Monday, October 17, 2005

Squirrel Nut Zippers (the candy, not the band).



Every year, on our wedding anniversary, my wife and I pull the name of a state from this glass Ball jar, to determine where we'll be for our next anniversary.

It's a tradition that has guided us to visit many states in our wonderful country, that neither of us would ever dream or dare of visiting.

Last year, on the observation deck of the Sears Tower in Chicago, Illinois. we pulled Massachusetts.

Which is where my wife and I just returned from a few days ago, after an extended trip away from our small town.

Some observations relevant to my small town blog.

Massachusetts is covered in trees. When we spotted a road sign indicating "Gas Food Lodging" we had to trust it's validity, since the trees surrounding the highways and exits afforded no view of any road side establishments.

We logged over 800 miles on our Jeep-for-hire, in search of fall colors. Sadly, the bulk of the leaves hadn't yet turned, and the rainy weather dulled our retinas to the colored leaves that were staunchly hanging onto the branches.

Massachusetts has a severe lack of roadkill. Which is amazing since the entire state is covered in trees. Trees, to me, means abundant wildlife. Abundant wildlife, to me, means roadkill. And yet, our pristine 4x4 ran over not a single dead dog, cat, coyote, deer, opossum, raccoon, armadillo or other nocturnal marsupial. These yankee varmits could teach our local population a thing or two about the rules of the road.

Rotary(s) (aka roundabouts) intersections are cool. I loved them when driving in England and Scotland. I love the one in Santa Monica, and I loved the ones we spun around in on Massachusetts' intersections. I enjoy driving round and round and round. It affords me time to decide which is the exact exit I need to take, gives me the thrill of NASCAR (left turns only), and provides me the entertainment of watching S get car sick.

Okay, that last one is neither fun nor funny.

Dunkin' Donuts are as common as all-night taco stands in East LA. They seem to have perfected the art of drive-through donut consumerism. Bless them and the donut wagon they rode in on.

Massachusettese is not a pretty accent. Say what you will about LA flop slang, and Okie twang, but when some fella is telling you about his hunting trip and he says, "when I staart'd the caar an the daags staart'd baarkin'," you start to appreciate the sections of the country that have no accent -- if they indeed exist."Everybody says words different,' said Ivy. 'Arkansas folks says 'em different, and Oklahomy folks says 'em different. And we seen a lady from Massachusetts, an' she said 'em different of all. Couldn't hardly make out what she was sayin'!"

-- John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath, 1939

And finally, what do Squirrel Nut Zippers have to do with our trip to Mass? Revere, Mass is the home of Necco, the New England Confectionery Company, makers of the legendary Necco Wafers and the ever popular, Squirrel Nut Zippers (of which I am chewing on now).

Gimme a second, these suckers are chewy.

For those interested, for next year's anniversary, as the great Ray Charles sang it so beautifully, "...Georgia's on my mind."

7 comments:

California K said...

Dunkin Donuts....well that is where everyone got their coffee in New Jersey when I was there, only when we went to NY did I start seeing more of the usual Starbucks though DD was still in abundance. Was kind of unusual as Starbucks is on every corner even in Petaluma.

You're gonna have to show me what those squirrel nut zippers are I can't think of a time I have even heard of them.

That rain was a pain back there, watched the first major day of storm but got out of there just before the rest of the rain started coming down and was glad of it...no airport delays...Until I left NJ

OKDad said...

What were you doing in NJ last week?

Here's a link to what a Squirrel Nut Zipper is. True perfection in a chewy confection.

California K said...

Had a wedding to go to on the 9th.

OKDad said...

Anyone we know? Familly, friend, long lost loved one whose wedding you interrupted when the Reverand asked for anyone to speak up or forever hold their peace?

On the 9th, S and I were enjoying the wilds of Boston in the rain.

Califonia K said...

Friend from work....who got me into Evercrack.

Dave said...

Whooie, the guide to Bahston English is a good find! I scored as a solid resident alient on the Place names test.

The most difficult accents for me to grasp are from those along the West Virginia and Kentucky border.

OKDad said...

I'm attempting to read David McCullough's Pulitzer Prize novel, 1776.

It's been over a week since I started the 294 page tome.

What's taking me so long is that I'm trying to read it using a Bahst'n accent.

Not an easy task.

I scored the Place Names test as the new TV reporter from out of state. Color me proud to be a faaren'nar to the area.