"Ha, no, we should move there," my adolescent best friend giggled. "When people asked where were from, we'd say North Dakota and no one would believe us!!!"
I remember this interaction perfectly, down to the howls that were emitted by the two youths grabbing their stomachs in laughter as they rolled like bocce balls in an Italian villa.
This memory was made all too real when our friends began realizing just how far away from home we moved.
To all of these answers, I confidently respond, "But of course, what else do you assume North Dakotans do with their time?"
Generally (read: every time), the person interrogating me like a rabid honey badger on trial for harassing Jeremy Clarkson has never met anyone who visited or even dwelled within North Dakota. Therefore, they have no idea what happens here or if I'm telling the truth. And since I always tell the truth, especially when it comes to jackalope hunts, my own writing, and Chuck Norris, my acquaintances are left thinking that the population of North Dakota is much akin to early pioneers living in mud huts and eating mastodon for supper.
North Dakota is sparsely populated. It is, according to Wikipedia (which is about as accurate as a range finder with low batteries when faced with the biggest buck you've ever seen in your life) the fourth least-populated state in the country. Nine people per square mile call the northern state home which contrasts sharply with New Jersey where 1,189 people are packed within one square mile.
Charlotte, North Carolina, our beloved home for more than two years, is host to over 750,000 inhabitants. The entire state of North Dakota boasts 683,932 citizens. The entire state.
Least to say, I like it here. The people are all frighteningly good-natured and kind. Children actually play outside here, away from their new-fangled video games. The food isn't the best but it's good enough. The entire culture is based around hunting (and beer. Lots of beer, as North Dakotans drink more of the alcohol here than anywhere else in the country), a welcome environment for a passionate outdoor creature such as myself. No one asks IF you hunt, it's always where, when.
A while back, I read an article stating that North Dakota was America's greatest hoax, that there really is nothing here, no state, no people, no houses, no moose, no nothing. Given that I did not drop off the map into Canada the moment I passed over the North Dakota boarder, I took it upon myself to dispel the rumors by supplying y'all with some visual representation of what it means to live in this great, empty state.
North Dakota does exist, here is the proof.
So does North Dakota exist? I leave it to you to decide..