Apr 12, 2021

Altered States? On Adding Some New Union Members

Some immodest proposals for non-Latin mottoes

By Ed Goldman
A growing group of activists, mainly Democrats, think Washington, D.C., should be our 51st state. I’m all for it. And while we’re at it, let’s make Puerto Rico #52, Guam #53 and talk to Israel to see if it would be interested in being #54. Let’s also create the single state of Dakota, for crying out loud. North Dakota and South Dakota currently have four U.S. senators to represent about 300 people, all of whom sneak out a side door, put on multiple disguises, then return when census workers stop by their homes.
Edgy Cartoon

California Schemin’

I realize I’m asking for more altered states than even LSD can promise, but I see zero downside to any of what I just proposed, especially among my readers in D.C., Puerto Rico and Guam. 

Now, I’m sure the Israelis won’t be crazy about the idea but can they think of a better way to protect their people than to send a message into the universe that “If you mess with us, you mess with the entire military might of the United States of America? What are you, Meshuggeneh?” (For our monolingual readers: “Meshuggeneh” means the same thing in Yiddish as “loco en la cabeza” means in Spanish. I hope that clears up everything— including that pesky ankle rash you developed from eating sashimi you bought at a garage sale.)

Now, what would be the downside of ushering more states into the union, anyway? 

Oh, I suppose it could inject new adrenaline into gerrymandering, since there’d be so many more districts for lobbyists to redraw the boundaries of in the hope of creating “safe” seats for a particular political party for generations to come.

Then there’d be the question of which states that allow certain things—such as abortion-on-demand, marijuana vending machines in community college study halls, wearing over-the-shoulder gun-belts to hot-yoga classes, texting while drinking and driving and that the driving age should be reduced to 14 years old—and those that don’t. 

The ones that do would suddenly be called the “cool” states, in much the same way parents can achieve “cool” status by letting their teenage kids have poolside cocaine parties or by never asking their married ones when the hell they’re going to have a baby. 

If for some reason we end up with 54 states, I think we should use the disruption to also address the mottoes of many of them. 

The first thing is that Latin, like Elvis, needs to be officially recognized as being dead. In short, in the 25 states that have Latin mottoes, “Ecce” and “Erat” have left the building.

Here are a few suggested mottoes and more:

ALASKA: “The Much Smarter than Sarah Palin State”

ARIZONA: “The Sorry-About-Phoenix State”

CALIFORNIA: “The Leave-Me State, for Businesses and Taxpayers Alike” (Tagline: “We never met a reg we didn’t like!”)

DELAWARE: “We’re Not Maryland!”

FLORIDA: “Where the Navel Orange and Novel Coronavirus Thrive!” (Official gem: the valueless Rubio)

GEORGIA: The Retro State (“Ask about our voting laws!”)

HAWAII: “Where Cancel Culture Began” (State song, to the tune of “It’s Impossible”: 🎼🎹“We’re indigenous/‘least we are ‘til all you white guys start abridgin’ us—“)

IDAHO: “Where We Still Know the Difference Between Girls and Boise!”

INDIANA: “Where You Can Get Your Jones On All the Time!” (Home of the Indy 500—and if you have a camera, sure, Indie films)

MAINE: “Well, We Just Can’t Say” (alternate motto: “To Everything: Taciturn, Taciturn, Taciturn… .”)

MARYLAND: “We’re not Delaware!”

MONTANA: “Not Named for the Greatest Quarterback Who Ever Lived!”

I've Been Vaccinated Wristband

NEW YORK: “The Medically Induced Cuomo State”

NORTH AND SOUTH DAKOTA: “The Patty Duke Show State” (State song: 🎼🎹 “We look alike, we walk alike/At times we even talk alike/You can have such fun/When two states/Are smaller than one”)

OKLAHOMA: “Texas Without All Those Damn Texans” (Formerly known as The Sooner State, a marketing team has now reimagined that nickname as “The Soonest State,” for which the firm was paid $450,000. Wouldn’t you like to get Oklahoma to play Three-Card Monte with you?) 

TEXAS: “All Those Damn Texans!” (State song (to the tune of “Sea Cruise”: 🎼🎹 “Won’t you come and join us?/Come meet T. Cruz!”)

WASHINGTON, DC: “Biden Our Time” (State song: 🎼🎹 “The bills are alive/But the filibuster/Is likely to drive/Everything for years…”)

Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).