Welcome from the left side of the bell curve

I am in Carlsbad. Carlsbad is a city in New Mexico. I like this town! Twenty thousand people live here. That is a lot. That is more than three times the number of people in Fort Stockton in Texas. Fort Stockton had an AOL access number.

There is no computer access here. "Cahm-pyoo-ter?"

Do you have a phone jack I can use?
What kind of phone jack are you looking for? What kind of phone?
Just a regular phone. (Yeah, that's it, just a regular phone. No sense confusing the issue. Give them something they can understand. I'll save the tutorial for later.) I want to plug my phone into a jack. Do you have a jack I can use?
Well, Wal*Mart...
No, I want to plug into a phone jack. [making frantic copulation gestures] I need a phone line. I need to plug into a phone line.
Well, Wal*Mart...

AOL does not have an access number here. There is no Kinko's here. There is no WiFi here. The interstate is miles and miles and miles away. This town is near two national parks. This town is near many other outdoor recreation areas. This town has no hiking-type outdoors stores. The entrance to the local mall just says "Mall" over the entrance.

More than twenty-thousand people visited Carlsbad Caverns in 10/03. There are twenty-thousand residents. AOL does not have an access number. That is a clue.

The people here are nice! The guy at the Radio Shack knew what WiFi is. The two librarians knew something too. The guy at the office store kindly let me use his phone jack. The guy at the pizza place wasn't a complete idiot.

Almost everyone else here is a complete idiot. They are not bad people. Just dumb. This is like a town where time stopped. The potash mines were big in the 1960s, and many of the buildings in this town were built then. Then, it stopped. This town is a goldmine of 50s and 60s architecture. There is nothing else in the mine. The ladies at the Visitor's Center have earned my "Less Than Useless" designation.

Oh! I forgot about WIPP! It's just 30 miles outside of this nice town. It brings jobs here. The people here like it. The people in Santa Fe do not like it.

I like Carlsbad!

I mean no disrespect to those who are mentally retarded.