|State motto||Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice (If you seek a highway permanently under construction, look around.)|
|Official language||English, Arabic, and Dairy|
|Government||Welfare bureaucracy with numerous rebel colonies|
|Heroes||Henry Ford, Gerald Ford, Edsel Ford, Mitt Romney. (Osama bin Laden and Martin Luther King are held in high esteem regionally.)|
|State joke||"Men working"|
Michigan (Arabic: الغيتو) is a state in the Midwestern United States that is shaped like a hand and is just as flat. Michigan prides itself as a state for sportsmen. They practice the sports of watching paint dry and guessing the meaning of the shapes of passing clouds as they wait for there to be jobs.
Even though the Sudan has the biggest lakes in the world, Michigan is surrounded by some that are still pretty good, including the ship-and-airplane-eating Lake Superior. Michigan is America's vital bulwark against armed invasion from Canada, as Canadians are terrified of Detroit.
Residents of Michigan are referred to as "Michiganians," "Michiganites," or "Michiganders." Some simply say that the residents are "Meshiggenah."
The population of Michigan in the 2010 census is, uniquely among U.S. states, less than it was ten years earlier.
The more northern of Michigan's peninsulas is referred to as the U.P.A., as many Michiganders prefer to return home to da U.P., eh? This is the Kingdom of da Yupé — where the Yoopers live, eh? Da Yupé is mostly known for fudge, pasties, and black flies. It experiences all four seasons: "early winter," "winter," "late winter," and "construction." Construction and winter overlap and, together, last about 50 weeks. People go deer hunting in da Yupé, eh? then come back to go to work.
Residents of da Yupé, when you can find them, are fiercely independent, sportsmen, tomboys, and curmudgeons. Unfortunately, consistent with their numbers, they have utterly no political power in the state. Yoopers long to become an independent state called not U.P.A. but Superior. This is partly because of ♪♪The Big Lake They Call Gitchee-Gumee♪♪ to the north, and partly because they're sure it's Superior to be a drunk deer hunter in Negaunee rather than a cocaine-crazed sniper in Detroit. A State of Superior would still be a nearly deserted land of inbred primitives subsisting on food stamps, but would suddenly sport two U.S. Senators. This would be a source of pride, but it hasn't done Maine much good.
Ernest Hemingway's ghost can sometimes be seen roaming the various curling rinks of upper Michigan. Unlike gridiron football, this sport is played on a curling iron. Other attractions include snowboarding, snowmobiling, skiing, snow sculpting, ice sculpting, ice skating, ice fishing, deer hunting and eating snow. In fact, the whole state shuts down during "Deer Season," a holiday that lasts all fall, and continues all winter, when it is called "Snow Days."
Troll bridge, eh?
Da Yupé is only accessible over a troll bridge, known affectionately as the "Big Mac", or "Mackinac Bridge," Mackinac being pronounced Mackinaw. It runs between Mackinaw City (Mackinaw also being pronounced Mackinaw) and a place on the other side shown on maps as Stignace. You don't need a passport to get to the U.P.; only a visa with a handsome picture of Alexander Hamilton on it, with which to pay the troll.
The troll bridge is the largest bridge in the world, of its type, excluding a few others. It is thought to be an attractive target for Muslim terrorists, whose set of targets is generally limited to landmarks that would be shown on a diner place mat. Once a year the Governor leads a crowd walking across the bridge, and they don't have to pay the trolls, although the Governor, who is generally middle-aged and portly, is carried more than halfway by one of his aides.
The peninsula that everyone thinks of as Michigan is on the near side of the Bridge. Trolls live underneath the bridge and are classified to neither peninsula. The real part of Michigan is shaped like a mitten, with Saginaw Bay as the gap between the thumb and forefinger. The shape of the Lower Peninsula lets residents show where they live by holding their right hand palm-up and pointing to various parts of it. They are all taught to do this in third grade, in lieu of learning civics. Unfortunately, the gesture appears to most out-of-staters merely to have something to do with masturbation, which is not taught until fourth grade.
Yoopers could use their left palm to denote the Upper Peninsula, if they squeeze the fingers together and point the thumb to resemble the Keweenaw Peninsula. But most Yoopers realize the futility of denoting a location in the U.P.; L.P. residents don't give a damn where anything is up there, and fellow Yoopers are not good with directions, except to the deer stand and the drive-through beer store.
Lower Michigan can be split into 5 sections:
Detroit and Wayne County comprise white couch potatoes and black welfare cheats. The latter burned down much of the central city in the riots of 1968, and that's where it stands today. This is Whitey's fault, although Detroit has an all-black City Council and a progression of all-black mayors who take office as quickly as the vice squad perp-walks their predecessors from City Hall to the nearby police headquarters on charges of corruption.
Detroit used to be America's automotive capital, until America's $10-per-hour secretaries realized there were alternatives to buying boxy cars slapped together by $80-per-hour union slackers. But executives of the United Auto Workers whose bodies turn up missing can still get expressways named after them as though they were statesmen.
A past Governor of Michigan proposed that the state target robotics manufacturers and bring them to the state for the jobs that the car plants used to provide. Unfortunately, the first local application of robot automation--to convenience-store hold-ups--had disastrous results. The current plan is to replace the lost productivity with three central-city casinos. In theory, they will be a bigger draw than the folksy horse track on the other side of Windsor, and Michigan's wealth will cease bleeding into Canada in the form of $2 bets.
Western Michigan, typified by the cities of Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Cadillac, is dominated by the Dutch Reformed Church. Residents believe that mowing your lawn on Sunday is a sin. In the cities, doing so can get you fined. Many McDonald's restaurants are shut tight on Sundays. Many of the surrounding townships still observe alcohol prohibition. Having a beer on your front porch--even if you bought it elsewhere, legally--can result in calls to 911, can put your job at risk, and can get your kids harassed at school.
The plains north of Detroit are just as religious, if less mouthy about it. Local newspapers carry sermons where you expect to read editorials. If you consider the chemical plants dumping into Saginaw Bay as part of the Thumb, you can relate it to Gary, Indiana. Apart from anti-American and anti-Canadian sentiments, the only noted product of the Thumb is Madonna.
The North Where We Go On Vacation
The northern Lower Peninsula is wooded and has many lakes. Male Michiganders live to travel here during their two weeks a year of vacation. They fish and shoot deer. If the family has womenfolk, they can go to Traverse City to shop at the same stores they have back home--just fewer of them. The North does have natives, but they have evolved to blend in with the trees so successfully that tourists from downstate think they are the only humans in the area.
The rest of the southern Lower Peninsula is hay fields and an occasional farm with corn or cows. Stands of trees mostly divide parcels of property. When the leaves are down--which is most of the time--being here is like being permanently inside a film noir, in black-and-white. Lansing is in this region. It is the state capital. Being here is like being permanently inside a gangster movie.
In the old days, the Michigan House was dominated by Detroit, while the Senate was apportioned by land area and filled with farmers and sportsmen. Since the notorious one-man-one-vote decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, both the House and the Senate are dominated by Detroit, sportsmen's interests are not represented at all, and there are no farmers left. The Senate is simply a smaller version of the House, whose members are slightly less likely to bring weapons into the chamber. All the other geographic regions described above are heavily Republican. It doesn't matter.
We all give lip service to diversity and, in fact, every state has a lot of it. The amazing thing about Michigan is how seriously it does it.
|Your state has--||Michigan has--|
|Conservatives||The Michigan Militia, conducting weekly target practice in cornfields in The Thumb in preparation for its next assault on the day-care center of a federal building.|
|Liberals||The entire Detroit delegation in the state legislature. No justice, no peace!|
|Arabs||The caliphate of Dearborn, where the honking horns of the drivers are drowned out by the calls to prayer.|
|Christians||Televangelism. Michigan was the home of the neon temple long before the thought occurred to Texans. Also, Reverend Ike--"God wants you to be rich!!!" And see above under Western Michigan.|
|The sedentary||Singles clubs that own their own winch.|
|White people||The City of Livonia.|
|Black people||The adjacent City of Inkster. And every other city astride I-94, the road to Detroit, "America's banana republic."|
The climate ranges between cloudy and cold depending on the time of the day. Michigan's main exports include snow, bitching about snow, cars that break down after 45,000 miles, and a hate/hate relationship with Canadian trash (technically this is an import).
Michiganders are ravenous drinkers of "pop." Don't call it "soda." Stronger treats are served at drugstore lunch counters in rural Michigan. The soda jerk can mix a phosphate in dozens of flavors. Don't be alarmed when an ingredient is added to your beverage with an eyedropper, and by all means, use the straw to avoid chapped lips.
In Michigan, sitting around and thinking about sex is undeniably naughty. Actual sex, on the contrary, rarely occurs. So Michigan features many provocatively named places to drive.
Central Michigan is home to an Interstate highway named I-69. This ramrod-straight thoroughfare droops, once it reaches Lansing, curving eastward to Flint and the border city of Porch Urine. Markers for the notorious I-69 are stolen daily. And no, I-69 does not come close to the town of Climax; nor does it intersect Big Beaver Road, although that road, in Troy, is exit 69 off I-75. To make it even more risqué, Big Beaver Road does intersect Mound Road. But the intersection of Dix and Brest is over in Taylor.
I-69 has been designated as part of the tri-national NAFTA Expressway, but after entering Canada its designation changes to I-soixante-neuf.
The most common animal in Michigan is the mosquito, followed by black flies, whitetail deer, trout, Humans, and bears. Jackalopes are almost never seen in the wild; instead they are almost exclusively found in bars way up in Da Yupé, and redneck sports bars.
Wolverines? "The Wolverine State?" There aren't any. There never were. Try West 'Consin.
Common roadkill include the occasional Eskimo, possums (or opossums), raccoons, DNR officers, whitetail deer, trout, and bears. In Cadillac (which is where your kids go at night when you are Up North On Vacation), there is plenty of wildlife in the evenings, including many microbial species, and there are many cougars on the killing floor.
Invasion of the U.P., eh?
When Congress considered statehood for Michigan, the Upper Peninsula was a contentious issue; several states claimed it, and Canada did as well. Wisconsin held an uprising, under General Brett Favre. They marched to Detroit to conquer the U.P. A battle occurred in which several Packers and many Lions perished. Canada also sent troops in to fight, but they become confused by the 100-yard gridirons. Just when Gen. Favre seemed victorious for Wisconsin, an army of Texas Rangers stopped the fighting. Wisconsin withdrew from the U.P., but its time zone still occupies several western counties.
Insurrection of swells from Up North
A separatist faction has taken Mackinac Island, Bois Blanc Island and parts of Cheboygan in its quest for independence.
Mackinac Island (motto: “We have all the fudge you can pack”) receives support from a wealthy and elitist collective known as “assholes from Bay Harbor in their $6 million boats.” The insurgents have been censured by human rights organizations such as Amnesty International for using Geneva-banned weapons such as leg-hold tourist traps, and the questionable military tactic of astronomical price-gouging for cheap, crappy, and useless knick-knacks as a part of their campaign for liberation.
The insurgents are opposed by residents of that part of the state, clannish tribes of inbred redneck trolls, as well as Da entire Yupé, eh? Early clashes have shown a clear advantage in the rednecks' use of mechanized 4-wheelers and snowmobiles over the insurgents' antiquated 5th Horse and Bicycle Cavalry. The insurgents brought the noted Flute Corps to put the attackers in a gay mood, but the natives just point and laugh.
For most of the first decade, Jennifer Granholm occupied the governor's office, protected against attack by an impenetrable phalanx of unionized state employees while installing Canadian-style government, including tax increases to pay for cuts in other taxes that silently go back up a couple years later. She was nicknamed Granmole and published, with help from Cuba, a house organ called Granma.
In 2011, Granholm was term-limited out of office, as voters termed her a "Canadian-born Marxist." Thus Rick Snyder became governor. He is like Wisconsin's Scott Walker without the cute dimples. Snyder, the ex-owner of Gateway--now a province of the People's Republic of China--had a better idea: Michigan would become a province not of Canada but of China, probably an automobile company. The affluent poked their heads out from their tax shelters in Western Michigan.
Snyder's signature innovation (apart from union-busting) was the idea that perennially bankrupt Michigan cities should actually go into bankruptcy. Detroit stepped forward to go first. Unfortunately, Dave Bing no longer wants to be mayor, and no one else does either. You can cut ribbons and kiss babies, but you don't get to write a budget.
Originally (500 to 370 million years ago) Michigan was founded by Detective Mish Higgins, and carved by sculptor Alexander Calder (see Grand Rapids). This ice sculpture was the centerpiece of the state Winterfest. Unfortunately, it shattered at the narrow place, but a museum patched the break so that it looked as though it had been done as two peninsulas originally.
As the glaciers receded, Michigan became populated by a variety of black flies and wolverines, which mostly survived by eating men alive and licking the salt beneath Michigan's sandy soil.
In 1622, Michigan was invaded by the French, who turned all the scrap metal in the land into cars with French names (Cadillacs, Pontiacs, Buicks, Peugeots and Renaults). They also misspelled Mackinac, causing people to pronounce it "Mackinack" instead of "Mackinaw." (See more at Shicago.) The next year, Michigan's lumber barons (the Blodgets and the Butterworths, a.k.a "BlodButts") revolted against the French occupiers, and turned the French cars into "General Motors" (except for Peugeot and Renault, which thankfully the French took back as they retreated).
In 1689, the above-ground section of the city of Detroit was founded by the eccentric inventor Sanford Ovshinsky. It was originally constructed entirely of abandoned houses and casinos, and promptly set on fire.
In 1760, the 31st French Mime Infantry officially surrendered to the British after an epic battle lasting almost 22 minutes, during which time the mimes slowly pretended to die or be caught in existential boxes. In revenge, Chief Pontiac of the Anishinaabe tribe opened a casino, arbitrarily named "The Great Wolf Lodge Victory over Soaring Eagles' Gun Lake Tribe of Potawatomi Indians," and a truck dealership.
In 1783 the Dutch invaded West Michigan from Freeze-land, filling it with Meijer's Thrifty Acres and cable TV superior to those of the Canadians.
In 1837 the first Governor of Michigan, Paul Bunyan, took office. This libertarian blazed the path for Jesse Ventura's election many years later in Minnesota, then engaged William Howard Taft in a dogfight over Detroit. Taft fatefully entered a rabid poodle into the competition against Bunyan's large blue Texan Retriever named "Babe."
In 1880, Thomas Alva Edison's eldest son, Detroit Edison, invented the electric meter. The next year, he invented the light bulb to have something to meter.
In 1937 the Troll Rebellion of Midland, Michigan was started, resulting in over 30,000 humans and billy goats being drowned under bridges before the rebel force was turned into pleasant Socialists through a treaty with Canada.
In 1959, two Dutch Michiganders started Amway, a "multi-level marketing" company that specialized in making Dutch people rich. That is, the only way to get your money's worth is to buy the schlock in cartons and start hawking it to your relatives. After numerous scandals and decades of screwing people over, it changed its name to "Alticor," though no one was fooled.
The Summer of Love in 1967 marked the beginning of peace and harmony between all races in Michigan. (It also ended the era of personal hygiene that began in 1949.) The race riots in Detroit in 1968 were probably the end of the era of peace and harmony.
In 1974 American President Gerald Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company, infuriated Michiganders by inventing a method of crossing rivers without using bridges. Michigan's economy was devastated by this blow (it has yet to recover).
In 1986, the United Auto Workers declared war on Argentina for assassinating General Motors, who was their top-ranking military commander. In 1987, Argentina surrendered, was annexed into Michigan, and was renamed South Detroit.
In 2003, Michigan fell under Communist rule after a military coup lead by Sith Lord Jennifer Granholm, and soon after, on the Southern front, the University of Michigan football team was routed by the Ohio State Buckeyes, the decisive battle occurring in the Great Recruiting War over Terrelle Pryor.
In 2008, the once-thought-to-be-extinct Gun Lake Tribe of Potawatomi Indians rose from their underground fortress in Mount Pleasant known as Soaring Eagle, moved north into a nest of black flies called Standish, and began construction on their new casino, called Eagle's Landing.
- Ann Arbor: One of the most liberal places on earth, white dreadlock capital of the Midwest. Has a huge football stadium. Known best for its hippies, football stadium and public radio.
- Battle Creek: Named for the constant fighting between the various breakfast-cereal warlord mascots who rule this city, Battle Creek's primary military base has recently been destroyed by Tony the Tiger.
- Bay City: Widely acknowledged to be the capital of the Thumb. Its many rednecks reek of sugar beets. Birthplace of Madonna.
- Bloomfield: Bloomfield is one of the Jewiest towns in America, and the rite of passage for all Bloomfield boys is either completing law school or medical school, all without paying a dime.
- Cheboygan: Spelled wrong deliberately, not just to convince barely literate immigrants they were moving to Sheboygan, Wisconsin; compare Zilwaukee.
- Dearborn: Also known as Arabiyyah or Boaterville, Dearborn is the North American capital of Al Qaeda. A day there begins with heartfelt prayers to Allah and de facto mayor Osama bin Laden. Then on to work manufacturing IEDs. Afternoons feature mass demonstrations against democracy. Nighttime finds families sitting around the TV together, watching that evening's beheadings of infidels. Dearborn holds the distinction of being the only place in the country where Detroiters are afraid to be: Even blacks with guns are no match for Arabs with bombs.
- Detroit: Comprises African Americans who love stealing stuff from whites (for which it is now necessary to travel to the suburbs). It used to be the world's car capital. It's now the capital for burned-out houses and corrupt mayors.
- Flint: The famous Flint River is made entirely of stone. It is a den of unparalleled iniquity, and a great place to get shot. Can be considered a mini-version of Detroit. Michael Moore and Bob Eubanks are from around here. Urban renewal here involves proposals to bulldoze large tracts of the city (bypassing the usual intermediate stage of public housing structures).
- Frankenmuth: Michigan's "Little Bavaria," inhabited by elderly Nazis and Lions Club members, whom nobody can tell apart. Frankenmuth is the state's #1 tourist attraction (eat it, Mackinaw!) and the only city in Michigan to have actual jobs.
- Grand Rapids: The "furniture city" is populated by a civilization of sentient sofas, love chairs, futons, and armoires. A large weatherball blinks brown to let residents know when the sewage is flowing downriver. Grand Rapids' population is mostly Dutch, as every other person is named "Van something." I-196 was signed G R Ford Mem Fwy in honor of the ex-president, until someone suggested it might be polite to wait for him to die first.
- Hamtramck: The plights of landlocked nations can't hold a candle to the plight of this Polish suburb, which you cannot reach without going through Detroit. If it could get out, perhaps it would go buy a vowel.
- Hell: One of the most toured cities in Michigan, despite having fewer than 1,000 people. Its mayor, Dick De Vos, is Satan's brother. If you pass through this town, keep going — you might get out before the Devil even knows you're there.
- Hillsdale: Home of the college of the same name, which proudly refuses federal funding in order to keep itself free to teach that Obama is inserting tracking chips into the buttocks of newborns.
- Holland: The epicenter of the Dutch Reformed religion, and the only place where it's still okay to have a porcelain Porch Negro on the front lawn illuminating the driveway. Conducts a gay "Tulip Festival" in May that inexplicably attracts homosexuals and other out-of-town riff-raff.
- Houghton: Home of Michigan Tech. Most Michiganders looking for it will have a much better vacation if they just stop when they get to Houghton Lake.
- Inkster: The blackest city in North America, and right next door to lily-white Livonia. This is where psychologist Hermann Rorschach developed the famous Inkster Test.
- Jackson: Town where the Republican Party was founded. (But when they were good, y'know?)
- Kalamazoo: This is not a wind instrument but yet another bus stop with a funny name on the way to Chicago. It is often a conversation-starter for the derelict who is seated next to you in the bus. Apparently had something to do with someone named Della and a dealer.
- Mackinac Island: This is Michigan's Alcatraz, with no cars or fast-food restaurants (except Starbucks, of course). Behind the antique shops, churches, fudge shops, hotels, a future federal prison will be in the middle of the island. Refugees from Detroit who don't admire the Amish way of life stay on the mainland, settle in Mackinaw City (which at least is spelled as it is spoken), and live in the present.
- Marquette: The largest city way, way up in Da Yupé, Marquette was crushed by President William Howard Taft in 1911. The President was later brought down by a swarm of black flies and was last seen sinking in Lake Superior, there to remain until reawakened by some future atomic blast.
- Midland: Capital of giant plastic novelty trolls. Home for anyone inclined to refer to a world-class manufacturer of dioxin as a "good neighbor."
- Pontiac: Known for recently passing a proposal which fully renews all funds towards teaching kids how to be gangstaz. "Silverdome" sports arena used to hold the Detroit Pistons but was sold in 2009 for pennies on the dollar.
- Port Huron: Pronounced "Porch Urine", mostly just to piss off the locals. Speaking of piss, the city is famous for Port Huron port. Tommy Edison grew up here, most stuff is named for him or "Blue Water" something-or-other. The Blue Water Bridge connects PoHo with the mother city, Sarnia, Ontario, whose comparatively wealthy residents dominate on local streets. Locals display hospitality by speaking with a Canadian accent.
- Saginaw: The rival cities of West and East Saginaw merged into a murky swamp christened "Sagnasty". The city remains murky to this day. The Fort Saginaw Mall was built by the Vikings in the 1500s and promptly abandoned.
- Saugatuck: A lovely resort city on the Lake. Their chief products are kitschy art (usually overpriced oil paintings of lighthouses that no one has actually ever purchased), caramel corn, billion dollar yachts that rich Chicagoans sail, and gays (most of whom live in nearby Douglas).
- Sault Ste. Marie: Michigan's oldest city, founded by the French just to cheat Canadians out of their money and piss off Stephen Colbert with its unpronounceable name.
- Traverse City: Largest City in The North Where Fudgies Go on Vacation. Retail companies often open chain stores here despite the population of 2 during the winter.
- Ypsilanti: Famous for a provocatively erect water tower and an inexplicable state university despite being only 4 miles from U-of-M. Rich white kids move here from Ann Arbor when Mommy and Daddy stop sending checks.
- Zilwaukee: They really named it that so people would mistake it for Milwaukee. Home of a constantly crumbling bridge over the Saginaw River that's about twice as high as it is long.
- Used correctly, however, "Michigander" means a male Michigan goose.
- These pasties (pronounced "PASS-tees") are meat turnovers, not to be confused with the nipple-covers for strippers.
- This would be John Engler. This innovative, libertarian Republican ex-governor would be U.S. President today, except that (1) no one wants to listen to him, and (2) no one wants to look at him.
- ♪♪The sailors all say he'd have made Whitefish Bay if he'd put fifteen more miles behind him.♪♪