Thursday, July 7, 2011

An Idle Question

     In Those That Wake, I wrote about Forgotten Places, parts of the world that people had stopped visiting and thus had left their memories and slowly started to fade from the world itself.  I was put in the mind of this a few days ago as I was driving from Ashland to Sacramento when I encountered a sign that said "You're now leaving Oregon.  Come Again!"  About a hundred feet on, a second sign sprang up, proclaiming "Welcome to California!"  So, there's a good one hundred feet of highway in between these two signs and, apparently, it's not in Oregon and it's not in California.  Where is it, exactly?  Does anyone own it?  Doesn't this same expanse of unclaimed land exist between every two bordering states in the country?  Can I claim this land?  Could I not, in effect, have this strip of land winding its way through the continental United States and proclaim it a massively long (but not very wide) fifty-first state?  Could I not charge a toll every time anyone passed into or out of its borders?
      There's a short story in here somewhere.

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