Illustration by Chris Philpot. 


Years ago, RAYMOND PUFFER was a brand-new ensign in the Navy, assigned to what was then Sandia Base, in Albuquerque. Back in Michigan, his mother, a teacher, was telling her school principal of her amusement about her son in the Navy being sent to a landlocked state. But her colleague missed the point. “I really don’t see what you’re so excited about,” he replied. “He’s obviously been sent to one of their big Navy bases down on the coast.” Hope he wasn’t teaching geography!


KYM DODGE, who teaches second grade in Albuquerque, was preparing a unit on New Mexico, so she ordered a book online. She found it so hilarious, she sent it to our office. Unbelievable Pictures and Facts About New Mexico truly lives up to its name. It indeed contains “facts”: the state currency is the peso, New Mexico City is the capital, and the place is filled with stunning beaches and islands. If artificial intelligence wrote this, maybe we don’t need to worry about writers being out of work.


From Santa Fe, sales associate MARQUE ANN DUNHAM reports that she overheard a tourist who was staying at a famous hotel near the Plaza make an unusual request of the concierge. The visitor asked the clerk what number to dial in order to reach the United States. Dunham, who must see a lot of confused people, has another doozy where that came from—she says she was also once asked by a carload of people where they could find a bullfight. They may call it the City Different, but that’s not because it’s outside the country...

Read more: Check out our archive of "missing" moments.

have a “missing” moment?

Send it to, or Fifty, New Mexico Magazine, 495 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501. Include your name, hometown, and state. ¡Gracias!