Maybe there's a grain of truth to my Yankees-loving uncle Bob's teasing that "Boston sucks." We didn't make the unofficial Top Ten Most Well-Mannered Cities in America...though Charleston, Chicago, LA, Peoria, and NEW YORK CITY did. This is enough to make one pause...are we really ill-mannered here in the Big Bean? Why, just the other night I assisted some lost tourists on a downtown street, even before they asked for help...although later that night I was almost run over by a Lexus SUV filled with clueless teenagers, after sitting through a movie with the woman next to me using her cellphone's text-messaging function during the film. Hmmmmm...I guess if I had to characterize the Boston temperament, I'd say there's a street war going on here between snobs and smart-alecks, and despite the much-claimed diversity of our neighborhoods, there just aren't enough different kinds of people on the streets, on the T, in the bars, or in the offices every day to make people loosen up. Or, maybe it's just the weather. Sigh.

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