Article

‘TOURISTICOUS OBNOXIUM’: THE ANNUAL PLAGUE HITS THE BERKSHIRES

BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THE WEEKEND EDITION, JUNE 29-JULY 1, 2018) — Our good friends in local culture love them, especially the theaters (Berkshire Theatre Group, Shakespeare and Co., Barrington Stage, Williamstown Theatre Festival), Tanglewood, the Norman Rockwell Museum, and the like). THE PLANET does too, especially when they’re well done to a burned crisp.

We speak, of course, of the annual plague of wealthy locusts who descend annually on the helpless Berkshires each July and August. They are also known by other names. Their botanical classification is Touristicous Obnoxium. Informally, we call them arrogant rump wipes and jig-bagged nags. These men and women have money, greed, and ignorance in equal quantity. They come from all parts, but the worst are almost invariably from Noo Yawk.

God love the tourists. With that, THE PLANET PLAYERS present the following meller-drammer.

SCENE OPENS IN GUIDO’S, THE MOST OVERRATED, OVER-PRICED MARKET IN THE LAND. INSIDE, WE SEE VARIOUS CUSTOMERS AND NOTABLY MR. AND MRS. LEONARD SCHECTNER FROM WANTAUGH, LONG ISLAND. MR. SCHECTNER CARRIES A CASE. THE SCHECTNERS ARE SHOPPING).

(AT THE FISH COUNTER)

MRS. SCHECTNER: Leonard, did you lock the car?

MR. SCHECTNER: Yes, dear.

MRS. SCHECTNER: You sure? Huh? Huh? (TO COUNTER HELP) That fish, is it fresh?

COUNTER MAN: Yes, Ma’am. I caught it this morning.

MRS. SCHECTNER: This morning? That’s fresh? You call THAT fresh? Get the manager at once, you insect. (MANAGER IS PAGED AND ARRIVES IN 1.75 SECONDS) What kept you, you Hillbilly? I’m not used to waiting. What is wrong with you rubes? Do you know who I am? I have won awards. (A LOUD ARGUMENT ENSURES IN WHICH MRS. S SCREAMS AT THE MANAGER, WHO MEEKLY SUBMITS TO THE TONGUE LASHING. WHEN SHE IS DONE, MRS. SCHECTNER AND ASSISTANTS FILL INNUMERABLE SHOPPING CARTS WITH EVERYTHING EVERYTHING EVERYTHING IN THE STORE.) Leonard. Leonard?! LEO-NARD!!

MR. SCHECTNER: Yes dear? Never mind! (TO THE CLERK WHO IS FOLLOWING HER AT HER ORDERS) I’ll take these hummingbird tongues, that duck-and-goose epatatoit; give me your best range-free eggs, every bag of exotic fruit you have, those roasts, that steak, these filet mignons … (AFTER DRONING ON FOR SEVERAL MORE MINUTES BARKING OUT HER ORDERS, SHE CONCLUDES WITH) … and I’ll take the light fixtures, the display cases, the cash registers, — and you, young man. Are you for sale?

AT THE CASH REGISTER, MRS. S MAKES LOUD COMPLAINTS TO THE CASHIER, A YOUNG HIGH SCHOOL WORKING HER FIRST SUMMER JOB:

MRS. SCHECTNER: You cheated me out of 17 cents. You little witch. You miserable, little incompetent! Leonard! (HE HAS TUNED HER OUT) LEONARD!!!! (SCREAMING) LEOOOOONARRRD!!!

MR. SCHECTNER: Yes dear?

MRS. SCHECTNER: This place has cheated us out of 17 cents. You know what to do.

MR. SCHECTNER: But dear …

MRS. SCHECTNER: Don’t ‘But dear’ me you miserable creature. You know what to do. So do it — NOW!!!!!

(SCHECTNER TAKES OUT AN AK-47 AND AN UZI FROM A LONG CASE. HE THEN MOWS DOWN EVERYBODY IN SIGHT. AT THE END OF THE BLOODBATH, INNUMERABLE BODIES LITTER THE FLOOR. COUNTLESS EMERGENCY VEHICLES, FIRST RESPONDERS, SWAT TEAMS, AND A HORDE OF GAWKERS FORM A MOB IN THE PARKING LOT. FADE TO THE FOLLOWING MORNING. THE SCHECTNERS WAKE UP IN THEIR HOTEL ROOM AT BLANTYRE. HE PICKS UP A COPY OF THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE).

MR. SCHECTNER: Oh look, dear. They have a story about yesterday at Guido’s.

MRS. SCHECTNER: (SNAPPING AT HIM) Well read it to me.

MR. SCHECTNER: (STARTS TO READ) “Yesterday in late morning at Guido’s …”

MRS. SCHECTNER: Not the entire story, you fool. Just the main headline.

MR. SCHECTNER: Sorry, dear. (CLEARS THROAT. READS) “Guido’s Draws Record July Crowd” (SUBHEAD) Tyer Calls It Proof that Pittsfield is Hip, Vibrant, Dynamic, and on the Rise.”

(CHORUS CHANTS LOUDLY FROM OFF STAGE) Viva, la Renaissance!

(CURTAIN)

Have a great weekend, everybody.

———————————————————————————————————————————————-

“If I could have two things in one: The peace of the grave / The light of the sun” — Edna St. Vincent Millay

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

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66 Responses to “‘TOURISTICOUS OBNOXIUM’: THE ANNUAL PLAGUE HITS THE BERKSHIRES”

  1. Jonathan Melle
    June 28, 2018 at 6:58 pm #

    You forgot to mention an op-ed by Smitty Pignatelli telling the working poor how hundreds of businesses and thousands of jobs have been lost in Berkshire County over the past 4 decades. But, you can work part-time for $12 per hour at an arts, tourist, or other service job.
    You forgot to mention the new pot shops, including Luciforo’s Dalton Ave marijuana dispensary. Nuciforo wants you to smoke his pot!
    You forgot to mention Teo’s hot dogs!

    • Fugimoto Hockalugi
      June 28, 2018 at 7:12 pm #

      Let’s pray for labor day when all the tourists go away and we can get back to a normal day.

    • Richard Baculum
      June 28, 2018 at 7:14 pm #

      I won’t say Andy ever did drugs but I think he was born with a stoned demeanor. He just appeared that way.

  2. dusty
    June 29, 2018 at 1:03 am #

    You want to meet some rude people try going to Pittsfields 4th of July parade. Trying to watch it is like trying to get your luggage from an airport baggage return. It has probably been 20 years since I last dragged my ass up to North street to watch, make that “try to watch” the highly overrated garbagefest of human indecency.

    What I remember most about that hot day was that I got there plenty early. I positioned myself near the bank on the corner of West and North and moved in closer as the beginning of the parade approached. Very civil crowd with plenty of room for everyone to clearly see and enjoy. But within a couple of minutes a huge surge of bodies seemed to swarm in from nowhere with everyone seeming to think they had a right to be at the front. There was no respect at all for the people who had arrived first and had taken up a viewing position. It did not matter if you were elderly, on crutches or had little children with you. The late comers just felt they deserved to be in front and have the best view. I distinctly remember one particularly tall asshole who moved right in front of me and then put his young child on his shoulders. He could have easily seen everything if he stayed behind me but just seemed have this sense of entitlement.

    Now I cannot say that tourists are bigger assholes than Pittsfields home grown variety because if you try to drive on Pittsfield roads you know we have plenty of them. But do not look for me at the parade because I won’t be there. Not this time and not next time.

    merry christmas too

    • B. clairmont
      June 30, 2018 at 11:41 am #

      So you haven’t been to the parade in 20 years, yet you are complaining about how it is today. How would you know if you haven’t been there in 20 years?

      Barry

      • dusty
        June 30, 2018 at 5:09 pm #

        Hi Barry,

        I guess I am just assuming that people are even more selfish and rude these days than in the past. Has it been your experience that with the explosion of broken home kids have been getting better at manners? Certainly for me, my interactions with people in stores and parking lots and on the road suggest manners have gotten exponentially worse.

        So I hope those that go fully enjoy themselves and that nobody gets poked in the eye with the sunbrellas or step in a soggy mess of Clydesdale droppings.

        • B. Clairmont
          July 1, 2018 at 11:47 am #

          Thanks, dusty.

  3. Unwanted Carl
    June 29, 2018 at 3:56 am #

    Haven’t been to a parade, the beacon,the colonial. Wahconah park, or a north street store in twenty years. Time for the Generaal.

  4. Halo
    June 29, 2018 at 4:36 am #

    Seems the cowboy’s were out last night which ended in a corral at BMC, and barely into summer.

  5. Shakey Shakey
    June 29, 2018 at 5:20 am #

    Think how awful it would be without those culture and recreation opportunities. The Berkshires, without them, would be West Virginia.

  6. C. Trzcinka
    June 29, 2018 at 7:28 am #

    A few years ago I asked the staff at Guido’s where they put the “free range butter”. They actually treated my question seriously. Of course tourists are a major source of income for the Berkshires and create numerous jobs but there are limits to what people should be asked to tolerate.

    After a minute or so, I caught up with the Guido’s employee to tell him I was just joking..

    • Rudy Baker
      June 29, 2018 at 7:27 pm #

      In this day and age it might be a real product

  7. dusty
    June 29, 2018 at 7:52 am #

    So who is the “former vice president” at Greylock Credit Union whose name is being left out of an article about some fraud case. How can you do a story like this and leave out this guys name? Sure seems relevant to the story. Berk Eagle story. June 27th

    • Lenny
      June 29, 2018 at 9:36 am #

      Was wondering the same thing, Dusty. You could try contacting the person at the Eagle who penned the story, and report back to the Planet.

      • mi
        June 29, 2018 at 1:16 pm #

        g e cu is in good hands, hopefully the little fella is still on the board to make sure the is no collusion or hanky pank going on.

    • Downtown Dweller
      June 29, 2018 at 12:00 pm #

      iBerkshires offered up a name.
      http://www.iberkshires.com/blog/3671/PittsfieldBusinessmanPleadsGuiltytoDefraudingGreylockCreditUnion.html

      • Lenny
        June 29, 2018 at 6:48 pm #

        Thanks Downtown – interesting that the Eagle wouldn’t report that big piece of the story.

        • Peppy La Cue
          June 30, 2018 at 12:24 am #

          They probably would have rather not printed anything disconcerting about one of their biggest advertisers but might look bad if other media did.

          • danvalenti
            June 30, 2018 at 9:15 am #

            Spot on. The big advertiser called the publisher and … you can fill in the rest.

        • dusty
          June 30, 2018 at 6:46 am #

          so does that suggest that this paper is still connected more to the machine than its customers?

          • danvalenti
            June 30, 2018 at 9:14 am #

            It would more prove than “suggest,” Dusty. This is as blatant an example as one could hope to find. This paper has sold out, lock, stock, and typewriters. This is sad for all who belong to “the press” but it’s literally tragic for the city. A strident local daily is The People’s best safeguard to the inevitable corruption of politicians, officials, and that group THE PLANET calls “The Suits.

      • danvalenti
        June 30, 2018 at 9:25 am #

        iBerkshires gets the lauds here.

    • Lou Stewels
      June 29, 2018 at 7:29 pm #

      Tangelo Excuse Me?

  8. Jonathan Melle
    June 29, 2018 at 2:06 pm #

    On the state level, Massachusetts will not pass a FY2019 state budget by July 1st, which is this Sunday. One wonders what the Legislators do all day?

    On the federal level, U.S. Congress will not pass an immigration bill this year of 2018. Immigration is in the news everyday, but Congress can give a $hit. One wonders what Congress cares about other than money?

  9. Joe Blow
    June 29, 2018 at 2:41 pm #

    In other news…… Newspaper reporter Conor Berry resigns over false claim Annapolis shooter wore MAGA hat.

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/jun/29/conor-berry-republican-reporter-resigns-over-false/

    It’s to bad, I liked his reporting when he was at the eagle and masslive. He reported on the local cabal/GOB’s….to bad he can’t see D.C. is just one big swamp and POTUS is draining it.

    • danvalenti
      June 30, 2018 at 9:17 am #

      We have known Conor Berry for a good while. He’s a solid reporter and, more importantly, a good man. That says all. He erred. He apologized. He should not lose his job over this. The “resignation” with quotation marks says it all about his leaving.

      • Rudy Baker
        June 30, 2018 at 6:38 pm #

        He advanced fake news because he was too lazy to vet it. Good riddance.

  10. 12 Gauge
    June 29, 2018 at 3:45 pm #

    Fake news that dust, melle and tsc love and eat up

    • dusty
      June 29, 2018 at 4:24 pm #

      If you set off so much as one small fire cracker this week I will have the coppers descend on your place like a flock of starlings.
      Oh yeah, it’s true Mr Gauge…so you need to be on your best behavior….just curl up with your stained, tattered copy of Art of the Deal and chant Trump slogans until your smile is as goofy as Trumps.

      • 12 Gauge
        June 29, 2018 at 7:24 pm #

        You’re the only fire cracker that got set off and you’re a Democrat dud.

    • The school committee
      July 1, 2018 at 2:58 pm #

      I love watching Fox ,its a dink show it makes you wonder how in the hell could anyone think this station makes one think.

  11. Jonathan Melle
    June 29, 2018 at 5:13 pm #

    The Supreme Court will become a right-wing platform for the Republican Party! Say goodbye to all of the progress we made since the 1920s! Instead of a democracy, we will be an oligarchy. Everyone except the billionaire class will be 2nd-class “citizens”. It will take decades to fight back against the elite establishment. The only option people will have will be to move to Canada!

    • Mr. Fritz
      June 29, 2018 at 5:38 pm #

      Enjoy Montreal, Melle – I hear it’s a nice place, and there are a lot of Socialists up there to keep you company.

      • Jonathan Melle
        June 29, 2018 at 6:16 pm #

        You would enjoy Nazi Germany and Hitler, Mr. Fritz! Trump will take you there soon!

        • 12 Gauge
          June 29, 2018 at 7:19 pm #

          You just Goodwined yourself

        • 12 Gauge
          June 29, 2018 at 7:21 pm #

          WEB DuBois certainly enjoyed Nazi Germany.

          • Jonathan Melle
            June 29, 2018 at 7:24 pm #

            I am being attacked on Topix, too. Join the club by insulting me!

            I don’t believe in Trump’s false prophecy that he will save America! So there!

          • 12 Gauge
            June 29, 2018 at 7:34 pm #

            Enjoy your stay in the great white north

    • Silent Cal
      June 29, 2018 at 7:41 pm #

      We are a republic not a democracy

  12. dusty
    June 30, 2018 at 4:34 am #

    What does “a special place in hell” actually mean? Can you like book your own area if you think you might be going to hell? Is there a dark dank corner with the Trump family logo already on it?

    Well yah, they prolly is….they prolly is.

  13. Thomas More
    June 30, 2018 at 4:55 am #

    Jonathan Melle at least has the guts to use his own name.

    • u
      June 30, 2018 at 12:00 pm #

      dusty is a real name. last name is Mopp.

      • dusty
        June 30, 2018 at 5:16 pm #

        That is Moppett to you sir

        and can I assume that the u is short for .. Hey You .. which is what your wife calls you?

  14. u
    June 30, 2018 at 9:27 am #

    Mqy face hurts.

  15. Pat
    June 30, 2018 at 6:19 pm #

    Hinds and Rep. Neal should be fighting for local children who are living in poverty right here in Pittsfield. Pittsfield has an extremely high poverty rate for children. Where are the marches? Where is the outrage on their behalf?

    The iberkshires article about the marchers today shows more concern for people entering the country illegally than we have for kids right here in Berkshire County living in stressful conditions due to poverty, lack of jobs and many local families do end up separated due to these extremely stressful conditions. The reaction of local politicians is to raise taxes even higher to drive the people living in poverty out of the city so that it becomes the problem of some other area. All of the pot shops springing up in the area will not help either since pot is just one more substance that people can abuse.

    • Thomas More
      July 1, 2018 at 3:59 am #

      Have you ever been happy Pat?

      • Pat
        July 1, 2018 at 5:40 am #

        Thomas More, do you care about the poor and struggling middle class in this area whose needs for jobs and lower taxes are ignored while our local politicians worry about illegal immigrants?

        • The school committee
          July 1, 2018 at 2:50 pm #

          How much new buying power you got,go buy food,gas,electric,insurance,debt,debt,debt your 401k going nowhere

        • The school committee
          July 1, 2018 at 4:46 pm #

          You must be doing great by now Pat, Trump has told you life has never been better and he done great things for you but you dont believe Trump

      • Pat
        July 1, 2018 at 5:54 am #

        Read the comments section of the iberkshire story about the marchers for illegal immigrants Mr. More. Lots of not very happy people are commenting about the marchers and there is lots of favorable approval of the comments against the marchers.

        http://www.iberkshires.com/story/57727/Hundreds-Gather-in-Pittsfield-to-Protest-Trump-s-Immigration-Policies.html

      • dusty
        July 1, 2018 at 11:08 am #

        Pat cares about everything except terrified children being separated from their moms. And this shows you how serious the damage can be when following a cult leader. Charlie Manson was able to get his followers to kill for him and there seems to be no ceiling for where this Trump thing may go…scary stuff for sure

  16. Jonathan Melle
    June 30, 2018 at 9:46 pm #

    I am so proud of the lovely Linda Tyer for standing up against Trump’s inhumane actions of separating immigrant children from their parents! Mayor Linda Tyer stands for Human Rights and Social Justice! I am also very proud of all of the people in Pittsfield who protested Trump!

    • dusty
      July 1, 2018 at 2:07 am #

      But the flip side is that Mayor Tyer separates families from their hard earned money while at the same time gives tax breaks to her wealthy donor pals. So there is that dubious imbalance in morality.

    • Wilson
      July 1, 2018 at 4:05 am #

      Tyer is a parody, childless woman with an attraction to kids in 3rd world breeding areas, angry at Daddy Trump and nagging Hubby Taxpayer to provide everything because she has feelings.

      Meanwhile it wouldn’t be surprising if arrests of children in Pittsfield schools have increased during her term since the union’s ideal class size is 0

    • Pat
      July 1, 2018 at 5:47 am #

      The politicians here in Berkshire County and on the far left are perfect examples of “I love humanity. It’s individual people I can’t stand” They love marching and carrying signs and slogans about “Oh, the inhumanity”, but when faced with real examples of people in this country who are being killed by MS-13 gangs or drugs coming over the border, or lack of jobs, or the endless number of issues being faced by people who are in this country legally, they have little enthusiasm to fix the problems.

      • acheshireat
        July 1, 2018 at 10:26 am #

        All the people pushing for faster processing for asylum seekers should read this report from Syracuse University. It has a study on asylum cases for FY 1996 – FY 2017. The study is broken down by the countries the seekers come from. People from China are the top asylum seekers by far. Seekers from Mexico and South America are denied asylum from 80% to 90% of the time and deported. President Trump may be right and we need to change the laws. Here are the results of the study:
        http://trac.syr.edu/immigration/reports/491/

      • The school committee
        July 1, 2018 at 2:48 pm #

        When was your last encounter with ms13 a gang Trump uses to tarnish brown people.I will gaurente whites are the worst encounter of the week.

        • Mr. Fritz
          July 1, 2018 at 4:34 pm #

          Spoken like a true racist.

  17. dusty
    July 1, 2018 at 5:35 am #

    so if you have mowed or allowed to be mowed, your grass in the last couple of days you can probably kiss your lawn goodbye for the summer. A responsible lawn maintenance company, instead of being greedy for the money should have warned you that cutting the grass low before a heat wave was NOT SMART.

    so consider just cancelling your service for the rest of the year because there will be no grass to mow except perhaps a couple of spots under the shade of a tree.

    and watering during the day when the sun shines bright will burn it even quicker….,.I know, I know…that is confusing but true nevertheless

    • 12 Gauge
      July 1, 2018 at 11:41 am #

      It’s a myth about not watering your lawn when the sun is out. It will promote disease if you water at night. Dust doesn’t know much about anything.

      • dusty
        July 1, 2018 at 4:40 pm #

        I know that 12 gauge is the thickness of that metal plate in your head.

        BOOOMMM!!!!

        • 12 Gauge
          July 1, 2018 at 5:16 pm #

          dust, you are full of baloney and you prove it with each statement.

          • dusty
            July 1, 2018 at 5:36 pm #

            oooh right…I wish I could afford baloney

  18. Jonathan Melle
    July 1, 2018 at 2:28 pm #

    What is going on with the 2nd round of arts sales by the Berkshire Museum with a new (interim) director?