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How to Piss Off a Masshole

by Jia H. Jung Aug 20, 2013

Welcome to Massachusetts. There’s more than one reason why they call us Massholes, and we’re actually proud of most of them: grit, loyalty, strength, pride, saying it like it is, and knowing it all. As for the others, well, maybe that side of us would never have to come out if folks didn’t do a bunch of stuff to piss us off. Such as:

Say we’re bad or unfriendly drivers.

Because (A) we drive wicked good, and (B) we’re only unfriendly when you drive shitty, so ponder that.

Don’t complain about our roads, either. The one-ways and loop-de-loops date back to colonial times, and the reason our highways can’t resemble California’s is because we have winters and frost heaves. If you roll in here all spaced out and relying on your Australian-voiced GPS, you’re liable to get killed, so you should thank us for swearing at you.

Pretend not to like the word “wicked.”

Elsewhere, people have meaningless slang like “eh” and “hella,” so no one’s gotta single out “wicked.” That’s like going out of your way to visit P-town (Provincetown is at the tip of Cape Cod, if you didn’t know), then whining that it’s too damn gay.

Complain that the weather sucks, that things are boring, and that the people are uptight.
  1. Toughen up.
  2. Bring the party.
  3. Not true.

PS: Go f#$%& yourself.

Comment that “East Coast radio sucks” because you hear 92.5 – The River playing too much Pearl Jam for your taste.

Who’s got a problem with Pearl Jam?

Call this iconic sports and concert venue anything other than what it is.

That’d be The Garden.

Wear Yankees paraphernalia and talk a game you can’t back up.

Take a look around you, bud. You’re in Red Sox nation, not a Jay-Z video.

Become a MLB/NBA/NFL/NHL star, swear allegiance to New England, bring home championships for your team, elevate yourself to god status, then sell out for a few mill more to NY.

We’ll keep your victories, but once you leave Boston for New York, you’re pretty much dead to us in all other respects.

Trundle around Faneuil Hall or Fenway Park in your fanny pack shouting “Pahhhk the cahhh in Hahhhvahhhd Yahhhd.”

First of all, not all of us have that accent. Second, those of us who do don’t sound or look so foolish.

Base your preconceived notions of our state on pop culture references.


  • The Town, in which Blake Lively’s impression of the New England inflection makes her sound more like a transexual Latino.
  • The “my boy’s wicked smaht” and “how do you like them apples” scene out of Good Will Hunting, the main flaw being that nobody at Harvard is as good looking as that uppity douchebag with a golden ponytail.
  • The Social Network, for reasons named immediately above.
  • Jay Leno and his behavior over the past five years.
Show up demanding alcohol on Sunday or a holiday, and upon finding none on sale, whine, “Back in [lesser state], we can get alcohol anywhere, 24/7!”

Since before the witch trials, there’s been no booze sold on the Sabbath or on holidays. We’re not always happy about it, either, but if you haven’t learned the ropes after about four centuries of law and tradition, you’re pretty much hopeless no matter what you drink.

Talk smack about the Kennedys.

The Kennedys are/were saints and public servants, and have sufficiently paid their dues through personal tragedies and public embarrassments. Back off.

Glorify the Kennedys.

They rose to the elite on a foundation of illegal booze sales during Prohibition, and we all know Teddy left a girl in a ditch to drown after he drunk-flipped his car into it. Not to speak ill of the recently departed…

Scorn the Irish for no good reason.

Even the people who aren’t Irish around here are still a little bit Irish, so have some respect and kindness. We’re gonna get raucous and emotional in our pubs, drink our beers, and play our U2 and wear green and be superstitious and have residual Catholic guilt even when atheist and call our homeboys Sully (but only if his last name is actually Sullivan, so don’t be that idiot calling any guy “Sully” out on the streets).

Try to construct some Food Network-fueled argument against either of these two statements.
  1. Boston’s Chinatown has the best Chinese food.
  2. The North End of Boston has the best Italian.
Diss a certain franchise by the name of Dunkin’ Donuts.

Sorry it’s not your Starbucks or gourmet donut joint, but next time you gotta get going at 4 in the morning and keep going ‘til midnight, do you see any other place open? Didn’t think so.

Badmouth any town in the area defined as the North Shore.

Southie goes without saying.

Say the surf is weak.

Short summer waves are apparently nature’s way of keeping barrel-fiending, showboating adrenaline junkies off the Cape when it goes off in winter.

Place a terrorist who bombed the Boston Marathon on the cover of a once-respected rock music magazine that a lot of us were almost beginning to respect as a potential source of decent long-form journalism.

And then get one of our most popular bloggers / journalists to do the ultimate bitchwork of “explaining” these actions with the rationale that the New York Times used the same exact photo on its front page, and that it was therefore totally fine to crop the photo and embed it in the totally different context of mainstreamly alternative pop culture.

Yes, we’re talking about the Tsarnev thing, and no, we’re not beating a dead horse; the horse is alive, and its wounds as fresh as those on the bodies and minds of those who suffered the incident.

But you can bet your ass we’ll stay strong through this and so much other BS.

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