Tips for Those Wearing the Fanny Packs

June 27, 2008

I sit in traffic not five minutes from my house and breathe a heavy sigh.  I glance in front of me and notice a truck that has this bumper sticker slapped on the rear fender:

Heh.  I chuckle to myself as the light turns green.  I know it’s not the nicest sentiment in the world.  But the reality of living in a town that spends four months of the year being a haven for what seems like the entire state of Connecticut?  It’s not so nice either.

I don’t blame them for wanting to come here – Rhode Island is a phenomenal place to spend the summer months.  If you can get past the sometimes excessive humidity, you are left with some goregous sunshine to bask in on even more stunning beaches.  There’s some fantastic restaurants serving honest-to-god fresh seafood (don’t let Red Lobster fool you) and to die for ice cream joints.  There’s surfing, shopping, sightseeing and every other possible touristy thing you could think of – even, dare I say it, mini-golf

But I feel, as a native, it is my duty to offer some tips to those who venture into my home state for their annual summer getaway.  Maybe more so for my sanity than for theirs.

  • Rules of the road still apply.  This means needing to use blinkers and driving normal speeds on roads, even if you are trying to locate something.  This also means not randomly braking in the middle of the street to ask some runner where Point Judith is located.  The rest of us would like to continue driving forward please.
  • No shoes, no shirt, NO WAY.  I understand you are on vacation and loving the whole experience of walking around all day on the beach barefoot.  But when you walk into the grocery store to buy food for dinner?  You need to put your shoes BACK on.  Because some of us just came from work and would like to buy fresh veggies without having to stare at your gross feet. 
  • 5:00 p.m. on a Friday is a poor time to go for a scenic drive.  There are many, many of us who are just trying to get home from work. 
  • No, for the seven-millionth time, Rhode Island is not. an. island.  It’s so crazy, isn’t it?  Please stop talking.
  • Perhaps you don’t have seagulls where you are from.  You might not even live near a body of water at all, so I get that you may not understand the nature of these birds.  They are scavengers and they live for scraps of food.  Don’t think you are just going to get away with innocently feeding a tiny piece of bread to one harmless seagull.  Oh no.  One squawk and the entire Northeastern fleet of seagulls will surround you and every poor shmuk who had the unforunate luck of sitting next to you.  And they will be hungry and expect food.  The signs are not for show.  DO.NOT.FEED.THE.SEAGULLS

That’s about all the advice I have for now.  If planning a trip to our neck of the woods, I suggest printing this out and bringing it with you.  It will save you some (deserved) aggression and gestures of unhappiness in the form of raised fingers from the locals if you do.

Posted by: Ashley