World's Oldest Fledgling

The blog of Stephanie Wardrop, Y A Author

Representing Massachusetts on the Reading Road Trip! Holla!

on July 2, 2013


Georgia Barrett, the main character in my series of e-novellas, Snark and Cirumstance, is a recent transplant to Massachusetts, just like me.  And, just like me, she had to learn some of the lingo – after having to learn how to spell the name of the state (two S’s then 1 S then 2 T’s).


See if you can translate this:

It’s Patriot’s Day and my boss wouldn’t let me off ‘cause he’s a pissah, so I decide to bang out and go visit my friend at Zoomass (1).  Before I book it on the Pike, I stop by Cumby’s for a coffee, but the line was wicked long, so I banged a U-ie and hit Dunkie’s (2). Problem is, you can’t do that on Comm. Ave. and a statie with a wicked wiffie pulls me over.  I almost mess my dungarees but I keep my cool because, hey, it’s Assachusetts, what are ya gonna do?  I’m not gonna get bagged just for drivin’, ya-huh (3).  Statie lets me go so I decide to pull into the nearest packie and get some lunch, quahogs, a frappe, a grinder, and an ice cream with jimmies ‘cause I was wicked hungry by then (4).

(1) Patriot’s Day is held on the third Monday of April and marks not just the first shots of the American Revolution but also the Boston Marathon.  (The last one was pretty awful, so I’m not going to joke about that).  If your boss is a “pissah” he’s a jerk; a bad day, a bad haircut, a bad clam (or quahog) can also be pissahs.  “Banging out” means calling in sick when you’re not. “Zoomass” is the University of Massachusetts, UMass, a fine school despite its packing so many students into “the Towers” dorm complex that it has a population density that rivals Tokyo, which might be why it seems “zoo-like” to some.

(2) If you “book it to the Pike”, you’re quickly heading to Route 90 or the Massachusetts Turnpike, and if you stop at Cumby’s, you’re going to Cumberland Farms, a beloved “packie”, or package store (like a 7-11).  And if you find that the line at the register is too long, you might try going to Dunkin’ Donuts instead, but Massholes like us love our Dunkies so much there is always a line there, too, even though there is a Dunkies for every five feet of paved road around here. And somehow they’re all packed with coffee and doughnut junkies.

(3) I don’t live in Boston, but I am pretty sure you should not make a U-turn on Commonwealth Avenue, and if you do, a state trooper with a buzzcut will probably pull you over.  Then, you’ll need to pull your license out of your “pocketbook”, a term I thought only old ladies used for purses, but so do folks from the Bay State.  But don’t be so scared that you soil your jeans (dungarees) even if you are fed up with the laws and government of the state that some who feel likewise refer to as “Assachusetts.”

(4) You don’t want to be arrested, or “bagged”, and not just because it could build up a huge appetite, enough to eat a platter of fried clams (quahogs, so now you also get the joke of the town name on Family Guy); a milkshake-type beverage; a sandwich that would elsewhere be called a “sub” or a “hero”; and an ice cream cone (probably Hood’s or Friendly’s) with sprinkles.

However, in truth, Georgia and I rarely hear these expressions because we live in the forgotten part of the state, the West.  We do not think the world revolves around Boston.  We do not pahk our cahr in Hahvahd Yahd.  And some of our neighbors even have the temerity to root for the Yankees.  We believe that Western Mass deserves more attention because there’s some really great stuff here.

SPRINGFIELD has the Basketball Hall of Fame and the Museum Quadrangle, which features sculptures of local hero Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. Here are the Grinch and Max Image courtesy of

NORTHAMPTON AND HAMPSHIRE COUNTY, AKA “THE HAPPY VALLEY” have five colleges (UMass, Hampshire, Mt. Holyoke, Smith, and Amherst), great college towns with bookstores and excellent restaurants (including great vegan food at Café Evolution and Bela in Noho (Northampton)), plus some beautiful farmland and countryside. It also features the best ice cream anywhere at Herrell’s in Northampton Image

The BERKSHIRES is almost unmatched for beauty: mountains, lakes, streams, and wildlife.  Plus lots of great little towns and small cities, Tanglewood’s famous outdoor concerts, hiking and skiing, museums in Pittsfield and North Adams, and Lenox has the home of one of my favorite writers, Edith Wharton’s The Mount, pictured here.  Image

Out here in the west, we may not get as much attention as Boston and the east, but it’s a great place to live.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Or just leave a comment here, on my Twitter page (@s_wardrop) or at the blogs of our awesome reading road trip tour guides, @Hafsah of and Britta of .  Thanks for including me on the road trip, ladies, and happy reading and good luck to all who enter!


Here’s more about the SNARK series from Swoon:


One superior smirk from Michael Endicott convinces sixteen-year-old Georgia Barrett that the Devil wears Polo. His family may have founded the postcard-perfect New England town they live in, but Georgia’s not impressed. Even if he is smart, good looking, and can return Georgia’s barbs as deftly as he returns serves on his family’s tennis courts. After all, if Michael actually thinks she refuses to participate in lab dissections just to mess with his grade, he’s a little too sure that he’s the center of the universe. Could there be more to Michael Endicott than smirks and sarcasm? If Georgia can cut the snark long enough, she just might find out.

20803_10151569047132556_705085876_nSixteen-year-old Georgia Barrett is no expert on guys. Her bio-class partner is harder to dissect than anything on their lab tray. He’s smart, almost as sarcastic as she is, and can’t refuse a date with her fast enough. So why does he seem so upset when a senior hottie takes an interest in her? Could his game of playing hard to get have just backfired?

Why wait to win? They’re 99 cents each this week at Amazon! And if you’re a Nook chick like me, they’re at Barnes and Noble, too.



2 responses to “Representing Massachusetts on the Reading Road Trip! Holla!

  1. Angie says:

    I love MA! Whenever I go and visit we are usually in the Salem/Worchester areas. I took my husband for the first time there in 2010 and we had to make a trip to the Salem Witch museum. I love the East coast and want to visit there more often!


  2. We knew we had officially moved to North Cakalacky (North Carolina to normal people) when we were first introduced to the widely played sport of cornhole (do NOT call it bean bag toss, dammit!) Our neighbor’s name is Jimmy ‘n so’s his pappy’s and his son’s and all three of ’em could talk a starved dog off a meat truck.

    Someone kidnap me back to New England? Please?

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