I Have So Many Emotions Part 2: The Mystical World of Rhode Island

Jessica Pena

In the jungle, the mighty jungle, there’s a place called Rhode Island.

Last weekend, the USGA went to Providence, R.I. for its annual retreat. It was fun. It was great. It was informative. Group discussions were held, but the major issue we addressed was whether or not Rhode Island was its own state. That’s right, you read correctly.

Throughout the trip, on the way back to UNH, and a two-hour conversation at McDonalds had many students talking about what makes Rhode Island its own state. So now I’ll help out those who have conflicting emotions about it by giving them the true facts of the mystical world of Rhode Island.

One thing that is so true about Rhode Island is that it’s the smallest state in the United States of America. We can’t forget, folks, that Rhode Island is part of the USA. The state is also known as “The Ocean State” because of its surroundings of water, as well as being flat with no mountains. I don’t know about you guys, but surrounded by the ocean and being flat does not sound like fun or safe. Picture this: if one place floods, then everywhere floods. If one place goes under water, then everything goes underwater. As much as I love Ariel, Sebastian and Flounder, I would rather be with the human race.

Another myth is currency, whether or not Rhode Island has its own money. Sorry to break to it to you Rhode Islanders, but you are going to have to stick with the same money as the rest of the 49 states in the U.S.— the same old green, rectangle paper. However, they do have one of the highest tax rates in the country. No me gusta.

Rhode Island has had monumental successes in the past. One was during the Civil War era. The state was the first Union state to go to war. Now that takes big cajones (get a Spanish dictionary) and guts to fight.

Another grand success is that Rhode Island is listed as one of the safest places to live. So, city of West Haven, take notes please. The list keeps rolling, with Rhode Island passing same sex marriage and civil unions. They really do care about people’s happiness.

One other great myth was whether Rhode Island has its own accent. The answer is yes they do. Well, some of them do anyways. Some speak with a non-rhotic accent that can be similar Brooklyn’s accent, or a mixture of both New York and Boston accents.

Ooh, it gets better. Get ready to bring out the cast of The Jersey Shore, because Rhode Islanders also keen on jersey accents. Plus, isn’t one of them from Rhode Island?

Other crazy facts are that a “water fountain” (you know, the thing that pumps up water for you and me to drink?) for them is called a bubbler. Say what? My mind is blown away right now. Even more so is the fact that Rhode Island has a holiday called “VJ Day,” which is Victory over Japan Day. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m not a fan.

I mean, what if you have Japanese immigrants in your area. Do you go “Ha, we beat you!” I don’t know how this works without hurting people’s feelings and culture. Can a Rhode Islander please explain this to me, because I’m not getting a nice clear picture in my head.

Also, please explain why you Rhode Islanders have your own food dishes. For example, your own hotdog! Apparently it’s smaller and called “not-appropriate-to-say-so-find-out.” Along with that, there’s a Rhode Island salad, the snail salad. Sounds to die for.

Not only do they have their own food, but Rhode Island has their “state drink” as well. Coffee and milk is the way to go apparently. Forget about you’re coffee being solo: it can have milk in it. I really didn’t get this, until I learned it was syrup. Again my mind is blown away.

Other odd things from Rhode Island are license plates. Alright, stay with me guys because when I read this, I was astounded. The lower or least digits you have on your license plates, the more prominent you are. I’m sorry, what year are we in? This is so bizarre. I can’t keep my laugh in.

So, it’s conclusion time. What is the status of Rhode Island? Ha, definitely mythical, but still part of the Unites States of America. Sure, they have some weird stuff, but what state doesn’t? From money, to accents, to food, to license plates, Rhode Island seems an okay place to chill and hang out.