Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Answers

All right, for all those of you who have been waiting patiently for the answers, you need wait no longer. Here they are.

1. Schools here are closed the Monday after Thanksgiving, because:
b. It's opening day of the deer hunting season (you know, since it's much more important for kindergartners to be out there with guns than learning how to read and write. Some of my more astute colleagues guessed that maybe it was for the kids' safety, that hunters might be too trigger happy on the first day and mistake that third-grader's, oh-so-stylish, day-glo pink coat for a deer tail. After hypothesizing -- and picturing Ma, Mary, Laura, and Baby Carrie waiting for Pa's return with this winter's venison-- that maybe it came from some old tradition back in the days when people around here got most of their food from hunting, I learned the truth from Bob -- who asked someone rather than hypothesizing: it turned out so many kids were out of school that day that the school systems caved and decided just to close).

2. Lawmakers in the state of Pennsylvania recently defeated a bill that would have:
a. Limited handgun purchases to one per month (because it's highly probable that when you're protecting your house in its gated community from all those -- most likely, illegal alien --intruders that everyone in the family is going to need a gun for each hand. But you could have guessed any of the answers I gave for this question and been somewhat right, because in Pennsylvania, there's no waiting period for hand-gun purchases, no background checks, and buyers do not have to take any sort of safety course before purchasing guns).

3. Which one of the following is not the name of a town in Pennsylvania?
d.Yellow Cat (yes, Francis provided the inspiration for that answer. Who knows, though? There just might be a Yellow Cat, PA, because I didn't check, and as well as those I named, we also have places such as Bird-in-Hand, Virginville, and Kuttstown).

4. Which of the following is not a sign I've seen along the side of the road?
b. Free eggs (Dorr's right. No one's giving away their eggs around here, although you can get delicious farm-fresh eggs practically right out of the nest for peanuts compared to what they cost in the stores back in Connecticut. Meanwhile, I'm embarrassed to say that until two months ago, I had no idea what "fill" is. When Bob -- who spent a summer in Kansas working on a farm when he was a teenager -- told me, my incredulous response, once he convinced me he wasn't teasing me and was really telling the truth was "people pay to buy dirt? How big are these holes they need to fill?" Can anyone tell me why on earth someone would buy deer antlers? Mightn't they get shot carrying around something like that?).

5. What is a mud sale?
a. A time to buy cheap fencing for your pigs (yes, I'm lying, but I was particularly proud of coming up with that one. It's a much better answer than the real one: c. A spring auction event).

6. Which of the following is not something one eats in Pennsylvania?
c. Greenies (a whoopie pie is not a pie at all, but rather something that resembles a big Oreo cookie. However, instead of hard cookies, the two "cookies" are like cake (and can come in any flavor, not just chocolate. Whoopie pies aren't double-stuffed with a cream filling; they're triple-stuffed with it. They're delicious. A shoo-fly pie is a pie. I remember reading about shoo-fly pie in a Lois Lenski book when I was a child and wanting one. Good thing I didn't get it. It should really be called brown sugar pie, which would be a much more fitting name. I don't like it; it's way too sweet -- of course, I don't mind the super-sweet whoopie pie. Go figure. If you don't know what scrapple is, you don't want to know).


Rebecca said...

Ok, I am never moving to PA. Connecticut is way too weird enough. The kids are out of school for hunting? WTF?

Anne Camille said...

I got every one of the answers right. The only explanation: I live in Indiana. Not much difference, except perhaps for the interesting place names. Every state has a few laughable ones, but I don't think Indiana has any as good as Pennsylvania. It's prettier in PA too.

Charlotte said...

Why thank Miss Emily! Without your kind elucidation, I would never have known, especially about the gun stuff.

Anonymous said...

Emily, you can't begin to imagine how exotic this test was to me. You really helped improve my vocabulary. But I'm still ignorant about the Scrapple. Is this a variety of Scrabble? Can't find it in the dictionary anywhere... And if my question is too stupid, please don't shoot! hold the gun!

IM said...

To offset the weirdness of PA, they also have a huge chocolate factory and they make Martin guitars. So that's some good stuff.

Stefanie said...

Thanks for the answers! I can sleep tonight now :)

Why does deer hunting season start on a Monday? Why don't they start it on a Saturday like most places do?

Emily Barton said...

Becky, yes, and it's common (and a little scary to someone like me) to see hunters just walking along the streets here.

Cam, I think PA is famous for all its laughable names, because a lot of people who are familiar with the state brought that up when we announced we were moving here.

Charlotte, always happy to elucidate.

Smihereens, scrapple is hog offal mixed with flour and corn meal (I think it is. Someone correct me, please, if I'm wrong), shaped into a loaf, sliced, and fried. I assume that, like haggis, it's something that's got to be an acquired taste, because it definitely isn't something that inspires most of us tasting it for the first time to go, "Mmmmmm. That's DELICIOUS."

IM, yes, there is lots of chocolate in this state, and also, there are lots of roller coasters.

Stef, that was my question. In Connecticut, the open deer hunting season typically starts the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Rebecca H. said...

I got 5 out of 6 -- not bad, right? The one I got wrong, the first one about deer hunting season, I should have known.

Emily Barton said...

Dorr, not only did you get so many right, but you were the only one brave enough to attempt to try. (I take it maybe upstate NY is a lot like PA?)