Monday, June 25, 2007

"The Republic Of Chris"

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Before I take you deep into the Chris Allen Racing League (which will probably happen every time I can't think of something better to write about), I should probably talk about the Republic of Chris Auto Racing Association (ROCARA). But even before I talk about that, I should probably talk about the Republic of Chris. (It's not necessary, but I might as well.)

The Republic of Chris is a fictional country I made up when I was a kid (founded February 8, 1992, mostly inspired by the 1992 Winter Olympics). It borders the also-fictional James Republic, and the also-fictional United Federation (a joint effort between James and myself - I don't know when we founded that country, or why it even exists, to be honest with you). The countries were based on the floorplan of the house. I had the west half, and James had the east half. Here's a half-assed map of the original countries: (Keep in mind, James and I were 12 and 9 years old, respectively, when we came up with this stuff. So give us a break on the city names.)

The capital cities are Bunnyville (later renamed to something else for obvious reasons, once I outgrew my obsession with "Tiny Toon Adventures")
In terms of the outline of the house: My room was Bunnyville/Chris City, James's room was James/Whale City (his closet may or may not have been Whale City), Parkton was the unused bedroom (the "toy room", later the "computer room"), Louisville and Lewiston were in the hallway, Orange Grove and Zypher were in our bathroom, Comor was in the dining room, Eldridge in the hallway, Mellaville in the hallway in front of the front door (whatever's that called), Allenburg/St. Andrews/Pinnacle in the kitchen (I think), and Ormond in the living room. We didn't take up the whole house, because I guess our parents didn't want us playing in the family room or in their bedroom. So, in an effort to expand further, I "conquered" the little pond outside the house the front door, and called it "Lake Estates".

Eventually, our desire to expand the countries further forced us to completely disregard conforming to the floor plan of the house. Many years went by, and we kept adding on new territories and such, and even adding a new country. The final result, many years later, was two much larger countries. Here's a map of the "final" Republic of Chris:

I had trouble reproducing a James Republic map, but that's okay, because his country has its own web site. (I couldn't find a map on there, though.) When expanding the country, I always tried to make my country geometrically sound, so it was easy to reproduce. Almost every border falls on a 1/4-interval of the original size square (now the size of the Sydney and Allen territories). But I also tried to add some curves and angles to make it look a little more interesting. That eastern appendage of the Republic of Chris, though, I think was more the product of a border dispute with James. And we never have been able to agree on the proportions of everything. Perhaps to spite him, I placed my largest city in that area, named West Ormond. (Yes, north is up. And yes, West Ormond is east of Ormond. I guess I hadn't quite grasped directions yet at the time.)

I guess we didn't feel like calling them "states", so we called them "territories". I had the original Republic of Chris, plus a bunch of new terrorities that were periodically added over the next...oh, seven years. Some of the new territories had "themes". For example, every city in the Carolina Territory was named after a real city in North Carolina. (Little did I know I was years ahead of myself. Sadly, I don't think there was a city named "Cary". But we definitely had Raleigh, Lumberton, Asheboro, Southern Pines, and New Bern.

So, I had this country. What does it all mean? Well, I think the original intent was so James and I could have our own "Olympics". But eventually, I did two main things with the Republic of Chris. One was to develop a Republic of Chris Road Atlas. (Surprised?) Over the years, I've had so many different versions of the road atlas, I've lost track. Every time I redid it, I saw glaring faults in my network of roads, so I rerouted all of the roads. I still have the most recent road atlas lying around the apartment somewhere - I know I drew one while on summer vacation in 1999, but I think this version is newer. Once we got a scanner, I loaded my hand-drawn maps onto the computer, and posted them on the internet. I forget how it happened, but somehow, my Republic of Chris Road Atlas web site made it into Google. There was a time where if you would enter "chris road atlas" into Google, my web site would come up first. And even if you just typed in "road atlas", I would come up on the first page (7th, I think). Sweet! I got a lot of hits from seemingly curious people. But, I screwed it up by removing the website. What was I thinking? It was my biggest contribution to the internet!

The other main thing I did with the country was create a bunch of sports leagues with teams in my major cities, much like I'm doing now with the Chris Allen Football League with real cities. I considered going back to a Republic of Chris-based sports league when implementing the CAFL, but decided against it, because I see the Republic of Chris as a childhood creation that I don't really have any desire to upkeep. It was a nice childhood creation, but I think it's time has come and gone. My 25-year-old mind sees a lot of flaws with the country, so if I were to redo the road atlas, I would probably have to completely redo the whole country to be able to live with myself. And then, it just wouldn't be the Republic of Chris. So I'm going to leave it as-is. Maybe I'll redo the road atlas, but based on the last iteration of the country, without removing any unnecessary roads or renaming any stupidly-named cities. Or, maybe not.

Next time I can't think of anything else to write about, I'll talk about the Republic of Chris Auto Racing Association.

Last year: Because the days of the week don't line up from year to year, normally the Monday "last year" segment will actually be "last year minus one day", which was a Saturday. But I actually did write a post on the first Sunday, as well as the first Saturday. The Saturday post was "Zebulon, NC, about my drive to the nearby town of Zebulon, which I knew had a disc golf course (a hard one), and I thought had a Piggly Wiggly (nope). The most baffling thing about rereading that post was my complaint that the sun always woke me up between 740a and 745a. That late? That's almost two hours after sunrise! The Sunday post was "Raleigh Disc Golf". In that post, I said "I'm sure I'll go back and play Cedar Hills more". How many times have I been back to Cedar Hills since then? You guessed it - zero. And one year later, I still haven't been to all 22 courses within 100 miles of my apartment. And, that one-Bojangles-visit-per-month thing didn't work out so well.
Tomorrow: "Boone, NC". A recap of Saturday's drive to Boone.

Today's random thought:

- Why do we refer to wearing no underwear as "going commando"? Does it have anything to do with the movie? (Or the corresponding Atari game?)


Savanna said...

Going commando

Chris Allen said...

Ah, Wikipedia. What can't you find there?

James said...

I used to have maps on the Transportation page, but I don't know what happened to it. I still have my Atlas, though (it's actually on the floor next to the bed).