Mar 14, 2009

Facts about America's 46 States and 4 Commonwealths (Part 1)

Since the days of manifest destiny, a time when everyone in America thought it’d be a good idea to have two oceans, America has grown into the beautiful massive cow-like (Florida is its leg and nothing else) creature it is today. To date, there are 46 whole states and 4 commonwealths, or quasi-states, along with that magical rectangular district beneath Maryland. Of these 46 states and 4 commonwealths, about 19 of them are worth keeping around. Maybe 23 on a good day. But we must not discriminate, for these less spectacular states are the glue which holds the country together.

Then there are the hideous growths that are Hawaii and Alaska, which make America look like it’s still in the awkward stages of puberty and has attempted to cut its own hair and failed miserably. In the great Ikea coffee table that is America, Hawaii and Alaska are the extra pieces left over upon completion, so they were stuck on anyway so as not to be wasteful.

But I am not going to satirize Hawaii, Alaska, or even New Jersey. I am going to instead give you KNOWLEDGE BEYOND REASON about all of America’s beautiful states, quasi and real, for if you are like me, you are fascinated about the diverse landscape and culture of our United States/Commonwealths, and you yearn for more information about their origin, strange mysteries, and alarming horrors.

Alabama - First up is Alabama, a state in the South that borders the Gulf of Mexico, which is paradoxical when you think that no one in Alabama has ever seen a Mexican before. Alabama is an oddly shaped state, with that squid-like mouth protruding from its southern coast and whatnot. In all, Alabama is a basic, middle-of-the-pack state. Not good, but not terrible, and certainly not great. Though, Montgomery serves as a Mecca to those close to the civil rights movement. You can still see parts of the buildings there permanently damaged by high-pressure fire hoses.

Alaska -
“Cold” is fair word used to describe the state of Alaska, a.k.a. North Canada, a.k.a. East Russia. Alaskans are known for their easy-going nature, love for the outdoors, and eighth layer of skin. Also, Alaskan children begin growing their facial hair around age 7, so if you see a small person with a beard comparable to that of Grizzly Adams, it is not a midget. It is a child. Though it is unfair of me to focus so much on the mutant Alaskans. The state of Alaska is actually quite beautiful. There is a plethora of wildlife, with everything from bears to kangaroos (I’m pretty sure they have kangaroos). And in time, they will all evolve enough to know what helicopters are REALLY for. Sorry Sarah Palin (not really).

Arizona -
Perversely to Alaskans, Arizonans have only SIX layers of skin, enabling them to combat the extreme heat in the summertime. I have been to Arizona several times in the summer, and while I can’t say that I would enjoy living there, I can say the sidewalk cafés around Phoenix are very cozy. You haven’t lived until you’ve had French toast that was cooked on a sidewalk.

Arkansas -
Arkansas is another state that I have graced my presence with. It is most known for the Naval vessel the Arkansas, which is the exact dimensions and the shape of the state whose name she bares. When the rising tide engulfs the shore and the waves roll over Arkansas, will the ship return to anchor there and replace the sunken state?

California -
Arguably the greatest state in the union, it has been home to movie stars, presidents, shamed presidents, and more movie stars. There are so many great people from California that it is difficult to choose “California’s Favorite Son/Daughter/Red-headed Stepchild.” Unlike Minnesota, where the answer singular and obvious: Prince.

Colorado -
When you drive passed this state’s borders and enter the realm known as “Colorado” (which is Esperanto for “Litter Box Shape”), a sign welcomes you with the greeting “Welcome to COLORFUL Colorado!” And it’s true: The multiple shades of brown convey a sense of what you’re looking at is so colorful, that it must be displayed in monochrome in your mind. Even the brown sign is like this. Amazing.

Connecticut -
English for “Connect, I cut,” Connecticut is one of them New England-type states. I don’t know much about Connecticut, but I can at least pretend I do. I know there’s a well known Ivy League school located in Connecticut. I think it’s called State University of New Haven-Northeast Technical Community College. I hear they’re very picky about the type of students admitted to SUNHNTCC, turning away dozens of people looking for “an easy college to go to so my parents will just leave me alone about the whole higher education deal.”

Delaware -
Chronologically first, Delaware is famous for being crossed by George Washington. Since we all know that story, let me tell you of the strange and forgotten lore of Delaware’s magical and sometimes cursed Twelve-Mile Circle. The Twelve-Mile Circle is the northernmost geographical border of Delaware. There is one section of land outside the circle which was claimed by both Delaware and Pennsylvania. That’s right, LAND CLAIMED BY TWO DIFFERENT STATES. Certainly this caused unbearable political tension between the two states, and it most likely led to a Cold War between the two (More interstate Cold Wars later. Yes, there’s been more than one!). Unfortunately, a Cold War focused on a small piece of land isn’t very… explosive, and the dispute was settled in favor of Delaware in 1921.

Florida -
Florida is America’s hind leg. Its four major cities each encompass a different attribute to its complex character. Miami is the immigration port/cocaine capital. Orlando is a magical land where dreams come true. Jacksonville is the most populous city, thereby containing the most old people (explorers speculate THIS is the location of the Fountain of Youth). And Tampa is where disappointing sports franchises are born.

Georgia -
The state of Georgia, also affectionately known as “America’s Australia,” since it was first colonized as place to send prisoners when overcrowding occurred in other colonies. But that was long ago, and now Georgia is the Peach State, and the reminders of this are all over: subdivisions, highways, malls, streets, statues, landmarks, and even old ladies are named some form of “Peach.” As if to say, “Hey, you’re in Georgia, the Peach State. Just in case you forgot.”

Hawaii -
The isolated paradise that is Hawaii. Its natives are known for their knowledge of the ocean (it surrounds them, after all), philosophical adages, and use of repeating vowels in names (take “Liliuokalani,” for example). Hawaii usually minds its own business as it hangs out there in the Pacific Ocean, just doing it’s thing. But sometimes a family member decides to get married in the most remote location possible, while still keeping within US borders. So they go to Hawaii.

Idaho -
Also known as “Ireland,” Idaho’s well known for its potatoes. Most people who have not been to Idaho do not know of its natural beauty, rolling hillsides, and puzzling geographical shape. No, most people know Idaho as the butt of their juvenile “Idaho? You the ho!” joke, which was admittedly funny in eighth grade, but now is obvious and produces zero laughs. In reality, Idaho is an underrated state. Its capital city, Boise, is enriched with Native American and Native American Exterminators history (the Oregon Trail passes through part of the city), which is lucky for them, as half of their economy is based on tourism. Visit Boise today and receive a free “I (potato) Boise” visor when mentioning this offer!

Illinois -
Illinois is so corrupt, it refuses to be pronounced the way it is spelled. The same goes for every city and county therein. In fact, Logan county is so corrupt that it is actually pronounced “Harris.” I admit I know little more about Illinois than that. I have never been to Chicago, but I hear that the winds from Lake Michigan have it blown clear over to Clark City, Missouri this time of year.

Part 2 coming soon. By which I mean months from now, when it's done.