This is the first of what will be a weekly addition to Life In The Office. I present to you, Dave Caolo. You may recognize his name from The Unofficial Apple Weblog, but around this part of the office he is the “Scranton Insider.” Dunder Mifflin is based in Scranton, PA and Dave is a Scranton native. Each week, he’ll give us a few things you wouldn’t notice unless you are a Scrantonian.
So, at the risk of me being outblogged on my own blog, here is the Scranton Insider on “The Carpet”. Show him some love.
In tonight’s episode of The Office, Michael is displaced from his office for the day when he discovers…well, a poop on the carpet. A thorough cleaning by the custodian doesn’t take care of the smell, so Michael has the whole thing ripped up. But enough about the plot, let’s talk about all the great Scranton references that appeared in this week’s episode!
Pam explains that she spent her vacation in “The Poconos.” This is where every Scrantonian spends his/her vacation. It’s about thirty miles south of Scranton on Rte. 380. Most Scrantonians refer to the Poconos as “The Hideaway,” and always return complaining that it’s infested with vacationing New Yorkers.
While sharing close quarters with Michael, Dwight was trying to win a radio contest with the station Rock 107. This is a real station, and has existed for as long as I can remember. It’s in the same building as the Scranton Times newspaper, and the huge radio tower that’s on top of the building (which is strung with Christmas lights year round, by the way, although they’re only lit in December) is commonly referred to as “The Times Tower.”
When I was a kid, the morning show on Rock 107 featured a pair of DJ’s named Daniels and Webster. They were really pretty funny, and most of their humor poked fun at life in Scranton. Scrantonians have a peculiar way of speaking, and there are certain words that don’t appear outside the 18504 area code. The most notable is “Heyna.” It’s a bastardization of the phrase, “ain’t it,” and can be used to request your listener’s confirmation of any statement you make, simply by tagging it on to the end of a sentence. For example, “These hot dogs are good, heyna?” This means, “Do you agree that these hot dogs are good?” Daniels and Webster once recored a parody song called “The Heyna Family” to the tune of “The Aadams Family” that ripped on this practice pretty brutally. People wore T-shirts that said, “Heyna Proud.” It was amazingly funny (and sad). (You can hear the song here if you’re interested.)
Finally this week, there’s a flyer on the refrigerator in the staff break room for Abe’s Deli. Abe’s is a real place. It’s a kosher deli on Wyoming Avenue right in the middle of downtown, and it’s just fantastic. This appearance of the Abe’s flyer is kind of interesting, as it helps pinpoint just where in Scranton the Dunder Mifflin building is located. In the opening credits, we see a street sign that reads “Mulberry Street.” This is one of the main streets in town, and is only a block and a half away from Abe’s. Also, at the end of Mulberry Street is Mifflin Avenue. Coincidence? I don’t think so!
That’s all for this week. Check back here after the next episode, and I’ll have more “Scranton insider” information for you.
It’ll be fun, heyna?