“Don’t say it’s the musical. I swear to God, you’d better not say it’s the musical.”
It’s been a long, magical, pissing-off-a-lot-of-people-from-the-more-prideful-states ride, but here we are, in part 10 of our American States of America series, where we go through each and every state in this wonderful nation and tell you what we like most about them. And after this last segment, from Delaware to Hawaii, every state will have been represented (unless Puerto Rico finally sneaks into the Union, but we don’t know if that’s the best idea, simply because we’ve yet to find a true American who didn’t get nervous trying to count to a number higher than 50).
So it’s with a heavy liver heart that we end this segment. But don’t you worry, we’ll always be there for America, telling you all the best way to get drunk, or how you can make your cholesterol so high that anyone who takes your blood has to be diagnosed with heart disease. But until then, we have some final states to introduce.
OKLAHOMA: Admitted on November 16th, 1907
Most people know Oklahoma as being one of the few states in America to not have any single song referencing it, which is a shame because we personally think it would be the ideal setting for a plucky cowboy musical. It’s the birth state of Will Rodgers, and its residents shrug off tornadoes like an inconveniently windy day. Sylvan Goldman, an Oklahoman, invented the shopping cart, which revolutionized the way that homeless people carry around their shit, and Carl C. Magee installed the first parking meter in Oklahoma City on July 16th, 1935, which reinvented the way we say, “God fucking dammit, I need a quarter to park.”
But the most American aspect of Oklahoma can be found in their state capital. That is because, in true American fashion, Oklahoma is the only state to have put oil wells right on its state capitol grounds. Yes, you can have as many Cowboy museums as you want, when you decide to use the seat of your government as a way to get some of that bubbling crude, like some sort of government subsidized Daniel Plainview, you’re both sticking it to oil importers while letting your citizens know that, fuck it, if there’s oil to be gotten, we don’t care where it is. It’s ours and nothing you say can convince us otherwise.
NEW MEXICO: Admitted on January 6th, 1912
New Mexico is the one state that’s named directly after another country, but we’ll forgive them of that, since we did kind of steal the state from Mexico in the first place. Though we do appreciate that their Mexican speaking population decided to go make their own, American born version of the language. Good on them for that. They also have a town called Truth or Consequences, which we only half suspect consists of an army of Children of the Corn kids. That’s cool, so long as we’re wrong about the Children of the Corn thing.
However, what we can really appreciate New Mexico for is its role in the development of the Atomic bomb. Trinity, the first ever detonation of a nuclear device, took place in New Mexico. The bomb, named “The Gadget” was manufactured and designed in Los Alamos before the powers-that-be decided to set it off in New Mexico as well because fuck yo couch up. This “experiment” paved the way for the atomic bomb to be used to end World War II, though setting off a nuclear bomb for the first time, much like replacing the vinegar in your sister’s model volcano with acid, or setting up a threesome with your significant other via a Kansas craigslist post, is the kind of experiment that leaves everyone feeling bad about themselves about four seconds later. On the plus side, this was by far the closest we’ve ever come to making our own Godzilla. You guys were so close, New Mexico. You were almost there.
ARIZONA: Admitted on February 24th, 1912
Arizona is the nation’s leading producer of copper and underwhelming but occasionally relevant basketball teams. People tend to enjoy going to Arizona to see the Grand Canyon, which honestly is a pretty big conflict for us. On one hand, fuck nature, on the other hand, it’s sort of an example of Nature destroying itself, slowly, like a river going to a giant rock and saying “stop cutting yourself, stop cutting yourself” for 70 million years.
The more we look into the many fine cultural contributions Arizona has to offer, though, the more we realize there is only one correct response for their most American trait. They stole the London Bridge.
Okay, admittedly, Robert McCulloch technically purchased the London Bridge from the City of London in 1962, but you can also say that Americans “technically purchased” the island of Manhattan from the Native Americans without having to point out that it was only for $24. No, Arizona has the London Bridge, and that’s what matters. We took a cultural icon, something that has goddamn nursery songs about it, and said, “I don’t think you’ll be needing this anymore” before systematically taking it down, brick by brick, and painstakingly rebuilding it in some remote bumfuck city with a population of 50,000 half a planet away and then reinventing that city as a Spring Break destination so drunk frat kids can throw up on the aforementioned cultural icon. If that isn’t American, what the hell is? Stealing the Eiffel Tower only to melt it down and make American flag lapel pins and Truckasauruses? Actually, that’s awesome. Do that. Get on it, Arizona! We believe in you!
ALASKA: Admitted on January 3rd, 1959
Attractive people live in Alaska. They don’t particularly dress themselves that well, but there are attractive people in that state. It’s not something you think about often, but when someone sits you down and lets you know that the largest and least densely populated state has attractive residents, you pause and go, “Well, I guess that would make sense.” Why is it that when you think of Alaska, you don’t think of its population, or just assume they are somehow inherently different and more Deliverance-y than standard Americans? It’s not like there are particularly negative Alaskan representations out there (okay, Sarah Palin might arguably hurt, but she’s hot and hunts wolves from helicopters so she at least gives you that). But the fact that there are male and female people in Alaska that are objectively attractive, bright, and energetic is an absolute truth that you’ve never really focused on much until reading this paragraph.
Now, hold on to that thought for a moment, we’ll get back to it. Alaska as a state has a very unique history, and a specific sort of pride about that. They’re pretty much the only state that celebrates the day America rescued them from the Russians bought them. They produce a quarter of the nation’s oil, and it’s big enough that it can hold 425 Rhode Islands, or roughly 4.25 million hot wieners. The first battle fought on American soil since the Civil War took place there (which we dominated), they are responsible for most of the nation’s salmon, crab, halibut, and herring, and they’ve got the third biggest mountain peak in the world (number one if you measure from base-to-peak, which most guys would tell you gives you a much more accurate and satisfying measurement).
But Alaska’s most wonderful American trait comes in its people, as we alluded to earlier. More specifically, to the fact that Alaska is filled with people who get paid just for living there. They can dress it up as “a constitutionally authorized appropriation of oil revenues to manage a surplus in state petroleum revenues from oil” as much as they want, we all know that’s just fancy word talk for “Shit, no one lives here, and it’s so big, and gets super cold, and some places take away the sun from you, how are going to get more people out here?” Bribing people to move in around you? Well done Alaska. Well done indeed. And that brings us to our final state.
HAWAII: Admitted on August 21st, 1959
Oh, Hawaii. We have a slightly complicated past. And by that we mean our website had made fun of small children in your state before. America’s history with Hawaii isn’t awful. It’s just where you can go to eat really good pineapple and it’s the one place where white people are actually the repressed, abused minority (no one really gets that upset about it because they are white, and they are living in paradise. Fucking haoles.) Hawaii is widely recognized as our one island state, the most isolated population center on earth, the only state that grows coffee, and the one state that puts flowers on your neck when you get off a plane (do they actually still do this? We’d be really pissed off if we flew all the way down there to find out that airlines stopped putting leis around your neck when you got off the plane. Some of our staff has literally devoted years of their lives coming up with groan-worthy variations of “I just got leid y’all!”). They have a native language that is afraid of consonants for some reason, and they’ve had two TV shows about surfing cops (full disclosure: none of us has seen either the original or the remake of Hawaii Five-O, we just hum the theme song when we walk past cops).
But really, Hawaii shows America’s all-encompassing reach. Because we saw a large cluster of islands in the middle of the pacific ocean, with its own rich history and set of traditions, and basically said, “Dibs. That there. That’s ours. No, shut up, it’s ours now. Get us some pineapple.”
So yeah, Hawaii. Dibs.
And there you have it. It’s been 16,000 words of occasional madness, and only a handful of our interns have succumbed to blood alcohol poisoning in the time it took to write this entire series. That might be a new record. So remember, no matter what state you live in, the most important place you live is America. But that doesn’t mean you can’t sit back and appreciate your state for it’s more localized charms. That‘s one of our nation’s greatest qualities, after all.