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The Coastal

. . . So I’m sitting in another EM case, and I have to hear another comment: “It makes sense to go and focus on a place like New York City, but I’m concerned about their idea of marketing salons in Kansas City.” Like people in Kansas City don’t have hair. It’s not a mean comment, but it’s interesting none the less. It’s a coastal comment.

The coastal is a person that does not believe there is any reason to believe that all the land between California and the eastern seaboard is worth thinking about. The only reason the Midwest is even there is so that the coast-to-coast flights can stop for fuel if necessary. Thank God for Colorado so all of the Bostonians can go somewhere to ski. Why else would the RC Vermeer case state that the company wanted to have offices on both coasts to be close to the most talent? Are engineers from Tennessee limited to abacuses? Why else would people look at the state postal code AR and confuse my beloved Arkansas with Alabama? THERE IS NOT A SINGLE ‘R’ IN THE WORD ALABAMA!!!!! Yeah, and I’m sure that my buddies from IA (Iowa) are sick and tired of being asked how Idaho is this time of year.

Please do not confuse this as an article of anger. I understand the concept. If I lived in Boston where all the great schools are, looked to move to New York where all the great jobs are, visited DC where the government resides, partied in Atlanta and LA were all the cool people go, had strong connections in Seattle where all the business role models golf, and adored the Bay area where EVERYBODY wants to be, I would not be concerned with Kokomo, Indiana, either. Why would I be? This article is more like an observance.

Now, I’m not saying that all people from the coasts are coastals. There are some people from New York or Philly that do not question the fact that Kansas is actually a state and not an undeveloped territory. I really appreciate you, and these words are not for you. All others, I invite you to explore the wonders of southern Arkansas anytime you are available! I am amazed by you all, seriously. Where I grew up, nobody would ever scoff at a job offer from Chicago, Illinois . . . not even an offer just to clean up a bathroom. When I heard someone do that, I was in deep disbelief.

The thing that these people have to do is just understand the rest of us.

There is a wonderful country between the coasts, trust me. The rest of the country is not just a nuisance that causes you to have to stay in a plane for five hours to get to your job interview or convention. There are a lot of interesting things out there, just ask anybody from Oklahoma.

If you are a coastal, you are probably in denial. That is an expected reaction. Don’t worry, it’s not a crime. Lot’s of people fall into this category trust me. One of my first conversations with someone who fits the bill was very interesting and challenging:

Me: Why don’t you realize that there is a whole country out there? There is more to the USA than just California and New York.

Coastal: What do you mean? I know and respect this entire country, not just Cali, even though it has all I need.

Me: Cool! Name the states of the USA.

Coastal: Ok, there’s California, Oregon, Washington . . .

Me: Go on.

Coastal: Uh, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine . . .

Me: That’s not quite 50 . . .

Coastal: Don’t interrupt! Uh, uh, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and the Carolinas!

Me: I’m afraid that’s only 17 states.

Coastal: Don’t rush me. Now, I went to spring break in Florida. Oh, and Ted Turner started his empire in Atlanta, err, Georgia . . . yeah, and that state that some of my section mates brag about all the time . . . Texas!

Me: Good. Go on.

Coastal: Uh . . . Chicago and New Orleans!! The states of the USA!

Sad, isn’t it.

Note: Please do not be offended by the words of this article. Its intentions are of humor only. If you still are offended, please recognize that the words Mississippi and Arkansas are not synonymous.

April 14, 2003
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