For those of you who think it necessary to find Delaware on the map, it hangs low between the front forelegs of Pennsylvania like some awkward genitalia. To the west it encroaches upon the pleasant pastures of Maryland; to the east it is washed (and a much needed bathing it is) by the waters of the Delaware Bay. On this bay are some alleged “beaches” where the unwary may be seduced into swimming, not knowing that the waters off these sands are chiefly those of the Delaware River, whose quiet yet sinister flow has coursed over God only knows how many old tires and decomposing gangster corpses before it washes against the bather’s toes.
Unlike Rhode Island, which is equally small and scurrilous, but mercifully off the main roads, Delaware cannot be avoided. It maintains its iron grip on the Northeast corridor like a knotted drawstring on the nation’s sweatpants, collecting three bucks from every innocent traveler both coming and going on the Delaware Turnpike, which, despite its grandiose title, encompasses a mere twenty-one miles, border to border. Because of the money Delaware rakes in from this strategically located stretch of rotting asphalt, it does not need to charge its own citizens sales tax. Is this not an example of an entire state operating on the same moral plane as a squeegee man?
The chief industry of its major city, Wilmington, is collecting late charges on credit card debts. The state is owned nearly entirely by the menacing Dupont family, whose members include napalm manufacturers and convicted killers.
Wilmington has a baseball team called the Blue Rocks. The team could have been called the Pop Rocks, the Igneous Rocks, the Cleveland Rocks (admittedly, that might be a little confusing) the Rock Me Amadeus Rocks or the Metamorphic Shales, but Delaware chose the simple, completely incomprehensible Blue Rocks, as part of the state’s campaign to bewilder the rest of the nation. Your MasterCard statement is also part of this effort. Only a Delawarean would think of charging 15.23456% interest.
The tallest object in the state, natural or man-made, is the bridge out of it.
Delaware’s capital city, Dover, is named after Dover, England, a place with sea-cliffs so beautiful that one expects to see handsome middle aged couples sitting in matching bathtubs discussing erectile dysfunction on them. Needless to say, no such scenery surrounds Dover, Delaware, a flat, cheerless place bisected by unlucky US Route 13.
Delaware changes its state motto every few months. After the birth of the nation, the other states planned to leave Delaware in the custody of the British, kind of like a palm-buzzer on the handshake of the peace treaty. Delaware, however, snuck under the tent-flap of the US by ratifying the Constitution faster than Charlie Sheen can consume a crack nugget, and called itself “The First State.” Delaware was forced to change that when the other states, who had been tricked into thinking the intended motto was “The Worst State,” objected, so Delaware went with “Delaware-Small Wonder.” Even the Delawareans could not abide this naked distortion of the facts, so it was changed to the blatantly mercenary “Delaware-Home of Tax-Free Shopping.” As of this writing, the Delaware State Legislature, a body nearly as august as the Gambino crime family, was considering yet another change, to the painfully truthful “Delaware-It Only Costs Three Bucks to Leave.”
This writer offers the following solutions to the nagging Delaware problem:
First, we need to get another state. Keeping the state total at a symmetrical 50 is important, so dropping Delaware means picking up another candidate for the Union. Finally forcing Puerto Rico to make up its mind would be one solution, or splitting up one of the oversized states out West. Half of Kansas could be called Dorothyland, or half of California Disneyland, and no one would mind. Or make three states out of Texas and get rid of Rhode Island, too.
Then Delaware could simply be sold to some gullible foreign country, or attached to another state with a better reputation, like Hawaii. No one would care about having to pay three bucks to drive through Hawaii to get to Baltimore, and luaus and rainbows would replace traditional Delaware activities like betting at small, dilapidated racetracks and dying of boredom.
Rise up and march! Let us lead the unfortunates who populate Delaware’s squalid marshlands onto the firmer grounds of freedom, of independence from the iron grip of Dover and the Duponts, of pride in living in an altered state, hopefully a state at least large enough to contain a marathon, and less monotonous than a blindfolded bus ride. Awake, Delawareans! You have nothing to lose but your tollbooth.