Long haired, tattooed scumbag strikes back…

We are on the ferry from
New London, Connecticut
to
Orient Point, New York.
It’s 12 noon on Saturday
February 7th
2004.

We are tired because the previous
evening, turned into a long,
long night. We settle
into our seats to catch a
short nap as the ferry
traverses Long Island Sound.

He is an electrician from
Laurel, New York. He does the
wiring for Century 21 on the
North Fork.

They are a middle aged lesbian
couple from Southold, New York
who have been recently relocated
to Rhode Island by their employer.

As I drift in and out of sleep,
the conversation begins
about the couple’s dog
and meanders from
the skyrocketing property values on the East End
to
East End traffic
to
the good old days on the East End
to
fishing on the East End
to
drinking and driving on the East End
to
the current state of the East End electrical
installation business which is being
overrun by people from the wrong side
of Long Island. You know the type, the
scumbags with long hair, tattoos and
no respect for themselves or anything.
Sometimes…I am truly amazed by
what I hear in public places.
In this case, I am
amazed in three ways.

I am amazed, first of all, because people lack the
ability to talk quietly among themselves. If I
recall correctly, this was a lesson taught
in First Grade or
perhaps Kindergarten.

I am amazed because people lack the ability to keep
their bigotries and dirty little beliefs to
themselves. They prefer to fly them
high and proud
like amber waving patriotic flags.

Finally, I am amazed because people lack the ability
to recognize the fact that not all people with long
hair and tattoos from the wrong side of Long Island
are scumbags.

Some people with long hair and tattoos
from the wrong side of Long Island own pens
and have a very good memory for
things that they overhear
on the noon ferry traveling from
New London, Connecticut to Orient Point, NY.

Some people with long hair and tattoos
from the wrong side of Long Island
aren’t scumbags at all.

They have careers. Sometimes, more than one.
They pay exorbitant Long Island property taxes which
means *GASP* that they own a home.
They have beautiful, supportive wives.
They love animals of all shape, size and manner.
They feed the birds outside of their winter windows.
They donate items to the Salvation Army.
They give hitchhikers twenty bucks because they can’t
give them a ride to the other side of town.

Saying that people with long hair and tattoos
from the wrong side of Long Island are scumbags
is the equivalent of me saying that every
electrician from Laurel, NY is a bigot.
I am sure there are perfectly pleasant, humane,
understanding, compassionate, open minded
electricians from Laurel, NY.

I will not let your bigotry color my vision.

Postscript:
If you will note, I was very specific about
recording your occupation, your hometown, the company
that you do work for, the date, the time and the
direction of our shared ferry ride. I did all of
these things, because I have faith that someone,
somewhere, at some point in time will recognize you,
give you a copy of this poem and that you might,
for one frozen second,
realize just how offensive
you and your words were
on February 7th 2004,
on the noon ferry from
New London, Connecticut
to
Orient Point, New York.

Post Postscript:
I am no longer naive enough to
believe that my words here will
change the way you think,
but as a matter of self preservation
you should definitely pursue
whispering lessons before
a less sympathetic
scumbag from the wrong
side of Long Island
with long hair, tattoos
and a short, ill temper
forces you to
swallow your teeth.

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