Thursday, November 6, 2008

My Least Favorite States

There were a couple of things that I realized as I watched this year’s presidential election. The first was that an entire evening can be ruined by the advent of new technology, proven by CNN’s inexplicable decision to destroy a perfectly entertaining presidential election with the unveiling of hologram technology. Was it really necessary to bring into the news studio in 3-D? While both anchorman and guest blathered on and on about how amazing this new technology was, all I kept thinking was, “Hey, guys. He’s still in 2D to me because I’m watching him on freakin’ television.”

The second thing I realized was that West Virginia was still a state. I had forgotten all about it quite honestly. My only knowledge of the Mountaineer state is limited to a small section of the panhandle that is inconveniently placed between Ohio and Pittsburgh. This is where I once lost $100 in a slot machine at the Wheeling Downs Racetrack and Casino. To give you some perspective on my perspective of West Virginia.... I was born and raised in Indiana. Every state in the north makes fun of Indiana, so we make fun of people from Kentucky. And people from Kentucky make fun of West Virginia. It’s sort of the redneck joke pecking order. I have no idea who the people of West Virginia make fun of, but I suspect it’s probably people who went to college.

Now I’m sure there are a lot of intelligent, cultured people who live in West Virginia. And I’m also pretty sure those people want to move. It’s not that I dislike West Virginia. It’s just that if you were to force me to visit every state in the US, I would visit West Virginia first and get it over with. And I’d probably just go back to the casino and try to win my $100 back.

The second state I would visit on my hypothetical forced tour of all the Unites States is Nebraska. I’ve driven through Nebraska before, and it was the longest three years of my life. I have to check my facts, but I’m pretty sure no one actually lives there. It’s big and boring-- this coming from someone whose favorite past time is listening to baseball on the radio.

The choice for my third state gets tougher, because West Virginia and Nebraska are pretty much the only states I want to avoid completely. There are plenty of states that I don’t really care about either way. I’ll call these the “shrug states.”

Vermont, for example. Now, I’ve never been to Vermont, and I don’t know anything about it. But when I imagine Vermont, I imagine one gigantic gated community where everyone wears turtleneck sweaters and smokes pipes while cross-country skiing. The capital is a place called Montpelier for Christ's sake. Just the thought of Vermont reminds me of those Hallmark stores at the mall where you are scared to move around because you might inadvertently bump into a shelf and send a million overpriced glass figurines crashing onto the floor. And I’m pretty sure Vermont has that new candle smell everywhere you go.

There are plenty of other shrug states-- Iowa, Kansas, pretty much the entire Bible Belt, but the reality is that I’m poor and stuck in California, so I won’t be visiting any of these places anytime soon. But I will say I’m proud of Indiana for voting Democrat for the first time since the talking pictures have been invented. And really, in the end, your home state is always the best.


Mad Scientist said...

Let's not forget that Vermont is home to Bennington College; birthplace of two things - the brat pack writers and bisexuality.

Kristy said...

I agree with your dislike of West Virginia (even on college football principle alone). I've never been to Nebraska, but I am sure it's because no one really lives there. So I would say that I don't want to go. However, Iowa is awesome!!! And also went blue this year, which I am very proud of even though I've never been... (:

Kate said...

"I have no idea who the people of West Virginia make fun of, but I suspect it’s probably people who went to college." Best line ever.

Anonymous said...

West Virginia, a nice place to drop a deuce in the woods. They might put it on the license plate. And they do make fun of people who went to college, and those that have most of their teeth, speak the king's english, walk upright... Good stuff Nate.

Phase 1 said...

I live in Nebraska...Omaha, actually, as do over 1 million other people...

ya jerk

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