As I work slowly toward a goal of boosting my number of monthly posts through the occasional Mini Post of No Consequence, I’m forced to reveal that I can hardly resist a good pun. Unfortunately for my readership, I’m just as prone to capitulating on a really bad pun as well. I probably lost a good five minutes on a drive because I caught this one while winding along the country roads of southern Delaware:For those who might be surprised to see a reference to the 2000s sitcom The Office in the heavily rural Delmarva Peninsula, I would first encourage those skeptics to cast aside their elitism and remember that, despite its apparent appeal to the urban professional demographic, television—especially among the Big Three networks to which The Office first broadcast—has long been a democratizer of cultural tastes. Much more so than cable or satellite or Netflix or all the customized outlets that are increasingly subsuming television, and, I fear, broadening the cultural divides. And The Office was a top-rated TV show for several years—almost as influential for the 2000s as Seinfeld was for the 1990s, the latter show of which has resulted in memes, tropes, slang words, expressions, yadda yadda yadda. There’s no reason a quip popularized by Michael Scott and Company wouldn’t be equally popular, to the point that it’s television origin doesn’t really matter anymore.
But if we really need to split hairs, we could always view The First State’s network of associations to “That’s what she said” through hometown politics. Delaware is the long-time home of ex-veep and Democratic presidential candidate frontrunner Joe Biden, who originally hails from Scranton, PA—the setting for the operations of The Office’s Dunder-Mifflin Paper Company. It’s a state of just three counties (the fewest in the country) with an intensely urban northern county, home of Wilmington (often nicknamed Mini-Philly), while the two southern counties are much larger, more agrarian, and more southern in influence. Probably not a shed to be found in most urban neighborhoods of Wilmington, but south of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, approaching Dover, the shed would be a ubiquitous structure.
Nah. I think the TV-as-the-great-equalizer argument is more convincing. And the sheds themselves aren’t too bad either. As well they should be. Lots of demand for sheds in these parts.