Column: Hocking up some decency

Column: Hocking up some decency

By Stephanie Shore

Last week, my parents drove up from Connecticut to spend the day visiting me in Boston. Just a few hours after their arrival, they found themselves covered in saliva. Welcome to the “Athens of America.”

At the time of the incident, my parents and I were crossing Boylston Street where it intersects Massachusetts Avenue. We had the walk signal, but the cars turning onto Boylston Street didn’t seem to think it was our turn.

One particularly angry woman leaned out her window and screeched, “Our light is GREEN!” My father, who must always have the last word, replied, equally aggressively, “Our sign says ‘WALK,’ so we’re WALKING.”

Well, every Boston pedestrian knows it’s a bad idea to interact with angry drivers. Without another word, the woman “hocked a loogie” with a stunning display of force and volume, spraying both of my parents with mucous. I, meanwhile, was fleeing the scene with my hands over my face. Yes, I’m a coward.

My parents were disgusted and appalled. This probably wouldn’t have happened in our little Connecticut suburb. However, this sort of incident isn’t uncommon in America’s finest cities. After all, we city dwellers are generally busy, crowded and annoyed. It doesn’t’ take much provocation to send us over the edge.

Nowadays, the rest of the world sees America as loud, rude and obnoxious. We push the little guys around, we blow things out of proportion and we don’t listen to our elders. We’re the prototypical pyromaniac bully from your sixth grade science class.

This hasn’t always been the case. Fifty years ago, drivers didn’t spit at pedestrians. They tipped their hats. Then, around 40 years ago, something changed.

My 40-year timeframe comes from the ideas of Emilio Estevez, the writer and director of the new film “Bobby,” and the man who taught many of us important life lessons in the “Mighty Ducks” trilogy as hockey coach Gordon Bombay.

Estevez’s newest film chronicles the final hours before the assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy, showing how the incident affected the lives of several fictional characters at the hotel where it happened.

At a news conference before the film’s release, Estevez said Kennedy’s assassination, following the murders of Martin Luther King Jr. and President John F. Kennedy, was “the last straw

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