Thursday, September 06, 2007

Identifying the Middle of Nowhere: A Comparative Methodology

Method One: Define nowhere. It is typically a barren wasteland filled with unending rolling vistas of scrub trees and brown grass. If you find yourself driving through it you must keep a careful count of abandoned wellhouses and dirt roads. This is your track to the middle. When they thin out to four per mile you are getting close. There will also be a marked increase in beer cans, always domestic, and plastic grocery bags swirling in dust devils. Eventually you will be filled with a sense of impending dread and hopelessness. You have arrived.

Method Two: Look for a sign on the road that says 'Yakima, Washington.'

5 comments:

michael said...

Oh no! You have only found the outskirts of the Middle of Nowhere! I grew up in the several actual middles of nowhere, which as you know, like breakfast, is a moveable feast.
I went to gradeschool in Moses Lake, Jr. High in Kennewick, and High School in Milton-Freewater Oregon, which at the time had a population of 3200. What is sad is that I didn't actually live in M-F itself, but instead 15 miles outside of city limits, nearer to the metropoli of Umapine and Touchet, population together fewer than can be comfortably fit in a medium size public restroom.
That, my friend, is the middle of nowhere!

Keanan Brand said...

I haven't been to Oregon in about 15 years, so I don't know if these places qualify as "Middle of Nowhere" any longer, but as a child I lived in Sweet Home, Oregon, a tiny town surrounded by hills and trees, and in LaPine, Oregon, in the High Desert. Fond memories now, but while I was there, I just KNEW life was happening somewhere else.

Scriptorius Rex said...

I suppose I was struck by how much like nowhere everything looked while I was driving here. When I arrived I figured I must be in the middle of it. I'm here doing some sales calls for my company to see if there might be enough business to warrant opening a small branch. We'll see...

suburban dweller said...

... and what about the inhabitants of this benighted wasteland?

How were they affected by such dread desolation?

Had the dust devils rendered them similarly hopless and apathetic?

Scriptorius Rex said...

That's the funny thing about the Middle of Nowhere. You have no idea that you're actually There until an Outsider comes along to tell you.