Not From Around Here

My favorite geography joke comes from Eastern Pennsylvania.

An Amish schoolteacher asks a boy “Where was Jesus born?” and Little Jakey (Amish boys in jokes are always named Jakey) answers, “It was in Allentown.”

“No,” the teacher corrects him. “It was Bethlehem.”

“Well,” Jakey says, “I knew it was somewhere along Route 22.”

* * *

But where was Abe Lincoln born?

Tonight at dinner on the Gulf Coast of Florida, Melissa told me a real-life story about the time her mother came to teach school in the village of Stonington, on Maine’s Deer Isle.

The grade school class, taking an extended look at Mr. Lincoln, was asked to write an essay on the life and times of America’s 16th president.

One boy (probably not named Little Jakey) started out his paper with this classic Down East statement: “Abe Lincoln was born off-island.”

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