Tomorrow, I’ll be wrapping up my three week journey to New York. Now, while I won’t pretend to know everything about New York, I have come to two conclusions: firstly, New Yorkers are just like Montanans, including the fact that each group looks down on the other group as having a backwards, curious way of life; secondly, New Yorkers don’t know the difference between Montana and Wisconsin.

Wisconsin and Montana are so far apart that even a map of all of Wisconsin’s neighboring states don’t show up! Gold star if you know where Montana would go if this map was extended, though!

Now, as I have been so apt to tell people during my stay here, I am terrible at geography. Really awful. My confession of the week, though I’ve never hidden this, is that I didn’t know Vermont was a state until my hair-cutter-lady informed me it was when I was 18, because I said, “Oh, yeah, my friend’s going to college in Vermont.” “Oh yeah? What city?” “… Vermont… Isn’t a city?” “… No.”

However, if there is one thing I know it is that Montana is not Wisconsin. I actually have no idea what Wisconsin is known for except cheese, and the only good Montana cheese I can think of is this company that produces goat cheese that’s really delicious, so maybe the biggest difference between the two states is the use of goat vs. cow milk. But it really isn’t. In hope of enlightening you about Montana, though, let me tell you some things that are vital for your understanding of my home state:

1) Montana is the fourth biggest state in the US, though it still has a small enough population that we only have one Representative — and, for those who don’t know, you get 1 representative for every ~700,000 citizens. Last I checked we had a population of about 1 million, meaning we have fewer people living in this huge area than Staten Island. Thus, people who live on Staten Island are insane.

2) Montana borders Canada, but it is not a part of Canada. Fun fact: Canadian’s don’t live in igloos, just like Montanan’s don’t all ride horses or live in log cabins.

3) People who live in Montana like to say that Lewis and Clark basically only explored Montana. Because, you know, we’re awesome.

“I daresay, Clark, that this is the most beautiful spot I’ve ever rested my eyes upon.” “True, Lewis, those other newly acquired territories truly suck by comparison.”

4) While the Unabomber did indeed move to Montana when he went from being a strange recluse to a complete psycho, not everyone in Montana knows how to construct bombs. I do, though! Beware, fruit.

5) Similarly, Montana does have pretty lax gun regulation, including people allegedly being able to purchase firearms without registering them at gun shows, yet not all of us love guns and threaten to shoot people who want to “take away our Second Amendment rights.” I for one have gone to great pains to save spiders in my shower, oftentimes killing them in the process though because I am terrified of them.

6) In regards to 4 and 5, Montana has a very large libertarian population, though most people are so libertarian that they don’t even know what it means to be libertarian. Abolish the Federal Government! Rar!

The Berkeley Pit in Butte, MT. If you worked really hard at it your state could get a literal pond of sludge, too!

7) Our state motto is “Oro Y Plata,” which means “gold and silver” in Spanish, largely because Montana’s early economy was largely built on mining, which has led to such wonderful places like Butte, MT, the ugliest place in the universe. Why is the motto in Spanish? Good question! All I know is I love to shout, “Oro Y Plata!” while drunk and then tell people what it means. I’m even educational while drunk!

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