Ill-Timed Remark Puts Proctologists on Boston’s Bad Side | HumorOutcasts

Ill-Timed Remark Puts Proctologists on Boston’s Bad Side

February 2, 2018

BOSTON.  This city has four large-scale convention halls and is home to a number of world-class teaching hospitals, so it is no surprise that Boston and Cambridge, its neighbor across the Charles River, are increasingly the top choice of medical associations for conferences and meetings.

Boston Convention and Exhibition Center


“We had the neurologists in last week and this week it’s the orthodontists,” says Convention Bureau spokesperson Karen Twining.  “It has a real multiplier effect for our economy, so they’re all welcome.  Well, most of them,” she corrects herself.

The one exception?  “The proctologists,” says cabdriver Tim McDermott, who makes his living shuttling physicians from Logan Airport to meetings and exhibit halls around town.  “If they never come back it’ll be too soon.”

McDermott:  “The proctologists?  They can go screw.”


The cause of the friction between the American Proctology Association and Beantown residents is an idle comment made by the group’s then-president, Dr. Dennis Goodrich, back in 2016.  A delegation of city and state officials attended the opening session of the proctologists’ annual meeting in a gesture of gratitude that the group had chosen Boston’s struggling Convention and Exhibition Center over Chicago and New Orleans, and presented Goodrich with a key to the city.

“What?  Was it something I said?”

After accepting the symbol of welcome, Goodrich thanked the local dignitaries and began his opening address.  “Some people say Bostonians are stand-offish,” he said.  “I look out at this city–and see 600,000 assholes.”

While the proctologists themselves stood and applauded what they understood to be an expression of gratitude, the local dignitaries walked out, hearing an echo of the long-standing charge that Bostonians are at best unfriendly and at worst downright rude to out-of-towners.

Durgin Park Waitress:  “That guy over there wants more coffee.  I’m going to ignore him.”


“I don’t know what that guy was thinking,” said City Councillor Peggy Hanlon at the time.  “Bostonians are known around the world for our friendly, open, attitude,” she asserted, “except for, in alphabetical order, businessmen, cabbies, Durgin Park waitresses, graduate students, Haymarket fruit vendors . . .”  This reporter, racing to record her remarks, missed the better part of her litany while fumbling to change tapes in his cassette recorder, before she concluded with “Yankee women and yuppies.”

“Okay, I’m leaving–sheesh!”


The proctologists say it’s all a misunderstanding, and would consider coming back to Boston in 2019 if they can just get city residents to see their point of view.  “We don’t know why we’re being singled out,” says the APA’s Goodrich.  “After all, they’re rude to everybody.”

Con Chapman

I'm a Boston-area writer, author of two novels (most recently "Making Partner"), a baseball book about the Red Sox and the Yankees ("The Year of the Gerbil"), ten published plays and 45 books of humor available in print and Kindle formats on My latest book "Scooter & Skipper Blow Things Up!" was released by HumorOutcasts Press last year. My humor has appeared in The Atlantic, The Christian Science Monitor, The Boston Globe and Barron's, and I am working on a biography of Johnny Hodges, Duke Ellington's long-time alto sax player for Oxford University Press .

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One Response to Ill-Timed Remark Puts Proctologists on Boston’s Bad Side

  1. February 3, 2018 at 1:28 am

    I guess you could say, in today’s terminology, that they were a little butt-hurt.

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