Living in Pennsylvania, a drunk history of sorts

Pennsylvania means Penn’s woods. I don’t remember much else from school, but, gosh darnit, I remember that. I’m sure other states have some interesting name etymologies, but I don’t really know.

Pennsylvania is really PA. We don’t call it Pennsylvania. We will travel and people will ask us where we’re from and we will say PA and get lots of confused looks. I’ve asked around and apparently no other state does this.

And I can’t say the city I’m from, because that would answer the question of where I’m from just as easily, but my accent comes out and I don’t want to say that I’m from Scran’n. It’s more effort to pronounce Scranton than it is to say “I’m from PA.” “…” “Pennsylvania.”

The closest we get to saying Pennsylvania is when talking about PennDOT. I’m proud of PennDOT. It’s pronounceable, unlike NJDOT.

And we talk about PennDOT a lot, because we don’t have roads, we have potholes surrounded by asphalt. I’ve heard we have more roads compared to land area than most states. That’s a lot of pot holes.

Also our local PennDOT spokesman is named James May, so I can pretend he is the James May, and not just a James May.

You know that Penn’s Woods thing I mentioned a few paragraphs ago? It’s not messing around, we have a lot of trees. It’s pretty cool.

We can’t buy alcohol for home consumption easily. Standalone liquor stores are state run and only a few are open on Sundays, and most of the beer stores sell beer in large cases which doesn’t work for someone who doesn’t drink often. The easiest way to get 6 packs is from restaurants.

Usually pizza restaurants.

Did I mention the pizza? It’s what we do here, nestled among the trees.

We also have many bars. I guess it’s irrelevant how one gets beer for home use when there are bars everywhere.

But I’m antisocial, so I have to brave the stores to get alcohol. The most recent trick is that grocery stores have started adding cafe areas which is technically a separate restaurant so you can buy beer there. They put up pylons to separate the cafe (beer) from the groceries. Wegmans is great because they have an actual cafe with good food, but I think some stores just have beer cafes.

I’m sure there’s a lot more I can say about Pennsylvania, but I didn’t really set out to write a comprehensive list. I just had some wine (that I bought from the state-run liquor store and chose because it had ravens on the label) and it was more interesting to type words on the computer than it was to watch the news. I did watch the news for a minute, apparently someone handed Donald Trump a piece of paper saying he should talk about Joe Paterno (Oh, maybe I should have talked about Penn State, the only other time we say part of our state name out loud) and Ted Cruz and his father are both here (Oh no, I need to leave now).

Oh, I was just reminded by a commercial. We can’t drive here. But everyone from neighboring states drives worse. New Yorkers live in the wrong lane. And New Jerseyans (really?) like to exit from the farthest away lane. And they like to talk about how poorly we drive. I like to pretend we’re all just siblings who’ve had to share a room for too long and 2 lanes are just not enough for all of us.

I…think that’s about all I have to say right now. I like it here. Usually. Kinda. Trees are cool.