Roll Those R’s

National media had a field day over a spelling error too large to miss. In July, the New Mexico Department of Transportation upgraded a truck-size directional sign on I-40 that told motorists which way to go if they wanted to reach “Albuqueque.” After about a week, a new sign appeared that restored the missing r to the state’s largest and most easily misspelled city. But a few folks wondered if the department should just go all-in on r’s. Named for Spain’s Duke of Alburquerque, the city’s name once bore two r’s. Tales of how the first one was lost differ, but it seems destined to stay missing … forrreverrr.

Batten Down the Hatch

Former New Mexicans Erin and Kevin Knox miss our cuisine, so they were delighted to find Fresh Gourmet Crispy Hatch Chiles on the shelves at their Tucson, Arizona, Costco. The colorful bag promised that the spicy snacks were “great on burgers, chili, quesadillas,” but small print on the back revealed a shocking truth: “Product of Mexico.” Would a manufacturer in a nation as rich in chile fields as Mexico really go through all the hassles of importing someone else’s chile across an international border? The Knoxes thought not. “Our fellow shoppers were wondering why we were laughing so hard,” Erin said.

Sorry, Wrong Number

Albuquerque resident Ken Wegman tried to call his sister in Mesa, Arizona, back in the days when long-distance calls came with sticker shock. He dialed her number, but the call went to somebody else. He apologized, hung up, and called again. Wrong number. Again. Twice more he tried. No luck. Growing as frustrated as the woman who kept having to take his faulty calls, Wegman asked an operator to dial the number for him. The same fed-up woman answered. So he tried the operator once more in hopes of at least removing the charges. “Where are you calling from?” she asked. On being told “Albuquerque, New Mexico,” she directed him to—you guessed it—the international operator.

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

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