1. Everyone’s a “kid” until they’re like 85.
A typical conversation heard while out on the weekends. “‘ey kid. What’s good kid? Let me tell ya something kid. Whad’ya say kid? Yeah whatever, go eff yaself kid.” All said out of love of course. You could replace kid for chief or buddy too on special occasions.
2. Your mom would send you to the “packie” and it wasn’t racist.
A Package store is a packie, like a gas station or convenience shop.
3. “Jimmies” though on the other hand…
Some people say the chocolate sprinkles that we affectionately now call “jimmes” were nicknamed by racists under Jim Crow laws. Oops. But that rumor has been debunked many times and is ingrained still in our local language.
4. Out west was not L.A., it was the weird woods of western Massachusetts.
If you grew up in Boston, you don’t often stray far from the shoreline. And by not far I mean not past Newton or Waltham on the Turnpike. Sure, you’ve heard it’s pretty in the woods, but you also know there’s bears in Western Mass, so no thanks. You could go north though for the tax-free booze, cigarettes and fireworks in New Hampshire. Thanks New Hampshire.
5. You know exactly where you were when the Sox won the Series in 2004.
I had just gone off to college in New York and was devastated I missed it, getting emotional in my dorm room. Ask anyone on the street and they can tell you which bar, what house or even in the street where they were exactly. You might even find a lucky son of a bitch who was actually at Fenway.
6. But you only know the chorus to “Sweet Caroline”, even though you’ve heard it 437 times.
How does it even start, really? I have no idea. But I do know it’s SO GOOD, SO GOOD, SO GOOD! We made that part up too.
7. Caffeine runs through your veins. Cold.
And by caffeine I mean iced coffee at Dunkin Donuts. Regular. Nowhere else. Maybe Marylou’s for the elite few a bit south of Boston proper. Fine, you yuppies can have your Starbucks. But it better be iced.
8. You lived for those free outdoor concerts at the Hatchshell.
If your mom let you take the T in the summer down to the Charles, you might have caught some of the greatest punk, ska, oldies and pop bands right on the river. Thank God it was often totally free, which delighted you from 7th grade through senior year.
9. Newbury Comics expanded your music scene beyond the Backstreet Boys.
When it was time to go beyond the boy bands, Newbury was and still is the perfect place to discover new tunes. You could put on those dirty headphones and listen to anything you liked for hours in the store. On a really luck day, you’d catch Dropkick Murphy’s signing CDs and treasure it.
10. Going south to the Cape was like Disneyworld.
Sometimes it’s as far south as you got all summer. But knowing somebody with a house on Cape Cod was gold. You could swim and hang out down there for months, soaking up the small charm towns and snow cones. Or, if the traffic was bad, you’d skip the Cape and begrudgingly schlep yourself to Revere Beach. Shudder.