Snobbish? Yes, but at least we're tidy

  • Article by: JAMES LILEKS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 6, 2013 - 4:40 PM

Travel and Leisure magazine has declared the Twin Cities to be the fourth most snobbish city in America. I’m tempted to respond with a dismissive French epigram, but they probably wouldn’t get it.

OK, that was too easy. Here’s their rationale:

“Perhaps readers felt intimidated by these bookish, indie-music-loving, craft-beer-drinking hipsters, who also ranked highly for being exceptionally tidy. If these Minnesotans feel self-satisfied, is it any wonder? They also scored well for being fit and outdoorsy; you can join them at the Chain of Lakes, where, depending on the season, folks are hiking, paddling or even ice-surfing.”

Please, pater, may I ice-surf on Harriet this year instead of the Isles? No, son. They’re not our kind.

Yes, tidiness = snobbery. Hey, you there, puttin’ your trash in the public receptacle? What sorta high-hat blue-blood you think you are? You think you’re better than me just because I empty out my ashtray by holding it out the window on 94? Well, yes, but that’s another subject.

It’s possible that the survey respondents misunderstood Scandinavian reticence and clannishness for snobbery; for newcomers, it might seem like you can’t get into a social circle without the Jaws of Life used to pry apart smushed cars. It’s not snobbishness. Some people are just all set for friends, although if there’s an opening, they’ll let you know. (Hint: No, they won’t.)

Perhaps this is a better way to think about it: the Cronut Scale.

1. I don’t want a Cronut because it sounds like one of those painful things you have to walk off until it stops throbbing.

2. I read about Cronuts; can’t wait to try one.

3. I read about Cronuts in the New York Times, and when the reporter on NPR said, “There’s a new pastry sensation,” I said “Cronuts” out loud in the car and everyone else was impressed.

4. I hope the local auto-body shop closes and is replaced by artisanal Cronut bakery.

5. I knew Cronuts were done when they said they’d sell them at the fair.

6. Are you people still talking about Cronuts?

I’m a No. 2. Don’t look down on me.

jlileks@startribune.com • 612-673-7858

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