Prompt Images


Good one, bruh. Where are you from? Original Jokes, Wisconsin?

But OK. I’ve been waiting for my whole life for this. A chance to defend my home state of New Jersey against your boring and unoriginal attacks and defamation. To disprove your bullshit. To punch back.

When I ran this post by my loser roommate1 from Massachusetts, he said it came across as “hateful.” And that, folks, is how I know I’ve done my job. Because if you spent your whole life listening to idiots make trite-ass comments about the place you grew up—while being simultaneously unable to answer the question What’s the Matter with Kansas?, even when entire books are written on the subject—you’d be hateful too.

In the ongoing battle of New Jersey vs. The World, I’ll take New Jersey. The punching capital of the universe. So, come at me bro. This fight isn’t going to start itself.

New Jersey is the Armpit of America.

No, that’s a good one. Because it’s like where that New England extension stops and intersects with the rest of the country. I totally get it. Anatomy is funny. So then, is Maine the clenched fist and New Hampshire the collapsed vein of America’s opioid crisis? Just asking. Now GFY with Florida’s flaccid penis.

Also, after traveling through the stank highways outside Richmond, Virginia or the potent smell of cow shit-feed-slaughter-sweat on the I-5 once you hit Coalinga, California, I don’t want to hear a peep about that whole “New Jersey smells” thing.

I’ll concede that if you’ve flown into Newark Airport, that stank air hangs a little. But be honest with yourself, day traveler. Is your complaint that New Jersey had the good sense to put our airport next to an already industrial area, rather than next to hotels, beaches, or lavish residences? Come on.

I promise, this is not as cool as you think.

Jet fuel is toxic. Runways aren’t a tourist attraction. No one feels welcome at Newark Airport. We don’t want you to stay there. We’re doing you a favor. That’s just common sense. Sorry New Jersey doesn’t bother pretending. We have a very low tolerance for bullshit. And as for the industrial smells, at least we have fucking jobs here.

New Jersey is Just New York’s Unwanted Stepkid.

This one is particularly rich. You have to love how the majority of the self-aggrandizing “Humans of New York” don’t even live in New York City. And yet, when the regular-ass people of Saratoga go to Europe for the first time, they love to tell locals where they’re from, as if New York is all one homogenous cosmopolitan state. Nice try, Carl. Your Westchester County suburb just got its first Chipotle. You are not special.

And while we’re on the subject. We’ve all been talking about it—all the other states—and they nominated me to be the one to put it out there. New York: You need to get over yourselves. You know, you’re not the only ones who know how to make a fucking bagel.

It’s kinda like—you know how annoying it was when your coworker got a Tesla, and you had to hear about it all the time? At first you thought it was because Tommy was just sooooo excited, but after a while you started to wonder if maybe he’s overcompensating for something deeper and darker than just buyer’s remorse. Well, that’s how we all feel about New York City’s self-obsession.

Don’t talk about yourself so much; it’s rude. Maybe just pick one slogan and stick with it. And for fuck’s sake, stop. writing. songs. about. yourself. Just stop being so thirsty, New York. We all gotta live somewhere. We’re not judging you because you chose a rat-infested shoebox that costs $2,900 a month.

Why Can’t I Make a Left Turn?!

Well, citizen of Maryland, it’s because you’re a terrible driver. In New Jersey, the most densely populated state in the country, we had the good sense to recognize that one slow moron’s actions affect other people. It’s why we are—and I sincerely cannot believe this—one of only 10 states that has designated the left lane for passing only.

Bro. Get out of the goddamn way.

And so, again, because we’re smarter than you, we thought about how it’s not just meandering snowbird retirees cruising in the left lane. It’s also that when anyone brakes in the left lane before making a left turn, it makes everyone else slow down. And that, Tennessee, is how you fuck up the whole system for everybody. But judging by the quality of life in The Volunteer State, that’s just par for the course.

So, to make a left turn, New Jersey created something intelligent. We do that pretty often around here. Jughandles are not the thing you hold while spitting your chaw into a milk container, you revolting hick. They are a marvel of engineering and transportation planning.

Real recognize real.

I understand this is challenging for someone from South Carolina, considering the last intelligent thing that state created was Stephen Colbert. But you can’t make a left turn from the left lane because it’s dangerous and stupid. Kind of like the entire state of Alabama.

Yeah, but why is everyone such an asshole?

Attention Midwest: Being “nice” is not a distinguishing personality attribute. It’s a descriptor used for people who are ugly and unmemorable, but who make decent chili. So don’t parade around your “trademarked” niceness like it’s so special. Where do nice guys finish? I don’t remember, Ohio Republicans. Why don’t you ask your boy John Kasich.

After living in New Jersey for a short while, you’ll recognize that being nice is a pretty big waste of time. You really have to ask yourself—if given the choice between efficient service and pleasant service, which would you choose? Being intrinsically “kind” doesn’t refill my water, so—call me crazy—I’d choose efficiency every time.

I have plenty of self-esteem, so I don’t need a cashier to pretend we’re going to be besties after I swipe my credit card—friendship is not part of the transaction, boss. How’s my day going? That’s actually none of your business. Can I just get my sandwich and get the hell out of here?

Besides, dealing with assholes is easy! You do your thing, I do my thing, and we don’t spend time bottling our feelings, acting passive aggressively, or whining to our therapists about repressed emotions. We just yell and get it over with. You don’t have to hide anything. You can just be honest. Being an asshole is satisfying in the most primal ways. Try it sometime. You may lose some friends, but the truth will set you free.

Chris Christie is from New Jersey.

Yeah, and we all fucking HATE that guy, too. He’s the most unpopular governor in state history, and that’s quite an achievement considering the shady players in the NJ state house through the years. So why did we elect him? I honestly don’t know. Why does anyone elect anyone anymore?

Guys, we’re really really sorry about this.

I’m just trying to be grateful, I guess. Because in a time where political divisiveness is tearing this country apart, at least we can all agree on something. Chris Christie is a disgusting, belligerent manbearpig who should be prohibited from eating M&M’S, wearing baseball pants, visiting the beach, or holding public office. Not because he’s appallingly fat, a physical state he maintains even after getting lapband surgery, but because he’s a horrible, horrible person.

I watched Jersey Shore—those people are disgraceful.

Do u even internet bro? The whole world is covered in horny, drunk, unemployable narcissists with vanity muscles and implants. This problem is hardly restricted to the New Jersey coastline.

But more importantly, let’s clear something up right here, right now. Of the original eight cast members, only ONE OF THEM WAS FROM NEW JERSEY.2 Can you even imagine if Top Chef casted Snooki, JWOWW, The Situation, Vinny, Ronnie, Angelina, Paulie D, and ONE MEASLY LINE COOK named Sammi Sweetheart, and then tried to position itself as a cooking show just because it took place in a kitchen? What a fucking outrage.

People who grew up down the shore are nothing like those fucking idiots. We have real tans. We ride beach cruisers. We read fucking BOOKS and ride waves and surf and run the boardwalk. Yes, we occasionally fistpump, but I’m not going to take criticism on dance moves from these fucking Herbs.

Cool life, Oklahoma.

Bottom line is that Jersey Shore should have been called BENNY GO HOME. And if you don’t know what that means without Google assistance, then trust that you don’t belong down the shore.


Very articulate. That’s exactly the kind of argumentation I expected from public schools not ranked #2 in the country.3

I just have a hard time accepting any of this sourceless mythology. New Jersey is fucking awesome. It’s a great place to grow up, to live, to thrive. And you know what else?

New Jersey has better food.

Every Sunday morning, I wish somewhere would just serve a simple pork roll and cheese sandwich on a hard roll. Is that too much to ask? And though I have traveled across the country looking for a good slice of plain pizza,4,5 it does not exist outside of New Jersey or New York. Attilio’s on Pond Road in Freehold, you were my first love. And I’ll never forget you.

New Jersey also has better music.

Bruce Springsteen, ever heard of him? OH BECAUSE HE WENT TO MY FUCKING HIGH SCHOOL. What about Lauryn Hill, Naughty By Nature, Frank Sinatra, Redman, Bon Jovi, Whitney Houston, Frankie Valli, George Clinton? These are just the names I know off the top of my head. So, you’re welcome.

We’re also the only state that can drop its modifier and not be naked.

No one calls it York, Hampshire, or Mexico. And you can’t just drop the North/South/West and expect anyone to know which Carolina, Dakota, or Virginia you’re talking about. But we accept the shorthand. We know who we are, so there’s no need to be pretentious about it.

Let’s keep it casual. Jersey is fine.

But for the record, ABSOLUTELY NO ONE CALLS IT JOISEY. That’s not a thing. Never has been a thing. And you sound like a fucking idiot.

Do I sound defensive?

Good. Because I am. I don’t go around shitting on your state unprovoked, but this has gone on long enough. New Jersey deserves better than your hackneyed, uninspired slanderous prattle. I mean, I don’t even live there anymore, and I still spent my entire Sunday writing about how great it is. I dare anyone from Missouri not named Nelly to demonstrate that kind of affection for the place they grew up.

That’s love, my people.

Exit 8. Out.


1 *Supportive husband

2 Go ahead and argue that The Situation is from Manalapan. That dude was born in Staten Island and is as Staten Island as they come.

3 Don’t get cocky, Massholes. You may think you’re smart, but it doesn’t necessarily pay off. New Jersey outranks you on median household income and median family income. So, suck on that hot chowder.

4 For the record, if you call it a “cheese pizza,” you’re doing it wrong. In the same way you don’t have to specify that you want dough or sauce, you don’t have to specify cheese. That is just a plain pizza.

5 Also, fuck you if you like Pizza Hut or Papa John’s or Dominos. Don’t insult me. Don’t insult yourself.

Shout out to those who contributed ideas and valiant defenses to this piece: Joe Cahill, Joey Frankovic, Tina Scala, Chris Corbin, Matt Gragnano, Danny Farkas, and ya mutha.

Kelaine Conochan

The editor-in-chief of this magazine, who should, in all honesty, be a gym teacher. Don’t sleep on your plucky kid sister.

learn more
Share this story
About The Prompt
A sweet, sweet collective of writers, artists, podcasters, and other creatives. Sound like fun?
Learn more