Learn your states

Welcome to the Augusta area. Whether you are a visitor to our area or a local golf fan just now awakened from your hibernation by spring, it’s good to have you out and about.

If you haven’t figured out the local weather patterns yet, don’t sweat it. Al Roker handled it only one day before deciding he was in the midst of another sharknado.

If you thought the car you are driving is green or blue or black and suddenly noticed it is solid yellow, that isn’t the work of vandals or biblical plagues. It’s pollen. We have lots of it, some that invades the sinuses with explosive results, and some that visibly coats the countryside and our cars. You can last one week, surely.

Now, I’ve warned you about the weather and the pollen; the only other hazard you’re likely to meet during the tournament is drawing a blank when strangers say they’re from New Mexico (it’s a state, not another country south of the border) or some other geographical puzzler. You don’t want to look stupid when people say they’re from the District of Columbia or British Columbia and you’re not sure where those states are. (OK, neither is a state, but you get the idea).

Here are a few tips for wowing your newfound friends with your knowledge of America:

• Rhode Island isn’t; an island, I mean. I don’t know what its founders were thinking. (Hawaii is, although that’s awfully hard to accept after getting burned about Rhode Island.)

• Two states are rectangles. Wyoming sits atop Colorado, but the folks in Colorado seem to be much higher lately. You’ll notice that when you meet them.

• New Hampshire and neighboring Vermont are pretty much the same, but reverse images, so pointing them out on the map is easy. The one that’s not shaped like a “V” is not Vermont. The other one is.

• Missouri and Georgia look eerily similar on the atlas. That must give the road-sign people a break on expenses. Where Augusta lies on the map, Missouri has St. Louis. Or Ferguson.

• Virginia and Kentucky look much the same, so what to do if you get lost? Drive east in Kentucky and you will eventually run into Virginia. But drive east in Virginia and you will run into the ocean. Stay alert.

• We are a kitchen nation, so a surprising number of states have outlines that resemble can openers: Texas’ border with Mexico; Florida in the Tampa-St. Pete area; the top edge of Maine; the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Also, a bunch of states have panhandles, and at last two look like toaster ovens. Argue that premise with your new friends.

• The “I” states are connected: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa. Except Idaho, so it might not actually be a state.

• Mississippi and Alabama are mirror images of each other. I won’t tell you which one is backward.

• One Washington is a city, and one is a state. How to tell them apart: It rains more in Washington.

Reach Glynn Moore at glynn.moore@augustachronicle.com.

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