Here, in New England, we are said to be stoic relative to others in, say, the midwest or the south. We don't feign pleasantries. We're not warm and welcoming to people we don't know. We keep to ourselves. As a general matter.
Unless you're wearing a Red Sox tee shirt, in which case puritanical stoicism gives way to two other Massachusetts traits: meatheaded-ness* and sports fanaticism. For the uninitiated, Massachusetts happens to be some sort of meathead mecca, for reasons I don't fully understand. Anyway if you're wearing a Red Sox tee shirt and it's the day of a game, perfect strangers have license to make remarks and engage you in conversation.
Which is fine, unless you have have a speech delay. I have blogged of my time as what I dub a "smile bully"; when Brad was 3 months old, I wouldn't leave him alone until he smiled. Well, what we have here are conversation bullies. People who won't be satisfied until they have elicited some sort of remark from Brad, like his favorite player or the anthem "go sox." Brad, of course, wants nothing to do with these well-intended people, understandably.
So I have resorted to taking the Red Sox shirts out of his rotation during game day. It's all I can do. Do you or yours ever get assaulted by conversation bullies?