December 20, 1995

Car Talk Plaza
5 JFK Street
Suite 304
Cambridge, MA 02138

Dear Tom and Ray:

You can imagine my consternation when listening to you last Saturday inhopes of gaining some insight on the upcoming debate on Estonian nuclear policy, when I and your other listeners were subjected to a gratuitous verbal battering of my fair state and her people.

In recognizing that this assault by individuals who live in a state which has a dead fish as its symbol and whose population regularly migrates to New Hampshire to purchase all nature of tax-free good and supplies, to ski, and to go to the lakes and breathe fresh air, one should not take seriously these barbs which obviously derive from simple jealousy.

However, buried within your tortured discourse, you did pose one excellent question-- why are Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire so different when "just a line on a piece of paper separates them?"

Let me explain and I'll keep it simple so your brother can understand. Vermont, if you will refer back to your map, is obviously upside down (need I say more). Maine is a more complicated case dealing with the ratio of moose to people and the interaction thereof over several generations. I refer you to any number of Stephen King novels, a Maine resident, for primary source material.

New Hampshire, however, as most people from the former socialist commune to our south know, is the lowest taxed state in the country (no income or sales tax), with the best health care, highest SAT scores and most livable environment in the nation (all rating achieved from independent, NPR recognized sources). In addition, we have more cars per capita than anyother state in the country, which means that mechanics with half a mind would be living and working in New Hampshire rather than Massachusetts. But, you already know that.

All this having been said, I regret to inform you that I have referred this matter to my New Hampshire attorneys, "Howe, Duwey, Cheatem" whose slower and more expensive cousins practice in your building and state. You should hear from them in due course; pending that, could you please tell me why the "check engine" light on my Ford Taurus does not go off (and yeah, I checked the engine).


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