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I Smell a Mockumentary….Christopher Guest Better Pay Attention

Matt and I saw the funniest thing on the news last night. Actually – there were two things and we were both laughing hysterically. Poor Dusty didn’t know what was going on.

The first news item was a report about the North End of Boston and how local merchants are upset about a potential Dunkin Donuts opening up on Hanover Street.  One little cafe owner has even created a petition to prevent this business from moving in. On the other side of the spectrum, there were three North End residents who, in retaliation, have created their own petition to actually have a Dunkin Donuts move in (side note: I have no clue who these petitions are for…they were both done on torn out notepad paper with no text on top indicating what it was for…wouldn’t that make it invalid?)

Personally, I side with the local merchant. If you’ve got the real deal in the North End (authentic Italian coffee houses and pastry shops) why do you need a chain, too? Plus – there are two Dunkin Donuts already at the entrance to the North End by both of it’s subway stations (Haymarket and North Station).

But that’s beside the point. What was so funny about this report was the fact that the news channel only interviewed female senior citizens…with heavy (HEAVY) Boston accents. They were pitted against each other with their smoky voices, roller-curled hair and not a single “r” to be heard. The humor is definitely lost in translation since you can’t hear their actual voices. But it was killing us. Killing us, I tell you!

Then, later in the same broadcast it got even better. There was a separate report about an elderly housing complex in Canton, Massachusetts (a suburb of Boston). Apparently, Bingo used to take place at this complex until things got rowdy. It got so bad that the Canton Housing Aurhority has banned Bingo. The news reporters interviewed senior citizens on both sides of the debate and the mud-slinging was fierce. These folks were fiesty with a capital-F. The best part was the tone of the report. At one point, the reporter said “it’s gotten so bad in Canton that people are raising cane”…then they showed an elderly man’s walking cane! It was classic!

The voice-over kept talking about the hostility, anger and volatility of the crowd while the camera was showing this lazy room of people with walkers, wheelchairs, oxygen machines and so much polyester that a single match would engulf the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

I think this premise is worthy of mockumentary a la Best in Show or Waiting for Guffman. Simply put, it was a riot. Hell than no fury as an elderly person without a Bingo Card.


  1. Comment by David on September 9, 2004 11:58 am

    Hey Bingo is SERIOUS business.
    They have to have something to do!!
    I wouldn’t want to tangle with a bingo seinor!
    They will slice you with the corner of a bingo card.

  2. Comment by Doug on September 9, 2004 12:58 pm

    Hmmmm..Not quite as funny, but a perfect case of “Captain Obvious”…Channel 7 was reporting on a house fire in Salem. Stating that the house was gutted when the blaze engulfed the house. Then the newscaster says “The seven people living in the house….are now looking for a new place to live”……I was roaring…

  3. Comment by Anonymous on September 9, 2004 2:40 pm

    (authentic Italian coffee houses and pastry shops) <— huh? What’s “authentic” about an “Italian coffee house and pastry shop”?

  4. Comment by Anonymous on September 9, 2004 2:43 pm

    (authentic Italian coffee houses and pastry shops) <— huh? What’s “authentic” about an “Italian coffee house and pastry shop”?

  5. Comment by Karl on September 9, 2004 3:25 pm

    Well, I guess a clearer description would have been independent Italian-owned, Italian-operated cafes…with Italian pastries (cannoli, pizzelle, etc…).

  6. Comment by matt on September 9, 2004 7:52 pm

    I am tired of seeing Starbucks, The Gap, Dukin Donuts and CVS on every corner. The North End is one of the very few places around here which has not been compromised to the charm of a strip mall! Down with Dunkin Donuts!

  7. Comment by Will on September 9, 2004 10:04 pm

    Matt, you go boy! I agree entirely. I have travelled a lot and it’s always the same everywhere now–the mall with the same fifteen stores wherever you go in the world, the same coffee shops, McDonald’s springing up like fungus everywhere.

    The North End is something unique to itself. Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket have managed to keep the fast food chains out and I hope the North End does, too.

  8. Comment by Anonymous on September 10, 2004 3:09 pm

    Wrong. Martha’s Vineyard has had a Dairy Queen for years. And isn’t there a CVS on Hanover Street in the North End? And what about Italian-owned, Italian-operated cafes? I didn’t know that Boston was allowing non-US citizens operate businesses in the city? Are they paying taxes to Rome? Maybe you all would be more comfortable living in a country in which the economy couldn’t support franchises? How quaint.

  9. Comment by matt on September 12, 2004 9:45 pm

    There is a CVS — don’t know about the Dairy Queen, tho. Years and years ago it wasn’t even an Italian neigborhood — It was Jewish. The thing is that so much gentrification has been going on in Cambridge and Boston —- The North End is really the only neighborhood which is holding on to any real flavor unique to itself. …and, I find it interesting how over the years that a charming word such as “quaint” has turned into a sarcastic word.

    However, speaking for myself I am not all that happy with most aspects of the US government — I would be out of here REAL fast if I could speak French.

    Who are you, mister negative # man/woman????

    Seems like you need a hug.

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