An employee of a small town "liberry" chronicles his quest to remain sane while dealing with patrons who could star in a short-lived David Lynch television series.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Little Known Facts about Missouri

We're back from our Thanksgiving roadtrip, a little heavier than when we began it. For the most part, things went well--turkey was eaten, naps were taken, small children entertained, pink eye was defeated, arguments argued (though only small ones), small angry dogs were infuriated and I was only sick for a day of it, having picked up a cold on Monday that by Thursday became a raging nose-clogger. Zicam is wonderful stuff, though, so the ill effects lasted only a short time. (By the way, I recommend taking Zicam but only in melt-on-your-tongue-pill form. The nasal gel is just evil evil stuff that causes your synuses to burn horribly and your voice apt to whine.) It was great visiting with family, some of whom I haven't seen for a couple of years now.

During our trip, we observed a few things that we'd not noticed before about Missouri.

For instance, did you know that Missouri not only had enough money in its highway repair coffers to fix all the massive potholes along the section of I-55 that I complained about two years ago, but they also had enough left to plant a nice shiny mile marker at every 1/10 of a mile? That's right, whereas most interstate highways have mile markers placed at a rate of, y'know, one per mile, Missouri I-55 has ten of them per mile. My best guess is that this was to help the towtrucks locate all those drivers who'd lost their front axles after plowing into a pothole at 80 mph, a couple years back, but I don't really know the real reason. It still seems excessive, not to mention taxpayer-money-sapping.

Also, did you know that it's apparently illegal for people in Missouri to be nonsmokers? Yep, pretty much every person in the state smokes a couple packs a day on either a first or secondhand basis. It's worse than North Carolina. Now, granted, I'm a nonsmoker, though not really an obnoxious militant one, yet. And I'm also probably spoiled because I live in a community where smoking inside of buildings within the city limits has been banned in nearly all cases except for private residences; so I can go for weeks at a time without smelling cigarette smoke. Even so, I never really thought about how nice it is to live in that sort of atmophere until heading to Missouri, where non-smokers in restaurants are clearly in the minority. We went out to breakfast with my parents every day we were there and without fail the smoker to nonsmoker ratio was wildly skewed toward the smokers. We even began taking bets on the number of people smoking we'd find in any given establishment and we always underestimated. By the time we left the state, we and our clothes smelled pretty much like the impacted anal glands of a cigarette butt and we were quite unhappy about it.

Also, did you know that in Missouri, they don't stuff the turkey with dressing at Thanksgiving, but instead use a mixture of raw cotton and crystal meth? Okay, well, our family doesn't, but I'm pretty sure there's some of that going on around there. Probably some cigarettes in there too.

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