Kim du Toit, quite unintentionally, put me up to this. In Ideal States, he analyzes the question: "If we were going to move, where would we move to?" And he allows that there are some perfectly wonderful characteristics about his family's current digs in Plano, Texas:

  • No homeschooling issues
  • No state income tax
  • Low cost of living
  • High standard of living
  • Conservative politics
  • No stupid gun laws

A formidable set of advantages. But there's the downside:

  • The heat
  • No scenery
  • Middle of nowhere
  • No seasons

Much of what du Toit says about Plano could also be said about Oklahoma City. We do have an income tax, though the property tax here is lower; the standard of living is just about as high in the suburbs, a smidgen less so here in the middle of town; and we have only three seasons: freezing, storming, boiling. Indeed, he says that while Oklahoma is "politically okay," it fails the "heat test," and with 16 days last month over 100 degrees, I'd say it fails spectacularly.

And I think I'm applying a "heat test" of my own, since this is one of the more obvious failings of this part of the country. Five years ago I went to, and this is what I found:

Twenty-three of the 24 locations recommended were up towards the Great White North; the sole exception was New Orleans, which has the sort of climate that makes me wonder if maybe I'm listed as the soup du jour.

This was, of course, five years ago, so maybe it's time I tried the site again. My old password, unsurprisingly, had expired, so I started fresh with whatever my current criteria might be.

And apparently those criteria haven't changed all that much in the interim. In 2001, their first pick for me was Providence; this year it came in sixth. Baltimore and New Haven, both top-twelve in 2001, made the top six this year. No trace of New Orleans this year, but where they really think I ought to be is Little Rock.

It should be said up front that Arkansas doesn't pass du Toit's "heat test." And I admit, there are parts of the state I find charming, but most of them tend to be up toward the northern half of the state Harrison, say, or Jonesboro.

Which leads, inexorably, to the next question: What would it take to get me to move?

And the answer: it will take both the promise of True Love and the possibility of Untold Riches to get me to budge from where I am right now. At the moment, I don't see either of those on the horizon, and have no reason to expect this situation to change.

The Vent

  1 August 2006

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 Copyright © 2006 by Charles G. Hill