Living in a tourist state can sometimes be a real pain. It’s one thing when the reason you’re a tourist state is because your state has natural beauty that everyone wants to see. But it’s quite another when your state is low-income and it’s primary source of revenue is the tourist dollar.
In a natural beauty state, where the tourist dollar is an “enhancement” to the revenue derived from business and taxes, there’s a bit of a different attitude. These states are more than happy to welcome you, but if you start acting like a jerk (you know, “typical tourist”) they let you know in no uncertain terms that behavior like that isn’t tolerated and you’d better either smarten up or move along.
In a low-income tourist state though, things are different. In low-income tourist states, they have an unwritten law, described here by me as “The Dickhead Law”. What this law states, is that “It’s OK to act like a dickhead, as long as you don’t break any MAJOR laws, like murder, drugs or drunk driving”. Here’s an analogy that I think sums it up (life imitating art, soas to speak)
In the 90’s, on “The Opie and Anthony Show”, on a popular Boston radio channel, they did a skit about the old TV series “Lost in Space”. It was the usual raking of the “special effects” and the “weekly dangers” that the crew faced, when it turned to a couple of interesting observations about (who else) Dr. Smith. One was that he must have been a pedophile, since he always hung around young Will. And the other was that, every week, he’d find some new way to endanger the lives of the Robinson family and Major West (this last one is the analogy). But no matter what he did, at the end of the show it was always “Oh, c’mon Smith, you daffy bastard, get on the space ship with the rest of us” for their next adventure.
And that’s how the Dickhead Law applies (at least up here in New Hampshire). With minor exception, whatever actions these “tourists” take (you know, things they wouldn’t do at home because everyone would hate them and call them “dickheads”, hence the name of the law), the response from the authorities is pretty much like “Aw, you daffy bastards, you really shouldn’t do that”.
Unlike a regular state, where disrespect of property and/or residents could get you into serious trouble, the residents of “Dickhead Law” states take a backseat to the rights of the tourist. And I just don’t think that’s right. If you’re going to be a whore, then put on a pretty dress and go work the corner. But don’t whore out my town/city/state for the sake of a few dollars – especially not at my expense.
Don’t get me wrong – I love to share the beauty that is the White Mountains, or the Lakes Region, or any quaint village or town that people from far away have read about or seen pictures of. I’m proud to welcome anyone that can appreciate it and treat it with respect. Just keep the dickheads at home.