Illustration by Chris Philpot. 


Former Rio Rancho resident NANCY BELL once traveled from New Mexico to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. While there, she needed to refill a prescription for pain medication. When asked for a photo ID at the pharmacy, she pulled out a driver’s license and watched for a few minutes as the clerk haltingly put her information into the computer. “Is there a problem?” she eventually inquired. The employee confessed that she had no idea how to process an order from a foreign country. Talk about adding insult to injury!


During a layover at John F. Kennedy International Airport, ALFONSO ROMERO struck up a conversation with a teacher, who asked where he was from. “Born and raised in Belén, New Mexico,” he replied. The stranger said, “Oh, I’ve been to New Mexico!” Here we go, Romero thought. Sure enough, “I went to Tijuana!” she added. “I’m sure you know where that is.” Romero grinned and said, “Sure do. It’s just west of Rodeo.”


“Well, there’s missing, and then there’s really missing,” DAN BENTON writes from Albuquerque. A friend he met at Mississippi State University recently informed him of the strange existence of New Mexico, Mississippi, a ghost town that has lain at the bottom of the Mississippi River since at least 1844. The onetime seat of Washington County simply “caved into the river when she beckoned,” Benton explains. We looked it up on Wikipedia and found no information about how the waterlogged town got its name. Did the Big Muddy get mixed up with the Río Grande?

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

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