If you didn’t get a chance to read my last blog, I listed 10 Steel City Values That I Plan to Instill in My Son, Oliver. But, as they say in The Strip, “Don’t yinz be lettin’ yer kids run wild n’at,” so, I feel that I’d be remiss to let my Pittsburgh born and bred child be raised with such a small moral compass. Therefore, I present 10 additional Steel City values that I fully intend to indoctrinate my son with.
- Oliver will request a birthday party theme of “chipped ham.” I’m guessing it’ll be for his 3rd or 4th birthday. He’ll approach his mother, unleash his toothiest grin, and say, “Mommy, I want a chipped ham party.” She’ll cave, and we’ll have an entire kiddie pool full of chipped ham, which I will enjoy with the gusto of many fat men.
- Cursing is a no-no. So are words that, while not technically curses, are still in the same ill-will ballpark. Obvious exceptions include: jagoff (if the person is actually acting like a jagoff), frick (when referring to the person, park, or museum), and tard (if you’re just using Pittsburghese to say that you’re tired and not referring to a jagoff who’s acting like a tard).
- Oliver will be the only person you know with a tattoo of a delicious Clark Bar. I’m putting this as a condition in my will. If he wants his inheritance, he’ll get a Clark Bar tattoo. (Addendum: As Clark Bars were technically sold off to a New England company in 1999, if they lose their Steel City identity and begin to be more associated with them damn Massholes, then he can instead get inked with an Iron City or Isaly’s logo.)
- When asking a future love interest to marry him, and if he chooses to propose at the top of the incline (he will), I will insist that Oliver includes the pun-tastic phrase, “I’m inclined to ask for your hand in marriage.” It’s important to establish a life of puns early, as my current wife has found out. (I use the word “current” to describe our relationship because she threatens to divorce me on a near daily basis. Her reason? She claims I pun her wrong.)
- Oliver doesn’t have to go to Pitt. He can go to any school he wants, even if he chooses to attend Penn State or WVU. But as long as he’s living under my roof, he’ll be rooting for the Panthers. Their gut-wrenching near-wins are part of coming-of-age as a Pittsburgher. (One condition: the day he utters the words, “I think I want to go to Ohio State.” is the day he can find alternative housing.)
- Speaking of potentially moving away for college . . . even if he does move to another part of the country, Oliver will always refer to tasty carbonated beverages as “pop.” “Soda” is for formal jerks and “soda pop” is a surefire sign of a communist spy.
- Oliver will proudly tell out-of-town friends that he’s from the same home town as Andy Warhol. He may even have a Warhol replica on his dorm wall. Like every normal Pittsburgher, Oliver will never admit that he actually thinks Andy Warhol is pretty weird and that he’s never actually been to the Warhol museum.
- When Bruce Springsteen comes to town, Oliver will obviously plan to go, and he will be fully expected to cheer his head off, unless (of course) The Boss sings The River and doesn’t amend his lyrics to “Dem Rivers,” in which case it is acceptable to boo.
- Coupling his mother’s Italian heritage with his father’s disdain for the Baltimore Ravens, Oliver will make a fortune selling pasta marketed as “Joe Flacco Noodle Arms.” They’ll be little arm-shaped pieces of pasta that will soften extra fast when they’re in hot water or under pressure.
- Oliver will claim to love the “blue collar work ethic,” even if he’s so non-blue collar himself that he, like his father, has never operated a machine more complicated than a calculator.
- Having an appreciation for all Pittsburgh music, Oliver will have an eclectic iTunes playlist, consisting of the varied likes of Rusted Root, Donnie Iris, Anti-Flag, and Wiz Khalifa. (Speaking of Wiz Khalifa . . . can someone please give the man a sammich? My goodness he looks like he’s about to wither into a tiny pile of tattoos and gold chains. Better yet, invite him to Oliver’s 3rd birthday party, where he can indulge in the chipped ham kiddie pool.)
While I could go on indefinitely, I don’t want to scare my son away from the greatest city on Earth (I say unbiasedly). I’ll wait to see if my son starts running with a bad crowd (Deflategate Truthers) before I hit him with more of my Steel City values.
Brad – A Steel City Dad
After a frustrating struggle with infertility, my wife and I were fortunate enough to finally became parents. It was then I decided to start a blog to document the progress of our son, since I didn’t want to miss a thing. (This “About Me” section has devolved into Aerosmith song lyrics.)
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!