Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Stroller Sports

As we all know, the Stroller Wars have been raging in Park Slope. Recently, EV Idiot worried the East Village would similarly be "mobbed by the stroller mafia." As young couples make more money and the city becomes more "liveable," they seem to be leaving for the suburbs less and less. (Are the suburbs, in turn, losing their children? Will the suburbs become NORCs?) And with more strollers in town comes more bad stroller behavior and more anger from the child-free. Here's a sampling:
  • George Carlin (RIP) on our child-obsessed culture. [TBTI]
  • Anti-stroller signage. [Gothamist]
  • Moms and bars. [NY Times]
  • The original Stroller Manifesto. [Heideblerg]
  • Line-cutting, on-demand flat fixes. [Curbed]
  • And one In Defense of Parenthood [Observer]
While it's one of my favorite topics, I go into bad-stroller territory with trepidation, because the mere mention of it seems to tick off every parent with a child under the age of 10. I can't understand why well-mannered, considerate parents aren't more angry at the rude, entitled stroller moms and dads who give them all a bad name. Still, I am too excited not to report that I recently encountered the jackpot of obnoxious stroller behavior.



Like Jim Knipfel with his Statistics of Contempt, I cope with sidewalk frustration by making a game of it. This scene scores a big six points:

1. Incredibly loud cell-phone talker (four blocks worth of it)
2. Talking about the top two most obnoxious loud cell-phone topics (money and real estate)
3. Pushing stroller with just one hand
4. Pushing enormous, double-wide stroller
5. Double-wide has just one kid in it (other side's for shopping bags)
6. Kid is big enough to be playing a handheld electronic game--and those legs, knees bent to her chest, look made for walking

I'm not sure this one could score much higher, unless she was also listening to an iPod in one ear and steering with her hips while sucking on a Starbucks iced coffee. And leading a small dog on a too-long leash. Now that would be something.

(Where is Seinfeld when we need someone to name and call attention to current urban behaviors? Larry David, come back to New York!)

If the grudge match between the Stroller Mafia & the Angry Child-Free is going to continue, and it is, then we should at least have team uniforms. It might help us all have a sense of humor about this issue. Below are a few design options--and, for the record, I would really love to see a mom or dad in the "I Hate Your Kids" shirt:






Where'd I find these T's?

17 comments:

park slopper said...

stroller moms and park slope--what happened to all the third world nannies of yesteryear--moms worked--nannies from Trinidad etc. the nannies were more polite than the moms--

anon. said...

You should start selling your own t-shirts (just make sure they're available in pink and red Lacoste shirts) with anti-yunnie messages, similar to the anti-stroller mom mafia shirts. This should at least give you some other income and no longer have to "slave over a hot blog every day, day in and day out" and you don't have to consider the evils of ads.

BaHa said...

Other thoughts:
"Your kid's not special."
"You're pregnant? So what."
"You only get to replace yourself. That's it."

sssslope said...

Trinidadian nannies used to care for these children of the working elite--they corrected them when they kicked and were uncharming--what happened to them??

Anonymous said...

to park slopper and sssslope...

The third world countries are still around -- they're at the UPE. They can still afford to live in the city hence they can afford to have nannies. The PS moms obviously cannot afford a nanny nor to live in the city, that's why they're so bitter and frustrated that they take out their rage by using the strollers, much like a driver who has road rage.

StuyTownFullofYunnies said...

Love your blog! I'll tell you what's worse....if the Yunnie in that photo was also wearing heel-smacking, rubber flip-flops and was speaking loudly into her cell phone in one of those horrible squeaky, nasal voices. Can somebody please tell me why so many female Yunnies have voices like Minnie Mouse on helium?

L'Emmerdeur said...

In around 20 years, that little shit is going to be scrubbing somebody's toilet in Shanghai.

Jeremiah Moss said...

thank you, stuytown, for mentioning the nasal voice! i cannot stand that voice. where did it come from? are there any linguists studying it? why do so many young women talk that way? it's like uptalk in the 80s.

quixoticire said...

I've mentioned it before in your generation O post, that there's a particular "type" of yunnies that irritates me more because of that nasal voice, which are more prominent to them. I'm not even sure if they're doing that voice consciously or unconsciously to make them feel or be more like a white yunnie.

Alex in NYC said...

Not for nothin', JM, but I touched on that here:

http://vassifer.blogs.com/alexinnyc/the_dad_zone/index.html

Not everyone with a stroller is a jackass.

But know this: PEOPLE PROCREATE! STROLLERS AREN'T GOING AWAY. MAKE YOUR PEACE WITH THEM.

Keep up the excellent work as always, JM.
Cheers,
Alex in NYC

Jeremiah Moss said...

i agree, alex, not everyone with a stroller is a jackass. sadly, the non-squeaky wheels don't get much grease. keep up the good parenting work--someone's got to do it!

StuyTownFullofYunnies said...

Yeah, the nasal, helium voice is not only bizarre, but really grating. Grown women (well, sort of) deliberately speaking like little girls. Wait, even little girls sound more mature than they do and have more pleasant voices, so what's up with this? If you watch movies from the 30s, 40s, and even 1950s, most females had normal speaking voices. I attended a lecture years ago by a nutritionist who said that the condition of the internal organs (maybe the brain, too) is reflected by the quality of one's voice. If that's so, these unbearable squeaky, nasal voices is another dismal sign, like the disappearance of the bees, that the human species is in deep shit! Hopefully, it's just the Yunnies!

Bob said...

Ugh, babies in bars. Another unsavory proxy effect of Bloomberg's smoking ban. This city really has turned into Disneyland. It pains my soul to see this city transformed into a pathetic, sanitized amusement park for rich mommies and their spoiled broods.

New York Gyal said...

I am an original New Yorker and I have been mocked with a winey voice--I do not speak like that--speech therapists confirm--sooo why do people still try to say original new yorkers(female) speak like this when I believe it is a made up way of talking to look better than they are--my aunt did this--pretended to be a Philadelphian and my cousin too--ugly douches-

Joshua said...

Female New Yorkers don't naturally talk in a winey baby voice; whoever told you that was an idiot. In fact females from any location don't naturally speak like that, simply because the up-talk baby voice isn't a regional accent.
The yunnie female comes with a very peculiar speech pattern. It's not an aspect of any specific "type" of yunnie, but rather a universal trait among them. Basically, it's a combination of valley-girl speak (“oh my god, I’m like, so totally, like...”), an “uptalk” (that is, interrogative) delivery, and a whiny baby-voice. From listening to them, I’ve also found that they have trouble pronouncing certain words (usually words with the schwa vowel sound): e.g. “yeah” becomes “yah”, “thank you” sounds like “think-you”, “all right” is “arr-ate”, etc. The combination of all these traits, though apparently unconscious, is a very effective irritation.
How they all grew up speaking with the same accent is something I’ve wondered about a great deal. After all, yunnies who grew up in New Jersey, California, Alabama, Minnesota–literally every state–all somehow ended up in adulthood (or quasi-adulthood) sharing the same accent. Why? It isn’t a regional or linguistic accent. This has always bothered me, especially since one very rarely heard unabashed baby-voiced valley-girl speak anywhere before 2001 or so (except as a joke), but now it seems to be universal amongst the upper-middle classes and above. The best reason I could ever conjecture was that, since they also seem to share the same values and tastes, something must have happened in America during the 80's and 90's that made growing up in an affluent suburb such a communal experience that the kids who passed through it grew up to be literally indistinguishable. I guess it’s a class-accent, since that appears to be it’s only basis.

The yunnie male also speaks in valley-girl slang (though I suppose one could call it “surfer-dude” in his case) and delivers all his statements in interrogative form, but he does so in a low, inflection-less monotone (which is also universal). It is, however, unacceptable for the male yunnie to constantly giggle maniacally or cry hysterically, but we all knew that already.

john said...

MTV, nickelodeon, Vh1

we are a generation raised by tv and our speech pattern mimics that coached "confessional" tone you hear on any reality tv show

lsR said...

#1) the new york observer had a short article about this exact subject: the sing song tone of the voice, every statement ends w/a question mark. they said it was from TV/films. copy cats. its weird, is this the first time in history that people affect speech patterns that are not from their parents or ethnic group? what was interesting was that my friend & i were commenting on this the day before the article appeared. my friend said that the younger men today sounded like they were gay. maybe this is a job for the 'grumbler'??? this needs a separate post aside from strollers.