Meanwhile, back to real life...
I am working on a script project that is set in West Virginia. It's a comedy. I have done a lot of research, but am still looking for funny or weird or interesting things about West Virginians. Short anecdotes about any quirky regional traits would be most welcome. You know, I need the stuff that doesn't get put in history books. I love this kind of detail in a movie, and I think it serves a huge role in providing the audience Aristotle's "logos" - or smart factor - which makes an entertainment project satisfying for the audience.
By way of example of what kind of details I am looking for, have I mentioned that I am from RI?
Rhode Island, or, as we defensive smallest staters with an inferiority complex like to call our home, "The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations." Betcha didn;t know that we have the longest official state name. Huh? Huh? Big state louts.
On the "Welcome to RI Signs" that fall along the only highway in the state, all of us RI'ers mentally add in small print, "And keep your little jokes to yourself."
About the highway...A friend once remarked to me that everyone who gives directions in RI always starts with, "So, you get on 95..." and that we should adopt a law that just lets us all stop saying it and assume it.
Oh, and laws, when I was in high school and dedicatedly serving in the RI Model Legislature, I learned that teency tiny RI generally has about 3,000 bills introduced in every three month session of our ridiculous little legislature. Passing laws is a kind of smallest state "We Can Do Important Things" therapy for our people. (Nearly half the laws that are introduced every session are basically to repeal/amend other laws that were passed in prior years.)
How to be an object of complete irrelevance in a RI setting: Be clueless about what makes RI clam chowder (ah, CHOW-duh) RI clam chowder. And if you said "quahogs!" well, shua, this is true, but, my Go-ahd, you ah still a wicket clueless loosah.
I know this because I learned it at the South County Country Fair. And the Kent County Fair. And the Washington County Fair. And the Newport County Country Club Fair..... all of which happened within an forty-five minute drive of my house.
You know you are with RI'ers when you make a reference to "who's in power on the Hill," and they all think you are referring to Sicilian bakery canolli wars.
Power-politics in Rhode Island? Try and imagine a place in which any gathering of more than ten RI'ers becomes a place for politicans to gather in the midst of them. So, our Governor came to my first communion. I met our U.S. Senators probably twenty times in small settings. (And you have no idea the achievement of actually remembering an encounter with Claiborne Pell and John Chafee.) My Bishop came to my junior ring day in high school.
Rhode Island... where the only religious denominations are Catholic, really Catholic, ex-Catholic, and angry ex-Catholic.
Evidence of systemic racism in Rhode Island? That's whenever an Italian applies for a job in Newport.
And then there is Cranston... How can you describe it? A community that is barely five-miles square that has it's own language - which is bizarre even to the rest of RI'ers with their strange dialect.
Anyway, you get the point. I need some regional West Virginia stuff.
P.S. I LOVE being from RI. It's the best place in the world to be.