards’ was some sort of idiot-trap (like multi-state lotteries and payday loan shops). ‘Gimme cash!’

    But after a decade of electronic deposit, and the proliferation of places that accept debit cards – including practically all restaurants and fast food places – I cannot imagine life without a debit card, and I cannot remember the last time I waited in a bank line (drive-through or lobby)

    I usually have less than $5 cash on me, and when we do the weekly round-up of receipts, a nicely raked pile of 10 or 12 slips of paper get duly registered, and then shredded.

    Anymore, cash strikes me as something to hang onto, set aside, and collect….kind of like S & H Greenstamps of old

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  9. John said on March 24, 2005 at 7:28 am

    S & H green stamps….oh geez Brian..how old are you?

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  10. Dave said on March 24, 2005 at 9:40 am

    Oh, geesh, don’t do that to me. Who else on here remembers S&H Green Stamps? Surely, it’s not just Brian and I.

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  11. Danny said on March 24, 2005 at 9:47 am

    Nancy, your site looks different. I no likey!

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  12. Nance said on March 24, 2005 at 9:53 am

    ??? Looks exactly the same from this end.

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