The informant is an 86-year old man who spent his adult life in Northeastern United States.
Tell me about the Pennsylvania Apple & Cheese Festival
TS: Every October, for the past ten years, me and my wife made it a tradition to go to the Apple and Cheese Festival in Pennsylvania. Then, after maybe five years, we started going with some people from the fire department, until it became.. uhh.. a whole sorta tradition for a bunch of us in the community.
How many of you go to the festival together?
TS; There are about forty of us that go now, every October. It’s a wonderful place.
The Pennsylvania Apple and Cheese Festival is a celebration of the agricultural economy of Pennsylvania, with focus on apples and cheese production. Using agricultural pride as the foundation for a festival, the festival-runners bring tourists and profits into an area that normally wouldn’t draw many.
BW: An MLG Remix is hard to explain.. It’s like,, making fun of the culture of like middle schoolers on Xbox Live, and everything around that. There are these gaming channels on Youtube that celebrate the highlights in a game of Call of Duty or Battlefield or something–usually CoD, and then set it to Dubstep music. MLG Remixes make fun of that by adding lots of really loud dubstep, a bunch of songs piled on top each other ’till you can’t even hear them… and also a bunch of other symbols and reoccurring.. “motifs” you can call them. Like Mountain Dew, Taco Bell, Snoop Dogg, smoking weed–they usually all show up in these MLG Remix videos. They’re meant to be funny too, like over-the-top, hyper-crazy, ironic.
What does MLG stand for?
BW: Major League Gaming. That’s the whole crowd that they make fun of, because they’re so serious about video games.
The informant is a 26-year old man who grew up in the suburbs of Long Island, New York
BF: The shopping cart is an ironic dance move, I guess you could say. It’s not any fun, and it doesn’t come from any interesting cultural spots, so it was made as a sort of anti-dance to celebrate the lack of culture in the suburban areas.
How does one do The Shopping Cart?
BF: Sure. To do The Shopping Cart, you just hold your arms out in front of you and lean forward, like you’re shopping at a supermarket. Then every few seconds you pretend to pick an item off the shelf, inspect it, and you know… either put it in the imaginary cart you’re wheeling or throw it back on the shelf. I think it’s pretty funny.
How’d you hear of The Shopping Cart?
BF: I heard of it in high school, at a graduation party. Everyone was doing it. It was weird, like a weird ritual.
The informant is a 26-year old web developer who has spent much time traveling for work.
What was driving in Indonesia like?
BF: Indonesia was excellent. I never drove, I was always in a taxi. The funny thing is… everyone honks on the roads. Here it’s offensive or rude or abrasive–but everyone is doing it all the time in Indonesia. Sounds like New York City, with all the horns.
Were the roads different in any other way?
BF: Yeah, driving was also really tough because the cards weren’t as good and the roads were relatively shoddy. I guess that’s why everyone honks so much more. It’s funny how it’s not a gesture of rudeness there, but just the way people drive.
The informant is an 18-year-old student, of Italian and American origin, who spends a lot of his time playing computer games.
Who is Mrs. Birdy?
BW: Mrs. Birdy was a character in the old online pay-to-play game, Webkinz–like Neopets and Club Penguin. Those kinds of games were very popular at the time, and the way it worked was you go to a store in real life and buy a stuffed animal called a Webkin, then you register it online and it gives you an online pet that you play games with and domesticate and care for and stuff.
And the glitch?
BW: Yeah, well, it was just a rumor, I think, but it spread a lot to everyone that played Webkinz. This was in… I was ten… so like 2007. And there was a rumor that the Mrs. Birdy character would climb in through your house and murder your Webkinz with an axe. Since the game is for little kids, it caused a lot of feared kids. I had to tell my mom, and she Googled it. The official Webkinz site had a whole page dedicated to the fact that it was a rumor and that nothing scary would happen to the kids’ Webkinz. I was still terrified, ’cause I was in the little kid bubble.. and then there’s all this worry about murdering my pets.
There are many forum sites either proliferating or desperately trying to end the fears about the supposed Mrs. Birdy murder glitch. It’s somewhat morphed into an issue of parenting and protecting children against the dangers of the internet.