>Look At Maps Much?

>I have an article out in the Independent this week about The Cold Hard Cash Show band. These guys are actually playing Letterman next week; that’s pretty cool. Good for them.

Last night after visiting the Gold’s Gym again (I got there earlier, which must be when they let more of the “normal” people in, because the real studs didn’t start rolling in until about the time I was leaving; I’m sure I set the weight room on fire as I was pressing little 45# dumbbells in each hand over my head, my shirt slowly riding higher and higher up my belly with each effort), I ventured out to browse around the local Border’s bookstore. I was sitting on a bench in the magazine section, reading an interview in The Progressive with Michael Pollan. As I was sitting there, a pretty young college-age-or-so woman asked if she could sit next to me, so I said sure. We exchanged a couple pleasantries and then I got up and went looking around elsewhere.

Ten minutes or so later I encountered her again on the other side of the store, and she literally said, “Do you come here often?” I said no, that it was actually my first time there because I don’t live around here.

Now, lest you think this story debauches into a tale of “hot college chick slumming with brokedown older man” you can set your fears aside. She was just being friendly, and it would not have been chivalrous for me not to reciprocate. So we engaged in a short conversation; she said she has only been up here a short time, and that she is from Atlanta, and that she didn’t know if she would be able to handle the winter (she was already bundled up as if there was a foot of snow on the ground). I told her I was from Montana. After some, “Oh, wow, what are you doing up here?” etc., she paused, then said, “Y’know, where is Montana?” I must have given her a look, because she laughed and said, “I mean, I know it is in America and stuff, but I don’t know where it is, like, on the map.”

That kind of blew my mind. I have heard stories about people not finding, say, Indonesia on a map, but not even knowing what region a state in the USA is, was pretty wild. It knocked me off balance. Crazy.

5 thoughts on “>Look At Maps Much?”

  1. >I have to say, here in Erie, very few people know where Montana is. They all say, you ready for the winter? and I say, I’m from Montana. I actually moved here for the warm climate — which would be funny if you actually knew anything about Montana, but most of the time I get a stupid look, which segues into a conversation about where Montana is.Okay, fine. So these people don’t know where Montana is. Which I can understand a little because it doesn’t get in the news much. But then, while canvassing, I ran into someone who had no idea where Massachusetts is! Yeah, that state just on the other side of New York. Yeah, just an 8-hour drive away. Yeah, Massachusetts!And once, while driving through Louisiana, I ran into a waitress who not only had no idea where California was…she had never heard of it! I mean…California! Didn’t she ever watch CHiPs???

  2. >I encountered a young man (18-ish) in the Portland train station who didn’t know San Francisco was in California. And he was waiting in line for the train headed to California!He seemed to think SF was its own state … somewhere ….

  3. >San Francisco kind of IS it’s own state…But yeah, this is really interesting. I was big on geography as a kid and was always looking at the map of the US. I gotta say, the sheer SIZE of Montana kind of makes it a ‘can’t miss.’ The smaller states in the NE are a bit easier to mix up. But yeah, this country needs to beef up its geography requirements in school.

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