Letters to Holly

Wednesday, September 16

Here's Why She's Wrong

One of our longest lived arguments concerns the direction of Texas. She says southwest. I say south. She considers culture, and I only consider geography. If you put a compass on a map of the U.S., dead South is Texas. It's smack in the middle of the bottom of the country. It's the epitome of south. Is it The South as in Civil War? No. But neither is it southwest, as it has two large states and half another to its left, very much west of it. This has gone on for years.

It happened again last night watching Jeopardy. A clue identified Detroit as a mid-west city. I said this was a bad clue as Detroit is better stated a northern city. She wouldn't have it. It's a plains state, she argued. It's over Ohio, she argued. It's squarely a mid-west state. I countered that more than half the country is to its west, and it's east of the Mississippi. More important, it's over 80% of the contiguous states. To go to Detroit, everyone has to go northward. It's north as north can be. It's over all of North Carolina and half of North Dakota. (Thank God she didn't remember it's to the left of West Virginia). She pulled out a map. Much pointing to states ensued ("St. Louis is the gateway to the west." "Do you think Kansas is a western state?"). She agreed to disagree, and I agreed that she's wrong. And then we ate ice cream in the ancient Viking peace-accord tradition.

Tonight we see Springsteen live, and, judging by the seating chart, we'll be lucky to see his face three times. We're sitting in the back corner, probably staring at the tushes of the horn section. But, hey, it's Springsteen. And we can imagine everyone else is shouting for us. Your Sister is vibrating with glee.

Picture of the Day
How to read an Aztec calendar.

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