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April 7, 2012


NEW ENGLAND, April 7 – I’d forgotten how many bros there were in this part of the world. After Boston, it’s been hard for the three of us to not “do” that generic Southie accent, occasionally adding a touch of JFK voice to break things up a bit. Get in the fah-kin’ cah, ya jagoff! Why does this accent convey so much menace? Why are New England tough guys so deeply disturbing? I spent five years in the south, and I’ve never, ever, heard this level of danger conveyed through a Southern accent.

When I lived in Providence, I was walking down my street once when a man in a wifebeater and backwards baseball cap yelled up to an identical man leaning out a second story window.

Man 1: You fucking comin’ down?!
Man 2: I got eleven fuckin’ kids up heah!

Another time, I was walking down the same street when a pit bull charged a chain link fence and roared at me. I was in a good mood, so I gave the dog a cheery raspberry. A bro appeared from thin air. “Yeah, stick yah fackin tongue out at ‘im! That’ll scare him!” he said with deep anger.

Last night, in Connecticut, I arrived at the record store hosting the reading and found an empty room. For years, I’ve shot my mouth off about how I’ll perform to any size crowd, up to and including no one, and for a moment I thought, oh no, this is it. But then I found the basement. Normally a dozen people waiting for you in a low-ceilinged cellar would be a creepy thing, but in this case it was a relief. No bros showed, and the show went on as scheduled and was a smash.