Nov 11, 2004

Rocking Natick

As in: "Dude, that rocks Natick!"
An explaination of the phrase. (Sort of.)

by Biz Stone

There is no mall in the snobby suburb of Wellesley, Massachusetts. To visit the cineplex, shop for the holidays, or buy in bulk, one must drive to the next town. That town is Natick. Route 9 is the quickest way to go. You can’t take this route without passing under a particular bridge. This bridge spans the town line between Wellesley and Natick and it’s the nexus that is the origin of a phrase which will soon make its way into permanent American vernacular speech.

When I attended Wellesley High school in the 1990s, many students subscribed to the idea that the residents of Natick had "big hair," drove only beaten-up Pontiac Trans-Ams, and rocked exclusively to the band Aerosmith. This is just how it was. They were asses.

On the Wellesley side of the aforementioned bridge, someone—in a fit of Aerosmithian enrapture—spraypainted the words, "Aerosmith Rocks Natick" in big, drippy capitals. You couldn’t drive to Natick without reading "Aerosmith Rocks Natick." You didn’t see it driving the other way, but going from Wellesley to Natick you were reminded every time that, in fact, "Aerosmith Rocks Natick." And what is wrong with that, pray tell?

Some years later, I recalled the bridge. I imagined that the author of the phrase had an overwhelming gusto for both the band Aerosmith and the town of Natick—two great tastes that taste great together. It is at this point that you, gentle reader, must make a leap of faith.

Somehow, I reasoned that if I replaced the word "Aerosmith" with any other word but kept the "Natick" part of the phrase intact, it would work towards recapturing the original level of enthusiasm the author felt when he or she created the masterpiece. If you don't believe me, try it yourself. Say, "I don't care what anybody thinks, I rock Natick." See? Don't you already feel like you could kick some wicked pissa ass at the local Dunkin' Donuts?

I began using the phrase for related scenarios and soon discovered that a fellow alumni of Wellesley High, Greg Yaitanes was also using the adapted phrase. In fact, he was using it profusely in his professional life it was serving him well. This only encouraged me to use it with greater frequency and it has served me well too. I highly recommend the phrase. It rocks Natick.