The Midwest Dissected

I put out a post called The Left Coast Dissected, in response to H.E. Ellis’ New England Dissected. Between us, these are some of our most popular posts. SandyLikeABeach added her take on Florida in Dissecting a Crazy Aunt. After culling through my published stuff here, I said to myself, “Well, why not?” and decided to take a swing at the Midwest. Once again I’ll be doing a straight rip-off of someone else’s great idea, and this time include myself.

The setting for this dissection is a small barbershop. Inside the shop…

IOWA sits as he gets his hair cut, the usual close on the sides with barely comb-able up top. He wears clean denims, a linen shirt, and scuffed but sturdy workboots. After he’s done, he’ll head back to the farm in his pickup that sports farm plates at a conservative 5mph under the posted limit. As the recipent of the haircut, he doesn’t say much to prevent head movement. Actually he doesn’t say a lot at all, and the other folks seem to take his lead on political issues. Waiting for a cut are…

NEBRASKA and KANSAS, who are engaged in a debate. Both are wearing clean denims, a linen shirt, and scuffed but sturdy workboots. Neither appears to need a haircut, which both wear exactly like Iowa. In fact, these two have farm trucks only a model year different than Iowa as well. Kansas used to be a fairly well-known hothead, politically, but has long since settled down. Nebraska just enjoys debating him for the reaction. Both pause to wave silently as…

NORTH DAKOTA and SOUTH DAKOTA walk by the barbershop wearing clean denims, linen shirts and sturdy workboots on their way to their farm trucks. They’re well-known twins who split their father’s land evenly years ago. They grow corn, and both have matching John Deere baseball caps that hide the same haircut as Iowa’s that they got yesterday. Just as they pass the window…

MINNESOTA walks in, hangs his baseball cap on the hat rack, and sits down to listen to Kansas and Nebraska. Again, clothes, hat and vehicle are similar. Iowa, his cut done, gets up, dusts himself off, and merely nods on the way out, setting his cap on his head. As Kansas settles in the chair, Nebraska brings up the heated topic of debate this morning at the barber shop, which is centered on…

ILLINOIS, the local fat cat. Rumor has it he has lots of connections in Washington, and as the town councilman, is currently deflecting questions about road repair public funds. Secretly, Illinois wishes he’d not sold his truck for a Caddy with vanity plates. The sticking point here is the fact that he’s switched to growing soybeans, and more rumor has it that he’s getting subsidies to do it. Everyone knows he doesn’t work his own land anymore, and the rest of the shopful merely wait to see if he will split out his land when he gets bored with farming. Or indicted. Whichever comes first.

As the afternoon passes, hair hits the floor as the clippers buzz and the scissors snik snik through the hair barely needing a cut. Overall, MISSOURI has done well with the in-town life, but still lives on his farm.


Overall, this was probably pretty boring, but then again, it’s pretty true. Welcome to my current world.

66 Responses to “The Midwest Dissected”

  1. Kansas is the 60+ year old farmer who has the most infuriating driving habits. He drives 45 mph, no matter what.

    2 feet of snow? 45 mph when he should be going 25, but he has dual wheels on back and 4 wheel drive.

    Dusty countries roads? 45, but that’s about right. After all, there about 8 or 10 roads in the whole state that aren’t completely straight.

    Highways? Kansas farmer comes to a highway doing 45, pulls out in front of you, still at 45 while you’re doing 70, then, after slowing you to a crawl, he pulls off a mile up at the next farmhouse.

    In town?…45mph. This guy ain’t downshifting for nobody….ever.

  2. Minnesota would actually walk in wearing a stained T-shirt and holey jeans spouting about how he didn’t get paid from a concrete job he just finished. Everyone thinks they know how to lay concrete here. You got the baseball cap right.

  3. My apologies…my awareness of the U.S. midwest is very lacking…I enjoyed the post just the same…

  4. I loved it and it wasn’t boring at all. As much as I’ve moved around I’ve only ever lived in a coastal state, usually on the Atlantic (I did live in San Diego for a couple of years). I had no idea what Midwestern states were like. So far Illinois is my favorite.

    The only thing I’d like you to explain is why the most messed up stuff happens in Kansas. I thought Florida was bad, but Kansas totally trumps Florida in the crazy homicide category.

  5. mkultra76 Says:

    Missouri is the moron who votes a dead man into office and gets paralyzed and panicky in rush hour traffic because it rained the night before. And if there’s even a whisper of snow, forget it altogether. Missouri is hunkering down in their basement with their supply of eggs, bread, and milk.

  6. Your site is always educational! (Weren’t expecting that, huh?)

    • I appreciate that, MasterChef (oblique allusion to a video game there, dude). I did try to inject some factual basis but I see the comments are far more elightening.

  7. This makes me HAPPY to be in the Sunshine State . . . wearing flip flops (and no longer wrestling with misbehaving socks). 😀

  8. Lotta Corn and Soybeans here

    Bahamian woman stuck in the Midwest

    • Yes, you’re right. None of the crops you grew up with. Indiana is an odd place. Almost included it, but decided not to because it’s pretty much in the Twilight Zone.

  9. John Erickson Says:

    I only have one small complaint about your write-up on (SURPRISE!) Illinois. Illinois doesn’t worry about being indicted. Illinois welcomes it as a badge of honour. Of course, Illinois will longly and loudly protest his innocence, and when finally dragged into court, will have a greasy-smooth lawyer who will talk quietly with the judge in his chambers and come out with the first-degree murder charge changed to jaywalking and failure to control a dropped weapon. Illinois will then pay the fine, have his sentence commuted to parole, and will stroll off to chat with his “casual chum” Washington DC. Meanwhile, his twin-brother Downstate will spend time hanging around with Iowa, claiming no relation to Illinois and stating he’s Iowa’s “cousin from across the river”. 😀

  10. Becoming Bitter Says:

    I thought your post was funny. Thank you for the good laugh. Nothing really happens in the Midwest. Driving a farm truck at 5mph… I’ll pass. Illinois sounds like my uncle.

  11. this is kinda sorta way brilliant dude. continue…

  12. egads, now i’m seeing emails of everyone’s comments. i gotta correct. continue

  13. ok, i cancelled. now where do i re-sub?

    • Tony, you subscribe to the blog and get an email when I post an new blog post. When you click to comment, you can elect to get a note with each subsequent reply, which I think is what you did. You can undo that but keep subscribed to my blog.

      Of note, you have no ‘subscribe’ button on YOUR site, my friend. Hint.

  14. I think Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana are in the Midwest too. I’m in Ohio, and as for all you bastards who made disparaging comments about my state, that’s just not… inaccurate.

    • John Erickson Says:

      There are fine, wonderful people in Ohio. There are a few wonderful cities, including Dayton (home of the USAF Museum) and Canton (which contains the MAPS Air Museum).
      The pain is all of the real estate in between. Which includes towns like Coshocton.
      And Edward, if you’re from Coshocton, I’m sorry. I am so, SO sorry.

      • You forgot the Football Hall of Fame. Seriously?? WTF? Canton?? You know…

        • John Erickson Says:

          Sports is a crutch for people who can’t handle classic warbirds. :p
          And Columbus has some neat used book stores, otherwise, it’s the butthole that pooped out OSU (or vice versa).
          (You think I get testy about being called an Ohioan? You do NOT want to see my commentary about OSU sports.)

    • Well, the term ‘Midwest’ is arguably huge. I challenge you to come up with one for the Eastern Midwest.

      • John Erickson Says:

        You mean like for Indiana (need the wife for that – all I did was drive through), Ohio (Oh brother!) and Michigan? That’s a tough order – like I said, I need the wife for IN, you KNOW how I feel about OH, and I really don’t know enough about MI between the cities. I mean, Ann Arbor is the hippie smoking pot and reading Plato, Detroit is the tough guy trying to pick fights with NJ with a “Hungry? Eat your Toyota” on the back of his 70s Trans-Am, Lansing is the Push-Me-Pull-you from “Doctor Doolittle” (all heads and never getting anywhere), and Michigan City is your old aunt with the old house that is packed FULL of crap (for their outlet malls). I guess Traverse City would be the guy driving a Porsche 924 and claiming it was “just as good as any other Porsche” (that’s for you, HE), and from the little I saw of it, Kalamazoo is the guy who’s all over the map with his interests, but ADORES the model airplane he built when he was a kid (The Kalamazoo Air Zoo).
        How’s that work for ya? 😀

    • I said not inaccurate. People here can’t drive, especially if there’s a drop of water or an ice cube on the road. And our sports! Cavs? Bengals? Browns? Friggin’ Blue Jackets? Hooo…..ray? Some of the sights and places are incredible. Some of the people? Incredible in the other direction of incredible.

      • John Erickson Says:

        Well, like I said, there are some really nice people here. Then there’s the type like a former neighbor, a convicted child sex offender who moved into town and suddenly houses were broken into. (No worries, I got him exiled to a trailer on an Amish farm.) And there’s only one thing worse than the idiots who freak at a drop of water on the roads – the hotrods in the broke-down pickups who think passing an Amish buggy on a blind curve is fun!
        Oh, and I’m a lifelong Northsider from Chicago, so Ohio’s teams have a LONG way to go to catch up to the Cubs! 😀
        And now for the REAL test, Edward – What’s your outlook on OSU sports? 😉

  15. Shit happens in and to Kansas. Tornados as entertainment is interesting enough. Scientific research shows that more recorded meteors strike in the state of Kansas than in any other state in the Union, regardless of size.

    Joseph Millard updated The War of The Worlds in 1964 with a book titled The Gods Hate Kansas, with meteorite deposited aliens mentally taking over humans to help a disabled spaceship on the darkside of the moon. (But with no help from Pink Floyd)

  16. […] grounds of New England. Then the smart and prolific BrainRants blanketed both the West Coast and Midwest with pithy observations. (I said prolific, didn’t I?) The lovely sandylikeabeach quickly followed […]

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