In the interest of home-state pride, I’d like to take a moment to recognize the new state bat of Virginia. Signed into law yesterday by Gov. Mark Warner (D), the Virginia big-eared bat will henceforth be put on stamps and bumper stickers along with the Chesapeake Bay deadrise (official state boat) and milk (official state beverage). Apparently the big-eared bat had to beat out a rival contender for the title: the Louisville Slugger. Yuck, yuck.

As if that isn’t funny enough, Warner apparently likes to release his news in the form of limericks for the press. And no, they don’t begin with: “There once was a man from Nantucket …”

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Below the fold, an excerpt:

We have a state dog and a fish and a bird.
And of the fossil I’m sure you have heard.
So why not a bat?
What’s wrong with that?
The state beverage is no more absurd.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Upon my signature now it appears,
The designation will now last for years.
I’ll spare you the Latin
If you’re seeking the bat in
A guidebook, it’s the one with big ears.