Readers, you probably already know that we’re not from these parts. Michael is from Indianapolis, and I’m from Gdynia, Poland by way of Brooklyn. Four years ago, we ended up in the Queen City. Along the way, we’ve learned a thing or two about this fine city; allow me to share a few of my Cincinnati stories with you.
The Hot Dog Stand
A couple of weeks after we arrived in Cincinnati, I saw a man drop something as he was walking down the street. Instinctively, I picked it up. It was a wallet. A stolen wallet, of course. I panicked and asked the nearest security guard what to do with it. He had me look through it and, since it contained a Social Security card, he suggested that I bring it to the Social Security office in the Federal Building. “If you have your gun on you, you can leave it with the lady at the hot dog stand. She holds guns for people all the time,” he advised me. I never actually tried this.
You Live in Over-the-Rhine?!?
When I met my boss at the start of my corporate design stint here in Cincinnati, our first getting-to-know-you chat began thusly, “You live in Over-the-Rhine?!? Has anything bad happened to you?” I still kick myself for not having a snappy comeback to that one. Our work relationship never really recovered after this awkward beginning.
Where Did You Go to High School?
I’ve heard this question asked, but no one has ever asked me directly. Here’s the closest I’ve come: I was chatting with a friend of a friend, who kept peppering her comments with “as a Princeton grad” and “when I was at Princeton.” It seemed a bit self-important, but I can empathize with the embarrassment and wounded pride of having attended a locally irrelevant school. At one point, I said, “I know what you mean; I went to Cornell.” She looked at me quizzically; I looked at her quizzically. Afterward, I mentioned this to our mutual friend, who explained that she was referring to Princeton High School. Oh, of course.
I’ve heard this plenty of times, but here’s my favorite incident: I was on the bus, headed downtown. I rang the bell, and the driver asked, “Is this the stop you want?” “Please,” I said. She repeated louder, “IS THIS THE STOP YOU WANT?”
Would you like paper or shopping? Yes, life is full of deep questions.
Option A or…? E.g. “Would you like fries with that or…?” Is Option B that difficult or unpleasant to articulate, or are you so rushed that you just can’t take the time to say it? Do I get it or…?
I take umbrage at your pronunciation of “umbrella.”
This needs fixed. Sigh, let’s not forget Hamlet’s eternal words, “To be or not to be fixed, that is the question.”