Los Alamos, New Mexico - Known as the desert home of the nuclear bomb, Los Alamos, New Mexico has become a kind of refuge for Californians sick of working in the Almond industry.
"It's not an industry," said a self-descirbed "almond refugee" who asked not to be indentified for fear his almond growing family would drag him back to California.
"If they don't do it, then the distributors would," he said.
Los Alamos, with its elaborate networks of underground tunnels left over from its top secret nuclear weapons program dating back to World War II, has proven an ideal location for Californians fleeing the almond industry.
"I wouldn't say almonds dominate the state, but they do dominate the lives of the those unfortunate enough to be born into families that raise, package, and distribute the damn nuts," said another almond refugee, who demanded to remain anonymous too.
The refugees complain that nowhere in America can one find almonds for sale grown anywhere but California.
"People here whisper that you can't even get almonds outside of America that aren't grown in California," said another refugee.
The refugees said that growing almonds is boring, packaging them boring, and distributing them to grocery stores boring too.
"It's like you live your life listening to the slow steady drip of almonds draining every ounce of life giving sap from your body," said an anti-almonder. "Why can't other states share the pain? Why must I be consigned to distributing almonds simply for having been born in a California almond klan?"
Almond industry spokesmen, speaking on deep background, say that they fear the trickle of almond refugees could turn into a flood.
"Truth is that almond production has always had about it a certain aura of ennui, a certain recognition that the state, the country, even the whole world, doesn't really need almonds all that much, and there may very well come a time when those who consume them will grow to hate the very idea of almonds as much as those who produce them," he said.
Though other states have climates and topographies conducive to almond production, the Governors of those states have long refused to promote almond growing, no matter how economically depressed their states may be.
"Almonds are a spiritual death knell to any who produce them," said a Governor of a state with very high levels of unemployment and more than its share of the many social problems that come with it.