Over the past week, state delegations have taken the microphone at the conventions and proudly spouted glowing trivia and superlatives about their home. Here’s a recap of those boasts, and suggestions for how to make this process more memorable (and more brutally accurate) in four years — using real facts!
DNC 2016: “We have champions!”
Better: We have the Unclaimed Baggage Center, which sells lost luggage from airlines, in the great city of Scottsboro!
DNC 2016: “The state that is on the front line of climate change!”
Better: The state where it is illegal to give alcohol to moose!
DNC 2016: “The natural state!”
Better: The state where a Flagstaff woman saw the face of Jesus in an X-ray of one of her left molars!
DNC 2016: “Where we first learned to believe in a place called Hope!”
Better: Where we race toads at an annual festival in Conway!
DNC 2016: “The state that defies Donald Trump!”
Better: The state where, according to Joan Didion, a “boom mentality” meets “a sense of Chekhovian loss”!
RNC 2016: “The most gorgeous piece of real estate in America!”
Better: Over which the ashes of Hunter S. Thompson were packed into fireworks and exploded in front of a crowd that included John Kerry!
DNC 2016: “The home of the pizza and the hamburger!”
Better: Where a stripper committed arson and was arrested after her DNA was found on a potato stuffed into the tailpipe of a truck!
DNC 2016: “The state that brought you Kevlar and Nylon and Gore-Tex!”
Better: The state that brought you your credit-card debt!
RNC 2016: “The state that gave LeBron his first two championships!”
Better: Where last month a man was arrested for punching a swan near Lake Eola!
DNC 2016: “The epicenter of civil and human rights!”
Better: The epicenter of collectible lunch boxes!
DNC 2016: “The prettiest place in the world!”
Better: The place where a young Barack Obama experimented with marijuana, or so he brags in his memoir!
DNC 2016: “The deepest gorge in North America!”
Better: The largest concentration of horse fossils!
RNC 2016: “We have the finest governor in our nation!”
Better: The birthplace of the original Aunt Viv from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”!
RNC 2016: “A $2 billion surplus!”
Better: A deceased, taxidermied bulldog named Stiffy Green that guards his master’s mausoleum in Terre Haute!
DNC 2016: “The first state university to accept women into its degree program!”
Better: The first state west of the Mississippi in which a moving train was robbed!
DNC 2016: “Home to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius!”
Better: Home to Paul Rudd!
RNC 2016: “Where citizens still respect God and the Constitution.”
Better: Where citizens attack one another with bras and defend themselves with ceramic chickens!
RNC 2016: “The sportsman’s paradise!”
Better: Paradise for adulterous senators who praise family values!
DNC 2016: “Known for our rugged independence and our relentless Yankee work ethic!”
Better: Known for being the only monosyllabic state!
DNC 2016: “The largest estuary in the United States!”
Better: The longest chain of human dominoes!
DNC 2016: “First in the nation to pass equal marriage rights for all!”
Better: First in the nation to cheat at pro football by deflating pigskin and videotaping opposing teams’ signals!
DNC 2016: “Created the middle class in this country!”
Better: Created Madonna!
RNC 2016: “Home of Spam!”
Better: [Actually, we can’t beat “Home of Spam!"]
DNC 2016: “Home of the blues!”
Better: Home of Oprah!
RNC 2016: “The birthplace of talk radio!”
Better: The birthplace of Scott Bakula!
DNC 2016: “The home of the only farmer in the United States Senate!”
Better: The home of the only U.S. senator with seven fingers!
RNC 2016: “The No. 1 beef-producing state in the union!”
Better: The No. 2 state in binge drinking!
DNC 2016: “A spirit as wild and free as our mustangs!”
Better: A spirit as wild and free as our Mustang Ranch brothel!
RNC 2016: “A state that has no sales or income tax!”
Better: A state that doesn’t subsidize any of its housing, meaning the wait for a Section 8 voucher is six years!
RNC 2016: “The greatest state in the union!”
Better: The greatest state in the union for stand-up comedy fodder!
DNC 2016: “Home of ‘Breaking Bad,’ the show!”
Better: Home of the Alien Light Parade, the marquee event of the Roswell UFO Festival!
RNC 2016: “We have as one of our delegates Donald J. Trump Jr.!”
Better: The birthplace of the second Aunt Viv from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”!
DNC 2016: “Home of the largest military base in the world!”
Better: Home of the largest gathering of Elvis impersonators in the world!
RNC 2016: “The only state in the United States last year to actually grow younger!”
Better: The only state in the United States last year not to see a drop in the number of delinquent juveniles sent to group homes or correctional facilities!
DNC 2016: “The heart of it all!”
Better: Where it is illegal to give alcohol to fish!
RNC 2016: “The reddest state in the union!”
Better: The reddest state in the union on a map showing man-made earthquakes!
RNC 2016: Home of “the great American pinot noir” and “hazelnuts”!
Better: Home of the tallest barbershop pole in America!
RNC 2016: “Home of the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins!”
Better: Home of Charles Grodin!
DNC 2016: “Home of outstanding beaches and coastline!”
Better: Home of Mr. Potato Head!
RNC 2016: “Home of the No. 1 city in the world, according to Travel and Leisure!”
Better: Home of the highest rate of deadly violence against women, according to the Violence Policy Center!
DNC 2016: “Land that brought us George McGovern!”
Better: Land that raised Bob Barker!
RNC 2016: “Top five in jobs growth!”
Better: Top five in diabetes!
RNC 2016: “A state where no Democrat has won statewide office since 1992!”
Better: A state where there are more obese adults than there are people living in Minnesota!
DNC 2016: “The greatest snow on Earth!”
Better: The greatest Romney on Earth! (That would be Josh. Just kidding, it’s Mitt! Just kidding, it’s Ann.)
RNC 2016: “Home of Calvin Coolidge!”
Better: Home of Ted Bundy!
RNC 2016: “The cradle of freedom!”
Better: The cradle of Oasis Winery, the foreclosed-upon 102 acres of vineyard once owned by White House gate crashers Tareq and Michaele Salahi!
RNC 2016: “Vast wheat fields!”
DNC 2016: Home to “the most compassionate people in the world when disaster strikes!”
Better: Home to the world’s largest teapot!
DNC 2016: “Where people still make things!”
Better: Where people claim that having sex with a goat is their constitutional right!
RNC 2016: “We are an energy titan!”
Better: We have only two escalators!
Monica Hesse and Ben Terris contributed to this list. Sources: the Bismarck Tribune, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, the New Hampshire Business Review, NPR, the Orlando Sentinel, Slate, Thrillist, WKYT-TV.