This article is part of the The Great American Reach Around series.
This week in the Great American Reach Around we will complete our long tour of the South by visiting two of that region's most unusual states. Florida is a state divided between the Deep South of its Panhandle and Heartland regions and the tourist-friendly metrosexual paradise of Southern Florida. Both version of Florida can be fun or scary, depending on where you end up and who you end up there with.
We'll also be heading to Louisiana for a look at that creepy Creole realm of Voodoo, pirate ghosts (or is that ghost pirates?) and derelict refrigerators. As many of you may have surmised from watching anything over 30 seconds of TV in 2005, Louisiana has fallen on hard times, and the city of New Orleans is still far away from a full recovery.
Achtung! Our foreign representatives this week hail from the fatherland, bringing us two heaping servings of Deutschland. Tech will be giving us a tour of his historic home city of Darmstadt and Funky_Faultier will be showing off the town of Mayen, where precisely nothing happens. You hillbillies out there will be given the rare opportunity to see how hillbillies in Europe live.
If the states of the Deep South are the oddball states of the Union, then Louisiana and Florida are the oddball states of the oddballs. Generalizing states and entire regions of the United States is antithetical to the purpose of this entire project, but the rest of the South seems downright homogenous compared to these two schizophrenic pariahs.
We begin this week's adventure in the state of Florida, home to Walt Disney, the swampy Everglades, alligators, air boats, and Don Johnson in a powder-blue blazer. If you are an avid political hound then try to suppress the urge to grind your teeth you feel each time you hear or read the word "Florida". They're not deciding the outcome of an election. Yet.
Save the guinea worm? Him good worm. Part of environment. Green jobs.
This space-age device is a cardboard box with two holes in it. The operative sticks a hand in one end. The contact inserts a hand in the other end. With both hands shielded from prying eyes, a secret handshake can commence.
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.