Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Among the Biker Babe Yuppies

Tim and I spent last weekend in the Laurel Highlands region of Pennsylvania, where we stayed in a groovy historic hotel, toured Fallingwater, visited a winery, and did all those other sorts of things white couples in their thirties do on vacation. Except I think we may have forgotten to shop for antiques. Sorry!
One of our most entertaining stops was Laurel Caverns. If you peruse the website, you'll notice lots of photos of people in acid wash, with big hair. And you might think that the photos are just really, really old. But, no, people who visit Laurel Caverns really look like that. It was a slightly different (and, frankly, far more likable) demographic than all those perma-pressed Frank Lloyd Wright groupies.

So we paid our ten bucks, worked our way underground, and joined our enormous tour group. The men had ponytails and were all decked out in Harley-Davidson t-shirts, leather vests (yes, in June), and boots (yes, in June). Their wives wore standard-issue Mom Shorts and flip-flops. Their kids, one of whom rocked an awesome mullet and trucker cap combo, dashed about, pointed at things, and screamed their heads off, as kids are wont to do in enclosed, echo-y spaces. Oh, except for one kid that whinged the entire time we were there. Her feet hurt, she didn't like the dark, and from there it was just sort of an incoherent whimpering for the next 55 minutes of our tour. I know it's child abuse, but couldn't we have fashioned a muzzle for her?

So, the tour. We looked at rocks. We touched stuff. Our zippy tour guide cracked corny jokes (one of the biker dads grinned and told me, "I want three of what she's on.") Then the tour guide flipped off the lights so we could experience total darkness, and the little ones immediately set to hollering. Awesomely, the guide continued her spiel over the din. Suffer the little munchkins.

And then I noticed what was weird about the whole experience. Not that the moms were all younger than me and had an average of four children apiece. Nope, I had sort of expected that. What I noticed was what they named their children.

"Devon, get back here!"

"Madison, please slow down!"

"Amelia, stop that!"

"Cheyenne, share the flashlight with your brother!"

Yes, suburban yuppie names have penetrated rural Pennsylvania. I don't know why, but that makes me sort of sad.

PS: No, we didn't go to Kavernputt, which I imagine I will regret for the rest of my life.
Photo Credit: Tim


LivitLuvit said...

I'm sorry, but no matter what you name your kids, you can't ever really take the rural Pennsylvania out of them...

Shannon said...

I'd almost rather they'd had -lene names, Charlene, Darlene, etc.

dara said...

You missed out: The Kavernputt was the site of my best round of mini golf ever. I decided to be silly and whacked the ball so hard it ricocheted off the walls six times and landed in the cup for a hole-in-one. I felt like Tiger Woods for the rest of the weekend.

Tina said...

I also live in rural (but southern) white America - and know a darling little tow headed mullet with a "rat tail" (remember those) named "Lashawn" I kid you not!!

Of course there are the usual Troy's, RJ's, Billy-Ray's and -ene girls as well.

Shannon said...

Dara: ROAD TRIP! Now I totally want to go back.

Tina: That's hilarious - though I'll admit I've always had a fondness for the name Troy.

maryjanejeff said...

Is Bedford, PA part of rural PA? I want to go to gravity hills or whatever that place is where gravity is reversed. It's west of Bedford somewhere, which is west of Chaingreaseandfatteningbreakfastandtravelplaza, USA, I mean Breezewood. I didn't find out about the gravity thing until I had left the area on the way home from Blue Knob.

Shannon said...

MJJ, we were supposedly near Gravity Hill, but by then were ready to go back to the hotel. I'm bummed we didn't eat in the artery hell of Breezewood, but we made up for it by buying a ton of retro candy at the Laurel Caverns gift shop.