The residents of Baltimore have a curious habit. Perhaps it is not confined to our residents. But I have never heard those from elsewhere mention it before. So in my mind it remains a curiosity confined to our fair locale. Please do share with me in the comments it this is a common habit in your city as well. Maybe I will write a book one day on the sociological implications.
The practice which I speak of is what I refer to as The Baltimore Shout. People utilizing the Baltimore Shout have entire conversations over great distances as if they were standing next to each other having a conversation. They may be a full city block apart. But the ensuing conversation takes place ignoring this distance as if it doesn’t exist.
For example a woman will spot her friend Wanda a block down the street and she begins, shouting at the top of her lungs:
“Hey Wanda hon! How have you been!? How are Bill and the kids?”
Wanda then responds with her own shouts,
“Cassie, girl, it’s been AGES. I am great and so are the kids. Little Ricky made the football team! That’s my boy. I guess you haven’t heard. I kicked Bill to the curb that cheating jackass crossed me for the very last time.”
Shouting back, still a full block away,
“Good for you Wanda. He was a no-good-son-of-a-bitch anyway. You deserve better! That is great news about Little Ricky. My Leslie just made honor-roll. Were going up to the outlets this weekend to do some shopping to celebrate. Hey Wanda, you want to come? You should come with us!”
The shouted conversation will continue like this as if Wanda and Cassie are standing together having a private chat. Except, of course, they are not. In addition these interactions can take place anytime day or not. Just because it is midnight certainly is no reason to not talk to your friend a block away. That would be rude.
The young men’s conversations often consist of grunts and growls that only they seem to understand. Usually starting with the shouted “Yo!”
Yeah, that’s my Baltimore.