The Hoosierist: Dogs in Restaurants & More

Lifeguard credentials, Indiana golf courses, and cricket. Ask away.

Q: Why can’t we take dogs in Indy restaurants when they’re welcome to sit beside us at outdoor tables? Wouldn’t we face the same hygiene issues?
Patricia W., Indianapolis  

A: The difference, according to the person who picked up the phone at the Marion County Public Health Department, is that dogs sitting outdoors are so far from the kitchen that they couldn’t dirty things up if they tried. Canines and other critters aren’t allowed in an eatery’s “operational area”—the kitchen, the bar, and pretty much anyplace else where food and utensils are stored. However, none of these is typically found on a patio. Plus, outdoors is where dirt and grime live, so if you sit out there, it’s pretty much understood that hygiene isn’t your No. 1 concern.

Q: What sort of training do city lifeguards have? Seems like we just trust of bunch of teens to supervise our children.
Owen M., Indianapolis

A: According to Indy Parks, the kids who guard our kids undergo extensive training before they shoulder the immense responsibility of spending the summer sitting in a tall chair, looking bored. Among other things, they’re certified in CPR, plus first-responder first-aid skills. They’re also subject to inspections by Indy Parks’ trainer, the Starfish Aquatics Institute—which apparently is a far more serious outfit than its silly name implies.

Number of Indiana golf courses

This figure changes regularly, but accuracy-wise, it sits within inches of the cup. And given our size, that’s a lot of links—only 11 states have more. An amazing (to The Hoosierist, at least) number of local golf establishments incorporate the word “whispering,” “hidden,” or “shade” in their name. Probably because nobody wants to be caught playing a sport in khakis.

Q: With the new Indianapolis World Sports Park opening this summer, I’m trying to get jazzed about cricket. Where can I pick up some pointers on the activity?
Alicia E., Indianapolis  

A: Cricket is reportedly the world’s second-biggest sport (after soccer), but it doesn’t exactly pack ’em in around here. If you want to brush up, get in touch with the Indy Legends, the city’s semi-pro team. Think of the activity as an early, beta version of baseball, in which a “bowler” tosses a smallish ball toward a “batsman,” who tries to hit it. If he succeeds, the opposing team’s “fielders” try to catch it. If he misses, the opposing team’s “wicket-keeper” catches the ball. Don’t even ask about the wicket itself—basically three sticks with two more sticks balanced on top that the opposing team is supposed to knock down. Or something. To win, you must catch the fabled golden snitch, which grants immediate victory. Wait, that’s Quidditch.

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Illustration by Shane Harrison

This article appeared in the June 2014 issue.