Odessa, FL: If there is one thing that Travis Grauman is good at, it’s shoplifting. By his own estimation, he has stolen hundreds of dollars worth of candy and disposable razors from countless gas stations and has only been caught “four to six times.” Recently, while practicing his craft at a 7-11, Grauman swiped a copy of that day’s Tampa Bay Times newspaper, along with three bags of Jolly Ranchers and some dish soap before absconding for his nearby home in the Pleasant Meadows Trailer Park.
While sitting on his futon, Travis opened up a bag of watermelon Jolly Ranchers, his favorite, and began to read the newspaper.
“The damn cable was out and I’m sitting there, sucking on my Jolly, and there’s this article about some sort of factory falling down and killing hundreds of people and I’m like, ‘Man, that is totally fucked up.’ And I’m thinking that maybe this happened in Tampa or whatever and I see it’s in some place called ‘Bangladesh.’ And I had a good laugh because I know Bangladesh ain’t no real place. April Fool’s jokes are the best!”
Grauman was referring to the collapse of a garment factory known as Rana Plaza in Savar, a town on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, that killed an estimated 400 people. It is believed that there are countless other victims still buried underneath the rubble and the likelihood of their survival is marginal at best.
Grauman’s laughter was a result of his belief that Bangladesh is not a real place. “No way that’s a real country. I would have heard of it by now. That’s a made up name.”
“Now, maybe I wasn’t so good in school or what not, but I’d know if there was a place called ‘Bangladesh.’ I would have heard about it on t.v. or something,” protests Grauman, 38, and currently unemployed.
When a map was presented to Grauman, showing that Bangladesh, a country of 161 million people that shared borders with both India and Burma, does indeed exist, Grauman scoffed.
“Bullshit,” he said, noticing that the cable was working once again. “Now git out of here ‘cause I got some ‘Duck Dynasty’ to watch.”
A friend of Grauman’s, Ned Hutchings, apologized for his ignorance. “Travis doesn’t get out as much as the rest of us, or else he would have known that Bangladesh is a city in India. That’s why I’ll be the one with the map when we road-trip to the George Bush Library. We’re going to see the pictures.”