Monday, July 3, 2023

Hoosier Humor

Raintree County, by Ross Lockridge, Jr., is a 1948 novel set in a fictional Indiana county -- Raintree County -- which is based on Henry County, Indiana, where Lockridge's family was from.  The novel takes place on a single day in 1892, with flashbacks to earlier in the 19th century.  At one point, a phrenologist is visiting Raintree County in the 1850's to teach the Hoosiers about phrenology, and part of his pitch goes like this:

Now we all agree, do we not, that no man can or does exist in rational society without a brain.  May I say that in Kentucky, whence I have lately come, I felt some disposition to modify that statement, but --

    The Professor waited for the applause and laughter of the crowd to subside.

-- But I see no need to do so for the intelligent and enlightened concourse that I see before my eyes.

Ah, Indiana.

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