Back Talk: The Unchained Id of Lowell, Mass.

The (Lowell, MA) Sun is a venerable daily broadsheet serving the city of Lowell, northwest of Boston; its presses started running in 1878. Jack Kerouac once wrote for the paper as a sportswriter. But today, the most entertaining commentary published in its pages is in a regular feature called “Back Talk.”

Back Talk is created from messages recorded on an anonymous call-in line or submitted anonymously through the Internet. Anecdotally, the contributors are generally cranky senior citizens from Lowell and nearby towns who have had it UP TO HERE with the shenanigans they see going on around the city.

ROTI has been monitoring “Back Talk” for some time now, collecting the entries that best encapsulate the amusing material found therein. Enjoy this treasury of complaints about welfare recipients, the Red Sox, President Obama, local elected officials, inconsiderate neighbors, and other topics that enrage elderly citizens of Lowell.

NOT A DUMPSTER: I have a mattress and a TV in front of my house on Canada Street. Someone else decided to put out a bunch of shelves, too. How dare you. I’ll get your plate next time.

FOWL MOOD: Why do these large chain markets that do rotisserie chickens make them look sick? They’re always grayish.

RETIRING PITCHER: Tim Wakefield was so popular with the Sox, they named a city after him: Timbuktu.

PRIVACY POINT: Remind people to cover their bathroom windows because there are several families on Gilmore Street witnessing your use of your bathroom. We’d like it to stop.

SEEING IT ALL: The presidential candidates want to show they look like the rest of us. They showed us the blue jeans, now show us the tattoo and flip-flops.

NOT CUTTING IT: I was just wondering — could the Gillette Co. send a bunch of razor blades down to the Red Sox in Fort Myers?

Ugh, shave that DISGRACE on your face!

LOW-BALLING VARITEK: The Red Sox can do a little more with Jason Varitek; couldn’t they have offered him something else? It’s insulting, especially to be a person like him.

PALIN BY COMPARISION: Last time gas prices got this high, Sarah Palin said we should drill. Yet, this past week, Obama says we should check the air pressure in our tires. Something tells me Palin is looking smarter on this one.

CONFUSION IN CHIEF: Every day there is more bad news with this president. He’s either enforcing contraception, apologizing, not allowing the pipeline to go through, allowing abortions. I wake up and wonder what he will do today. Let’s elect Romney and get this over with.

WELFARE ISN’T FAIR: I am so tired of paying high taxes on everything. People on welfare are the ones that make out good, they don’t have to worry about anything.

CRIME WITHOUT TIME: Why is there always a double standard for women? If I was a woman, I’d steal all sorts of things. You’ll never go to prison.

SHARP DEPARTURE: What happened to the youth today? Back in the day if there was an argument, you’d settle it using your fists. Now every­one uses a knife!

TV DRAMA: Why is Comcast taking off SoapNet and replacing it with another Disney channel? Can’t you leave us something to watch at night?

GUTTER POLITICS: It’s a sad day in Chelmsford politics when people who put out a sign to support their candi­date get their house toilet­papered. It has now stooped to a new low.

EMPTY WHITE HOUSE: I am very sad to say that I no longer have a president. I cannot believe where he sticks his nose.

TRIAL AND ERROR: I hope we find out who the female juror was on the Mattapan trial; what a moron.

SPRING CLEANUP: I hope the people of Groton come together to pick up the dis­gusting trash on Route 119. It’s starting to get out of con­trol. — Dunstable

BROAD BRUSH: What is the media’s goal with this Zimmerman case — to prove he is a racist? Big deal. It doesn’t mean every other white person is.

CRUISER OR A CAB?: It’s 7 a.m. on a Sunday. A police cruiser pulls up in front of housing on Market Street and picks up a woman, her child and a baby carriage. Since when are we a taxicab? Does the city have to pay for that, too?

INAPPROPRIATE: The Hunger Games is completely inappropriate for young children. The idea of children hunting and killing other children for entertainment is frightening.

YOUNG SLACKERS: Someone should tell these young boys to pull their pants up and be polite, hold the door for other folks behind you.

WRONG APPROACH: Shame on the Buddhists; it was wrong the way they’ve been approaching this whole ordeal.

HUNGER PANGS: I saw The Hunger Games over the weekend. I have never seen such a horrible, terrible movie in my life.

WALKING TARGET: Any parent who lets their kids go out with a hoodie is asking for an “X” to be placed on their kid.

Marked for death, AM I RIGHT?!

SLIME DECISION: Is Market Basket going to stop using the pink slime in their hamburg? Many people would like an answer.

TV NONSENSE: Are you paying attention to all of these TV commercials? None of them make sense. What is the logic?

IMAGE CONSCIOUS: The wrong image of the mayor was shown on March 27. No elected official should be seen in the paper smoking a cigar in front of shelves stocked with alcohol.

FRAUD SQUAD: EBT cards are out of control. I see people with them and they drive BMWs and Mercedes! They need to get stricter!

SHIFTING GROUND: The governor really needs to think and do this stand your ground law. People can come into your house with guns to kill and rape you, but yet you can’t defend yourself?

HAD ENOUGH: I get kids on the doorstep all the time for their “causes.” These teachers are so greedy they should be ashamed!

Special thanks goes out to the Sun staffers who have to weed through the Back Talk submissions on a daily basis. I can’t even imagine what DOESN’T make the cut — and I have it from a good source that Lowell teens love to call this hotline and leave prank call messages. The Sun paper’s hard work and dedication rewards us daily with the delight that is Back Talk.

For more, much more, check out the Back Talk home page.

About Alpine McGregor
Just like you, man. I got the shotgun, you got the briefcase. All in the game, though, right?

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