‘If the states were bar patrons’—a hit and a miss


This photo was snapped just after the first handful of states arrived at the bar.

You’ve probably all seen the latest list by now—”The 50 States of America if They Were Actually People in a Bar.” I know it’s been racing around the Internet.

Based on my not particularly astute knowledge of this country, is seems fairly accurate. Two of my favorites were right next to each on the list:

“Texas is singing karaoke about how great Texas is.”

“Utah is the designated driver, sipping on water and making sure nobody gets too crazy.”

Montana gets a fairly lengthy entry, and a surprisingly insightful one:

“Montana has to be two different people. Eastern Montana is a cowboy drinking Budweiser and gets into a fight with Wyoming over sheep vs. cattle, but this happens every week and they make up afterwards. Western Montana, on the other hand, is a hipster/hippie throwback with dreadlocks who drinks craft beer or PBR and absolutely reeks of marijuana.”

You could argue about particulars—I would have made water the subject of the argument between Montana and Wyoming—but at least it touches on one of the most prominent features of this large state: the pronounced and enduring divide between the east and west.

But the really remarkable thing, in my opinion, is that the entry on Montana did not have a whisper of a reference to the Freemen, the Militia of Montana or the Unabomber. I’m not sure when those associations with Montana finally faded out, but if this list had been compiled 10 years ago, or even just five years ago, I’d bet we would have read something about our anti-government, anti-civilization crazies.

Strangely enough, that unwelcome distinction went to Wyoming:

“Wyoming would be on the roof with a rifle, muttering conspiracy theories about black helicopters.”

Where did that come from? If anything, Wyoming is the last bastion of old-school Republicans, those quasi-Libertarian free-marketeers who are not really into minding other people’s business. I can’t even think of the last time any black-helicopter paranoiacs made the news in Wyoming.

So, what would have been better? How about this:

“Wyoming is sitting at the bar, covered in coal dust, drinking a Bud Light and a shot of whiskey, wishing there was a little more elbow room in the joint. His estranged girlfriend, a Ms. Jackson, is looking at Wyoming and rolling her eyes while she sips on an appletini.”

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