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I was shocked to find that New York is only the 24th most sinful state in the United States.  After all, New York City is infamous for its 'gentleman's clubs' and the various things you can easily obtain if you know who and how to ask.  A Wallethub analysis found that Nevada, Florida, California, Texas, and Tennessee are the top five most sinful states in the nation.  States were ranked on anger, hatred, jealousy, excesses & vices, greed, lust, vanity, and laziness.  Sound familiar?  Yep, they're the Seven Deadly Sins.

The only sin New York excels at is vanity.  Our state is #1 in the nation for that.  The analysis looked at the number of beauty parlors per capita, the Google Search Interest Index for the search phrase 'Top 5 Plastic Surgeries', and consumer expenditures per household on personal care services and products.

On the other sins New York is middling... in the Anger and Hate categories the top 5 most violent states are Alaska, New Mexico, and Tennessee tied for first place, followed by Louisiana, and Nevada.  New England scores quite low in violent crimes, led by Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire, followed by Virginia and Kentucky as the safest states to live in.  New York ranked 31 in Anger & Hatred. 

I thought we'd score higher.  Consider all those guys in Times Square dressed as Elmo aggressively demanding tips for taking a selfie with them... it got so bad that in 2016 the New York City Council passed a bill restricting Elmos and any other folks in character costumes to small designated zones where they could hustle for money from tourists wanting to pose for pictures with them.  There were even incidents of violence, and complaints about topless body-painted women. 

You have to admit, getting mugged by Elmo should raise the sinful ranking of any state (and also it is likely the most embarrassing mugging possible.  Can you imagine walking into a police station with tough, burly New York City cops at the desk, sheepishly saying, 'I was mugged.'

Burly Police Sargent: Can you describe the mugger?

You: (in a feeble stage whisper) It was Elmo.

Burly Police Sargent: What?  I didn't hear you.

You: (shouting) Elmo.  It was Elmo!

(Hoards of hookers, bank robbers, armed muggers, organized crime lackeys, and pimps look at you with undisguised smirks.)

Burly Police Sargent: (resigned to another mundane day in New York City) Fill out this form and take a seat.

(All the seats are taken by said unsavory characters.  You decide Elmo wasn't as bad as you thought, as you slink out of the police station feeling that justice isn't worth the humiliation.)

I wasn't surprised to find Nevada is #1 in sin.  After all, they are famous for 'Sin City' and what happens there staying there.  Although I was surprised to learn that Nevada only ranks #6 in lust, considering that prostitution is legal in some Nevada counties.  It turns out they are in the top five of all but two categories... they rank 26th in Anger & Hate and 20th in Vanity (nyah, nyah, Nevada, New York is #1 most vain!).  But Texas turns out to be the the lust leader, followed by California, Tennessee, Florida, and Louisiana.

Wisconsin is #40 in Excesses & Vices, but takes first place for one vice: excessive drinking.  I would have guessed gluttony since everything you order in restaurants there has cheese on it.  i was once driving with my wife from Minneapolis to a college campus in Wisconsin to see my sister-in-law, who is a stand-up comic, perform.  We passed a barn with a sign that said, 'Taxidermy and Cheese'.  Yup, you get cheese on everything there.

But that wasn't enough to get Wisconsin into the top 39 most excessive states.  I guess despite all that cheese, they don't have their fair share of obese people, smokers, coffee drinkers, fast food restaurants, dope smokers and opioid deaths, or a high debt-to-income ratio.

That brings to mind a road trip I took that found me in New Orleans, walking around the city looking for Preservation Hall to hear a jazz band.  It was summer and I had just gotten my first full time teaching job, so I decided to see what I could see, driving to Florida to visit family, swinging by Dallas, New Orleans, then north to find an apartment where I would be teaching in Illinois and back east on my way home to Massachusetts.  That day in New Orleans the doors to the various establishments were open with lascivious women and frightening men trying to lure me inside.  One of these people, hawking for what was clearly a topless bar, as you could quite clearly see inside with the doors open wide, called out to me, 'Hey Professor, why don't you come in and..."

I thought... "How did he know I'm a professor?  Is it that obvious?"

New York has positively virtuous rankings as the 49th most greedy state, and 48th in excesses and vices.  We rank 31st in Anger & Hatred, and 34th in Jealousy.  We do rank 17th in Laziness, even though I have been doing my darndest to lower that ranking.  I exercise almost every day, not that it's doing me any good.  And I am a hard worker, even though I am beginning to slow down in my old age.

So if New York wants to be more infamous, we're all going to have to get to work.  I'm thinking a mocha-chip ice cream binge at the nearest casino, perhaps after lusting over a new TV might be a good start...

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