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Dumb and Dumber

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"Put yourself in a state of enchantment," New Mexico says. But it's a state of disbelief that's gripped New Mex icans since the 47th state was named least smartest in the union by the Morgan Quitno Press, based on various educational factors.

"It's never come up before about being a dumb state," says Jim McKenna, president of Rick Johnson & Co., the Albu querque agency that's handled New Mexico tourism for years. McKenna, who under stood all the questions posed to him and responded coherently, speculated that whoever is in charge at Morgan Quitno is "probably the same guy who lost his state spelling bee because he can't spell Albu querque. Maybe it bugged him all these years."

Meanwhile, Connecticut is basking in the glory of being named the smartest state. "Does this mean I can raise my rates?" asks Chuck Mascola, president of Mascola Advertising in New Haven, which handles four tourism districts in Connecticut. "At the risk of seeming self-serving, I'd like to invite the other 49 states to spend some time in Connecticut to get more smarter." He also offered some possible new taglines for the state: "See how the smarter half lives," "We're not conceited. We're perfect" and "Connecticut. Duh."

McKenna, an East Coast native, was unimpressed. "Let's face it," he says. "Connecticut's claim to fame is Martha Stewart."

"OK, New Mexico, spell 'Connecticut,' " Mascola res ponded.

Shoptalk did not ask Mascola to spell Albuquerque.