general humor

Who Would Win? Burlington vs. Swankington

On our most recent trip back to Burlington, I was struck by how normal the wealthy people were. By “normal,” I mean that they drove small cars; did their own gardening; and smiled and said hello when I walked past.

What?! You mean there are no rich people in Swankington who are like that? Yeah, there are some, but they are always qualified, as in: “They have a ton of money, but they are really down to earth.”

Given the Burlington/Swankville comparisons I found myself making, I thought it was time to have a little Burlington/Swankingfield smack down. So, let’s fight it out to the death! (With a nod to Jerry Pallotta’s Who Would Win? series.)


Technical Names

Barrington, State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations

Burlington, Vermont

Most Interesting Notable People

Swankington: Spalding Gray, author who killed himself.

Burlington: Band members from Phish, who almost killed me when they played at Nectar’s, where I was a cocktail waitress in the late eighties. The  Phish show at the time featured live bugs crawling around in a petri dish, slide-projected onto a screen behind the band. Their show drew fans who would swarm the lounge to “order” water — or — pay me for a pitcher of beer by opening their cupped hands and dumping out just enough change onto my cocktail tray. That is called: no fucking tips.

Top Images for Burlington/Barrington Waterfront


It was 5 full pages of images before I got what I thought was an image of Barrington Beach (open to Barrington residents only; no Warren riffraff allowed!). But the picture was actually of another private real estate listing.

I don’t even feel like I live on The Water in this town, even though I can see a tidal river from my home. Maybe that’s because this was one of the top images I got when I Googled (R) “barrington ri waterfront”:

Bottom line: when we want to feel like we actually live near the water, we drive 15 minutes to Bristol!

Okay: Burlington waterfront:

You can walk on the docks on Burlington’s waterfront and no one will yell at you. I’ve even been to parties at that boat house you can see in the picture, and the party-throwers were Squarely In The Middle Class. It’s nice because accessing Burlington’s waterfront does not require that you have ONE GAGILLION DOLLARS. Or force you to step around pink, plastic tampon applicators.

Stepford Factor

Swankington: Hahahahahahahahahha!

Burlington: I rank as a Stepford Wife in Burlington, because I wear monogrammed clogs (no one knows they’re used); swanky yoga pants (I wore the only pair I saw. All. Weekend. Long.); and pearl earrings (fakes, but — really — who’s gonna take their teeth to my ears?).

Adorable Factor

Swankington: Yoga pants that hang off non-existent asses = gross!

Burlington: A very cute population. I’m considered homely there.


Swankington: The level of “bad” has been well-documented. By me.

Burlington: Also bad, but for a different reason. Something happens there called The Vermont Standoff, defined as the moment when four cars come to a 4-way stop and each driver waves the other on, resulting in a we-are-all-so-nice standstill.


Swankington: Seasons that change, normal season length.

Burlington: Snows on Halloween and Mother’s Day.

“Who” Has the Advantage?

Stand down, Swankington!

Swankington sees Burlington. They can smell each other. Both towns stand to get a better look. Then it happens. Burlington charges at Swankington, growling and showing its progressive teeth. Swankington crouches down, paws up, ready for battle, showing off its new recycling policy.Running at full speed, Burlington knocks over Swankington. Swankington gets right up and fights back. Whap! Swankington smacks Burlington in the face. Ouch! They claw, scratch and bite.

“We  have higher earning potential and better weather!” shouts Swankington. “Oh yeah, well we have a higher overall quality of life,” rebuts Burlington, “And the only Land Rover in town has bumper stickers all over it!”

It’s a nasty fight. They wrestle, each trying to get the advantage. Burlington is relentless! Suddenly, Swankington sees no reason to fight to the death. Swankington runs away. [1]

[1] From Jerry Pallotta’s Who Would Win? Polar Bear vs. Grizzly Bear.

Categories: general humor

7 replies »

  1. I LOVE THIS! Especially this: “Swankington crouches down, paws up, ready for battle, showing off its new recycling policy.”

    And this: acknowledgement of the tampon devices on the beach.

    But: I really, really, really thought–by the time I got to the end–that you would mention playing ping pong in May on an autumn leaf-littered deck and eating peach gazpacho without a utensil as Burlingtonesque Now I am worried it was just trashy.

  2. Hahahaha!! All the more reason to move back to where you can happily spend a day hanging out in City Hall Park wearing a gauze halter top, with unshaven underarms and legs and dirty bare feet playing with your hacky-sack ball in between walking your dog-on-a-rope…and it just feels RIGHT!

Talk to me, people!

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