The Generall Historie of Virginia

On this day in 1606, the Virginia Company was incorporated in London for the purpose of exploiting the British possessions in North America. The most recent annual report cautions shareholders to brace themselves for a four hundred eighteenth consecutive unprofitable fiscal year.


Sir: I write to address the most egregious example of senseless discrimination and thoughtless bias in the modern United States. I refer, as your readers will already have surmised, to the naming of sport utility vehicles, or SUVs as they are known in the trade.

Just run down the list of SUVs marketed in the United States. Chevrolet Tahoe, Hyundai Santa Fe, Jeep Wrangler, Kia Mohave, Hyundai Tucson, Toyota Sequoia, Kia Telluride—one after another, we find vehicles named for places in the American Southwest, or for things associated with the Southwest.

Where are the SUVs named for places and things in the American Northeast? It is the most populous part of the country, and yet in the whole list of names I could only find one, Acadia, that might arguably have something to do with the Northeast. We search in vain for a Buick Utica, or a Subaru Sebascodegan, or a Hyundai Connoquenessing. We find no Jeep Stockbroker or Toyota Prothonotary to romanticize the typical native occupations of this land of legend and adventure.

Now, I could make the economic argument. I could point out how citizens of northern New Jersey would flock to dealers to be first in line for a Nissan Perth Amboy. I could enlarge upon the surefire appeal of a Chrysler Throop in the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania. I could make an unanswerable argument that a Kia Nantucket would revitalize the languishing limerick industry not just in the Northeast but nationwide.

But I prefer to stand on the moral high ground. This is a matter of elementary justice. A whole quarter of the country is suffering, and what shall we do about it? Shall we not say to the people of Fitchburg, “Yes, you are good and valuable people, and worthy of having an SUV named after you”?

And also, can we please stop beating around the bush and just call them station wagons? We’re not fooling anybody, you know. —Sincerely, Anne-Louise Cabot-Lowell, President, Acmetonia Chamber of Commerce.


Dear Dr. Boli: I keep hearing about how trans fats are bad for you, which sounds very unenlightened. But I confess that I don’t understand the issue. I can’t even figure out how fats have gender in the first place. What’s going on? —Sincerely, A Manufacturer of Margarine Who Had to Reformulate a While Ago.

Dear Sir or Madam: The “trans” in “trans fats” is short for transubstantiated fats. These are fats in which the healthful energy-producing substance of the food has been removed and replaced with harmful artery-clogging fatty acids, though the greasy accidents of the food remain. The demonic powers have been working on duplicating transubstantiation for the better part of two millennia now, but so far this is the best they have come up with, and government regulation appears to have stymied them on this front.


…that, by an act of the General Assembly, endangered species in Pennsylvania no longer pay sales tax?

…that April Fool’s Day injuries were down 17% this year?

…that Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel went to his grave believing that he had made sense of the universe?

…that the Earl of Sedgemere had a spaniel named Duke?

…that, out of all his accomplishments, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was proudest of his collection of Precious Moments figurines?