I cannot wrap my head around the concept of the Midwest. I have been going to college here in Bloomington, Indiana for three years and I still have so many questions. There are so many words to describe the region, but I think “hilarious” covers it the best. I’m allowed to say this. Because I pay rent for housing here in the Midwest and contribute to the economy on a daily basis, I am within my legal and ethical rights to shit on this region. But just know, it’s all out of love.
First of all, I love the name Midwest. There’s nothing west about it. The most western state in the Midwest is Nebraska, and that is just the middle of the country. The Midwest is more north than west.
Seriously, there was an arctic storm called the “Polar Vortex” that stopped by for a few weeks in 2019. It was so cold, it froze the snot in my nostrils, so whenever I blew my nose, hunting pellets flew out.
The Midwest also contains both Dakotas. Literally other than the fact that one of them has the Mount Rushmore monument, I couldn’t tell you one thing about either Dakota. I can’t remember which Dakota even has Mount Rushmore. They honestly should have combined both states into one single Dakota.
Same with Illinois. Illinois is literally just Chicago. People will live 90 miles away from that city and say that they are from Chicago. People who live in NORTHERN INDIANA say they live in Chicago.
Unless you are from Naperville. Jesus Christ. Then that’s all you talk about. I once saw a kid wearing a sweatshirt that just said Naperville.
Speaking of worthless, I don’t think anyone from the state of Ohio has ever had an original thought. Also, any Ohio State fan can kindly go chew on some glass. Same with Michigan fans, those guys also suck. There’s not enough boulders in the entire midwest for the people of both fan bases to kick.
Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas… those are just states that you have to travel through to get to the rest of the country. Kansas really doesn’t have anything. Kansas’s biggest accolade is the fact that some people, including our nation’s previous president, think Kansas City is located in Kansas, but then they soon find out it’s located in Missouri.
And holy shit, Missouri.
I know the Netflix series Ozark is fictional television, but that show could damn-near be a nonfiction documentary about Missouri. Other than St. Louis and that damn arch (it’s great, by the way, it goes up and it comes down) Missouri is literally just wilderness and lakes with a bunch of Ruth and Russ Langmores running around them.
Looking for an international getaway! Look no further than Windsor, Canada. You drive seven hours north passing corn, meth, and silos and then all of sudden you’re in Detroit, the city that never sleeps. Windsor is right across the river from Detroit. Seriously, there is one frozen river full of feces that separates America and Canada.
I just think it’s funny that the Midwest’s connection to Canada isn’t something desirable like Toronto, Whistler, Vancouver, or even Montreal. The connection is Windsor, where the city’s entire economy runs on a Best Western Hotel and American college kids taking advantage of the drinking age of 19 for the weekend.
And then there’s my hoosier state. Ah, Indiana, my love. I’m pretty sure the island that Tom Hanks was stranded on in Castaway is bigger than the entire city of Indianapolis. The official state motto of Indiana is “the crossroads of America.” That means people drive right through it to go somewhere else. That’s not really fair to us hoosiers, because that motto could apply to any Midwestern state. In fact, I will say Indiana is probably the best state in the entire region.
Of course I’m biased. What did you think this article was? Nonfiction?
The truth is, despite everything I’ve said, I really do love the Midwest. Yes, it’s simple, sometimes hilariously simple, but it’s practical. The people could not be nicer. Egos aren’t really inflated here and no one will look at you funny for being different. They also know that they might not host you for long, so they might as well make sure you feel welcome.
It’s honestly refreshing. All anyone does in my home state of California is judge you and urge you to leave. I’m pretty sure the national divorce statistics are only made possible by the hard work of California, where marriage is just a coin-flip.
I swear, some days back home I would run into assholes that are SO determined to be a dick, it’s comical. That’s not a thing here in the Midwest. People don’t complain here. Honestly, I probably do most of the complaining in the state. But I’m allowed to do that. Like family, the Midwest is perfectly flawed and can be as nourishing as it is crippling. But I love it anyways.
Now, because this is a roast, I will end this piece with a few quick thoughts regarding the region:
Fast food is just called food here.
Rush hour is not a concept. Where would people be rushing to?
Every white guy’s middle name is Joseph.
The physical embodiment of Minnesota is a little pale kid that says, “Frick,” instead of… you know… the F-word.
Wisconsin’s fine I guess, I don’t know, just keep doing what you’re doing with your cheese. You might lose Giannis if you don’t.
I will say that the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis houses the sixth most complete T-Rex skeleton in the world. I’ve seen it, it’s incredible.