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An exchange from last night in Tampa, where, after an eternity of keeping Mitt Romney at arm’s length, the G.O.P finally nominated him as its standard-bearer against Barack Obama. As always, there was a feather-preening roll call, during which each state introduced itself and cast its votes.
Jack: Kevin, don’t you wish sometimes that when the states introduced themselves, they’d dispense with the Chamber of Commerce pablum?
Florida, “the Lightning Capital of the World,” where more people are injured by God’s wrath than all the other states combined! The state that specifically outlaws sex with porcupines, and whose governor is the World Weekly News’s Bat Boy, casts all its votes for the next President of the United States, Mitt Romney!
Kevin: Nevada, the bankruptcy state, where the mustang is not only a wild horse but a job-creating brothel, setting of more pawnshop reality-shows than any other state in the nation, the proud adopted home of Bugsy Siegel and Virginia Hill, throws all in for Mitt Romney!
Jack: Maine—the producer of 90 percent of America’s toothpicks and the home of Joshua Chamberlain, the last Civil War soldier to die of his wounds (in 1914, at the age of eighty-six), whose residents are still required by law to carry shotguns to church in the event of Indian attacks, and the state that brags it has more French speakers than any other state, lance fièrement toutes ses voix pour Mitt Romney.
Kevin: Mississippi, the birthplace of Elvis, the Confederate holdout that abolished slavery in 1995 (that’s right, 1995, look it up!). Mississippi, the home of more churches per capita than any other state, and the inventor of the soft toilet seat (like we said, look it up), proudly casts all of its votes for Jefferson Davis IV.
More from Kevin Baker:
Appreciation — June 26, 2014, 8:00 am
From Johnny Cash to “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”
Flor Arely Sánchez had been in bed with a fever and pains throughout her body for three days when a July thunderstorm broke over the mountainside. She got nervous when bolts of light flashed in the sky. Lightning strikes the San Julián region of western El Salvador several times a year, and her neighbors fear storms more than they fear the march of diseases — first dengue, then chikungunya, now Zika. Flor worried about a lot of things, since she was pregnant.
Late in the afternoon, when the pains had somewhat eased, Flor thought she might go to a dammed-up bit of the river near her house to bathe. She is thirty-five and has lived in the same place all her life, where wrinkled hills are planted with corn, beans, and fruit trees. She took a towel and soap and walked out into the rain. Halfway to the river, the pains returned and overcame her. The next thing Flor remembers, she was in a room she didn’t recognize, unable to move. As she soon discovered, she was in a hospital, her ankle cuffed to the bed, and she was being investigated for abortion.
Average amount of time a child spends in Santa Claus’s lap at Macy’s (in seconds):
Beer does not cause beer bellies.
Following the arrest of at least 10 clowns in Kentucky and Alabama, Tennesseans were warned that clowns could be “predators” and Pennsylvanians were advised not to interact with what one police chief described as “knuckleheads with clown-like clothes on.”
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”