A Little More Pride
A good friend of mine sent me this piece last week, so I shared the first half of this piece with you as a tribute to this wonderful place we call home. “10 Things Only Iowans Understand” and was written by Leah McBride Mensching, who is most obviously an Iowa girl to the core.
To quickly review from last week items 1-5 were: 1 – The Worst Day of School Could Be Saved By One Of These Guys, a tribute to Scotcheroos. 2 – Prom Is Basically Like The Oscars. 3 – Everyone Counts Down The Days To RAGBRAI. 4 – The Presidential Election Practically Hinges On What Iowa Thinks and 5 – Facebook Is 90 Percent Trash Talk Leading Up To The Iowa-Iowa State Game.
Here are the final five things that only Iowans understand, by Leah McBride Mensching.
6. People Who Think Iowans Can’t Tell When You’re Making Fun Of Them Are So Wrong
Non-Iowan: Wow, there are nothing but cornfields here, and looks like something else too. Hey look there’s a guy selling corn out of his truck by that next intersection. Lock your doors!
(Translation: This is a boring fly-over state with nothing worth seeing or doing. That guy looks so gross; who would ever want to eat anything out of someone’s truck? What a bunch of dumb hicks!)
Iowans know when they’re being talked down to (it’s not that hard to tell), and don’t care for it. However, they’d love for you to stay and visit awhile and they’ll point you to all the best places to eat and visit along your way.
Also, if you know what’s good for you you’ll buy corn from that guy on the side of the road. Fresh Iowa sweet corn with butter, salt and pepper is the greatest thing on earth.
7. Pigs Actually Outnumber People, And Iowans Love It
Speaking of agriculture, Iowa is the No. 1 hog-producing state in the country. There are just over 3 million residents in the state, but more than 20 million hogs. Seriously.
But you won’t find all those pigs foraging in back yards with the family dog or taking the bus to work. Most of them are raised indoors on large-scale farms, and you may smell them when you’re driving or when the wind shifts.
Hog confinements are a hot button issue, but that doesn’t stop Iowans from loving their pork products. Tickets to the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival (think beer and bacon, so basically awesome) in Des Moines sell out in minutes, and it’s so popular it spawned a similar festival in Iceland.
The state also crowns a Bacon Queen, a Pork Queen and a Pork Princess, because the other white meat is just so special it deserves royalty.
8. Finish This Sentence: “Where There’s A Helpful Smile”
The south has Piggly Wiggly, the west has Safeway, and Iowa (and its neighbors nearby) has Hy-Vee. In Iowa, Hy-Vees are everywhere, and Iowans would be lying if they said they never dreamed about being one of the smiling faces on the side of a Hy-Vee semi. If you ever meet a girl from Iowa who knows how to tie a tie, there’s a pretty good chance she once worked at Hy-Vee. And if you ask her, she’ll tell you that there’s “a helpful smile in every aisle.”
9. High School Means Field Parties
Ah, field parties. They’re part of every rural and small town Iowa kid’s youth.
Sometimes there’s a campfire, but usually the only way to see is by flashlight or the light of a cell phone. The darkness and likelihood of the party getting busted is also the cause of many torn pants and barbed wire scars.
And when your friend has to get dental work because he fell, try to wait to tell his parents that he actually chipped his tooth on a 40 at a field party until you’re all in your 30s.
10. Everyone Makes The Pilgrimage To Des Moines At Some Point
The Iowa State Fair is one of the largest state fairs in the country, and was even listed in the best selling travel book “1,000 Places to See Before You Die.” So, whether they’re showing an animal, a piece of art, a pie, a pumpkin, or are there to just eat fried foods, catch a show and meet Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowans head to the fair in droves every August. Iowans are also proud of the Drake Relays, one of the top track and field events in the country. Iowans from across the state come to see their local state qualifying track stars compete, as well as to watch national champs and even Olympic contenders battle their ways to the finish line.
Now, stick your chest out with a little Iowa Pride!