In the wake of the closure of New Jersey’s only public television station, lawmakers have put forth a plan to divide New Jersey into two parts and offer the sections to their respective neighbors, Pennsylvania and New York.
The move has been met with a mixed response. State agencies in both New York and Pennsylvania will scramble to revise vital statistics records for the nation’s most densely populated state, which will now show births, deaths and marriages to have taken place in their new states. While the project will create hundreds of long-term temporary jobs in both states, it will require tax hikes that will wipe out any savings New Jersey residents may have hoped to see as they join the tax rolls of their new home states. Residents of New York and Pennsylvania are also not happy to gain New Jersey’s financial troubles.
Another serious matter for concern is how to rewrite various New Jersey legends and historical data. The easiest problem to solve turned out to be how to rename The Jersey Devil, which will now be known as The Delaware Devil, as the legendary monster allegedly resides “close enough” to the second smallest state in the nation, and people like alliteration. New Yorkers will surely be pleased that the argument over the home of the invention of baseball can finally be put to rest now that Elysian Fields in Hoboken, the site of the first baseball game, is considered a part of New York, bringing the invention of the game and the invention of the baseball diamond into the same state. No word yet on issues surrounding the Revolutionary War, Paul Robeson, or poet William Carlos Williams. Musicians Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi have not been reached for comment. Flag makers nationwide have temporarily stopped production.
Rutgers University will be absorbed by the Penn State system, creating an administrative and fundraising nightmare for their athletics departments and the NCAA as the two football teams negotiate their new shared future. Princeton students were a bit confused to be in the same state as another Ivy League school, but expressed relief at not having to listen to Jersey jokes at Harvard games.
In entertainment news, television executives rushed to find alternatives to Jersey Shore and Real Housewives of New Jersey. As one anonymous source explained, “Now what are we supposed to do? The gag is gone. The whole joke was in the title. What now? Substantial programming? Please.”
A few groups could be described as relieved. The National Governors Association is pleased to finally have a tie-breaker. Local governments are also looking forward to shelving the question of whether to merge local services, such as police and fire departments, among the state’s 566 municipalities. “It’s a pesky question that no one wants to budge on,” said one small-town mayor. “We have much bigger questions to answer now and we’ll just leave that fight to the new guys.”
One woman summed up her feelings on the move this way: “When they shut down NJN, I was worried that we’d have to rely on Pennsylvania and New York to report on New Jersey news, and we’d only ever get news on crime and corruption, because that’s what drives ratings. But now, with this, it’s great. We don’t have to worry anymore, because we don’t even exist!”
Originally published at Mostly Absurdity.