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When a state needs four A’s in its name, you know you are dealing with an inferiority complex par excellence. I mean really.

Indeed, when your maps consistently place your state within a panoply of other states just so people will know where you are, that’s another sign of weak ego. Truly, could you find Alabama on a blank map? I surely couldn’t. Who would bother to learn?

I can testify that if you are on the Eastern Seaboard and have reason to head to Alabama that driving directions consist of “take I-95 south to Georgia, turn left and when you feel stupid, stop. You are there.”

What do I know about Alabama? Um, Joe Namath played college ball there?

The state flag consists of a big ol’ X. I’m advised that these are strategically placed throughout the state to assure its citizens that indeed “you are here.” Why they want to be here, is anybody’s guess of course.

Alabama was one of those Confederate states who, given the above, still figured they could govern themselves better than the US of A could. This of course raises the image of a state in utter delusion. It’s a good place for the military to have a lot of bases, and so they do.

This gulf state is nicknamed the Yellowhammer state after its bird. I have no clue what a Yellowhammer looks like, other than this:

Which is apparently what you are driven to locate after spending a whole day looking skyward for a yellow bird.

Anyway, like most every state in our union, Alabama is named after native Peoples (the one’s whom we stole the whole bleepin’ country from, remember?). The pronunciation was a bit more like Albaamo, from the Choctaw language. The interfering Spaniards first came across the name, and you know that the Spanish are notoriously bad at pronunciation. So another bastardized name emerged.

Just add another A, and drop an O and otherwise scramble. There were minor flirtations with U’s and I’s but the locals were adamant at likin’ only A’s.

Definitions range from “here we rest,” to “clean up those weeds.” And most Alabamians seem to do the former, but not the latter. If you’ve been there, you know that.

All manner of nations and other states at one time or another laid claim to various parts of what is today the unremarkable state lines of Alabama. No one is willing to admit why they ever wanted any of it today. There is a story there for sure, but I’m not interested enough to pursue it. Be my guest.

It’s first state constitution provided for universal suffrage–for white men–and when asked, most white men in the state think it would be better off if that were still the case.

Of course, cotton was the crop of choice. When you put on those cotton socks, you walk on Alabama. Remember that.

Alabamians are a rigid and stubborn people. They refused to redistrict their state preferring to have the rural areas dominate the state legislature into the 1960’s. There may have been other motives in mind other than purely love of the plow.

Most people figure that Alabama is just mad because it didn’t get much of a coastline. Florida stole most of it because it always knew it would be a tourist mecca. What did a cotton plantation need with ocean views after all?

The state boasts its own “great natural disaster” in a five-mile-round impact crater called the Wetumpka Crater. It is not thought that many died from the violent impact. But that’s not been verified yet. Records are pretty thin for 80 million years ago. Plans have been discussed of turning the entire crater into a giant skateboard track, but scientists object. (Don’t they always take all the fun out of things?) Anyway, you can’t see much of it, but there is a nice sign you can read.

Weather wise, it’s hot in the summer, and cool in the winter, with “copious” precipitation. This is probably not a good sign. Tropical storms, hurricanes and more thunderstorms than anywhere else in the US are definitely not drawing cards. Ducks are reported to even get sick of all the rain, and sneak into Georgia.

The state has a significantly high number of folks killed by lightning, which suggests that Alabamians don’t know when to come in out of the rain. Most tend to stay close to the “you are here” signs for reassurance, and of course they are made of metal. A bill has been introduced to have them made of wood, which would provide some jobs every few years when they need repainting. A pilot project noted that after three years most signs would end up with “yo r her” which is gender confusing to say the least.

It has two complete idiots for senators. Not an opinion. That’s a fact.

Alabama is in a race with Mississippi to see who can have the lowest high school graduation numbers. Some credit must be given to Mississippi, which has four i’s in its name, signalling a very egotistical population, and also one that likes a good joke.

I can’t think of anything else you need to know. All in all, I can’t think of any good reason to stop in on the state, unless you just plain want to see what it feels like to feel a bit stupid for a bit. People do smile there a lot, I’ll give ’em that. But then, they really don’t know they live in Alabama.

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