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December 14, 2016

Ask Hickey: What to expect from life in a newly minted 'Red State'

Got something you want to ask? Send me your questions through FacebookTwitter or email (with "Ask Hickey" in the subject line). Your anonymity is guaranteed — if that’s how you want it — so feel free to send them via private/direct message.


And now, this week’s questions...

How to fit in, Red State edition

We live in a Red State now. How should we change our attitudes, dress, etc., to adapt to this new designation? (R.P., via email)

Listen, we’ve long known Pennsylvania was a red state at heart. It’s just that the urban centers that keep the commonwealth flush with enough cash to, y’know, exist, carried enough of the vote to produce the Blue State Illusion.

But not anymore. No siree, Bob.

When Pennsylvanians went to the polls last month, more voted for the “Republican” presidential candidate, and the incumbent Republican senator who wasn’t comfortable telling his constituents that he was voting for that aspirant POTUS until an hour before polls closed. Profiles in courage, amirite?

I am here to tell you that you needn’t change a thing about your attire unless, of course, you feel vindicated in your need to wear ill-fitting suits and tacky red caps because some casino guy did and was handed the keys to the White House. (It will look just as hideous on you, though, but who cares about anything anymore anyway?)

Should you want to fit in while out in the non-urban sections of our red commonwealth, try big-lettered – or stars-and-bars infused – Boardwalk T-shirts draped over thermals or anything from the Cabela’s outerwear line

Cowboy hats and bolo ties? Sure, why not. 

If you’re not a stickler for things that are actually made in America, you can find a plethora of options from the Donald Trump CollectionI’ll just go ahead and leave a link to this tacky-af watch here, too.

As for any sort of attitude adjustment, well, good sir or ma'am, I say heck naw. 

The political world exists on a pendulum, and though it swung further than many anticipated, it’ll comes swinging back some year or decade soon.

Put it to you this way: My first job out of college was at a small-town newspaper in Florence, South Carolina. I loved my time there. I loved the people there who – while they were different than Philly-area me – had the same level of kindness in their hearts.

We, for the most part, got along swimmingly despite our ideological differences. That year-and-a-half went a long way toward defining a world view that enables me to regularly pop my head out of the blue-urban bubble and get a sense of what other folks are thinking and, more importantly, why they’re thinking it. (It also left me with a faux Southern accent that took me months to shed; heck, it even still pops up from time to time.)

Painting people with a stereotypical brush doesn't benefit you in any way, shape or form.

It pays to listen to opposing viewpoints without making knee-jerk assumptions about their motivations, but it doesn’t pay to pretend you're something you're not just because the political tide went out and left you behind. 

Philly will fend for itself and come out better for the wear. Belee dat.

Stay true to yourself.

Hold firm to your beliefs.

And fight against injustice just as much as, if not harder, than you would have hadn’t the Blue State gone Red.

It will be OK. Just learn a little Russian in the meantime. Now that could come in handy, comrade.

Tootin' knowledge

When dating, what is the appropriate amount of time and comfort needed before you can audibly fart in front of your paramour? Let's be honest, we all squeeze out the silent ones. I'm talking the loud leg lifters. (@FreemanMcNeil24, Via Twitter)

I try not to tell people what will and will not work in their relationships. After all, some couple’s free-farting lovefest might be another couple’s path toward tattered love.

That being said, others have debated this very topic, and I will now share these insights with you.

They can be found in posts such as "Farting In Front Of Your Boyfriend Is The Key To A Great Relationship,” “When Is It Okay to Fart Around Your Significant Other,” “10 Ridiculous Yahoo Answers (To) Questions About Farting In Relationships,” “Couples That Fart Together … Stay Together” and videos like “Farting In Relationships” …

There’s even a poll that found “it takes two to six months for most people to feel comfortable farting in front of their significant other.”

Hope that helps, and good luck!