How The States Got Their Shapes / Why Does Anyone Live There? Part IV

There’s a series on The History Channel called “How The States Got Their Shapes,” which tells you… you get it. It talks about imperialism, border wars, territorial fights, political maneuvers, religion, bigotry, slavery, booms in industry and commerce, weather, etc, shaped the borders of, and inside, our country.

One thing they discussed the other day was the economic boom going on now in North Dakota. Which has like three percent unemployment, and plentiful jobs in tech, green initiatives, and dozens of other fields. The cost of living is ridiculously cheap. My employer just hired a guy from North Dakota, he got his law degree, and paid, for SEVEN YEARS (four years of undergrad and three years of law school) about what tuition costs for my friend’s final year of undergrad at Tulane.

Of course, the show makes it sound like everyone should move there immediately with their packaged footage of industry booming, people talking positive at their workplaces, and talking about how great North Dakota is. Which made my broke behind consider looking for a job there.

Then they go to the standup part of the show, where the host interviews people on the street (usually to ask them state trivia questions and have them draw states on a clear marker board). And of course, it’s minus-three degrees outside. They said they found ONE person to interview on the street cause everyone else was inside or not going to stand outside to talk. That leads to the weather discussion, and how it’s so freaking cold there, you need survival gear in your car at all times.

Which my new co-worked completely backed up. I realized, “I pay more for things so I can live in nice weather locations, like smoking a cigar on my porch in New Orleans in December. Since leaving Ohio, it’s snowed in the town of my residence exactly ONCE, and that was wiped away by my windshield wipers. Screw cold!”

I’ll even accept an influx of crime to avoid that cold. While discussing the status of our fair city as “Most Miserable” and having a high crime rate.

Would you actually want to live in any of the “Safest Cities”? There’s no crime because the 48 people – who are too stupid to have moved somewhere better – all know each other.

My new friend from North Dakota summed it up: “You can’t mug someone at gunpoint in North Dakota half the year. If there actually was someone outside to rob, you’d have to go inside because your snot would freeze before they could pull out their wallet from underneath all the layers of clothing. Actually, they’d know your fingers would be too cold to pull the trigger and just punch you in the nose. Getting punched in the face with frozen sinuses would definitely incapacitate you, possibly kill you.”

Yeah, that’s less miserable than my city: where I did a double-take on the first overcast day after 150 straight days of sunshine and temperatures between 72 and 92. I opened a window in April and closed it on October 23rd. Those city rankings need to fix their methodology.

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