Fight the scourge of ‘snobs’


Unless you have been living in a basement for the last week, you’ve probably heard that “Travel + Leisure,” a magazine that specializes in both leisure and travel — because why would you specialize in just one — said the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro is the fourth snobbiest metro area in the country.

According to the folks who apparently can’t find time to type the word “and,” our less-than-humble metro area is a hotbed of snobby, insulting, rude little punks. Now, while a magazine I’ve never seen outside a hospital waiting room was using “statistics” like the amount of coffee-shops in a given area, high-end shopping, and even “aloof and smarty-pants residents,” a trip outside would have provided you with the same information. So, what can be done about this scourge of “holier-than-thou-ness” that has taken over our humble burg? I’ve got a few ideas.


The first step in battling this insurgence of arrogance is getting rid of its gathering spaces. And more specifically, the wi-fi that comes with them. I’ve said it a hundred times, and probably a handful of times in this paper, that clichés are clichés for a reason, and one cliché far too snobbish is the coffee-shop-laptopper.
My first issue here is they are not respecting the machine. Why would you voluntarily bring your computer to a place where there is the real possibility of someone spilling hot liquid over it and potentially losing all that “precious” work you insist upon doing in front of everyone because that poetry blog of yours is so awesome.

We all went through that period when we thought we could change the world with something as simple as a word or two, but most of us grew out of it in eighth grade.
Oh, and one more thing. Stop telling me how it is your life’s work to save the world while drinking out of a Styrofoam cup. Just sayin’.

‘Id’s’ an ego thing…
Once we have dispersed the mass congregations of BTUs (better than you’s), it’s time to destroy their smug egos. What better way to do that than actually be a better person than them. Beat them at their own game, which isn’t that hard, because most people talk a good game, but are so ego-driven they don’t see anyone but themselves. They never really do anything to help anyone else, thus not making them nearly as awesome as they think.

Want an example? Go to a store that doesn’t have automatic doors, Now, sit outside and count the number of times someone holds the door for a senior citizen or a woman. If you are there for any length of time, that number will be near zero. While infuriating, what’s worse is when you actually do hold a door for someone and they take it as a slight. I actually held a door for a woman once, just to have her scream back, “What, just because I’m a woman means I can’t operate a door?”
No, I was being courteous, not a troglodyte. Now don’t let the door hit you in the butt on your way in.

You could say that, but don’t. It’s rude, and then you would be the worse person. Just smile, nod, and continue doing what is actually a good and courteous thing, and let the unhappy snobs and snobettes continue of their way with their nose held high.

Don’t be the center of the universe

If you haven’t figured it out, I’ve been purposely laying it on thick here. I probably went too far at times and came off a bit crass, rude, insulting and mean. Good, I hope you think so. That means there is still hope.

This “Travel + Leisure” list, even if it is pretty meaningless, should upset you. Especially if you have been paying attention to the actions of some of the public. So don’t be a jerk. It’s that simple. You don’t have to like everyone, just remember that everyone deserves a bit of dignity. The angry guy behind you might get mad if you let the woman with kids in front of you in the grocery line, you might get chewed out by a feminist for holding a door open, and the “old folks” might get insulted if you offer to help because of some perceived slight to their ability to function on their own, but don’t stop doing it.

We’ve hit a point where we are more worried about what other people could think of us if we offer to help, than to actually help, or to just be a good and decent human being. So, let’s all work on this together, and next year, when the list of snobby cities comes out, we can knock Minneapolis and St. Paul down a few pegs simply because of the proximity of the awesome city of Stillwater.

Now that my rant is done, it’s time for some leftover Independence Day “freedom brats.”

Chris Hamble is a freelance writer and humor columnist serving newspapers in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and is a lifelong Stillwater resident.