Harrisburg had been a five-star surprise. Fascinating and enjoyable. The question now was how to finish a perfect day? It was late afternoon but time was still on my side.
Gettysburg was nearby but mostly closed due to the government shutdown.
However, there was another option and the more I thought about it the more it got my blood pumping. Intercourse!
I decided to give it a go and 90 minutes later I’d made an important discovery. Intercourse is best done in the daylight
We’re all consenting adults here, so hang around and in a moment I’ll give you Arthur’s Guide To Intercourse.
But first I’m sure you’d appreciate a little history, architecture and culture.
I’d driven two hours from Philadelphia to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s state capital. The Capitol building is one of the finest in America. It’s home to the state Supreme Court and government. President Theodore Roosevelt, the man for whom the teddy bear is named, called it “the handsomest building I ever saw.”
The giant dome is visible for miles. Inside it is equally impressive and testament to its designer’s ambition to be a Palace of Art.
The entrance rotunda leads to a sweeping marble staircase based on the Paris Opera House. The roof is inspired by Michelangelo’s design for St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. European style is everywhere, as is opulence. The rooms are full of stained glass, gold leaf and crystal chandeliers. There’s marble from Ireland and wood from Belize.
Violet Oakley was commissioned to paint some murals, the first woman in the US ever to be so honoured. She got the taste for it. In all she painted 43 murals in the Capitol, a project that took up around two decades of her life.
After a morning of art and architecture it was time for some popular American culture.
Sunday afternoon is gridiron football time. I found a sports restaurant and bar, ordered lunch and took in a game. Actually I took in several. From my seat I could see 13 televisions and two giant screens. I counted ten more TVs which I could only see from behind. It was like dining in an electrical superstore.
The Americans take their sport seriously…..and noisily. Each mouthful of my food was accompanied by mouthfuls of whooping and hollering from the sports fans. The word ‘sucks’ was the most frequently used. It was, I have to admit, a lot of fun. People-watching was way more exciting than ball watching and people don’t take ad breaks.
After lunch it was back to Harrisburg’s more sombre side and a visit to the National Civil War Museum. The war ran from 1861 to 1865 and was pivotal in preserving the union. There are a fair few museums that deal with the war and its causes.
This one is highly informative, pretty well-balanced and has many interesting displays. Two hours are recommended for a visit – I took three.
By now the sun was on its downwards descent. Time to get moving and do something memorable. Time for Intercourse.
Pay attention now, I have some pearls of wisdom for you:
ARTHUR’S GUIDE TO INTERCOURSE
1) You need to take it slowly. Guys, this one is mostly aimed at you. Intercourse can be over in a few unfulfilling moments if you rush it.
2) Intercourse is best done in the daylight. You really need to see what you’re doing.
3) Taking photos in Intercourse can be a highly sensitive matter. Pictures of bodies are acceptable but showing faces is definitely bad form.
4) In the middle of Intercourse you might want to go all the way and reach Paradise. If so here’s what you need to do. Move a little left, then right, left again and then really hard right. Bingo. You’ve arrived.
That’s basically it. If you do get to visit the Amish town of Intercourse you will now be well informed.
I have no idea what the Amish think about living in a town with such an ‘unusual’ name. How the settlement got its name is a little uncertain. There are a couple of versions, neither of them smutty.
Whatever the reason, Intercourse is one of the major centres of the Amish community. When I arrived in the small town the light was fading. However, there were many horses and traps about. Some of the Amish were working in the fields others were walking along the road.
The Amish believe in the literal word of the Bible. Life is about devotion to God, family and community. Anything that distracts from these is frowned upon.
They live a life of simplicity and eschew most modern technology. Cars, electricity, TV are off-limits. The Amish mostly wear black and white. Fashionable clothes are banned, they’re thought to lead to pride and vanity.
I had the impression the Amish lived together in remote areas, contact with outsiders a rarity. However, that’s not how it is. Many live next door to non-Amish. The sloth, envy, and temptations of modern society are all around them. To put it another way, they’re constantly seeing and hearing modern day Intercourse.