New Jersey: You Got A Fuckin' Problem With That?
New Jersey was the third state to ratify the Constitution, doing so on December 18, 1778, and, somewhat regrettably for all the other states, remaining a member of the Union ever since. Couldn't even get rid of them during the Civil War.
New Jersey, for absolutely no legitimate reason, is nicknamed "The Garden State". It could be due to the abundance of farm production it enjoyed during the Colonial and Revolutionary eras, or it could be because any region full of that much shit must have enough fertilzer to grow a pretty damn good garden. They do remain a surprising fifth in the country in producing crops like blueberries, which should give anyone second thoughts about eating blueberries. I myself have never seen a garden in New Jersey, (although I've seen a tree grow in Brooklyn and it didn't seem like that big of a deal), but then, it is hard to see anything while driving as fast as possible while holding your breath and squinting your eyes to reduce the amount of toxic clouds entering your eyeballs.
New Jersey is famous for many things, chiefly as the home state of Tony Soprano, a man whose death or non-death caused a huge uproar, considering he was pretend. New Jersey is also famous for stealing all of New York's football teams. And for urban rioting in 1967. And for Thomas Edison, who invented many things at Menlo Park in New Jersey, including the light bulb and the phone. We all know the content of the first phone call "Mr. Watson, come here. I want to go to the South Shore"
Which is one of the more well-known aspects of New Jersey life; leaving the northern urban areas during the summer months to flock to the beaches. It's a migration so famous it's somewhat surprising that it was left to MTV, (or was it VH-1? Ah, who gives a shit?) to chronicle it a few years back, rather than the National Geographic Channel. Apparently every year 20-somethings flock to the shore, intent on enjoying life crammed into tiny cottages, drinking in smelly bars, and copulating with each other in public. It's a lot like watching the Canada geese migrate through the fields behind my house every spring and fall, except the geese are quieter and don't shit in public as much. Also, it's legal to shoot the geese if they get out of hand. Much to the chagrin of everyone else in New Jersey, it remains illegal to shoot 20-somethings on summer break from Newark.
Geographically, New Jersey is maybe most famous for the Pine Barrens, a 1.1 million acre national reserve in the south filled with forests, bogs, and swamps, and more ex-members of the mob than you can shake a stick at. The first dinosaur fossil was found near the Pine Barrens. Located near the town of Haddonfield, it was called a Hadrosaur. Nothing is certain, but scientists believe it may have killed itself upon realizing it was in New Jersey.
New Jersey's state bird is the American Gold Finch. Apparently it has a lovely call when it's not holding its breath.
The state flower is the violet. I got nothing on that. It's a violet. What am I gonna do with that?
The highest point in New Jersey is either High Point, located in the Kittatinny Mountains of Northwest Jersey, at a stunning 18,003 feet above sea lev...oh, wait, never mind. "at a mediocre 1,803" feet above sea level, OR, the highest point is right outside one of Bruce Springsteen's concerts whenever he's in town.
There are 8,638,396 people in New Jersey, making it the most populous state we've visited so far. In what is a rare compliment, New Jersey is a national leader in fighting against urban sprawl, reducing those godawful strip malls and saving farmland and forested areas. I'm a total tree hugger. I also hate Wal-Mart. Eat me. More states should be like New Jersy in this regard. And probably only in this regard.
IF YOU'RE IN NEW JERSEY YOU SHOULD: Hold your breath. Other than that, I really don't know. The only time I've spent in New Jersey that didn't involve driving hell-bent-for-leather to get somewhere else was a week in January some years back in a warehouse doing a document review. We sat in an unheated open area reading through thousands of pages of chemical company documents while, judging from the graffiti in the men's room, a race war was simmering among the regular workers. I can tell you that there was great Creole restaurant across the street from our hotel where I'd get loaded every night and try to forget where I was, but I don't know the name of it. So other than that, I don't know what to tell you.
MISS NEW JERSEY LOOKS LIKE THIS:
Just kidding, although you'd be hard-pressed to disprove that. She actually looks like this:
and sometimes, unfortunately, she gets her drunk on and looks like this:
Good for her I say.
LIMPY'S CONNECTION TO THE STATE: An aunt of mine used to live there. I've driven the length of the state a few times while heading to other destinations. I have nothing bad to say about their highway rest areas. That's about it.
HAS LIMPY EVER GOTTEN LAID IN THIS STATE: No.
Next up: New York, New York, a state so nice they named it twice. What do you mean that's for the city?