How to Survive in Southwestern Pennsylvania-A Guide to Outsiders

1. Team jerseys not to wear on football game day: Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders, and maybe New England Patriots or whoever else the Steelers are playing that day.

2. Team jerseys not to wear on Hockey game day: Philadelphia Flyers or whoever else the Penguins are playing against.

3. As for Division I college teams, usually most will be for Pitt or Penn State, though there is a sizable minority who will root for West Virginia. (In my house, it’s pretty much for Pitt.)

4. When traveling on the highway during spring and summer, road construction crews will be a common sight.

5. When going through Pittsburgh, do not use the Parkway during rush hour since it will be jammed packed full of traffic.

6. As with soft drinks it’s always referred to as “pop” not soda nor coke. Also, in these parts, coke is usually seen as cocaine, which is illegal.

7. Expect drunk sports fans to be everywhere on game day since most towns in the region tend to have more bars than churches.

8. Haluski, kielbasa, and pierogies aren’t considered ethnic food in the region and will be served even at concession stands.

9. Don’t expect our country roads to be great places to drive on for there will be potholes, cracks, and other road condition issues.

10. When pronouncing Youghiogheny as in the River, remember that the first “o” is short and the “u” is silent. It’s also known as the Yough, which everyone refers to it anyway.

11. You will only be able to buy alcohol at the local state store since most local stores can’t sell booze here because it’s Pennsylvania.

12. If it stops raining on a cloudy day, always be prepared it will start  again.

13. In the winter, everyone will be mostly concerned with road conditions, delays, and closings, especially when it snows.

14. There’s a good reason why it’s said that Pittsburgh is a drinking town with a football problem and vice versa.

15. There are some parts of Fayette County I wouldn’t advise you to show your face. Same may be for Greene County as well.

16. In this area, California can be a town or a university (though not always of great repute) while Indiana is a county (and home to IUP a well known party school if you know what I mean).

17. Profanity and drinking are great traditions in this region.

18. You might want to stay away from certain areas in the Mon Valley, while you’re at it. I mean some places may be nice but it’s still kind of a shithole.

19. If you go to Ohio State, you may be surprised of what the people of Jeannette think of Terrell Pryor.

20. You might not want to go hiking in the woods the Monday after Thanksgiving (especially since it’s a day when most area children don’t have school).

21. You might want to make sure your fly’s zipped when someone tells you that “Kennywood’s open.”

22. There’s a big difference between the Immaculate Conception and the Immaculate Reception which even a child will know but will call both instances nothing short of great miraculous significance.

23. Don’t ask me why there are 4 country music stations on the radio.

24. For those who think the area seems any way similar than what was depicted in The Deer Hunter, prepare to be disappointed or in utter shock.

25. Expect many people to be decked with the black and gold on game day, especially in the fall.

26. The Primanti Bros. Pittsburgher is actually not as good as they say it is.

27. Eat n’ Park is a nice place to eat with your family and they actually have smiley face cookies for the kids.

28. Shooting deer is serious business here so be thrilled that there’s no hunting on Sunday.

29. Yinz and yunz are second person pronouns in the plural tense.

30. If there’s a closed country road, go another way since it will take months before Penn DOT will show up.