Thursday, March 31, 2011

Insult my State -- You Insult Me!

by guest blogger E.J. Copperman

NewJerseyPostcard It's one thing to have to listen to the "what exit" jokes and be asked if I knew any of the Sopranos. But what's going on now in the long history of disrespect to my home state is beyond the pale.

Seems there's a guy who used to work for a ritzy fashion house in Manhattan (of course), and due to issues I can't comment on intelligently, was being demoted by his company. He suffered the horrible fate of a transfer to manage high-end stores in--brace yourself--New Jersey. And he just couldn't take it.

So get this: He's suing the company for two million dollars. Because they made him work in New Jersey.

I'm asking you.

New_jersey_stamp I have lived in the Garden State all my life. I like it here (although I must confess that when I mentioned that to a friend's teenage daughter last week, she laughed and said, "WHY?"). I find the people intelligent, witty, interesting and entertaining. We are not a bland lot of people trying desperately not to be noticed. We have every possible type of natural environment short of a tundra. We have beaches (like the one where my Haunted Guesthouse Mystery series is set), mountains, fields, wetlands, drylands, pine barrens and yes, some pretty gritty cities (try saying THAT three times fast!).

New-jersey-job-openings Transfer to my home state, pal, should cost YOU.

Among this pretentious whiner's complaints: apparently, we have smog in New Jersey (and they don't in New York City?). Our drivers are not up to his discerning standards (which probably translates into: He didn't know how to navigate a traffic circle or a jughandle like a regular person). Our fashion is simply not up to snuff. This all caused him (and I'm not using his name because I believe he's doing this to get his name mentioned) "emotional distress" to the point that he's seeing a psychiatrist (he was probably the last Manhattanite who WASN'T) and taking Zoloft (see previous parenthetical expression).

We Jerseyans put up with a lot. The toll system on our roads is designed so that you have to pay to get out, but it's free to get in. There's a sign at the Pennsylvania border that reads, "Pennsylvania. America Starts Here." We have been the butt of more jokes than Charlie Sheen.

Shame on you But a $2-million lawsuit because somebody had to come here and work for a nice salary? No. Get out of the way, pal, there's somebody from New Jersey who can do your job at least as well and not complain about the indignity of having to drive on Route 4.

And the next time New Yorkers brag about their "mental toughness," simply refer them to this post. Please.
Uninvited-ghost E.J. Copperman's delightful Haunted Guesthouse Mystery series is set on the lovely Jersey shore.  E.J.s latest installment in the series, AN UNINVITED GHOST, will be published on Tuesday, April 5. (Did you miss the first one?  Night of the Living Deed?  If so--rush out to get it now.  It's WONDERFUL!!!)
Visit E.J.'s website and blog.


  1. There are many talented artists in all genres from New Jersey---and any state that produces someone like Jon Bon Jovi is a great one in my book!

  2. Send him to North Dakota, then he can find something to complain about!

  3. Not to mention Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen and Queen Latifah (who's from my home town)!

  4. What a GREAT post--love it! As a New Jerseyan for close to 25 years now, I want to thank you, EJ, and Lorna too for sharing.

  5. Many years ago we moved to NJ from Maine and everyone asked why we would do such a dumb thing. We liked NJ and I'm offended when people think everyone who lives there is like the nutcases on "Jersey Shore." (Is that the right name? I don't watch it.) When my husband was transferred to my home state of Ill. and we moved, I cried. Neither of us wanted to leave NJ. So there!

  6. Forgot to mention, I'm a proud alumna of Rutgers! Go RU!

  7. Upstream, red team! Red team, upstream, Barbara!

    And I'd like to point out that of the "cast" of "Jersey Shore," only ONE is from the Garden State!

  8. It just goes to show how ignorant some people are. I'm from Kansas and hear lots of comments. And thank you for introducing me to a great new series.

  9. Hey, I live in the best state in the U.S. (Texas!), but I know better than insult someone else's state. There's something wonderful about every state. The various flavors of our regions make our nation that much richer!

  10. I live in Kansas. Between the continual jokes and the cliche, "not in Kansas anymore", I can sympathize.

  11. I like what you said about his complaints about driving/smog/etc., but as a transplanted Ohioan, Pennsylvanian, and upstate New Yorker, I'm just not all that keen on living in New Jersey. Maybe it's because I live in Bergen county (right off Route 4 on the way to the GWB -- and if you have to ask what that is, fuhgeddaboutit) and outside of the wicked traffic, the outrageous property taxes, the sky-high prices, and the medieval blue-law store closings on Sundays, it's not a bad place to live.

  12. It took spending a summer in Portland, OR (which was great fun) to make me appreciate NJ, which has been my homestate for all but 5 of my years. This winter I loved the snow, the fact that we could x-country ski minutes from our home, yet get to the city within an hour for dinner (or have takeout from right here). Yes, there's a lot to love about NJ. Including the great writers and writing here.

  13. I just heard that "doesn't want to commute" story on the game/talk show WAIT WAIT DON'T TELL ME...the contestants didn't think that was the true story...they guessed a different one. They even had a sound bite of him (trying to) justify his reasoning.

    Realized that 4 out of the last 7 mysteries I read were set in N.J. so now I am interested to read some more. Do not think I have been there. Received a list of many authors that I will be looking into. Have NEVER seen the JERSEY SHORE show or SOPRANOS...not interested in either.

  14. Watched JERSEY SHORE once when I was writing AN UNINVITED GHOST, as research--seriously. SOPRANOS I admired, but didn't like. Don't think either one really represents NJ.

  15. I think that if someone doesn't have anything nice to say, then do not say it!
    I really appreciate all your books and blogs and comments and am very thankful for your talent.
    Take care,
    Your fan, Patrice Ekland

  16. That's funny, Patrice. My motto is, "If you don't have something nice to say, say it with style!" But I appreciate your comment. Thanks!