Taming Tony the Naysaying Tiger

It’s easy to be defensive and to come across as defensive. Being defensive could implicate you could be  hidingTa. However, on a positive note, when you’re passionate about something and if the offending person — their opinion — is blatantly wrong, a mild retaliation is appropriate.

I confronted a tiger in Auburn. For the sake of the story, I’ll name him Tony, because he didn’t remind me enough of an Anthony.

He slouched over a little bit in his orange and white-striped garb, but this could have been for several reasons. His tilting or slouching was in defense to the bombardment of Vitamin D. Another reason: His backpack was could have been heavy. The straps could be seen reaching over his shoulders.

We’ll give it to him: The sun was in his face.

Let it be known at this point in the story his face intensified in red color as the seconds passed. The grimace he was showing off wasn’t — one can hope — his normal resting face. It was a blend of constipation and frustration. (Yes, the type of frustration one may experience with constipation.)

This place is a ghost town, he said. If this was a showdown, this was his drawing first. If it wasn’t for the giant natural bulb, he could have went for the kill, and the shot would have connected with my shoulder. However, the bullet hit me in the toe.

There were two other bystanders, and they sat quietly.

It’s the middle of the day, I rebutted. It wasn’t much, but a shot in the foot deserves a shot in the foot.

He proceeded to growl at me about the fact there was nothing to do.

I holstered my weapon and put both my hands on my hips. How can I throw you a steak if I don’t have one on me? You have Theater Mack, Auburn Public Theater… Come back in a little bit and you’ll find something to do.

The problem is: There is too much to do. I didn’t tell him that part of my job was writing copy, sifting through the weekly events to include in each weekly publication. Instead, after a pause, I told him: There is too much to do. That’s the problem.

  • There is live music every night of the week.
  • Stage shows run Wednesdays to Sundays.
  • Comedy shows run Wednesdays to Sundays.
  • Trivia. Every. Night.

No, man. There is nothing here. I go to school at Syracuse university. If I was there, I could just stop by a house party.

It’s difficult for me to determine ages, but he seemed to fall into the 28 to 35 range. You would randomly stop by a house and hang out with random college kids? They’re college kids. 

The sun was really bothering him, or it could have been me being over cordial with a shit eating grin included in the package.

Kids, I said again. To me it makes more sense to eat at a pub alone than show up at a random house party.

He continued to look at me with squinting eyes. He said something else, but I allowed the words to run past me. Tony turned and walked away.


It’s this sort of thinking that bothers me. Are we so blind, or are we so comfortable with living in denial that it’s the a crutch to lean on when something not-so-wonderful may be taking place in personal life.

When out-of-town companies make the most general and feeble and oftentimes inaccurate attempts to write a positive piece with hope to boost their own attention and online traffic, people love it. They suddenly remember all that is good with central New York, and they reflect on what they miss.

However, when something new develops or there is some kind of initiative to beautify, reinvent or renovate a particular local aspect, people are quick to take a dump on the very thought.

This has to be fixed.

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