Saturday, February 19, 2005

Journey to the Middle of Nowhere

Welcome to scenic central Michigan!



Shortly before I was done recovering from the flu, I had to drive off to one of my company's operations in the middle of nowhere Michigan. I'm being intentionally vague since I know any mention of the actual place will show up like a rash on Google. I've made it abundantly clear to anyone who will ask (and many who don't) that I love Michigan about as much as I love a fresh dog steamer. During the last presidential election cycle, I was waiting for one of the candidates to say
I know this place has a lot of electoral votes, but I hate this hole; whatever isn't covered with rust belt blight is besieged by hillbillys living in the middle of nowhere. So screw you and your stinkin' electoral votes, even I can't talk up this dump!
Yeah I'm bitter. I guess what makes it worse is the extreme love that the natives have for the place. I've yet to meet an Ohioan who wouldn't take or leave the place: it just happens to be someplace to live. Michiganers, on the other hand, think they live in some midwestern panacea. Many natives don't even know anyone who has even gone to Michigan State (or Michigan U, WTF ever), but that doesn't stop them from exhibiting a level of fanaticism only outdone by the hicks and hayseeds who live south of the Ohio River (or occasionally, in it).

I know: "Poor Sandmich, he has to go to nowhere Michigan and drink beer, eat one pound steaks, and watch Cartoon Network, all on the company dime! Boo-friggin' whoo!"

I'll have you know though that I did some work for a guy who was complaining about having to go out to Arizona on occasion. On top of that, the guy's wife works for a company that curses them with having to go to Japan a couple times a year: BASTARD!

But Arizona? Try a four hour drive through the rust belt wastes in the middle of winter, it's a FRIGGIN' RIOT! Only having the Chemical Brothers cranked up to a brain jelling volume can you cut through the travesty of the situation. They did finally get DSL at the hotel, and it worked ONE night. And I used that to post a blog entry about the editorial content of USAToday. Of course reading USAToday makes me realize there are things lamer than central Michigan.

(On a side note, I visited a grocery store in this rustic hole and the produce was at least half as much as it is a Cleveland stores, and it actually looked edible. When I told a bar fly I was from Cleveland (but I always quickly add: "grew up in Cincinnati!"), the first thing he says is "Oh yeah, poorest city in the country". Thanks...)

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