'Matter of Laugh or Death,' the award-winning humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
NUTMEG STATE PRIDE
I attended a business conference a while back, and met people from all over the United States. I noticed that some of them were very proud of their home states, even to the point of identifying themselves with state-related nicknames.
When I met two guys at a cocktail reception, one stepped forward and said, “I’m from Texas. You can call me ‘Tex.’ This here fella is from California. You can call him ‘Cal.’”
I replied, “Well, I’m from Connecticut. So you can call me, uh…‘Connie.’”
“OK then!” Tex exclaimed, “Connie it is. Nice to meet ya, pardner!” He then proceeded to give me a warm Texas greeting in the form of a joyful slap on my back, which, luckily for me, only fractured two ribs.
Tex and Cal and I were soon joined by Minnie (Minnesota), Mitch (Michigan), and Mr. Obnoxious (New York). (We agreed that sometimes a person’s personality is more important than the name of his state.)
Each member of the group extolled the virtues of his respective state. Tex talked about the wide open spaces and sprawling cattle ranches, “as far as the eye kin see.”
Cal described the scenic Pacific beaches in his home state, “and the, like, awesome weather, dude.”
Minnie told us about the thousands of pristine lakes and all the exciting winter activities in Minnesota, including his favorite competitive sport, “avoiding frostbite.”
Mitch discussed boating on the Great Lakes, the secluded campgrounds, and the fact that in recent years “random gunfire has dropped off a bit in metro Detroit.”
Mr. Obnoxious said, “In New Yawk, we got Broadway and the Statue of Liberty and— Hey, wha’ choo lookin’ at, pal? You gotta problem? How’d ya like yer face rearranged?!”
“Whoa now, hold on there, Mr. O,” Tex said. “He’s just the waiter, and he wants to know if you need another drink.”
Tex stepped between Mr. O and the frightened waiter, and to break the tension, turned to me and asked, “So Connie, where the heck is Connecticut, anyway?”
Before I could answer, Cal said, “Isn’t it, like, in Canada, or something?”
“Yeah, sort of,” I said. “We’re in New England. Right between New York and Boston.”
“Oh yeah,” Tex said. “That’s one of them itty bitty states about the size of a small county in Texas, right?”
“Umm, yeah, I guess,” I replied.
“So, what’s Connecticut famous for?” Minnie asked.
And that’s when it hit me. We’re not exactly famous for anything. I stammered for a few moments. “Well, uh, we have high taxes, and, uh, the cost of living is outrageous, and, uh, the highways are overcrowded, and, uh…”
“Oh wait!” Mitch exclaimed. “I read about Connecticut in the newspaper the other day. You guys are famous for having a bunch of politicians in prison, right?”
“Ah yes, thank you, Mitch,” I said, grateful for his assistance. “I almost forgot. We lead the nation in per capita politicians behind bars. We’ve got a number of mayors in the slammer, and some state representatives, and the way things are going right now, our Governor soon will be wearing stripes—and I don’t mean pinstriped business suits!” I added, which caused everyone to laugh.
“And of course,” I continued, more relaxed now, “if they scrutinize all of our politicians the way they’re going after the Governor, there won’t be anybody left at the state Capitol to vote for the new prisons we’re gonna need to hold them all!”
With Mitch’s help, I was able to save face and contribute to the discussion. But afterward I started thinking, My home state must be famous for something other than crooked politicians, right?
I need your help, folks. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell if you can think of anything Connecticut is famous for, and why you like living here (assuming you do). If you can come up with something good, I’ll write about in a future column—plus brag about it at my next business conference.
|Home||Current Faith||Current Funnies||Faith Archive||Funnies Archive||Contact Bill|