“Is that an octopus in your pants, or are you just happy to see me?”
That’s your typical greeting among Detroit Red
Wings fans, now storming into Pittsburgh for the Stanley Cup
Dan Wholey of Pittsburgh’s Wholey Fish
Market is worried. Why? Dan supports the Red Wings’
opponent, his beloved Pittsburgh Penguins, and he fears the Redwing
Fans are going to grab up every octopus in Pittsburgh and throw
them onto the ice at +++++ stadium whenever their team scores.
Along with fish, Dan sells an occasional octopus at his
market. But not to Red Wings fans during the Stanley Cup finals.
So, at the market, he’s now on the lookout for Midwestern accents,
Motown Jackets, Red Wing ball caps, and all things Detroit. For
those customers: All the fish they want, but no
octopus. Dan is checking IDs.
The fifty-six-year-old Red Wings
tradition, Dan knows, incites both Red Wings players and fans
alike. Wholey doesn’t want to give any edge to the Detroit team
. After all, Penguins and Octopi are natural enemies.
When the Penguins began marching inland -- doing their sly shuffle off
the continental shelf—the Octopi were slithering their own south
sea salsa … hand in hand in hand in hand in hand in hand in hand in
hand … .
How might the Red Wings fans overcome Dan’s oct-block boycott?
Here’s how: Walk in with a Pirate hat,
saying, “How ‘bout them Stillers, Dan?” Or,
say, “I could go fur a good eight-legged feesh samitch so
can you wrap it up in one of them gumbands? ” And
then add, “Thanks. I’ll be going dahn tahn now.”
Dan still looking at you quizzically?
Not quite sure about selling you an octopus? Just say, “Gimme a
pahn of oleo – or do I have to go to the Jynt Iggle?” Or, maybe,
“ I could gofer’n Arn n’some pillinit shrimp.” And don’t
say, “Can I write yinz a check?” …because even though you said it
right and he’d be ready to take it, your check might be on a Michigan
bank. (And all these good Pittsburgh lessons will go for naught.)
And, finally, don’t make the mistake of
saying, “Give me a soda.” Be sure you say “pop” or you can kiss
your tentacles goodbye.