The Quotable Marty Walsh

The mayor's frustration with the snow has yielded several soundbites.

Marty Walsh is pretty much done with all of this snow, and his palpable frustration has made him quite quotable on the national level. Most recently, his demand that residents stop jumping out their windows onto piles of snow received national press, perhaps because of its mix of exhausted frustration with clever New England regionalism.

“I’m asking people to stop this nonsense right now. These are adults jumping out windows,” Walsh said. “This isn’t Loon Mountain, this is the city of Boston.”

The quote was begging to be put in headlines. (Note the way “Loon” Mountain works on a couple levels here.) Thus Walsh’s chiding tone was rephrased and overemphasized and punned to death.

“Mayor urges knucklehead Bostonians not to jump out of windows and into the snow,” read the Washington Post headline. “Boston Mayor: Can You Idiots Stop Jumping Out Your Windows?,” Gawker’s read. “Boston mayor to snow daredevils: Chill out,” USA Today phrased it. “It’s snow joke,” Russia Today punned.

It wasn’t the first occasion this winter that Walsh’s tone tapped into a region-wide throwing up of hands. These days, Walsh tends to sound like an affable sitcom dad who’s tired after a long day of work and doesn’t want to deal with any of your goddamn shenanigans. In a press conference on Sunday, he sounded downright depressed. “I don’t know what to say to anybody anymore. Hopefully it will stop eventually.”

Offering a rather uninspired message of hopelessness, he added, “God knows how long, how many weeks, we’ll be doing this.” Sure, you can shovel the snow from your sidewalk, but really, what’s the point? “As you shovel the snow, as you move the snow, it’s going to come back on your sidewalk,” he said. (He wasn’t actually suggesting that people stop clearing sidewalks. As John Kerry could attest, even that has consequences.)

Walsh might not exactly be a beacon of hope, but he is giving voice to the frustration felt by an entire region. Boston, of course, has a rich history of colorful, quotable mayors, so it’s nice to see that Tom Menino’s replacement is living up to the tradition of giving headline writers something to work with.