Monday, September 21, 2009

G-20 Visitors Guide (Pt. 4)

In which the author


the self titled

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat

discuffes miscellaneous miscellany

that did not quite fit the other parts of his

Guide to the Pittsburgh Region

and which were

Cobbled Together

at the

Last Minute

and at

Great Expense

Fit the Fourth


Pittsburgh English, popularly known as "Pittsburghese," is the dialect of American English spoken in Western Pennsylvania. Many of the sounds and terms are similar to the Midland dialect region or are borrowed from the immigrant populations that came to the region to work in the steel mills, and were a little too nebby for their own good. The dialect is noted for its monophthongization, which, if mentioned, most Pittsburghers will tell you they have no idea what you're talking abaht.

Some key Pittsburgh terms and phrases for visitors:
- Yinz - pronoun -You (plural).
- Slippy - adjective - Slippery
- N'at - "Et cetera"
- Redd up - noun - a completely apolitical clean up of certain neighborhoods that just happen to be linked to prominent Democratic Committee members
- Buggy - noun - a bus
- Jumbo - noun - a Pittsburgh delicacy of couscous and minced cucumber
- Chipped Ham - noun - a newspaper or leaflet
- Blawnox - verb - to become sexually aroused
- Chalfant - noun - a small swimming pool for children
- Wilmerding - noun - a male sexual organ
- Aspinwall - verb - to drink until the point of collapse
- Jeetjet - noun - Oral sex
- Jag off - noun -Dan Onorato

Unlike many places in the country (Vermont excluded) Pittsburgh has five seasons: spring, summer, fall, winter, and yuck. Temperatures during the year range from "cold as a witch's teet" to "hot as balls." While spring and fall are known for being pleasant, humidity during the summer months is oppressive enough to make one want to call a domestic abuse counseling agency. When combined with the local topography and the pollutants traveling from up the Ohio Valley, haze and smog have been known to kill people in their sleep, chop up their bodies, store them in the freezer, and assume their identities. On occasion, Pittsburgh does receive significant snowfall during the winter months; by "significant" we mean "enough to make people forget how to drive and turn into bawling children." The season of yuck lasts from late February to early March, and consists of 30 straight days of on and off graying. Residents are encouraged pretend that they are being attacked by Murky Dismal and Lurky from the old Rainbow Brite cartoons, to avoid thoughts of suicide... or, alternatively, go to a bar and "Aspinwall."

Pittsburgh is noted for being relatively free from natural disasters, with the exception of minor floods in low lying areas. In the event of a major flood, people are advised to start building arks and/or praying to Santa Claus.

Because of global climate change, it is expected that Pittsburgh's climate will more closely resemble Alabama's, so... you know, that'll be fun.


Pittsburgh is a City of the Second Class under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and is characterized by a "strong mayor" form of municipal corporation. The City charter provides for a Council of elder statesmen to advise and approve City business, or, alternatively, any combination of people that won't shut the hell up in front of the cameras. There is a two drink minimum at all public meetings, which is strictly enforced.

Pittsburgh's Mayor is Luke Ravenstahl, age 13 1/2, who has campaigned on a platform for the eradication of cooties, official monster-under-the-bed inspections, and getting drunken fights with police officers at football games. During his short tenure, the Mayor has enjoyed riding on the shoulders of Pittsburgh's reemergence to international prominence and ice cream. Mayor Ravenstahl's administration is completely and utterly devoid of any scandals that anyone will admit to in front of a Grand Jury.

The Chief Executive of Allegheny County is Dan Onorato, notable for doing nothing that would inhibit his ability to run for Governor. He can be easily distinguished from an average book by the absence of a spine.

Approximately 130 municipalities surround Pittsburgh in Allegheny County, and exist for reasons that no one can actually explain. Each municipality has its own Mayor, Council, City Manager, Police Force, Firefighters, Dog Catchers, Official Lamp Lighters, and Bureau of Horse Registration. You will know when you've crossed into a new municipality by the change in the condition of the roads.

Also of note is former coroner Cyril Wecht, whose ego is already pissed that it wasn't mentioned earlier in this guide.


* Relationship with Philadelphia:

Despite being in the same Commonwealth, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are separated by 320 miles, which is roughly the same distance as Paris and Amsterdam. Like Paris and Amsterdam, the vast space between "Phillie" and "The 'Burgh" is a cultural backwater; in Pennsylvania it is referred to derisively as "Pennsyltucky", while in Europe it is referred to derisively as "Belgium." If you are visiting Pittsburgh, do not expect to be able to make a day-trip to see "the Liberty Bell," "Constitution Hall," or a winning professional baseball team.

Cultural differences also exist between Pennsylvania's two largest cities. Philadelphia is known for its cheesesteaks, while Pittsburgh is known for its Pirmanti Brothers' sandwiches. Philadelphia is part of the East Coast metroplex; Pittsburgh is more of a mid-west type City. Pittsburghers are known as a friendly, affable people; Philadelphians have been known to throw batteries at Santa Claus.

* Relationship with Cleveland:

Cleveland sucks.

* Relationship with Baltimore:

[Ed. Note - Is Baltimore even a city anymore?]

* Best times to visit:

Never visit Pittsburgh the Monday after a Steelers loss.

And Finally...

The City was named by General John Forbes, a Scotsman, who named it after the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, William Pitt... so it's spelled "Pittsburgh" with an "H" at the end, like Edinburgh, (although without the weird Sean Connery inflection). It's not "Pittsburg" or or "Pitsburg" or "Shitsburgh" (if you're a bitch like Sienna Miller). Anybody caught spelling it wrong will be beaten without mercy by old Polish grandmothers as if you've stolen their parking chairs.

And Even More Finally...

While deep down they love their City, Pittsburghers are highly and vocally critical of it, to the point that it seems to an outside observer like they hate it here. That doesn't mean, however, that you're allowed talk trash about our fair City, Mr./Ms. Visitor. So shut your damned pie hole!



Brett said...

Don't forget--Philadelphia is also where out tax dollars for to die.

Brett said...

WOW. What I meant to say is, "Don't forget--Philadelphia is where our tax dollars go to die."

I apologize. I've been drinking the cheapest gin allowed by law (Crystal Palace, if you're wondering).

Sherry said...

love this

Tiff said...

Came across your blog through That's Church.... very cool content. I'm a fan.

So... I particularly liked your descriptions of Wilmerding and Chalfant. I was raised in close proximity.

I wonder, how would one define Piss-cairn? or Trashford?