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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Can't Afford Hawaii? Relax in South Dakota!

South Dakota Tourism has to jump on this one: according to a massive CDC study (2.4 million adults surveyed from 1993 to 2001 and 2003 to 2006), South Dakota has the second-lowest stress level in the country. Only 6.7% of South Dakotans report "frequent mental distress." Hawaii's residents are just a snudge less stressful, with 6.6% reporting such distress. Need to get away from it all? Skip the airfare to the Big Island; drive to South Dakota and relax at Lake Herman State Park!

But as we interpret the CDC study, remember, we're South Dakotans: all the Germans and Swedes and Lutherans among us wouldn't tell you if they were stressed.

Of course, South Dakota also has one of the highest rates of binge-drinking in the nation. Apparently the folks whose stress drives them to drink were too drunk or hungover to respond to the CDC survey.


  1. It sounds so much better to go to Hawaii then Lake Herman.

  2. I agree about Hawaii sounding better than Lake Herman or any place in SD. After all Hawaii doesn't have our wonderful, warm, balmy winters.

  3. I actually lived on the Big Island of Hawai'i from May 1999 through August of 2000. In all that time, the weather was really bad on only one day, and that was nothing more than a hard rain.

    That said, if I had my choice today between a condo in Kona and a 1-bedroom bungalow on 5 acres next to Lake Herman, I'd go for Lake Herman.

    Of course, I never claimed to be totally sane. It's just that I been there, done that ... after a certain length of time, the exotic becomes mundane. Trust me on this.

  4. Put Stan on a Chamber of Commerce brochure!

    Cheapest airfare, FSD to HNL: $861.
    Cost to drive to Lake Herman: your mileage may vary, but you won't have to rent a car when you get here!"The exotic becomes mundane"—too bad there's not some law of conservation of exoticness: for every exotic locale that becomes mundane, some other mundane locale should become exotic for someone. Must be some Second Law connection between the mundane and entropy. Living in low-stress South Dakota, I have the mental leisure to contemplate such things....

  5. The mundane can indeed become exotic. Just went into the back yard and saw how the insect revolution has overthrown the glaciers. It only takes a "Dakota state of mind."


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