“Imagine a bar filled with the 50 states, each represented by a different person. Who would they be, what would they look like and what would they be doing?”
This was a prompt in my fall semester, freshman year creative writing class. I always thought it was a funny idea. I’ve lived all over the country and experienced pretty much every type of person this nation has to offer, so I have a solid idea of what kind of people come from each state.
Someone reminded me of this prompt last night after seeing it on Reddit, so I thought I’d dust off an old draft of mine and give it a go.
Texas is the loud, obnoxious 6’4, 240-pound guy shooting the shit with Louisiana, Montana, Alaska, and Ohio — drinking beer or hard liquor. This group spends a good ten minutes laughing at California’s “outfit” when it walks in.
Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming and Iowa are the lanky, pasty-looking guys in button-downs tucked into Levi’s, standing next to each other quietly, politely acknowledging those around them while internally counting the seconds until they are able to leave.
Washington, Vermont, New Hampshire and Colorado are hot-boxing a Nissan Altima in the parking lot, ultimately getting hungry and going to Jet’s Pizza before ever even making it inside the bar.
Michigan is feeding the jukebox quarters and playing Kid Rock and Bob Seger’s Greatest Hits while asking everyone if they’re hiring.
Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina are the four guys in striped pastel button downs, khaki shorts and boat shoes, taking Fireball shots at the bar before breaking out in a “S-E-C!” chant. Missouri starts chanting too, hoping to get an invite to sit with them at the bar, but is ignored, so it shamelessly barks at no one, “Can we get the fucking Cardinals game on in here, please?”
Hawaii is turned away at the door for not wearing a shirt or shoes. It happily leaves, not wanting to waste its night at a bar anyway.
New York and its little minions, New Jersey and Connecticut, join Massachusetts and its little minions, Rhode Island and Maine, in a corner booth to talk shit about every other state.
Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware sit together in silence, seething at the fact that NY invited NJ to its table and not them.
Florida, who nobody really wanted to see, shows up in a stained wife-beater. After a few minutes of awkward conversation about what its been up to lately, FL heads to the bathroom. It starts peaking through the cracks of each stall offering to “suck a dick for free” before eventually being chased out of the bar and back to whatever K-Mart parking lot it crawled over from.
Nobody gives West Virginia and Tennessee the time of day until they start offering up homemade moonshine. Suddenly, they are the life of the party.
Nevada shows up in Ed Hardy gear with an obvious fake tan and gold jewelry. It doesn’t even stay three minutes before it gets back into its limousine and leaves.
Virginia stands alone at the bar, telling no one in particular how successful his parents are.
New Mexico and Arizona bully Utah into drinking a shit-ton of tequila, forcing the quiet, respectful state to spend the last 40 minutes before close hovering over a toilet.
Kentucky stands nervously, deciding whether to join the Midwest clique or the Deep South clique, knowing wholeheartedly it would not be fully accepted by either. It chooses to stand next to North Carolina and Arkansas, quietly nodding and laughing on the periphery of the Deep South clique.
California chills in its funky haircut, skinny-jeans, ironic tee and glasses without lenses on the patio drinking a $14 glass of Pinot Noir and smoking an e-cig with Oregon. Idaho wants to join them but they won’t shut up about politics so it circles back and looks for another group.
Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana don’t get anything at the bar, choosing instead to sneak a 24-case of Miller Light onto the back patio to save some money.
Neither North Dakota or South Dakota bothers showing up. The only disappointed state is Oklahoma, who hasn’t really found its niche yet. No one else notices.
Even though it wasn’t invited, Puerto Rico shows up anyway. Everybody loves PR, but nobody can understand it..
Image via YouTube