Crossing the Border

Early this morning I was laying in bed while half-listening to the BBC World Service on the radio. Most of my attention was occupied by a fiddle tune playing in my head; I was trying out various improvised variations on the tune when this statement caught my attention:

…and then we crossed the border into Miscellanea.

What could the reporter be talking about in his measured British accent? Was this some sort of strained metaphor?

I listened to more of the story and gradually realized that the border referred to was with Lithuania, not Miscellanea.

This fired up my speculative engine. Why might a country be named Miscellania? (I had to change the spelling.) Perhaps Miscellania is a country of immigrants, none of which has a population majority. Or the spelling might be Missilania, the name of a paranoid country ringed by ICBM missile silos and perpetually suspicious of its neighboring realms.

Back to the tune…




Filed under Words

5 responses to “Crossing the Border

  1. Joan

    I thought the big news was about the revolutions currently in Egypt and Tunisia. Lithuania? Not so much . However, as long as we are being facetious. How about calling your country Missellanea. A country (either sadly or happily, depending upon your personal preference) composed of unmarried women. Maybe they could be warriors with bows and arrows. Oh..wait. Didn’t the Amazons already do that? Well,we could do “Msellania”, a country in which everyone is required to guess as to the marital status of its female citizens. Oh wait..We already have that here in the U.S. Well… I give up. Your turn.

    • Okay, let’s call the country Mussulania, an arid place in the Middle East with few natural resources and too many people; the price of food has doubled and the country has disappeared from the internet. Relatively secular young folks are out in the streets while the despotic ruler seems clueless.

      Remember that the first outraged people out in the streets during the initial stage of the French Revolution were mothers who wanted bread for their children — not meat, just bread.

  2. Jeff Walz

    I don’t know about countries, but so far as states are concerned, I’ve passed from “Illness to Misery” many times.

  3. It would be an interesting exercise to compile a list of derogatory spellings of the fifty states. I remember Taxachusetts, as an example from years ago.

  4. Virginia

    I can’t think of any of those derogatory spellings of the states though I’m sure. I’ve heard them. When I lived in California a local weather forecaster’s pet name for Sacramento was Sacratomato because of the tomato farms in the area.

    Your mythical country could be Missivania, a place full of people intent on sending letters to every person in the world.

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