By Michael Howlett
November 13, 2013
Ever wonder what is good and bad about your state? It doesn’t really matter if you’ve given this some deep thought or if the only thing you’re concerned about is whether or not you have enough Cheez Whiz for dinner, because I’m going to tell you.
For example, our beloved Commonwealth of Virginia has the overall lowest asthma rate in the U.S., which is good; however, we also have the most ammonia in our drinking water, which is bad. You see how it works? Okay, now that we know we can breathe all we want, but need to stick with beer in order to avoid an ammonia overdose, let’s move on to some other states.
Our next door neighbor West Virginia has the best paid coal miners in the country; however, that comes with a price of a different kind. You see, a large portion of those all so lucky coal miners never enjoy that financial advantage because the state also has the most coal mine deaths. Coal companies are more likely to pay their workers well when they know that it’s a crap shoot as to whether they make it out of those deep, dark holes.
We have a real head turner in Maryland, which receives more academic research funding than any state in the union. You would think with all that money, the state’s big brains could study something that would benefit the good folks of Maryland, who have the worst access to clean water of people in this land, but noooo. Instead of trying to find out why Marys … I’m pretty sure that’s what you call the people of Maryland … are drinking out of toilets, the researchers are apparently working to answer such important questions as, why do men have nipples.
As far as other nearby states, North Carolina has the most Christmas tree farms of any state in the union, but the fewest librarians per capita, while Tennessee has the most caves, but more sewer overflows than any state. All, I can say is it’s a good thing Tennessee has all those caves, or things could get mighty messy in Volunteer land.
Now, if you’re thinking about moving up north, you might want to rule Pennsylvania out. True, the state does have the most organic mushrooms in the county, which is groovy, but it also has the most dams in need of repair, so you might just get washed away during your search for enlightenment.
Looking out West, Texas has the most wind power, which makes perfect sense since it also has the most carbon dioxide emissions. The old adage that Texans are full of hot air apparently holds water. Colorado has the lowest obesity rate, but one reason for that is that a fair amount of people don’t get the chance to be obese, since they often die on the snowy slopes, as evidence by the state having the most avalanche deaths.
However, by far the most dangerous area of the United States is the Midwest. Now, I could tell you what the Midwest states are good at, but that wouldn’t be any fun. Besides, the things they are bad at carry a much larger impact.
South Dakota has the most tornadoes per capita, Nebraska has the highest rate of carbon monoxide poisoning, Kansas has the most cases of pathogens in water, Iowa has the most hog waste, Illinois has the most toxic waste accidents and Missouri is the site of the worst dioxin disaster. Now, that’s a litany of hell if I ever saw one.