A week ago I
went to Ohio to visit some friends, and for some reason we decided to go
check out "Amish Country", a magical land of the past where people
drive horses instead of cars and don't wear "the bad color" (red) because
it attracts the monsters that live outside the village. I think M. Night
Shamalaniatwain directed a movie about it. Realizing it could make for a
good I-Mockery piece, I took a camera along and snapped many a picture
while I was there. I'd like to thank my friends Mary and Bob for providing
additional photos, and Rachael for letting me borrow her camera, since,
much like the Amish, I fear and shun technology and do not own one myself.
The first place we visited was a little town called Sugarcreek, which was
billing itself as "the Switzerland of Ohio", meaning, I suppose, that
whenever war breaks out in Ohio, these guys just aren't going to pick a
side. And what's with that guy playing a didgeridoo or whatever? I thought
that was an Australian instrument.
Speaking of ignorant culture mash-ups, it is kind of weird how all of these
little hamlets, thorps, and villages we went to were trying to pass
themselves off as quaint European locations. One of the first things we
saw as we got out of the car was this guy Donald L. Putt's memorial.
Now I don't know what General Putt (doesn't he sound like a mini-golf
mascot?) did; he was probably some kind of honored war hero for all I
know. But damned if he didn't look like a spitting image of Adolf Hitler
on his memorial there. Now, wouldn't that have been more at home in the
Austria or Germany of Ohio? These guys really need to get their shit
One of the
first things I noticed as we wandered about "Amish Country" was that there
were, in fact, very few Amish to be seen within it. Now,
this was hardly the first time I've been around Amish parts, as I have
relatives in Indiana and as a child I would often get dragged along to
boring little Amish towns so my mom and her sisters could look at little
crafty knick-knacks while I desperately tried not to claw my own face off
just so I could bleed out and have something to do.
But for some reason this time I was really struck by how few actual Amish
people we saw, seeing mostly touristy types instead. As if the Amish are
some kind of legend, like Bigfoot, and if you're lucky enough, you just
might see one. And if he sees his shadow, it's going to be a short winter!
That said, I did manage to snap a few pictures of Amish people dressed up
as you might expect. But the thing is, I had to be stealthy about it,
because apparently most Amish don't like having their picture taken. A lot
of them feel like the camera steals their soul (hell, that's a little
extreme—I just think it makes me look fat). So my solution was to be
super-rude and simply take their pictures without asking. So here, I've
got a couple of souls in this one. For my collection.
And then there was this guy, I think he was dead or something. He had
quite a magnificent stick, but I couldn't pry it free from his iron grip.
They say that whosoever can pry the stick free shall be King, or at the
very least some kind of Village Elder or they shall possess a pretty cool
walking stick at the bare minimum.
shop had all kinds of crazy shit out in the street (as opposed to most of
the shops who kept their crazy shit contained inside). There was this
bizarre screaming sun that I tried to emulate the expression of. This
picture actually reminds me of that scene in Pee Wee's Big
Adventure where he turns on his flashlight out in the woods and
suddenly realizes he's surrounded by wild animals.
better picture of the screaming sun. Fucked up looking suns was a
recurring motif, and I have no idea what the hell that was about.
Here's another one with the top of his head caved in. The Amish sure do
have a lot of strange issues revolving around the sun. Makes you wonder if
they aren't vampires or something, and maybe that's why I only saw a few
roaming the streets—those were the daywalkers, a rarer breed of
The wolves in Amishvilletownburg
were very friendly indeed. Very
This one shop had bizarre animal masks for sale that played tunes when you
pressed a button on the nose. Just like real animals!
My friend Fric
was willing to let them press his nose button, but not me, no sir. I only
let my nose play its own music.
The Amish may shun most technology, but that doesn't mean they don't come
up with plenty of their own handy devices. Take this banana peeler my
friend Micah discovered, for example. It's about time somebody made a tool
to get those hard-to-open bananas to relinquish their sweet fruit!
also don't have a problem with Barbie, so long as she is dressed
appropriately. I don't know though, I can still see quite a bit of leg
there (above the knees, even), so that seems awfully racy to me.
THE DOLLS HAVE NO FACES! IT'S LIKE SOMETHING OUT OF A HORROR MOVIE!!
How many people bought this and put it up in their living room because
they thought it was "cute", I wonder?
It's remarkable, but simply by putting "DON'T LITTER" on the side of their
trash cans in bold black letters, they've completely eliminated their
problem with people littering on the street (unless the shops count). The
power of suggestion!
Just in case you're some fool who can't read, the Amish have got you
covered. They got your back, yo, that's how they roll.
My friend Peter was the only guy in our group brave enough to enter the
"Christmas Room", but not quite daring enough to sit on Santa's lap.
Thought the Amish would be more interested in the second coming of Jesus?
Guess again! Elvis is coming, and he's bringing an 8-track player with
him! Holy shit! PREPARE THYSELF, SINNER!
This doll room was the scariest place I've ever been. I won't go back in
there. I don't care if Angelina Jolie is in there dropping $100 bills from
her cooch, I'm not setting foot back in that room. There's a large doll in
there with smaller dolls living in her petticoats! In her petticoats!!
I was kind of surprised by the amount of Halloween-themed stuff I saw in
these shops. I kind of always figured the Amish frowned on "the devil's
holiday", but it occurs to me: they could have the best Halloween
celebrations of anyone anywhere and who would know?
THE DUCK ALSO HAS NO FACE! AND IT'S MADE OF GRASS! AAAAAAAAH!!!
If you think
I set foot in this store, you're insane. It's just not worth it. Not even
If I wanted a hat that was going to squish and constrict my brain into
putty, I can think of no better hat to have.