The Midwest is Great, Don’t Chya Know

You know what the Midwest is? Young and restless about the prejudices of East-Coasters

by Erin Stehler

Staff Nick Carraway

Yes, being a Midwesterner is exactly the painful existence it is made out to be. Days are short and cold, so essentially we wake up, pretend to be happy and polite, and then go right back to bed. Here on the east coast we are ridiculed for our ways. Somebody my first week here actually asked me if I lived in a tent in the woods, and my roommate recently admitted she wondered if I had electricity in my house when we connected over the summer … online. Weird encounters aside, people feel it okay to speak to us with drawn out vowels and exaggerated accents. I’m not one to be offended, but on behalf of us flyover states west of Chicago, stop it.

The first and probably least important thing I’d like to address is duck-duck-greyduck, or as most people outside of Minnesota insist it be called, duck-duck-goose. From its Scandinavian origin it literally translates to “grey duck”. Y’all just assumed it was a goose because there is no wildlife out here and you probably cannot fathom a color of duck that doesn’t appear on Google images. Plus, duck-duck-greyduck is way more fun. As you go around the circle smacking your friends on the head with all the power a seven-year-old can muster, you get to call out colors of ducks. You call that girl pink duck because you know she hates pink, and you call your friend green duck because he has green light-up sketchers and so on until you decide it’s time. Grey duck. The addition of the colors really adds to the creative choice of the ‘it’ person. Anyways, it’s more fun and I will fight everyone about it until the day I die.

Another thing that really grinds my gears are the things we get accused of eating. I’d like to take a moment to say to the rest of the country, not all of us are out here eating weird shit. I’m talking especially about Buzzfeed. No, I don’t eat casserole for every meal, I’m not even sure I’ve ever had it before, much less the infamous “tater tot hotdish”. And that “salad” shit with marshmallows and jello… if you eat that you’re a monster. We don’t want you. Go down south with that yee-haw shit. That’s not salad. We don’t eat that. That said, I stand by puppy chow and muddy buddies can rot in hell.

The east coast really just thinks of us as a frozen wasteland, which is honestly fair for Iowa, Nebraska, and the Dakotas (basically the rectangle ones for those of you who don’t know anything west of Pennsylvania). But believe it or not, there is actually civilization in the rest of the Midwest. All I’m trying to say is it’s not just unbearably cold – it also gets unbearably hot. We get both extremes. Yes, it was -30º before wind-chill in Minnesota last week, but that won’t stop us from wearing shorts and walking our dogs. Y’all really tried to get class cancelled when it was 10º and sunny. Zip up your Canada Goose and go to class.

Basically, the Midwest is only slightly different than you probably picture it to be. We have cities, we have cars, sometimes we even have traffic. On behalf of the Midwest I’d just really like to say… You can have Chicago. It is not the Midwest. We do not claim it. Northeast, do what you will with it. Also it’s always colder in Minnesota than in Chicago, so they can quit it with “Chiberia”. All I ask is that next time you have something to say about the Midwest, please take a second to remember that we do not want to hear it.

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