Remember when Saturday Night Live used to be funny? In the fall of 1989 there was a skit called “What’s The Best Way”. It poked fun at the way New Englanders give directions. I remember half the room laughed hysterically and the other half sat there with puzzled looks on their faces. Clearly, they’d never asked for directions from a native New Englander.
Let’s face it, New England roads can be quirky to put it politely, and the way natives give directions can be equally as peculiar. We offer guidance one of two ways, either we assume that everyone has lived here all their lives and knows the history of every building and plot of land. Or, we assume everyone is a tourist and proceed to tell them about every nook and cranny that shouldn’t be missed. You know you have become a native when a) you understand the directions they give and b) you start to do it yourself.
I was talking with the mother of a boy from my son’s class the other day and she was trying to clarify where in town I live (names changed to protect the innocent).
Her: “Are you near Suzy Smith? You know Suzy right?”
Me: “Oh, I know Suzy, but I’m not sure where she lives.”
Her: “”She lives in Jane Jones’ old house.”
I gave that “Whaaa?” look and we both laughed.
My husband and I heard an advertisement on the radio for Ron’s Toy Shop. I thought it an odd time and station for this type of ad until my husband pointed out that Ron’s Toy Shop sells and maintains toys for BIG boys. He then proceeded to tell me where it was.
Him: “I think that’s the place down on Route 3 and 28 in Hooksett.”
Me: “Oh, Ok so North of where the drive-in used to be, and the 99 that that they torn down and rebuilt.”
Me: “Like sort of in the area of the Chinese food place that burned down.”
Him: “Right across the street actually.”
Me: “Oh, I thought that company that Lulu’s father used to work for was right across the street?”
Him: “Not any more, they went under and I think Ron’s took over the site.”
Two things you need to know:
The Chinese food restaurant burned down in the 80’s, LONG before he and I got together. I’ve NEVER EVEN SEEN THE PLACE, but I know where the empty lot is. I doubt most people even know there WAS a Chinese food restaurant there.
Secondly, when I was doing some cursory research for this blog entry, I discovered that Ron’s Toy Shop is actually on Elm Street in Manchester. 8.5 miles South of the location we identified.
Thanks goodness we own a GPS!!!
Disclaimer: I’ve never been to Ron’s Toy Shop. They don’t know me, and I only know them from their ads on the Radio.