A State of Their Own

In theory, I have always supported anti-federalism.

I like states to have their own power and character, if only to give to the Big Federalist government some opposition.

However, California is taking their “power” to a whole new level.

(Caveat: a great many of my friends are from California, so I am willing to accept the state for having fostered them.)

California seems to think that it is its own country. And really, at times it seems like its own country.

So for the uninitiated, I have prepared the . . .


Guide to Californian Idiosyncracies!


  • California’s Personal Customs Check Point. Just inside the border, all cars are stopped and inspected for “foreign” plants and animals. Seriously. I am pretty sure that plants or animals from Arizona are not going to endanger your precious ecosystem, California. But if you are going to stop me and ask about that, at least have the gumption to follow it up! The “inspection” was a cursory glance into the backseat. For all you know, I could have been smuggling throngs of hedgehogs in my trunk!

(Side Note: What is the name for group of hedgehogs? Up for nomination are: Urchin, Phalanx, Bevy, Zeugma, Splendor, and Foxtrot. What thinkest thou?)


  • The DMV will only take appointments. A supposedly more efficient system. But, lest we forget that all DMV are soulless, monster-breeding voids, this also means that appointments can only be made 2 weeks in advance, and . . .


  • The DMV is not open on Saturdays. Or before 9am on weekdays. Or after 4pm. Is the efficiency in place because all the people with jobs never make it in?


  • The DMV cannot make licenses and IDs in-house. Everything is sent to Sacramento and then IDs are mailed out within 6 weeks.  I am sorry, but this is just absurd. I know of no other state in which this is done. And what it means for me personally, is that I must wait another 6 weeks before I can get my life in order.


  • Liquor Stores. The best place to get liquor is . . . . (drum-roll please!) . . . WALMART! Yes, grocery stores can carry hard drink in California. Which is awesome, and I have never seen it before. However, there is not much selection, so I went to a liquor store looking for a finer quality of scotch. Um . . . don’t go into liquor stores here. The several that I tried appear to sell liquor on the side and do a main business in the purveying of sketchy magazines. I will stick with Walmart.


  • The butter is in a different shape. I don’t know why, but this bothers me. What is the point of making butter come in different type of cubed rectangle than the one used by half of the known world? Even the butter in Scotland doesn’t differ!

Lest you think I am just being irrational, let me show you.

This is a common butter division. Notice the long sticks, the quite cubic package.

See? Do we all agree that this how normal butter is packaged?

Now, this is how California does its butter.

Squat sticks, flat package.

It is the same exact amount of the same exact butter.

But I find it aesthetically irritating.

If you must make your butter different, couldn’t you do something actually interesting with it? Like, make all butter be molded into an ocean wave. With a little surfer. Then you would be cool and using your power for good!

In conclusion, California, you have nice beaches.  And the hills are pretty.

The End.


11 thoughts on “A State of Their Own

  1. While I find the DMV facts a bit terrifying, I confess I approve of the butter configuration. It may be aesthetically dull, but from a practical standpoint, it would be nice, in my household, to have smaller sticks of butter. 🙂

    • Well, I find that it is more difficult to figure out how to fit the butter into it’s appropriate door section. As it is the same AMOUNT of butter, the sticks still do not fit well.

      Can please design a stick of butter that stacks well into that narrow butter-shelf in the fridge door? Or perhaps it is merely the door that should be redesigned . . . hmmm.

  2. It’s not just CA about the butter; it’s that shape all up and down the coast. But I’ve seen the style you prefer as well, so maybe not all hope is lost on that front.

    Also, I do particularly like the idea of it being a “phalanx of hedgehogs”.

    Lastly, if you decide to travel about and see what lies north of the People’s Republic of California, do note that you are not allowed to pump your own gas in Oregon. Someone will come and do it for you. And, no, you don’t have to tip them.

  3. Yeah, I live in Washington, and we have California-style butter. I didn’t know it came in long sticks elsewhere. No checkpoints for smuggling around here, though, unless you try to get into Canada. If you do go to Canada, and you happen to carry a can of mace, they will a) freak out if you touch it in their presence, and b) confiscate it and mark it, very obviously, For Destruction.

    They’re also fussy if you tell them you’re going to sing wizard rock for a Harry Potter Yule Ball, because you might be “taking jobs away from Canadians.” “Well, Mr. Customs Officer, they’re not paying me. But the expression on your face just now was priceless.”

    • Is there a video of the wizard rock being sung? This I must see.

      Also, I’ve heard “array of hedgehogs” before. S’pose a phalanx is in keeping with that theme.

      • Unfortunately, no; I’m just not technologically advanced enough to have video. In fact, when it comes to wizard rock, I’m archaic. All I’ve got is a Myspace. But I blame that on the fact that my mixer broke before everybody vacated Myspace for Facebook and YouTube.

    • *sigh* Washington seems like a nice, sane state. Relatively.

      But the California check points were just WEIRD!

      Actually, on my most recent foray into the Land O’ the Maple Leaf, getting in was easy and officer was polite, but getting OUT the American officer was horrid and rude and took 30 minutes to inspect the car. Granted, it was 2am . . . .

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