FYEO – Guam Chamber of Commerce Secret Plan For Attracting Residents From The Mainland
With the Trump presidency a day away, time is running out to follow through on threats to leave the country. And while Canada’s Cape Breton Island welcome mat is inviting, that recent PBS show on coywolves mentioned the animals attacked and killed a man in the woods there — in the land of socialized medicine — so one wonders what the outcome might have been had he received timely medical care. Whether you’re running from coywolves or just running out of bandwidth when it comes to navigating diplomatic red tape, good news! There’s a place you can move that is the farthest you can go and remain “in” America. That place is Guam. A scouting report:
Guam is a peanut shaped tropical island in the South Pacific, almost eight hours flying time from Hawaii, but that’s the only peanut you’ll see. United Airlines considers it a domestic run and, therefore, no meals and no in-flight entertainment. Think “Castaway” simulation. Small price to pay for an island that seems tailor made for licking your post-election wounds – we have a town called “Piti”! — and for never having to hear the “T” word again.
Guam is in a Compact of Free Association with America, we use dollars, speak English, have all the same stores, but our votes don’t count for president! (Just like those of millions of Americans!) Imagine never seeing a single faded campaign sign or grimy “Lock her up” bumper sticker, again. Plus:snorkeling!
In fact, instead of being forced to brandish a — wink-wink — “Sheriff” star, you can lounge on a beach where all the sand is tiny stars! It sounds like a Bon Iver lyric, but it’s true. Forget all about battleground states, you’ll only be battling your conscience as you enjoy criminally inexpensive meals and lodging in a South Pacific wonderland!
Fun fact: Guam was an actual World War II battleground and still boasts an extensive tunnel network and many remote hiding places, should your ethnicity now face persecution. A Japanese soldier lived in one for twenty-eight years; you could certainly make it to mid-term elections!
But as a resident, the only oppression you’ll encounter is the 92% humidity, and should you happen to Foxtrot Alpha India November Tango from the heat, military-trained EMT’s will happily respond at oh-handsome-hundred hours from one of the island’s three bases to assist! No charge!
Still, we think Guam’s greatest intrinsic appeal is its “dateline advantage.” Guam is on the other side of the International Dateline, a pretend longitudinal line that symbolizes a completely made-up concept, like “time,” “your horoscope,” or “the popular vote.” Like the Equator, but pole to pole, and irrationally crooked to skirt around one country, then dogleg over another – think gerrymandered voting district — the Dateline marks the place where time zones overlap, and days start anew.
Therefore, something awful “on the mainland” can’t possibly ruin your day here on Guam, because on Guam that day has already happened! Conversely, when you wake up, they’ll be fast asleep! Even if you turn on a newscast at, say, five pm, that’s only two am in Washington, DC*, so you’ll never run the risk of accidentally hearing U-Know-Who’s voice live, again!* And don’t trip yourself up thinking he’ll be in your time zone or traveling somewhere foreign and you’ll accidentally hear him, he already stated he doesn’t like to travel, remember? You’re in the clear! [*Not applicable to Twitter.]
Also, you can theoretically celebrate two birthdays (or commit murder) on Guam. Again, the secret is in the International Dateline. Commit your crime on day one, let’s just call it “murder day,” and then board a flight for Honolulu on day two [“day after murder day,” or “innocent day”], cross the dateline and land in Honolulu in time for dinner! Then break something at dinner to make a scene — a dish or wineglass is fine at a quiet place — to establish your alibi. For birthdays, you’ll be eating cake, playing with balloons and opening gifts.
Moving to Guam doesn’t mean abandoning your political positions or zeal for Twitter spats, either. You can still use social media to torment Nazis…grammar Nazis! Try these maddening, sounds-wrong-yet-technically-c
And, as if all that wasn’t enough, our Guam hello, Hafa Adai, pronounced “half-a-day,” will be good for at least a few no shows at work. (“Oh, sorry, boss, I thought you said today we could knock off early, you know, half-a-day? My bad.”)
There’s little downside to this plan, except for the pesky detail that more than half of our income, military spending, arrives via appropriations in the US Budget, a fact someone in the new administration may just notice in the next four years. But they haven’t yet!
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A former Washington, DC TV news producer, Debra A. Klein has contributed personal essays and features about places she once never knew existed to: The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Travel and Leisure, and Newsweek magazines, as well as The Little Brown Reader, 9th Edition and The New York Times Practical Guide to Practically Everything, among other publications. Follow her on Twitter @IWishIHadTyped