Glad to see you’ll be vacationing in the gorgeous White Mountains and thereby helping to keep my taxes low. I hope you’ll rent a car, stay in expensive inns, and eat lots of prepared meals. Also, if possible, please buy a house.

The good folks of the White Mountains region are plenty accustomed to tourists, and they’ll treat you right even if they don’t happen to be smiling while they do it. The trick to dealing with the local inhabitants is not to be too talky. Sudden conversational banter from strangers can confuse and disorient some Northern New Englanders. This can make them annoyed. But don’t worry. If cornered by an excessively conversant Southerner, a Northern New Englander will most likely stare blankly until the conversation stops, then walk away.

Just remember that whereas in the South it is considered polite to say hi to everyone and engage in light banter with clerks, wait staff, gas station attendands, and fellow customers, in Northern New England it is generally considered polite to ignore most strangers and simply nod at those with whom one feels compelled to engage.

If one does get drawn into conversation, the safest thing to do is complain about the weather. It doesn’t matter what the weather actually is, just complain about it.

Oh, and while you’re up, don’t forget to buy the paper.