10 August 2011

Matt Laquidara's Fun Guide to America for Children

Do you know what America is made out of? The answer isn't federalism or apple pie or colors or the non-running variety, it's states!! As a man who recently moved his white ass across county (along with the rest of the the body) I feel compelled to report, to you the reader, about some of these states that make up this union.

If you want to find out about Massachusetts just read some old entries from this blog. They're all about Massachusetts maybe.

Maybe I just want to use the word boner in this sense, but Connecticut has always been a state I've enjoyed for its highway construction boners. Did you know that they build a lovely 4-story high stack interchange on I-84 and it was attached to no other road for awhile because that road they were going to connect it to never got built. Those things ain't cheap, champ! Finally it did get built, so now they use half this monster. Also good luck going east-west across this state without cutting into Massachusetts or using I-95.

New York
Did you know that I-84 runs for 72.39 miles in New York. I didn't because I don't remember anything noteworthy about any of them.

Welcome to a place with a lot of hills. Watch out for rain. And construction. And construction traffic. For Office fans: you get to go through the Scranton Wilkes-Barre area which means you see signs for all those destination noted on the successful NBC network television program.

Now we're fucking talking, kids. Did you know that Cleveland and Akron form nearly a continuous urbanized area in the middle of the state. What does that mean? The midwestern suburb.

You see it's all so flat there the hold world is spread out before you. You're some teen sitting in the front yard of your generic-looking house (all your neighbors' houses are the same, after all) and you can see forever. You see the streets and the corn fields beyond it. If you could climb the water tower you'd just see more of it, spread over flat land, as far as the eye can see. And you're just a small part of this seemingly endlessly repeating pattern.

Is there any greater progenitor of angst than the midwestern suburb? I'm going with no.

The first sign that you've reached the point of no return is that the speed limit goes up to 70. But mama mia, lots of cops out this way.

This state has Chicago in it. There's a stretch of the Chicago Skyway where the light poles are inexplicable really low. So low that they advise trucks not to use the right lane. No reason I can see at all. Just bizarre. Chicago also has open tolling. Just drive through you dummy. Don't be fooled by the signs that iPass only once you get west of Chicago. It's still the EZPass system, as a frustrated, heavily accented toll collector attempted to tell me as I waved a Sacagawea dollar in his face.

The south side of Chicago is the meanest part of town, but I didn't get to find that out first-hand because I was only in Chicago for 2 hours.

Want to experience the most amazing thing in the world, non-interpersonal-relationship division? Drive through a field where they're growing mint while the air conditioner is running. It's like the platonic ideal of refreshing seriously oh my god jesus christ.

But in general Wisconsin is a really nice looking state and not nearly as flat as one would expect.

I-90 through Minnesota is a great mystery. It seems to go through no major cities. There's surprisingly little truck traffic. Car traffic is pretty low too. It's as though they were planning I-90 and started from both ends and got bored by the middle and just made a straight line wherever because god damn it I'm so fucking tired and hung over.

Then you take an exit and you're in this weird suburb that seems to have no city propping it up. What the?

Also windmills everywhere.

South Dakota
Half plains, half rolling hills, all tacky. Seriously. Billboards everywhere for everything. It's like the state itself is desperate for attention. After 1 billboard about Wall Drug I'm informed, after 3 I'm maybe intrigued, after dozens I'm already tired of it and I've never even been there.

Sioux Falls is a wonderful little city: visit Monk's House of Ale Repute. For those who know about such things, think about it as Dirty Truth West.

Fact: South Dakota has lenient usury laws, which attracts banks to relocate there. That's funny I thought they were there because of the fucking billboards. Or those silly president mountains (SEE BONUS FOR FUN ACTIVITY!).

Most all states have weight-stations on the border but guess what, Wyoming has to be all different and call them Ports of Entry. Wyoming also has oil wells, strip mining, and a town called "Crazy Woman Center".

When I think of Montana I think of nothing but empty space. But boy are you wrong Matthew! Amidst all that empty space, Billings, Bozeman, Butte, and Missoula all seem to be fairly respectable city-type things. Missoula even had what tasted like decent Thai food!

The entire state of Idaho is just going down mountains.

If you want to find out about Washington just read some future entries from this blog. They're all about Washington maybe.

Bonus Activity!
Mt. Rushmore is a seriously impressive monument rooted in a deep-seated paranoia that we the people are going to wipe ourselves out and need to clue in visiting aliens to what we looked like this and oh search here because we're putting some records in this mountainous vault with big likenesses of some dudes we thought were notable carved in some mountain above it.


You've been commissioned to add in two more heads to Mount Rushmore! This is a big job with big responsibilities. Who do you choose? Some ideas to get you started:
Dog and Cat
Wouldn't that just be wild? All these presidents looking stately (because they're heads (because the carving is of their heads, get it) of state, get it) and they're flanked by a cartoony dog and cartoony cat. Is that America or what?
Barack Obama and George W Bush
Is there anyone who would be entirely happy with this?
Girls who have told me they weren't interested in a relationship
Garsh how did that one get here.
Comedy and Drama Masks
Fuck why not.

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