Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Insulting border states

I grew up literally within miles of the Iowa border but I've never lived outside of the state of Minnesota. Growing up, 44%* of all jokes had something degratory towards Iowans in the punchline. I gathered from those formidable years that Iowans were A) all Norwegians and B) extremely stupid and some eved fornicated with sheep.

As I grew up, I found myself still poking fun at Iowans. If someone stopped as they pulled off the freeway (Interstate 90) on to southbound U.S. Highway 218 - totally unaware that the turn lane formed a new lane on the U.S. highway - I would often times curse aloud that the person in front of me must be a "stupid Iowan jackass" even if their license plates said otherwise.

But then I moved to the Twin Cities. My rage towards Iowans came to an abrupt end. The cool thing, it seems, was to make Wisconsin the butt of your jokes. (To be fair, the only thing both states have going for them is liquor sales much more relaxed than Minnesota's) The only problem with jokes about Wisconsin is that I am a transplant to the area and, thusly, wasn't raised with an axe to grind against Wisconsin. I don't know the stereotypes (outside of their love of cheese, the Packers and deer hunting) of Wisconsinites and because of that I feel more than a little left out. It's like walking in to a costume party without a costume, you're gonna feel a bit awkward.

So the time has come that I either shelve my fake disdain of Sconnies or get on the bandwagon and learn the age-old jokes. After all, it seems like tradition and traditions are strong and I hope to one day be able to pass on my love of border state degradation to my daughter - and she'll hopefully be doubly blessed because I have my non-love towards Iowa down.

The only question I have is this: do residents of other states (if you live close to the border) practice the same degradation of your neighboring state? What do residents of northern Iowa say about us kind Minnesotans?

One safe haven from both Wisconsin and Iowa is MinnPics. No grudges shall be had in photography because this is one place where we know Minnesota is supreme.


H said...

As a native Iowan, I grew up hearing jokes about Minnesotans. They mostly centered around Norwegians, making fun of accents ("oooot and abooooot") and Sven and Ole.

Since I live here now, though, it's hard to poke fun at Minnesotans since I am one - although I will never understand why you people call a casserole "hot dish" or duck duck goose "duck duck grey duck."

Stephanie Faris said...

I think it's natural. I've always lived in Nashville and we cut jokes about Kentuckians. Kentuckians make jokes about us. I guess we have to pick on someone!

buffalodick said...

"No matter where you go, there you are"... you are growing, grasshopper, but you ain't there yet...

Reuben said...

I like to focus my jokes on Mormons and various ethnic groups.

snowelf said...

Hehe--I may live over here, but I like Minnesotans. Mostly because they have real shopping, but also because I know a lot of them and I'm not originally from Wisconsin. Plus, I don't like the Packers, or Camping, or giant tractors, or deer hunting. Really, I just like cheese.

However, when I was in St Louis, we certainly hated the Illinois drivers. Now, I really don't have a state hating preference. ;)


Anonymous said...

well since iowans are the nicest people around we dont joke about other states! we make jokes about iowa.