Were You Taller Than Mr. Jeeters?

Tuesday, June 13th, 2006, 1:36 pm

That’s one question I forgot to ask Iggy after he mentioned in his latest uberpost that he’d visited Kennywood Park. When you go on rides there you have to be taller than various wooden cutouts of various park mascots, and Mr. Jeeters is the one that always stymies the kids who think they’re all done with growing up.

Because I’m lazy I’m gonna repost most of the email I sent, at Iggy’s request. I’m assuming you’ve read his post; if not, I’ll just do a point-counterpoint thing.

My wife’s family had a family reunion this past weekend in Pittsburgh. Because of all the kids, we ended up spending an afternoon at an amusement park called Kennywood. A more appropriate name would have been CrackerWood. I’m not sure where all these one-toothed troglodytes came from. West Virginia? Can ya tell me, MeneGene?

Of course I can:

Haven’t been to Kennywood in a few years, have to go back for a stroll and a few runs on the Thunderbolt. So far as the quality of humanity walking around there…they do have lots of ethnic days there, maybe it was “Appalachia Day”. Pittsburgh is home to many sleek, witty, cosmopolitan people (pointing at myself) and then you have women who walk around wearing bright red T-shirts with ‘HULKAMANIA!” written in blazing yellow letters across the front. Like the woman who came to see my house a few weeks ago. Sheesh.

I’m also reminded here of something I read from change100 the other day, where she mentioned that a friend of hers from my fair city is a “Pittsburgh fashionista”. I’d never heard those two words paired together. I was mystified. But then I walked to the Point last week to saunter through the Arts Festival and found myself walking behind three gorgeous, elegant women. What I know about women’s clothing wouldn’t fill a thimble, but even I could appreciate the clean, smooth lines of a skirt that breaks just above the knee, a chemise that reveals tan shoulders yet doesn’t devolve into a tank top, and fabrics of such creamy richness that it must be hard to hold back the tears when undressing.

And one of the women was eating a corn dog on a stick. This is Pittsburgh, after all.

And what the hell is going on in Pittsburgh with making beer nearly impossible to freaking purchase? Are the Shakers still in control over there? The damn amusement park didn’t even sell any, much less any store I could find. Only “authorized beer distributors” can sell beer? For a supposed blue-collar town, I was extremely disappointed.

In reply:

I did an unscientific survey to see if folks I work with think beer should be sold at Kennywood. I asked 7 people, and they all said…”You CAN’T sell beer at Kennywood!” No outrage. Just a universal truth, and to question it is madness. And most of the people I asked like to drink, too. Heck, I can’t even get my mind around the concept of beer…at Kennywood. What’s next, unicorn rides in Kiddieland?

Beer in Kennywood…it does not compute. It’s like not having beer in a strip club.

The beer situation in Pittsburgh is practically Soviet. Only beer distributors can sell beer…and they AREN’T ALLOWED TO COMPETE WITH EACH OTHER. They can’t advertise specials other than signs attached to the building. One company actually got in serious trouble a few years back by flaunting the law and discounting beer to increase volume. Yes, they had a sale on beer, advertised the fact, and got in big trouble.

Here’s how bad it is–last year they passed a law allowing certain distributors to OPEN ON SUNDAY. Before, if you showed up for a Steeler game and all you had were 3 Rolling Rocks left, you were SOL. This news was treated like the resurrection of Christ. Seriously, if it was a really hot day on a Sunday, you might as well be living in Saudi Arabia.

Pittsburghers who spend time living in civilization (where you can, like, buy beer in a supermarket) come back and tell the tale in hushed, reverent tones, as if they’d just returned from the summit of Everest.

“I needed Q-tips…and I walked into the grocery store…and there was a whole aisle of nothing but beer.”

“Beer,” says the chorus.

“It was 8 at night. It was dark out. And I bought a case of beer. Along with my Q-tips. And a box of Frosted Flakes.”

“Beer. Flakes.”

“That’s bull,” says a doubter. There’s always one. “You didn’t buy beer in a grocery store.”

The Wanderer pulls out a slip of paper and smiles. “I brought the receipt.” He points. “Q-Tips.” Everyone nods.

“Frosted Flakes.” Nods.


Heads bow, understanding the Truth of it.

Seriously, hearing that folks in other part of the country can buy beer at the supermarket is like hearing that everyone uses jetpacks to get to work. It’s another world.

Shame on you, Pittsburgh. I wore my Carson Palmer jersey with pride, damnit.
I’m glad Big Ben didn’t wreck his motorcycle face until after I left town.

Looks like Roethlisberger is gonna be OK. The PG is even reporting that he’s expected to be good to go for the opener and maybe even the start of training camp. That’s good news. What isn’t quite so good is this:

Here’s something bizarre–quite a few people showed up at Mercy Hospital, where Roethlisberger was taken. OK, that happens in these circumstances. But the paper said people came with folding chairs and charcoal grills. They were tailgating OUTSIDE THE HOSPITAL? That ain’t right.

People are effed up. And as I drove down River Road this morning headed to work (passing where Big Ben lives, by the way) a guy on a Harley sped by. No helmet. He did look pretty cool. I wonder how cool Roethlisberger will look when next we see him. Not very. I remember how messed up Kevin Stevens was when he got knocked cold and hit the ice face-first in that cursed Game 7 against the Islanders. Yuck.

Anyone else suddenly in the mood for a corn dog and a beer?

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3 Responses to “Were You Taller Than Mr. Jeeters?”

  1. StB Says:

    I object. Though the guy had a receipt, it is clear he did not buy beer. Bud? *spit*

  2. Drizztdj Says:

    Were the tailgaters sporting black and gold painted faces?

    And in Minnesota… no alcohol is allowed to be purchased on Sunday (even in the supermarkets).

  3. Piter Her Says:

    Pereved! Hi all! Nice day! =)))

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