For anyone not growing up in the Tri-State area, ‘two states at once!’ is what’s shouted crossing through the Holland Tunnel as you reached the tiled Underwater State Boundary Delineator:
(if the tiling looks different it may be because a truck blew up in the tunnel in 1949. Or maybe just redecoration).
Which brings me somewhat vaguely to a point: While familiar enough with New Jersey, I remain woefully ignorant of most of these United States. Case in point, this week’s pattern-states Louisiana and Oklahoma (two this week as nothing was posted last week). Since I have little to no firsthand knowledge of either state, I shall follow the rules of a game a friend introduced me to some time ago, whereby a room full of inebriated nerds is challenged to speak with authority on any given topic for 5 minutes. The topic is of random choosing by an audience member, no padding by means of digression or excess floridity is allowed, and the speech must be convincingly informative (actually informative is not even the point). For this exercise I won’t even allow myself to search the sweet nest of information that is the internet. So!
Let’s see, Louisiana. The Magnolia State! Home of the Crescent City, New Orleans, which while not completely rebounded is doing better and remains a lovely place to visit. “A Confederacy of Dunces” took place there. Indeed, right outside a hotel in the French Quarter a large bronze statue of its main character, Cornelius stands with scarf and parrot. Gambit hails from this state, as can be heard from his distinct Creole accent. Alligators appear to be a common threat and entree. Uh, that’s about all I got.
Oklahoma. Damn. There is a song about it that is part of a play of the same name, I believe. The people of this state are given the derisive, though occasionally intended endearing, nickname of ‘Okies’. On ‘Full House’ Uncle Jesse’s newscaster girlfriend was from Oklahoma. They probably have a great deal of some sort of grain, like wheat, growing in vast, rolling fields. Native Americans, I’m not sure which, occupied the land at some point in their past. Perhaps they are in the tornado belt (Geography: also not a strong suit). Uhh….I got nothing else. Enjoy!