Buffalo is buzzing over native son Carl Paladino, Republican candidate for governor of the State of New York. Given Buffalo’s losing streak generally, Carl probably does not have a great shot at the statehouse come November. But recent polls do indicate that in today’s Republican primary, Carl is virtually tied with Rick Lazio. You may remember Rick as the guy who wagged his finger at First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton on her march to the Foggy Bottom.
One gesture also epitomizes Carl and his supporters. Because if one political sign dominates front lawn acreage here in Buffalo, it is Paladino’s middle finger of a sign.
Orange and black, the mini-billboard reads: “Mad as Hell too, Carl!” Years ago these feisty supporters might have been called the “silent majority.” Today they’re noisy like elephants. Drunk nightmare elephants.
But it’s not just the mad as hell cartoon elephants talking about Paladino. Self-hating detractors, convinced Carl confirms downstate’s notions of Buffalo as a parochial backwater, are weighing in too. Can he actually do it? Did he just say poor people should live in used-up jails and have hygiene classes? Do we all sound nasally like that?
To celebrate Primary Day here in New York, and, in particular, the shit Carl says, I’ve put together a quick quiz. Of the quotes below, decide which are: a) shit Carl said b) shit no one said, or c) shit my Dad says. That is: some of these are Carl Paladino, some are made up and some are Twitter-fodder for a sitcom starring William Shatner. In other words, something for everyone to get mad as hell about today.
1) Moving back to Buffalo is the first time I put on shoes in four years. (Answer.)
2) I don’t take grape soda with food. People who never finished high school do that. (Answer.)
3) Why do you keep telling me that crime isn’t random? It’s a disgusting world out there. I’ve seen it. (Answer.)
4) I’m just frankly telling you what I think. I’ll get in the face of anyone I think is wrong. (Answer.)
5) It is what it is. She’s a complete asshole. (Answer.)
6) I made a crude remark and she threw a beer on me, and that was the end of that discussion. (Answer.)
7) Your mother’s at the gynecologist. I didn’t ask why. (Answer.)
8) I’m human. I’ve had my careless moments. I didn’t think twice about sending to my friends a bunch of obscene emails. (Answer.)
9) I’m sitting in one of those TGI Friday’s places, and everyone looks like they want to shove a shotgun in their mouth. (Answer.)
10) Garbage day is Tuesday. Don’t people know that means you put your trash out Monday night? (Answer.)
11) Richard Nixon did not play politics with race. Or vice versa. The man was color-blind. Now shut up over there. (Answer.)
12) Instead of handing out the welfare checks, we’ll teach people how to earn their check. We’ll teach them personal hygiene – the personal things they don’t get when they come from dysfunctional homes. (Answer.)
13) My fingers are too fat for this phone. I don’t know how you young people use these things. Give me the one in the wall already. (Answer.)
14) I’m going to turn him upside down and shake out every dollar he’s stolen. (Answer.)
15) I’ll tell you why we address priests as “father” and nuns as “sister,” you little piece of shit. (Answer.)
16) I’m not voting. What has any politician ever done for me that I didn’t already do for myself 40 years ago? (Answer.)
17) The blond one isn’t speaking to me anymore, so ask the fatter one if I can get the kiddie menu size. She let me do it last week. (Answer.)
18) I don’t want to be anybody’s friend. I don’t have to be anybody’s friend. (Answer.)
19) Just pay the parking ticket. Don’t be so outraged. You’re not a freedom fighter in the civil rights movement. You double parked. (Answer.)
20) The little dark-haired one I gave the thing to? (Answer.)
21) I’m just gonna be me and they can go fuck themselves. [...] Don’t care, that’s the only attitude you can have when you go to the DMV. (Answer.)
22) Many young people would love to get the hell out of cities. (Answer.)
23) Can you get me a Fudgesicle from the freezer? Regular, not sugar-free. My insulin is out of whack this morning. (Answer.)
24) I don’t need more friends. You got friends and all they do is ask you to help them move. Fuck that. I’m old. I’m through moving shit. (Answer.)
25) I don’t know what the word would be, but it’s Italian for â€˜what the $@! is this?’ (Answer.)
1-A, 2-B, 3-B, 4-A, 5-B, 6-A, 7-B, 8-A, 9-C, 10-B, 11-B, 12-A, 13-B, 14-A, 15-B, 16-B, 17-B, 18-A, 19-C, 20-B, 21-C, 22-A, 23-B, 24-C, 25-A
Luke Mazur misses Tim Russert today. He is technically our grammar columnist.