Having lived in Covington, Kentucky for over two years now, I’ve come to know some of the cashiers in that Walgreens on Madison Avenue. One of them is a young guy and I won’t mention his name here—don’t know if he would like that or not. I’ll play it safe.
He’s on vacation right now. He and a buddy are heading up to Detroit, Michigan. They have friends up there. When he told me about it, I made my standard Detroit remarks.
“Hope you make it back alive.”
“Make sure you take your gun with you.”
We both laughed. Yeah, I’m such a funny guy.
Walking back home after talking with that cashier, I decided I’m not a funny guy at all. I can be a real asshole. There I was making fun of Detroit, a city I really don’t know anything about except it’s got some real money problems right now.
A few years ago, I flew into Detroit making my way to Ann Arbor. The friend who picked me up at the airport drove me through Detroit. It looked dirty and desperate. That was my first impression, but I don’t live there and that first impression and the news that I follow shouldn’t allow me to sock it to Detroit. I wouldn’t like it if some outsider was saying bad things about Covington. I’m allowed but people who don’t live here can take a hike.
Detroit is in bankruptcy now and workers pensions are being cut because of it—real people just like those who live here. Those workers didn’t cause the mess in Detroit and Steven Rattner at The New York Times wrote a good piece about this yesterday.
When that young cashier comes back from vacationing in Detroit, we’ll talk about it no doubt, but I’m going to keep my mouth shut and not make “Detroit jokes.” I’m going to try really hard not to be a jerk.
While I was writing this, an old Bobby Bare song came into my head. While this post is a bit rambling anyway, I’m gonna put up a YouTube video of Bobby singing his hit, “Detroit City.”
Good luck, Detroit. The people who live there deserve respect and from this point on, they’re going to get it from me.
(Image from usapictures.com)