After spending some time abroad, Placitas resident John McNerney flew into New York City, where a friend picked him up in a car with New Mexico plates. Soon they stopped at a gas station for a restroom break. On his way out, McNerney picked up a candy bar in order to become a paying customer. But when he dug into his pocket, he produced only European coins. As he told the clerk, “Hold on, I have some American money,” the employee looked at the car outside and replied, “Okay, New Mexico. I’ll take the American money.”
Recently, Ann Sutton took a package bound for Las Cruces to her local post office in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. At the counter, an employee handed her a multipage form to fill out. After she commented that she had never needed to complete such a document before, the clerk said it was required. As Sutton began to write, the clerk grew curious. “What is the difference between New Mexico and Mexico?” she asked Sutton. “It’s the new one,” Sutton replied, “north of the border. United States of America.” The paperwork requirement was quickly lifted.
The Confused Californian
In 1990, James Shuttleworth of Rowland Heights, California, was reluctant to complete the census. After numerous attempts by census workers to contact him, he finally allowed a young woman into his house to collect data. When asked where he was born, Shuttleworth said, “Albuquerque, New Mexico.” As she wrote it down, she asked when he had first come to this country. No wonder he was reluctant!