FREQUENT AMISH QUESTIONS
We are regularly asked a lot of questions by people. Not just about the weather or the time, but about ourselves. We decided to answer some of them here for the curious folk out there (in the world).
1) Are you really Amish?
Well, this all depends on who you ask. Brothers Ishmael, Abel and Jakob are not now and never were Amish (though we do consider them to be “honorary Amish"). The other three Brothers (“from a different mother," as the saying goes) were raised Amish, however were not baptized as adults in the Amish faith. We are still “Amish," however, the same way that if an individual raised Catholic or Jewish that is not practicing is still Catholic or Jewish.
2) Is this a joke?
No. This is a joke:
An Amish lady is trotting down the road in her horse and buggy when she is pulled over by a police man. The officer says, "Ma'am, I'm not going to ticket you, but I do have to issue a warning. You have a broken reflector on your buggy."
She replies, "Oh, I'll let my husband know as soon as I get home"
"That's fine," the officer replies. “Another thing, ma'am. I don't like the way that one rein loops across the horse's back and around his testicles. I consider that animal abuse. That's cruelty to animals. Have your husband take care of that right away."
Later that day, the lady is home telling her husband about her encounter with the cop.
"Well, dear, what exactly did he say?"
"He said the reflector is broken."
"I can fix that in two minutes. Anything else?"
"I'm not sure, something about the emergency brake."
3) Do you still see your family?
Yes, we do. It is a popular misconception that the Amish shun individuals that decide not to be baptized. That is not true. If an Amish person decides not to be baptized, his or her decision is accepted (though not usually approved of) and the family and community still accept that individual. If you are baptized and then leave the faith, or get baptized into another faith, then you will most likely be shunned, but even then, it is a last resort. The Amish believe in forgiveness and will always try to bring an individual back to the faith before shunning him or her. They will also always welcome you back, even after being shunned, as long as you make a confession and apology.
4) What does your family think about what you are doing now?
Speaking for myself (Ezekiel), they are happy for me, because they know I have found something (playing music) that makes me happy and allows me to bring happiness to others. While they are not thrilled that I decided not to be baptized, and would rather I was living back in the Amish community, they respect my decision and have never tried to dissuade me from doing what I love to do.
5) Can you drink?
Obviously, yes. If we couldn't, we would either be dead from dehydration, or have to walk around with IVs providing us with the necessary fluids to survive.
6) Can you drive cars?
Yes, we can, though, Brother Hezekiah has a little more trouble with it than most folks. If we were still practicing Amish, we would not be allowed to. HOWEVER, even practicing Amish people can ride in cars and busses, but are forbidden to own one. The Amish can ride tractors on the farm, though they must have metal tires instead of rubber to prevent them from being used for traveling long distances.
7) Is your beard real?
8) Can I have your hat?
No. We like our hats and need them to cover our heads. We have lost a handful of hats (well, actually more than a handful as a handful of hats would be just one hat) by letting people at shows wear them. Then we are hatless, which is not a good thing, as none of us have good hair. One time, Brother Ezekiel had his hat stolen at a show in New York. He was asked by a young lady in the audience if she could wear the hat, and he obliged, making her promise to return it. She didn't. The passing of the hat was even captured on camera, and an image is below. If anyone knows where my hat is, I would love to get it back as it had been my hat for over two years and I miss my hat. I have since obtained a new hat, but it doesn't fit as well and tends to fall off of my enormous head.
The guy winking in the foreground may have been in on the theft. Winking is suspicious.
9) Can I snap your suspenders?
Actually, most people don't ask us if they can snap our suspenders. They just do it. Sometimes it really hurts as there is a large metal clasp in the back of the suspenders that doesn't feel good when it is snapped into the small of our backs. If you do want to snap our suspenders, please ask first so we can show you how to do so as painlessly as possible.
10) Do you date?
Yes, dating is necessary so we know what show it is that we need to travel to next, when to pay our bills, and when to send birthday cards to our English friends.
11) Can you date women of any religion?
Yes, but the cards we send vary depending on the religion and what holiday is being celebrated.
12) Are any of you married?
13) Have your family members who remain practicing Amish ever heard you play? (submitted by Carlos)
Tag, yes. Music, no.
14) Where do you practice and rehearse for shows? Do you live together? (submitted by Lori)
We practice in a studio in New York, north of Manhattan in the suburbs. There is an excellent pizza place right around the corner. There is also a great pub with delicious hamburgers in walking distance. The studio provides us with free bottles of water. It works out well for everyone, except Jakob and Abel when they hit traffic coming from New Jersey.
We live together when we are on the road, which is usually a few nights a week. We spend a lot of time together in the car, at hotels, and eating barbecue. Each member of the band has his “roomie" when it comes to staying at hotels. Can you match the Amish Outlaw up with his “roomie" below?