“Cidiots”

I’m a mutt.  I was raised in the city and in the country.  I also spent summers both at my grandparent’s farm in Perham, Minnesota - and at my other grandparent’s house in St. Paul and on Forest Lake.  My adult life is somewhat the same:  both city and rural.

I don’t feel that hot-collared flush of defensiveness too very often.  But, the first time I was lumped into the enigmatic ilk of “Cidiots”, I took offense.   I certainly was NOT a Cidiot.  And furthermore – what the heck was a Cidiot, anyway?  It sounded really bad, that’s all I knew.

Years ago, someone said I was a “Cidiot” just because I lived in the city and owned an ATV, as if that meant I spent my weekends racing around trespassing, getting “good mud” and damaging wetlands.  Okay, I do live in the city, by necessity.  It’s where I work to support myself.  But I didn’t think I was one of “them”.  A real “Cidiot”, I mean.  At least not in the way that I thought my accuser meant the term.  After all, I had land and a cabin with no electric or running water, and I spend 2 to 3 days per week, ten months of the year there.  Cidiot.  Hmph!

After many years of spending half my life ‘Up North”, and not only up north, but primitive, and not only primitive, but liking it, I not only have figured out what Cidiots are, I know em’ when I see em’ and I know I am not one.  It’s not a bad thing.  It’s simply a cultural difference.

Let me preface this by saying that not every city dweller is a Cidiot, and not every Rural is the “opposite”… whatever the “opposite” is.    There are rurals who act like Cidiots, and vice versa.  The following comments are generalizations.

So what’s the difference?  Here’s an example:  In the city, if you don’t go 70 in a 55, a Cidiot will get right on your tailpipe to intimidate you, and  not just to intimidate you to go faster, because I’ve had Cidiots stay on my tailpipe when there was no reason at all to do so.  And, I drive a full size truck so I really could hurt them if I wanted to.   Nope, they just do it “because”.

Another example:  On most rural roads, a driver will wave at you even if they have no idea who you are.  It’s a friendly thing.  I’ve tried this in town and have gotten the finger, been glowered at, or simply just gotten demurely ignored via a turn of the head as if they didn’t see me when I knew they did.  Nope, Cidiots don’t wave, don’t look, and don’t even acknowledge you exist.  I guess waving is not cool.  Or maybe they just think I’m going to ram their SUV and mug them if they are friendly back to me.

Yet another example:  Rurals get out of the way when they slow down their vehicle.  Plus, they regard the oncoming lane as a left turn pocket when the road is devoid of traffic, because it’s just polite to get out of the way so the guy behind you doesn’t have to brake so much.  Try that in the city and the guy behind you will hang his head out the window and scream that you are drunk, even if there are no other cars around for miles.

Cidiots give you the finger.  Rurals shake their finger.  Cidiots whine about Minnesota weather.  Rurals appreciate and work around Minnesota weather.  Cidiots play golf on Sunday morning.  Rurals do chores and/or go to church and then play.  Rurals have Polka Mass.  Cidiots play Bunko. Cidiots have de-clawed cats that eat Frisky Feast from a micro-can.  Rurals have cats that eat mice.  Cidiots walk their dogs and keep them in kennels.  Rurals work their dogs and keep them on the porch.    Cidiots nearly always go over the speed limit.  Rurals often go under the speed limit.  Cidiots complain about their jobs.  Rurals are grateful to make a living.  City kids watch too much TV, surf the internet hours every day and have a sense of entitlement.  Rural kids do chores, then play, and are instilled with a well- formed work ethic. The city is fast and stressful and Bi-polar.  The country is slower and steady and peaceful.  The city is a contract.  The country is a handshake.

I know I’ve gone romantically afield here, and it’s not like rurals are “better” than city dwellers.  Just different in a good way, I think.  I come up to my home and acreage in the woods late in the week, but by Saturday the area is crawling with Cidiots.  I understand the importance of tourism and I appreciate how the influx of city dwellers supports Isle and the surrounding areas.   The casinos and golf and fishing and ATVing, etc., are all wonderful for our economy, for which I am grateful.   It would be nice however, if we could offer a debriefing or orientation for visitors and transplants as a prerequisite for hanging around here.  We love them, we just don’t like Cidiots.

Now, an interesting observation is that there is one rural subculture that closely resembles Cidiots:  Young males, between the ages of 15 and 21.  For some reason, they go through a Cidiot phase regardless of where they were raised.  My own son is 23 now and went through that phase himself.

Once in a while I have a Cidiot relapse but I catch myself.  I would like to relocate “up north” permanently and leave my evil Cidiot twin in metropolis for good.  However, when a person is immersed in Cidiots on a daily basis, it’s kind of like a reformed alcoholic hanging around a liquor store.  So, for the time being, I shall remain a mutt, until one fine day when I manage to move my entire life “uppa da north”.

 

© June 2006