Thursday, November 03, 2005

What Goes For Ohio Goes For Western Pennsylvania, Too (Almost)

Hugh Hewitt has posted a list of observations, allegedly created by Jeff Foxworthy, about the Great State of Ohio. Whether Foxworthy actually composed these or not, they are done in the style of his "You might be a redneck if..." jokes. I have made dozens of day trips all over Ohio and even taken a few vacations in places like Cleveland, Toledo and Dayton, so I know a few things about the state and I can relate to this list. (Just to be clear, Ohio is convenient since it is so close and cheap. The interstate highways help, too.) Not that I ever needed to leave home to understand some of these musings; my part of Pennsylvania is close enough to have more in common with Ohio than most locals in either state will admit. Cleveland, I have observed, is basically Pittsburgh stretched along the shore of a lake.

Here's my SW Pennsylvanian take on a few of the more interesting Foxworthian observations:

You know all the 4 seasons: winter, still winter, almost winter and construction. -- Yes, especially if you travel I-70. Think Ohio starts across the river from West Virginia? Nope. You enter the Ohio construction zone when you hit Washington, PA.
You live less than 30 miles from some college or university. -- Definitely a quality shared by western PA. There are more colleges that I keep finding out about in the most remote rural areas of the outlying counties. Waynesburg? Thiel? Edinboro? Westminster? Those and more are all here.

You know what a "buckeye" really is, and have a recipe for candy ones. -- No recipe, but I have seen real ones and tasted candy ones. This brings back memories of a visit to Grandpa's Village about eight years ago. Sweet.

You know if other Ohioans are from southern or northern Ohio as soon as they open their mouths. -- I honestly never noticed the difference in Ohio, but people in the middle of Indiana sound like they are from Kentucky. Also, the difference between northern and southern Ohio seems to be the presence or absence of snow route parking signs along the city streets. Pittsburgh is south of this snow belt, which seems to lie close to the border between Allegheny and Butler counties.

"Vacation" means spending a day at Cedar Point in the summer and deer hunting in the fall. -- What about Paramount's Kings Island? Or is that too close to the river to count as an Ohio destination?

You measure distance in minutes. -- Why yes I do. People ask me how far away something is, I tell them how long it takes to get there. They get all aggressive and ask how many miles that is, and I say "What do I look like, a bloody odometer?" This alone is proof that Ohioans are more human than people anywhere else.

You end your sentences with an unnecessary preposition. Example: "Where's my coat at?" -- I do this, too. One time an English teacher corrected me for doing this. I was a fully grown adult! Stinking teachers, always interjecting themselves into other people's conversations.

You carry jumper cables in your car. -- I used to, and I ought to do so again. They really did come in handy on several occasions.

You know what "pop" is. -- Yes, it's the bubbly sweet liquid that you add to ice cream and cover with whipped cream to make a soda.

You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit. -- Only if you live north of the snow belt line, which I am not.
Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow. -- We actually get enough snow around Pittsburgh for this to be true here. Unless it gets icy, which I am sure also happens in Ohio.

You think sexy lingerie is tube socks and a flannel nightgown. -- Not to give away too many intimate details of my private life, but I am more likely to buy a flannel nightgown for my wife than to get her something from Victoria's Secret. My favorite is the red wolf motif nightgown from the Ted Nugent catalog.

You call it Krogers even though it is Kroger. -- Well, yeah, we did until the stupid unions made the Krogers employees strike about twenty-four years ago and forced the chain to abandon the Pittsburgh market. Very sad, because Krogers was our local grocery store when I was a kid.

Pretty good list. I need to save the whole thing and keep it as a reference in case I ever move to Ohio.

1 comment:

jipzeecab said...

I was always a "vote counter" when I was involved with politics. I noticed in the last Presidential election that Western PA actually had a slightly higher percentage for Bush than what won the State of Ohio for him.
Having attended both a small college in Ohio and the largest University there and having married an Ohio girl I can attest that these Ohio truths are something all that are there put up with.