Things I Learned From A Weekend In Pennsylvania*

2011 August 23

*And technically New Jersey, too. But the former is more important, as a theme running through this post will be that everything south of Buffalo and west of Philadelphia might as well be considered the South.

- Apparently, two-and-a-half acres of land is the minimum required to be seen as a true homeowner in central PA. The way properties were split up with tree lines reminded me of some of the scenes in Band of Brothers. After a few too many beers, I started visualizing tanks rolling through the backyard.

- Since houses are spread out in what would qualify in my estimation as countryside (despite the locals vehemently classifying it as suburban), there are not many cab services around and none at all after 10 PM. So maybe friendly tanks and jeeps would have been appreciated. Also, there are students of the Wharton School who drive cabs — well, at least one.

- I had heard of Wawa and how it’s a souped-up 7-Eleven gas station, but I wasn’t prepared for touch screens to order sandwiches at three in the morning. I was impressed, considering I’m accustomed to just grabbing a buttered roll at that hour. I had also never seen so many coffee machines lined up next to each other.

- The reason I was in PA in the first place was for some memorial golf tournament held by some family that I’m connected to through about four people. But hey, I had two friends who invited me who said it was a good time last year, so how could I resist showing off my mediocre golf abilities in a best-ball (after researching, it turns out we played scramble) tourney? Oh, the thing I learned was that I can hit my driver relatively straight and far consistently now. So I have a step up on Tiger at the moment. BURN.

- That learning experience recap was just a segue to the picnic after the golf tourney at the host family’s two-and-a-half-acre abode. Remember when I said how everywhere outside of the northeast metropolitan corridor can be considered the South? Well, there was one cute girl at the party with a slight country accent — which I guess makes sense since she lives in Lancaster County adjacent to the Amish? — and after a few beers and filling my stomach with too much food, she was the only thing I was concerned with. But after consuming too many beers for her tiny frame during Flip Cup, the cute girl ended up disappearing and passing out upstairs in the house. As about ten people were seated around a couple of tables — younger family members, my friends and I, and some random girl — the cousin of the sleeping girl, in an attempt to keep us at the house overnight, said loud enough for everyone to hear, “Hey, you should sleep with [my cousin], she’s pretty!” I guess in Pennsylvania it’s cool to pimp out your catatonic cousin to a relative stranger when you want to fuck one of his friends, too. Maybe she meant literally sleep, but I feel like on some level that’s even creepier. Perhaps, at this point, I should be elated at the opportunity to just lie in the same bed as an attractive girl, but instead we all got the hell out of there because it was obviously getting strange. But not before one of the girl’s brothers got upset with a friend for hugging her a bit too hard, and said, “I don’t even get hugs like that,” to which my friend responded, “Yeah, because that’d be fucking weird.” With that, my friend summed up Pennsylvania west of Philly.

- Some driving listening thoughts after the proposed rape: I didn’t know I could like Ken Davidoff any more than I already did, but he was great on the Jonah Keri podcast episode he was the guest on. Anyone who answers a question with, “Because I’m not an idiot” is awesome in my book. Also, Louis C.K. stand-up passes the time extremely quickly. Especially this interview with Conan, which is for all intents and purposes stand-up (skip to 9:28 for best results, since I can’t embed and put the timestamp in).

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