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‘The obscene wealth on display at the Yellowstone Club isn’t what draws Sharon and Tom. It’s the sense of normalcy this place brings them. “Other members simply aren’t impressed by what you’ve accomplished outside the club. People don’t need to put on airs.” [Tom] recounted seeing a nationally famous club member tying his own kid’s shoe. “There he was, bent over on one knee. Not his nanny nearby, but himself. It was unbelievable to see.”’


Wyoming, UD comes to think, is our most peculiar state. In 2013, it was our fifth richest. It’s bilious with billionaires, but also boasts plenty of brick and mortar industry.

It’s got guns up the wazoo: “Wyoming has, by far, the highest number of guns per [shot off] capita. Of Wyoming’s 581,075 people, there are 132,806 registered guns.”

Shot off? What’s UD mean?

Waaal, you know… all them guns….

In 2020, 181 Wyomingites killed themselves. That’s a rate of 31 deaths per 100,000 residents, up from 29.4 in 2019, the highest suicide rate in the nation. The state’s suicide rate has remained high for years…

Round these parts, people say Let a smile be your umbrella. In Wyoming, they say Let a Colt be your bolt.

Or, as they say at the NRA: Guns don’t kill people; people with guns kill themselves.

And here’s another peculiar Wyoming statistic: It’s almost smack-dab at the bottom of states with the lowest covid vaccination rates. Only some of our poorest states (Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi) rank lower than wealthy Wyoming. (“Wyoming is currently ranked 4th in the United States for its economic outlook.”) Ain’t dat something? I mean, when you put it all together: A gorgeous, well-off state with everything to live for, whose most noteworthy output is suicidal gun-hoarders who don’t give a shit about their health or yours. Paging Cormac McCarthy.


And hey maybe UD finds all of this arresting because maybe she’s looking at the future. Where America’s cutting-edge, paranoid, venture capitalists go, there go I. There go all of us. To quote the title of that funny book about grammar: Eats, shoots, and leaves.

Margaret Soltan, June 21, 2021 9:45AM
Posted in: kind of a little weird

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