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The Essay
Show #23
Timby Heindeigh
David Gunn
Bon radio. It is so gratifying to find a vein of interest running through our listening audients, no matter that vein is of low-grade ore good for lining hazardous waste landfills. I'm talking of course about the overwhelmingly positive response we received to the first installment of "The Unadulterated History of the New World," measured by the total lack of any threats of radiophonic harm to members of this program, give or take, which brings us to chapter 2, Kansas.

In 1776, Kansas was a land of clapboard diners, a land where settlers subsisted on bark while preparing to pave the way for nuclear step families, a land where majestic seas of gypsum glimmered under frothy, eggnog skies. It was the dynamic and geographical center of the United States, excluding New Jersey. By default, it was the first state.

Kansas was discovered by Ferdinand Magellan near Tierra del Fuego in 1520. To this day, no one can truly appreciate the herculean bit of geological prestidigitation which relocated this giant hunk of wheatfield one-and-a-half continents northwest in time to be traversed by Lewis and Petula Clark in 1804. The word Kansas is Spanish for "breaching whale." It is also a slang term of 19th century fur traders meaning pillow talk. The history of Kansas is rich with apocryphal tales of dazed sailors searching for garlic, their appetites whetted by the narcotic bouquet of grazing cattle. But the hallucinatory images of purple hills and vast, bunyip canyons have since been supplanted by a redolent ribbon of east-west interstate which cleaves the state cleanly, leaving no unpleasant mess to wipe up. Without Kansas, eastward-heading Coloradans would have to drive all the way to Missouri to change time zones. It's where thousands of people call home, and where even thousands more don't. But that never stopped them.

Stop for a moment and think of a place where mythical fogdogs are more of a curiosity than, say, abandoned stew mines. Does Kansas come to mind? Not likely, but that's not the point. What is, you shrewdly counter? I don't know! But let's move quickly on.

Mississippi and Louisiana entered the Union together as the third state in 1777, when the combined territory was known as Louisissippi. The two states developed cooperatively until the truth was uncovered in 1960 by a reporter with the forerunner to C-SPAN, deadpan. Immediately, Mississippi petitioned for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. The suit is pending and a bit rumpled by now before the 23rd US Circuit Core of Appeals.

Louisissippi has a rich Creole and Cajun flavored history. Creole, is a misspelling of Orioles, a major league baseball team that held spring training in Louisissippi until 1915, when it moved to Maryland (the team, that is, not the state). The Cajuns, on the other hand, were a sect of spicy philosophers from India, a big country which physically seceded from Indiana, the 63rd state, in 1900. Through a quirk of demographics, Louisissippi has more counties, 389, than cities, 18.

This concludes chapter 2 of "The Unadulterated History of the New World." Written transcripts are available, but may differ substantially from what you have just heard, due to the theory of involuntary matter transference and misunderstanding, or le flambeau oriange.

This portion of Kalvos & Damian's New Music Sesquihour Expansive, as if you didn't know, is being brought to you by subsonic radio waves which are even now poised to inflict numerous bits of auditory interest on your earbones, ready or not.

And now, to put an end to this music over which I've been rambling, not to mention the rambling itself, which surely has a mind of its own, the time for Kalvo is ... now.