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Right away, you know you are in trouble when the state you are looking at has a direction in the name. Worse, it also means that it has few creative minds, since it was too lazy to make up its own name but took the easy way out, being a north or a south of somebody else. Being the south of somebody else’s state is dumber than being the north, because if one is north, it goes without saying that anything south is south, so it’s kinda superfluous.

But I’m not giving much credit to North Dakota here either. They obviously came upon this solution together, since both were admitted into the union on the same day.

Okay, now where did the name Dakota come from? As is so usual in the USA, we believe in murdering native indigenous peoples, but we do like their names. Dakota is named after the Lakota Sioux and the “Dakota” Sioux, although you never hear of them, and it’s more likely that the fine folks of the region are just hard of hearing and heard Lakota as Dakota. Otherwise, it should be LADAkota or something like that.

It is a most confused state in other respects. It is considered part of the Midwest, but also the Great Plains, as opposed to the no-so-great Plains. In every respect it claims to have more in common with the West, so these folks aren’t good at directions, and get lost a lot. Given that there aren’t a lot of people who choose to live there (I wonder why?) getting lost can mean days of meandering around looking for another human being, one that more than likely will have no better clue as to where you are than you had.

Not content with being a South, it subdivides itself into  western and eastern areas, as well as the area known as the Black Hills, which is mostly there for tourists. If you should decide to visit there, (surely you would have no other reason), head for the southwest corner where all the good stuff is.

They tell you it’s a pleasant place to live, having four seasons, like this is something to be sought after. That is just code for “it’s too damn cold” most of the time. I counted at best about four good months out of the year, and that means a whole lot of cabin fever, and as I said, it ain’t like you get many neighbors.

The whole state was part originally of the landmass known as the Louisiana Purchase, the large tract of land that Jefferson got from Napoleon for a song. Napoleon never saw South Dakota, making that decision as soon as he discovered that it was as cold as Moscow in the winter, and his tootsies might frostbite on the march south.

Most if not all of the wretched place might have been left to the Lakota who for some reason really liked the place. But then, GOLD was discovered, and the natives had to go. White folks are enamoured of that stuff, and in short order wars began and lots of killing took place. The gold was discovered by Custer (yes THAT one) who was nosing around in the Black Hills which didn’t belong to him.

Less than a million people have failed to find a good home, and call this state theirs. Most people are “white” which ought to tell you something about who has common sense in this country. Most of these are Germans, and I’m not sure what that means. Native Peoples remain loyal to their sacred grounds although they live in some of the worst poverty of the entire country, and frankly there is nothing funny about that at all.

On the up side, there are no state income taxes. This is seen as a last-ditch effort to keep people from going elsewhere. New residents are given a goody bag with a state flag, a bag of peanuts, a statuette of Mount Rushmore, and two coupons for a dollar off at the Bob Evans fancy restaurant in Pierre the capital.

Usually, the state is run by Republicans. This stands to reason since dreary people are always Republican. It sends one representative to the Federal House of Representatives.

The lottery is big business there since everyone is trying desperately to hit it big and get the hell out of there. There are public libraries in all cities with populations greater than 5,000 and they have amassed a circulating inventory of now 56 books statewide.

The North American Continental pole of inaccessibility is located between Allen and Kyle, and not a single person knows what that means, but it’s extra credit on history tests across the state, and those who correctly relate it also get a free coupon worth a dollar off at Bob Evans fancy restaurant in Pierre.

Several artists come from South Dakota, but I never heard of any of them. Laura Ingalls wrote those prairie books and served as the subject of the great television hit, Little House on the Prairie where little Joe Cartwright got married and had kids. Ben never visited because he went off to be the Commander on Battlestar Galactica. Just a bit of history for ya.

Rapid City is a place to be avoided at all costs. Something very witchy is going on there. If you look, the temperatures in Rapid City are always way out of kilter given its northern location. I notice that because South Dakota appears on regional weather maps that include Iowa. It’s really creepy how it can be 40° warmer there than points five hundred miles south of them. Satan may well call Rapid City a way station on the way to H E L L. Not sure, but be wary.

Television is severely prescribed in the state. Many shows are banned because they show South Dakotans just how really really lousy is their life compared to the rest of the country. Attempts have been made to set up roadblocks on all highways leading out of the state with signs like “bridge washed out” “railroad derailment ahead” and “endless buffalo herd crossing” but savvy residents start to get a clue after about fifteen years, and wagon trains can be seen crossing the prairie into bordering states. Most states have set up inoculation, fumigation and health exams in tent cities with refresher courses in readin’, writin, and rithmatic to wannabe immigrants. All are required to wear a SDI badge (South Dakota Immigrant) and not drive for two years, or until they can pass a driver’s license test.

It goes without saying that there are no professional sports teams in the state. They still allow hunting and fishing but there is a move on to curtail such recreations to tourists, since the South Dakotans tend to shoot each other and embed fish hooks in themselves with too much regularity.

Live there? You must be kidding.

Visit? Yes for the pure enjoyment of watching people who are almost all dumber than you are, and the Black Hills are pretty.

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