Growing up in Philadelphia made it a little hard to not look down on New Jersey. There was just something about crossing the goddamn Delaware that made things different. Since then, I moved to Jersey twice, so I’ve adjusted. I’ve also learned that places in Pennsylvania outside of Philly also suck. Let’s call it a wash. Plus, I hear word that the governor is looking to pass a new tax on millionaires, so things are looking good to me.
That being said, I was speaking with a friend who is also originally from Philly and now works in and with a lot of people from NJ and he mentioned the way in which people toss around the word “township.” And more specifically about how people from one specific area use it, but in that moment, I had a genuine flashback to something that happened to me when I lived in New Jersey the first time.
I won’t get into too many specifics so as not to admit to anything legally actionable, but I was involved in an altercation at a movie theater with a young man who tried to get tough with me by asking, “What township are you from?” I don’t think I’ve ever been angrier.
“How DARE you?! I don’t even know what county I live in at this point!”
The whole thing devolved into part of the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade zeppelin sequence. I’m not proud of it.
I had never heard someone outside KYW News Radio say “township” without it being followed by “schools are closed” before. Certainly not in a manor in which to indicate such a thing would matter as to who was about to receive facial injuries.
But what my friend was really bringing up was how many times he has heard people use the phrase, “I’m from Township.”
Okay…but like, which one? I did the research and there are 241 in the state of New Jersey. You are going to have to narrow it down with your nasal-voice, attitude-having ass.
Oh! You mean Washington Township! Well, fuck me! I didn’t realize. I will remove my peasantry from your vicinity! But let’s just do a little research on it first, let’s see what the internet has to say here…
Washington Township is sometimes referred to as “South Jersey’s Premier Community”, “South Philly South”, or “Little South Philly” as a large percentage of its citizens moved to the town from the Italian South Philadelphia region over the past several decades. It is also known simply as “Township”.– Inexplicably Wikipedia
MAMMA MIA! Does the parking fucking suck there, too?
What happened? Did everyone decide to sell their 800 square foot row homes for $400,000 to young suburbanites looking for street cred they will never have and move to an area where salt is considered too spicy? This reads like some bullshit someone from Washington Township wrote themselves on Wikipedia to project some edge to an area that is almost 88% white suburbanites that can’t get over the fact that they live in the middle of nothing but tire stores and tick breeding grounds.
I got news for you: You aren’t special. Or interesting. You aren’t even the ONLY Washington Township in New Jersey. There are five of them. You spun out of Deptford. A place so inconsequential, the people who are from there don’t even bother forming the word. They call it “Defford.” Like they are so fucking bored by the place they can’t finish. It’s 90% a dying mall surrounded by the types of chain restaurants that get moms excited for “a lovely Saturday.”
I went on a date once with a girl from that area. It was terrible. She spent the whole time telling me about how good she was at selling Avon. I had more chemistry with the waitress who overheard me talking about having jury duty the next week. How is the highlight of the evening me explaining how Camden County New Jersey is absolutely horny for me to come and pass judgment on people? (I have been sent a summons to jury duty 7 times in the past 20 years, five of which were from Camden County. Two of which were three months apart.)
So, yeah, the whole area has it’s problems, but calling where you’re from just “Township” is the type of activity that leads you to have a permanent click in your jaw every time you try to eat at Panera Bread because you thought you were special and mouthed off before a showing of Talladega Nights. So knock that shit off.
It’s wild how people from places of zero importance or significance have the loftiest of opinions about them. And, yeah, I know I look like a dickhead for going hard on it, but experience it once and see how you feel. Unless you are like a fully formed adult who can get past shit like that. Well, I’M not and I don’t appreciate YOU pointing it out to me as I type this. And while we’re at it, what fucking township are you from, bro?!
The worst part about this whole thing is that in my attempt to come hard at these people, I spent too much time figuring out the image for the post and I think I accidentally designed a t-shirt for them. I texted an early version of the picture up top to my buddy who is a graphic designer and Pennsylvania resident. This is the exchange that followed:
See! It’s not just me! It’s a whole thing! I sent an image of the state with the word “township” on top of it out of the blue with ZERO context and he figured out what it was about! That is a clear indication it is an issue that needs to be addressed.
I’m sure there are idiosyncrasies like this from places all over New Jersey…and every other state. Do you have any that really stick out? Let me know. Especially if they will piss me off.