'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)
THE READERS REPLY: NUTMEG PRIDE IS ALIVE AND WELL
A few weeks ago I wrote about attending a business conference where I met people from many strange and foreign lands, such as Texas and California. When someone at this conference asked me what Connecticut is famous for, I drew a blank and couldn’t think of anything. In my column I asked readers to email me their thoughts about what makes Connecticut great.
The response was overwhelming. Many readers sent in lists of famous Connecticut achievements (as long as you expand the definition of “famous” to occasionally mean “totally obscure to everyone except the person who did a school report about it in the seventh grade”). Other readers sent in lists of things about Connecticut that can only be described as infamous.
And some email messages were very similar in theme to this note, from firstname.lastname@example.org: “Hey pal, if you don’t like it here, then leave! We don’t need the likes of you bad-mouthing our state. In Connecticut, we got etiquette! We’re not rude, like you. So kiss my nutmeggy butt!”
The author of this note did not sign it, but I recognized the email address, so I sent a reply: “Dear Mom, lighten up. I was only trying to be funny. I’ll be over for dinner on Sunday. Love, Billy.”
Readers pointed out there are many things for which Connecticut is indeed famous: first and foremost, the fabulous UConn basketball teams; Yale University; the birthplace and headquarters of ESPN (OK, I suppose some people, especially wives, are not impressed by this fact); and the Fundamental Orders, the document composed by Thomas Hooker in 1639—often called the first written constitution—which later became the model for the U.S. Constitution. (This explains why our license plates are labeled “Constitution State,” or as my daughter said when she was first learning how to read, “Why do the license plates say ‘Constipation State’?”)
There are also some things, readers noted, for which Connecticut is somewhat infamous: Michael Skakel; Martha Stewart (she ran her business empire from here for a time, but readers were quick to point out she’s really not one of us!); the Civic Center roof collapsed in Hartford; bridges on I-95 occasionally collapse (Greenwich) or melt (Bridgeport); the world’s largest casino; the birthplace of ESPN (must’ve been sent in by a wife); and Bill and Hillary Clinton first met in this state while at Yale.
Many readers pointed out that Connecticut is a wonderful place to live. We have four distinct seasons, with spring and fall being absolutely gorgeous, and winter and summer fairly moderate (or as one email message said, “If you want brutal, try winter in Wisconsin or summer in Savannah”).
Connecticut has a very high standard of living and a very educated population. We are a short drive away from two of the world’s most vibrant cities, Worcester and Poughkeepsie. No wait, I mean Boston and New York City. One reader explained we are “close enough to New York to be convenient without being close enough to be obnoxious.” Good point.
Another reader asked why I felt the need to brag about my state, like those people I met from California and Texas. “Bragging is a sign of insecurity. I wonder what those guys are ashamed of? We’re confident enough about our state that we don’t need to brag.”
Of all the features about Connecticut listed in the email notes, one was mentioned by far more than any other. This one feature is the main reason people love this state; the main reason people are proud of this state; and the main reason they have no intentions of ever leaving this state. This one feature is…Bob’s Discount Furniture commercials.
Oops, my mistake. Bob was mentioned quite often, but not exactly as a major bragging point (a desire to shoot the TV was a recurring theme).
The real best feature of our state, above all others, is simple and to the point: Connecticut is home. And that’s good enough for me.
|Home||Current Faith||Current Funnies||Faith Archive||Funnies Archive||Contact Bill|