It would appear that the state of Vermont got kicked around a lot back in Revolutionary times. After it had been governed as a part of New Hampshire for 15 years, King George III decided in 1764 that the territory should belong to New York. It didn’t take long for Vermonters (they weren’t really called that yet) to realize they didn’t want to be a part of the Empire State (it wasn’t called that yet), so in 1777 they got together and declared their independence from everybody — New York, Britain and New Hampshire.
They called their independent state New Connecticut (they had some identity problems). After a few months, they renamed the state Vermont, a bastardized translation of the French for Green Mountain. A month later, they wrote themselves a constitution, the first written in North America and the first to prohibit slavery.
Throughout the 1780s the U.S. Congress refused to recognize their independence (kind of snarky for someone having just fought a war for independence). In 1784, the governor of New York asked the U.S. Congress to declare war on Vermont, but Congress (probably sick of war) did not oblige. Vermonters turned to the British, requesting readmittance to the empire as part of Canada. Finally, in 1791, Vermont was admitted to the new American nation as the 14th state.
Crazy Aunts in New Hampshire’s Attic
Democrats recently took over New Hampshire’s House of Representatives. One of their first acts was to repeal their own right to legislate while armed to the teeth. This undid one of the first pieces of legislation Republicans passed when they had control, one I discussed in one of my very first posts:
I don’t like to speak ill of a neighbor. But if your neighbor has a crazy aunt locked up in the attic, you’ve got to say something. And our New England neighbor New Hampshire has a bunch of crazy aunts locked up in the state legislature attic. New Hampshire has a history that includes its desire to have a nuclear weapon. And where would this nuke have been aimed? Duck and cover, Montpelier.
Jumping to the present, New Hampshire has just armed its state legislators, but in a tip of the hat to Yankee reserve, legislators are not allowed to brandish those weapons; they must keep them concealed. I guess if they’re threatened, they shout: “Don’t mess with me, I’m carrying a concealed weapon.” “I don’t believe you,” says the threatener. “Show me.” “I can’t, but I really do have a concealed weapon, honest I do.” This of course has been disastrous to the holster industry, which has been struggling for quite a while.
Who are these legislators? Let’s do a little demographic digging. There are 400 members of New Hampshire’s House of Representatives. According to Wikipedia, that’s one representative for every 3,300 residents. If the United States had the same level of representation, the U.S. House of Representatives would have 99,000 members. About 300 are Republican. We might as well forget about the Democrats (New Hampshire has) and concentrate on the majority. They’re mostly male. In ethnicity, they range in color from eggshell white to antique white. Their average age is somewhere around 103.
As long as we’re on the subject of crazy aunts and weaponry, we should probably mention Utah. It’s my state of birth, my state of youth. Thus I follow its news a bit, its sports a bit. It, like Vermont, has snow, snow, snow. But unlike Vermont it now has a state gun. You got it, a state gun. And not some romantic firearm like a Winchester Rifle or a Colt 45, but a semiautomatic whatsis. Utah is the first state in the nation to have a state gun, but others will follow. I won’t name states.
Being a state gun and all, you can brandish it freely (“I can shoot the ear off anyone in this state.”) I’m guessing that eventually the sight of a bunch of snow bunnies with bullets to their brains lying in the snows of Utah will send people to the snow, snow, snow of Vermont, where, I might add, we have designated it as the official state precipitation.
There’s No Business Like Show Business
Born on January 16, 1908, Ethel Merman was the Queen of Broadway for three decades, belting out song after song in a voice described as trumpet-clean, penny whistle-piercing, Wurlitzer-wonderful.” When she was not appearing on Broadway, Merman enjoyed a successful movie and television career.
Merman was also known for her salty language, never delivered in a whisper. Once while rehearsing for an appearance on the Loretta Young television show, she was told it would cost her a dollar each time she swore since Young disapproved of foul language. As she was fighting to get into an ill fitting gown, Merman shouted: “Oh shit, this damn thing’s too tight.” Young held out her curse box and said, “Come on Ethel, put a dollar in. You know my rules.” Merman is said to have replied: “Ah, honey, how much will it cost me to tell you to go fuck yourself?”