Sunday, March 11, 2012

The lay of the land: Greetings from Intercourse, Pennsylvania

For a group of hard-working and seemingly humorless religious devotees, the Amish have a knack for giving their Pennsylvania Dutchland towns some hilariously eccentric names. Blue Ball, Bird In Hand, Lititz, Bareville, Mount Joy, Fertility...stop it, Isaac, you're killin' me! For sheer immature giggles, though, you'd be, er, hard pressed to top Intercourse. The town was originally known as Cross Keys, but at some point around 1814 the name was changed to Intercourse, most likely referring to the intersection of the two main roads through town. The Amish also used the word to mean fellowship, which has a nice friendly ring to it. Little did they know, or perhaps they did, that they were turning their earnest humble berg into the double-entendre capital of the world. Gift shops overflow with "I Heart Intercourse" merchandise and what tourist wouldn't want to remember friends and loved-ones with such tasteful and elegant souvenirs.

So with apologies to anyone with good taste, here goes the obligatory bad pun tag ending: Next time you find yourself among the upstanding members of the Amish country, pay a coitusy call and hump it over to Intercourse where you'll get the most bang for your buck. Cigarette?

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