Another road show. PHC was broadcasting from Grand Forks, North Dakota. Which means they would need some site-specific material. So, I whipped up a couple of items and sent them in. One was taken from current events. There was a campaign back in 2001 about North Dakota changing it's name. The Chamber of Commerce thought the name brought up connotations of "Arctic" and "cold" and "freezing," "desolate," "tundra," etc. Weird, right? Therefore, my first skit was about the re-naming of the state. That material wound up in Garrison Keillor's Guy Noir sketch, one of his best known recurring characters. As for credits, there was no on-air credits, just the usual fake/punny writer names. Online, however, the sketch is marked as such:
© Garrison Keillor, Dan Fiorella 2001
But on December 8, 2001 PHC preformed Guy Noir going to North Dakota.
I'm attaching the material that I submitted to them below the break...
Being North Dakota
CB: Thank you so much, Mr. Keillor, it's a pleasure to have you here.
GK: Now, why a contest to rename the state?
CB: There's a belief that the name "North Dakota" makes it sound like we're so far north. There's way more north above us; there's Canada, the Arctic. Lots of north. Yet the name conjures up visions of a cold, barren, tundra-like state which sounds like it's too cold to live in or headquarter a business at.
GK: Sure, the name and the Easter blizzards.
CB: Well, there is that. But it was felt we should come up with a more welcoming name. There was talk of just renaming us "Dakota."
GK: Seems uninspired.
CB: Very vanilla. Luckily, we received so many other suggestions.
GK: For instance?
CB: Upper South Dakota. We thought that addressed many of the concerns.
GK: Tad long.
CB: Perhaps. Someone suggested simply "N. Dakota."
GK: The initial "N" Dakota.
CB: Yes, it eliminates the word "north" but allows us to keep the same postal abbreviation. Do you know how much it would cost us to change all the stationary and letterheads?
GK: That would be a consideration.
CB: Or maybe drop the "d"--Akota. That would put us right at the top of the alphabetized list of states.
GK: A valid point. Any others?
CB: So many, so many, many. There was West Carolina, since we already have a North and South Carolina. Or New Canada, borrowing a page from New Mexico. Perhaps "Classic Dakota."
GK: So what did you decide to do?
CB: With so many excellent suggestion coming in, we decided to open it up to the citizenry and put all the suggestions into this hat and we want you to pick one.
GK: And that's how you're renaming your state. On the luck of the draw?
CB: Oh, yes. And the winner gets a free vacation to the state formerly know as North Dakota and a copy of the video "Fargo."
GK: Let's get this over with, then.
GK: Okay, I'm reaching into the hat, I'm wiggling my fingers. I'm grabbing a slip of paper...okay, I have it, The new state name is "Northern-ish Dakota."
CB: That just says it all, doesn't it?
GK: And then some. Congratulations and thank you for allowing us to be a part of this momentous occasion.
CB: No, thank you. So, Mr. Keillor, have you ever considered changing your name?