Monday, January 12, 2009

Midwest Exvasion

A tumbleweed, flattened by a speeding tractor trailer headed for Mexico, asks:

What is the boundary of the great plains?

Physicists tell us that all matter is made up of particles. They have been spending their time making up names for ever smaller bits that they say compose every little thing. They claim that there is an irreducible part of everything and that they need some more funding to work up a name for it.

That is possibly true of most everything. I don't know. I am not a physicist today. However, the Midwest is not made of matter. It is a smooth flowing substance that blankets the middle of America. It is made up of the coughs of sickly dogs, the tread of a fat man leaving a factory at 5 pm, of recipes using marshmallows and ketchup.

This substance has collected for millenia on the salinizing soil across the belt of a supine America. There is archeological evidence that woolly mammoths played dart ball and that ancient peoples of the region preferred bland food and unoffensive, repetitive conversation.

Now, with commercial farming and long straight highways, the substance of the midwest is spreading. It sticks to wool sweaters and is packed into suitcases that pass through O'Hare. The Midwest drifts free now throughout North America and the world. Pockets have collected in the Pacific Northwest and California. There is a rich vein in Florida.

Physics also tell us of entropy, of heat loss. That everything settles down over time. Computer models have shown that The Midwest will continue to spread, eventually covering the entire globe. The people of Saudia Arabia will start drinking instant coffee. Chinese will take up bland Protestantism. Garrison Keillor's books will be translated into every language of the earth.

I will be camping out in the Marianas Trench. Join me and the last hold outs of coastal America.

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