State Rorschach

That’s Mimal the elfin chef with a pan of fried chicken. He is named after the first letter of each state that he is composed of: Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana. It’s an old gag but it still amuses me, and it always unburies the age-old question. Do the states make Mimal or does Mimal make the states? The question is so deep and profound that I don’t dare try to answer it.

Mimal came across my desk the other day, and as I stared longingly at his pan of fried chicken, I wondered:

“Are there more Mimals among us? What other characters are hidden in our boundaries? And are these clues that I can pass on to Nicholas Cage to find the next national treasure, or does he already know about them? Am I just wasting my time?”

I brushed off my insecurities and fear and began the journey. And began it did. Here’s what I found.

States and shapes

Here’s the thing though. If you stare at the states long enough, your mind tricks you into seeing anything. I mean, come on. Green slug with an orange wig and an underbite? That’s a stretch.

But this. This my friends is glaringly obvious, and like Mimal, once I saw this I could not believe it was there all along, right in front of me.

Smiley county

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