Some interesting statistical analysis on True story locations from Premium subscriber Mark in (yep!) Florida:
I’ve been reading TRUE for a long time now, and it feels like every week I sigh as my home state of Flori-duh manages to embarrass itself yet again. I remember you mentioning before in the author notes that you believed Florida (not California) is the weirdest state in the union, and you won’t get any argument from me there — I didn’t need TRUE to tell me that. But up to this point, I was depending on my gut instinct, so I finally decided to prove it.
I went back and scanned the last 24 issues covering this calendar year to date and made a note of how many times each state and country appeared in True. I found that Florida indeed has been featured 45 times, far ahead of second-place finisher Illinois (15) and obvious choice California (13). In fact, of the most recent 24 issues, only four of them did *not* feature Florida. 15 issues included Florida multiple times, and two of them showcased Florida four times.
Just for fun, here are the weirdest states in the union based on year-to-date mentions in TRUE:
1. Florida (45)
2. Illinois (15)
3. California (13)
3. New York (13)
3. Ohio (13)
And the states most overdue for having Obliviots Gone Wild featured:
46. Hawaii (0)
46. Kentucky (0)
46. Louisiana (0)
46. Rhode Island (0)
46. South Dakota (0)
46. Wyoming (0)
And not to leave our international friends out, the weirdest other countries in the world:
1. United Kingdom (11)
2. Australia (8)
3. Germany (6)
4. Canada (4)
4. New Zealand (4)
(Headline of the Week, Tagline Challenges, and Bonus Articles do count, but they aren’t counted again if they are repeated in follow-up content in a future issue. Double stories where two people do something similarly stupid in two states count for both of them. Where possible, I counted the story for the state where the event happened, not necessarily where the source is based.)
Sure, there are lots of factors for what makes the cut (availability of English-language content, population and media coverage of different areas, and whatever happens to catch your eye). But I thought it would be fun to verify what we both already thought was true, and the statistics don’t lie — your instinct was right about Florida.
Keep up the great work!
Thanks, Mark, for your number crunching! Each of the slighted states you mentioned do have stories in the archive, even if they weren’t represented in the previous 24 issues:
- Hawaii: “Tired of Working for Peanuts” (Volume 1) is the first, but I think “This Won’t Hurt a Bit II” in Volume 2 is funnier, even though it doesn’t really have much to do with the state.
- Kentucky: “Baker’s Dozen” (Volume 1) is an early-but-goodie.
- Louisiana: “Yes, Master” (also Volume 1) might be the first for the Cajun State.
- Rhode Island is infamous for being the location of the first Zero Tolerance story in True (which was sixteen years ago last week!)
- South Dakota kept out of True until 1997, and then managed to be included two weeks in a row! “Herpetology News” and “Big Haul” are both in Volume 3.
- Wyoming: a “little country bumpkin” from there was first featured in 1995, in Volume 2’s Odd Couple.
But yes, while most expect California to be the weirdest state in the Union, it’s not; Florida is definitely weirder. Residents there whined when I once did an all-Florida issue, yet I could probably do one every month, if I was so inclined.
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