Monday, March 19, 2007

Maryland, my Maryland (a.k.a. Doin da butt!)

There’s no place like home. When I think about it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a commercial for visitors to come to Maryland. Why is that? I think this state is worthy of tourists. I mean, we are a hip, happening state! We’ve got grass and trees and lakes and a big ass bay, not every state can say that.

Let’s go through a little history, courtesy of the always accurate people at Wikipedia:

Maryland was founded in 1500 when a Japanese fisherman was blown wildly of course. He landed on what is now the site of the most popular Popeyes on the east coast. The original tribe of Indians that was here welcomed Shiro in, with open arms and empty stomachs, for they were cannibals! After a fierce war between the Indians and Shiro (who had Aquaman-like power over sea creatures) that lasted a whole five hours, (hours were longer back then and consisted of two meal breaks) an agreement was reached. The agreement was that Shiro was free to live in Scrogle (the Indian name for Maryland) and he, in turn, would stop sneaking into teepees at night inserting rockfish into the open mouths of snoring tribesmen.

(Wow, this is exciting stuff, I never knew. Let’s continue.)

During the Revolutionary War, Maryland was the only state to send troops to England to take the fight to the enemy. The entire regiment of seven men died of starvation after learning that the British boil their meat until all taste has been eradicated. There were no survivors.

During the War of 1812, a large contingent of British soldiers became lost in the Appalachian Mountains and had relations with the local mountain folk. Their hideous offspring can still be seen to this day, furtively haunting the hills.

During the Civil War, Maryland decided to cede from the North and the South, to become the East. This lasted for a day until President Abraham “No nickname” Lincoln pointed out that the capital of the United States (Washingtonland) was situated in Maryland and therefore would cause all types of problems when football teams would be created in the distant future. Lincoln was a visionary, which is why he had five terms in office and retired to sell his memoirs to aspiring Fortune 500 CEOs, (I have to say, I think Wikipedia may have gotten this one wrong. I seem to remember that Lincoln was assassinated while he was watching a play in the back of his car driving down a street in Texas, with Marilyn Monroe.)

In its 500-year history, (though some historians think that it may have actually existed even before the rise and fall of the Romans) Maryland has been a respite for artists of all types. They find this state’s natural beauty and plentiful liquor stores conducive to creating works of art. Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait, was painted during a visit to Baltimore, (the gonorrhea capital of the country). Picasso’s lesser known beige period was inspired by the color of the Chesapeake Bay.

Many songs have been written while in Maryland, or inspired by it, including Katmandu, by Bob Seager, Rio by Duran Duran and Mr. Roboto, by some whack-ass band my parents probably liked, (note: I’m taking this stuff verbatim from the website). The most famous song was written in 1812, by Francis Scott Key. Can we imagine a world today without the Hokey Pokey? I know I can’t.

But Maryland isn’t all booze and songs about sticking body parts into things, there’s also a more serious side, involving politics, the economy, religious freedoms and racial diversity. I will be covering none of those topics.

Points of scenic interest in Maryland include the world’s largest ball made of pubic hair fished out of dryer lint, (located in Crackerville) the only house in America to be built upside down, (located in Crackerville) and the largest population of radiation fall-out victims, (oddly enough, also located in Crackerville). The tallest point on the East Coast can be found at Mt. Landfill, on the Eastern Shore. There’s also thousands of miles of roads, so be sure to check out every one!

The local wildlife is certainly nothing to laugh at. We’ve got bears, snipes, griffins and Salvadorians, (ohhh, cheap shot.) The most famous animal in Maryland doesn’t come from land however, but rather, from the water. I speak of course, of the famous singing blue crab. Known far and wide for the pleas of mercy and screams of pain it emits while being ripped apart by hungry eaters. Delicious!

Doesn’t all this sound great? Don’t you want to come visit Maryland? No? Well, here are some more, (completely true) facts about the big MD.

State bird: The oriole (makes sense)

State boat: skipjack (never heard of it)

State cat: calico cat (since when? And why a state cat?)

State crustacean: blue crab (just shave the area and you can get rid of any infestation)

State dinosaur: Astrodon johnstoni (I have one as a pet)

State dog: Chesapeake Bay Retriever (I had one of these too, until the dinosaur ate it)

State drink: milk (no it’s not, it’s beer-flavored snow-cones)

State fish: rockfish (striped bass) (the polka-dotted bass was already taken)

State flower: Black-eyed Susan (a flower named by ye olde wife-beater I assume)

State folk dance: square dance (it’s true, we all go square dancing twice a month, by law)

State fossil: Ecphora gardnerae gardnerae (I thought it was Strom Thurmond)

State gem: Patuxent River Stone (I’ve got five in my grill)

State horse: thoroughbred horse (Good old Gluefactory! He was a great horse)

State insect: Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly (these are actually quite venomous)

State nicknames: "The Old Line State" and "The Free State." (Never heard these!)

State reptile: diamondback terrapin (It was until this weekend)

State song: "Maryland, My Maryland" (I thought it was Da Butt)

State sport: Jousting (I like to unwind from a day of jousting by square dancing!)

State tree: white oak (Because it was the strongest back in the day and could hold five lynched black people at once!)

So come to Maryland and enjoy yourself. I know I do.

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