Commonplace Book: Alexander Theroux on Boston

Compelling passages, notable quotables, bon mots, disjecta, ephemera, and miscellany.

Boston_Ma

But it was not just one thing, it was everything about Boston from which at the time Eugene Eyestones wanted to get away: the lying and thieving politicians who voted themselves lifetime pensions secretly backdoored through their very own committees, the crass nepotism, all those strawberry-faced, gor-bellied Boston cops arse-looping around in their official cars confiscating drugs and guns only to sell them later for fast cash; the state policemen on the take, pooled from the dumbest, meanest bullies in high school; the exorbitant taxes; the lack of parking spaces; the incessant traffic jams; all the mischief in courts, politically appointed judges and hack lawyers, the endless civic corruption in City Hall; the one-party system by which Democrats with diabolical ingenuity have been infiltrating and destroying the state for ages; the blatant racism and reaction in the city; the crass pension thieves; the state workers and idlers who show up for work whenever they want; the provincial atmosphere of the place, all the parochialism, the corrupt pols and lying, diddling priests, the phony hand-shakers – it was true what he had heard, you always know you’re from Boston if you think you are superior to everybody but never have traveled anywhere else – all of whom seemed to meet at O’Boys Café. “I never like to go to Boston,” a drunken Irishman once confessed to Eyestones, nudging him. “Why?” he asked. “Because everybody looks like me!” It was all in all a parade of scullion-ugly, jut-jawed, turnip-nosed, red-faced, pale-shinned, watery-eyed cabbages stumbling from room to room and hooting and shouting with their Boston accents – “Gedadaheah!” “Gimme me a hot dawg!” “Two mokah rahmond cwoffees!” “It’s hahf-pahst foah!” “A stawm’s blowin’ down from the nawth!” “Where’s my pockabook?” “Can you spare me a quaddah?” “Got to go to the irondeer” – eye and ear – “infirmary!” “I’m flying Delta Rearlines!” “Wanna hit the hosses?” etc. – that fully convinced Eugene Eyestones that if he did not leave town immediately he would explode.

From Laura Warholic or, The Sexual Intellectual (2007)

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One thought on “Commonplace Book: Alexander Theroux on Boston

  1. I xeroxed this section of the novel a few years ago; I was kicking around a conference paper-essay idea on the anti-Hibernian rant, but I can’t figure out what to add unless I read it aloud myself, and I lack a Boston accent.

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