The Assistant Village Idiot seeks wisdom on current affairs from time-to-time by consulting with Eb Jenkins, a semi-retired Yankee from Lost Nation, NH.
AVI: There’s been a lot of talk in the news about building a wall along our southern border. What’s your take on that, Eb?
EJ: Sounds right smaht. I been sayin’ for yeeahs that they should put up some ba'b’d wya at least, stahtin’ at Seabrook and goin’ cleah ova to Hinsdale. Can’t be more’n eighty miles or so, and I’m shua they’d give you a deal on it down at True Value, seein’ as it's buyin’ quantity.
AVI: But Eb, that won’t solve anything. Won’t they just drive up 93 or the Everett Turnpike like they always do?
EJ: Don’t need to worry. We don’t want to prevent anyone from comin’, we just want them to undastand the proppa attitude to take once they get heah. We want that hunkad-down-in-a-blizzad, leave-me-alone outlook on life that makes New Hampsha great. We have a cultcha to presurve.
AVI: Won’t people think we’re being unfriendly?
EJ: Why would that be a bad thing, exactly?
AVI: But people have been complaining for years how hard it is to come here and be accepted. Won’t this just make it worse?
EJ: Nope. Betta. It’s what they call a teachin’ tool over at Crawf'd Notch Regional School. These new folks just haven’t learned yet how much fun ‘tis to complain about outsidas. They still identify with outsidas, and theya pooa little feelin’s ah huht. Once they get it straight that the way t’ fit in is to hate people from Massachusetts – or pretty much anywaya, actually – they’ll be as native as anyone.
AVI: But what about those stories about people who lived here for years and still weren’t considered…
EJ: We didn’t write those. Yankees don’t caya if anyone feels “accepted” or not. That’s an ideer imported From Away, wheya folks’re in touch with theya feelin’s.
AVI: Old Yankees aren’t in touch with their feelings?
EJ: How would you tell?
AVI: They seem pretty in touch with their feelings over in Vermont…
EJ: It’s a dam' shame what’s happened ova theya. Used to be a state with moa cows than people, as God intended. Now they got “workshops,” and “retreats,” and who-knows-what. I don’t go theya much.
AVI: Do you really think that a black person from Dorchester could come settle here and be accepted, just by hating Massachusetts?
EJ: I don’t know as it’s been tried that simple, but I don’t see why not. If theya was any question, he could just get up at town meetin’ in Mahch and complain about the increase on the dump stickahs. Most folks would feel pretty comfortable he’d got the message then.
AVI: How would a person know if they were accepted as a real NewHampshireman?
EJ: If you still caya, you ain’t theya.