Welcome to Fun Facts About the 50 States, where – week by week – I’ll be taking you on a tour around this great nation of ours, providing you with interesting, yet completely useless and probably untrue, information about each of the 50 states.
This week, grab your pumpkin catapult, because we’re taking a trip to Delaware, so let’s get started…
* Delaware is a small state located in the Northeastern US in the New England region. Which is much like Old England, except with fewer spam-loving Vikings.
* At it’s widest point, Delaware is 35 miles across, which means – in THEORY – that the state *could* contain Michael Moore’s ass.
* The world’s largest frying pan was built in Selbyville, Delaware, in 1950 for the DelMarVa Peninsula Annual Chicken Festival. It’s 10 feet across, holds 800 chicken quarters, and is the only reason Michael Moore might try to squeeze his ass into Delaware.
* Delaware was the first state to ratify the US constitution in 1787. This is why people from Delaware are always wearing big foam fingers and shouting “we’re #1!”
* Can’t blame ‘em, I guess. It’s not like they have any sports teams to get excited about. Although the ones who don’t read so well sometimes make a fuss over “their” basketball team the “Dover” Nuggets.
* Delaware shares a semi-circular border with Pennsylvania, which marks the perimeter of the area guarded by the official state pit bull that’s chained up in Wilmington.
* The official state bug of Delaware is the ladybug, an insect easily identified by its red back, black spots, and 6 tiny foam fingers.
* Delaware is the only state in the US without any national parks. They were all eliminated as part of the plea bargain after Smokey the Bear was indicted in Delaware on arson charges.
* Delaware is the second smallest state in the US. It actually WAS the smallest at one time, but then they gave the state Pit Bull another 10 feet of chain.
* Although the log cabin was invented in Delaware in 1645, only one log cabin remains intact today, the rest having been eaten by ladybugs.
* The state bird of Delaware is The Blue Hen chicken which is known for it fighting ability. During the Revolutionary war, a single Blue Hen once defeated an entire platoon of French soldiers.
* Unfortunately, the French were fighting on America’s side at the time, and it would’ve cost us the war if they hadn’t been rescued at the last second by a brigade of lady bugs.
* The first settlers arrived in Delaware 11 years after the arrival of the Mayflower, because the men in charge wouldn’t stop to ask for directions.
* The official state song of Delaware is “Our Delaware”, recorded by Chuck Berry in 1972.
* Wait… I’m thinking of “My Ding-a-Ling”. Nevermind.
* The highest point in Delaware is a mere 442 feet above sea level. Despite the lack of mountains, Delaware DOES actually have a ski resort, located 5 miles north of Munchkin City.
* The first permanent colony on Delaware soil was New Sweden, which quickly died out because none of the other colonists could understand a damn word they said.
* I mean, how were THEY supposed to know that “Vhee zee cuoorfa hooffa heemun!” meant “Help us! We’re starving!”?
* A common sight on Delaware beaches are horseshoe crabs and shuffleboard lobsters.
* Delaware’s official state colors are “Colonial blue” and “buff”, which is just completely gay.
* The Delaware Indians were the most advanced and civilized of all the tribes in America until the White Man came, gave them smallpox, and stole their oil.
* Henry Heimlich, inventor of the Heimlich Maneuver, was born in Wilmington, Delaware. He developed his famous live-saving technique quite accidentally, while researching ways to sneak up behind people and punch them in stomach.
* Poodle Beach in Delaware was voted America’s Gayest Beach for 10 consecutive years. It’s annual Drag Queen volleyball competition attracts thousands of… Hey! Is that Tom Cruise?
* Sussex County, Delaware, is home to the annual Punkin’ Chunkin’ contest, where people use homemade catapults to throw pumpkins as far as they can. Prizes are awarded for distance, accuracy, and the pumpkin that most resembles Ted Kennedy’s fat head.
* Many residents of Delaware enjoy eating “scrapple”, a dish made from cornmeal mixed with pigs’ hearts, livers, snouts, tails, and other parts too disgusting to be eaten on their own. If you’re given the choice between eating scrapple fried or baked, choose suicide.
* Delaware does NOT charge a sales tax on consumer purchases. It DOES, however, tax the earnings of prostitutes, since that’s technically considered a “rental”.
* The test for a driver’s license in Delaware is to turn your car around without any part of it leaving the state.
* No one in Delaware has a driver’s license.
* During World War II, 12 concrete towers were built along the Delaware coastline so that observers could watch for the approach of German submarines. 1000 yards away. Underwater. In the dark.
* Why yes, it WAS a union job. How did you know?
That wraps up the Delaware edition of Fun Facts About the 50 States. Next week we’ll be wondering if that’s a leather coat that guy is wearing or if he’s just another senior citizen with a tan as we visit Florida.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go throw myself off a cliff so that I don’t have to eat this plate of scrapple.
[The complete e-book version of “Fun Facts About the 50 States” is now available at Amazon.com. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download free Kindle apps for your web browser, smartphone, computer, or tablet from Amazon.com]