The Win and Lose of Kansas

Like anywhere, life in Kansas has it’s ups and downs. Interestingly, this is one of the few places I feel actually qualified to evaluate in terms of hands-on experience outside of where I grew up since I’ve been here so long. “What about California?” You ask, “I thought Rants grew up there.” Well, what about it? Is it still part of the United States? Really? Holy earthquake bait, Batman. I really can’t think of anything that’s positive about California other than the small number of my family still trapped there.

Actually, I have to say that my family has been here in Kansas a long time – more than I have in fact. I myself am only tiptoeing into my fourth total year here; they’re into their seventh consecutive one. While I’ve remained stationary in some places longer (Germany barely, New York state, and that Califuckya place), I count secondhand experience in this calculus. Besides, I never said this was a scientific or professional blog anyway.

WIN: Central location. I live just outside the belly button of the U.S. This makes going places all equally sucky, which while sounding pessimistic does at least eliminate a factor when considering vacation destinations.

LOSE: Any of those destinations to the North, South, or West involve driving through possibly the most mind-numbingly boring surroundings this continent has to offer, especially when headed West. Think: six straight hours of flat fields, punctuated by an occasional barn or cell tower. I know, gives you a stiffy doesn’t it?

WIN: Red State. People here keep their hair and lawns well-groomed and short, the way both are supposed to be.

LOSE: Seeing the same terrain while driving gets old, and sometimes the notion applies to the landscape of people too. Also, having people look at you like a dope-smoking hippie for buying beer on a Sunday in some places is unnerving. I figure God must have created beer on Day 6 since he took the 7th off.

WIN: General lack of calamity. We don’t generally worry about tsunamis, hurricanes, sinkholes, earthquakes or epic lake-effect snowstorms. Global warming isn’t happening here.

LOSE: Tornados. These are not always a good thing, and there’s no early warning. Also, listening to the weather folks say ‘possibly severe’ with every broadcast starts sounding a lot like ‘wolf!’ Kansas has reduced the number of tornado-related incidents sharply by relocating many trailer owners to Oklahoma, however.

WIN: No major urban sprawl. The biggest metro area completely owned by Kansas is Topeka (Toe-pee-kah). This eliminates the freakshow element that typically is spawned by major metropolitan centers.

LOSE: You have to drive out-of-state to buy hard-to-find items such as left-handed screwdrivers and other really exotic shit like books other than The Bible. Note: Kansas City is in Missouri. Some wackiness does creep across the state line where the Missouri River isn’t there to form a physical barrier… sort of like a moat does.

I obviously didn’t pick this place to live, since that’s not really the way the Army works. In the end I’m generally satisfied and my year-on, year-off routine in delightful places on the continent of Asia does help knock the edge off the monotony.


34 Responses to “The Win and Lose of Kansas”

  1. I have to admit, I really DO like to see barns when I’m driving…
    And yes, now that I can’t go to my bookstore anymore, I’m in kinda the same boat as you as far as books go.

  2. We were stationed in Newfoundland for a 3-5yr stint. That was in 1994. We have been stationed in other places around the Island and actually did 2 years on the mainland, before being shipped back here. I guess they couldn’t live without us. All in all, a good time, but we never unpack all the boxes..

  3. savorthefolly Says:

    red state? lawns and hair well groomed?

    does this mean you trim your pubes?

  4. I’ve been to Lawrence and survived.

  5. Driving west through KS is even better when the sun is setting! LOL… one trip, I used post-it notes on my windshield when the sun dropped below my visor. It actually worked, and I could move them down as the sun dropped.

  6. savorthefolly Says:

    no no I’m happy to mow your lawn free of charge. *wonders to self if it’s really a good idea to post comments like this and then thinks why the fuck not it’s all just for laughs so then she does*

  7. sounds like Yorkshire…

  8. I don’t know Rants, you lost me at Red State. Up here in New Hampster we’re Blue Staters, which means we enjoy our beer and ice cream and will defend to the death our right to not pay taxes.

    • savorthefolly Says:

      what she’s really trying to say is that between you being a red stater, smoking, and trimming your pubes, you’re wife need not worry about us sexy women taking you away from her. we’re attracted to blue state, smoke free, long pubed men.

    • H.E., coming in late to this, I’m going to just completely refrain from all comment.

  9. John Erickson Says:

    That’s why you MUST get to Chicago! A big city, farmlands only 3 hours’ drive from anywhere in the city, the gloriouly green Chicago river (it’s green year-round – why the HELL they dye it green continues to bewilder me), the beautiful (and only occasionally plague-ridden) Lake Michigan shoreline, good proximity to two UTTERLY uncivilised states (Wisconsin and Indiana), and tons of stuff to do – including touring an actual German WW2 U-Boat!
    Now what more could you possibly ask for? 😀

    • I’ve been in the U-Boat. It was bitchen.

      • John Erickson Says:

        You need to get to Buffalo, NY. They have an American Gato-class (I think – might be improved Gato), the DD USS The Sullivans (after the 5 brothers killed on USS Juneau off Guadalcanal), and I think a Long-Beach class cruiser. Might be an earlier gun cruiser – that one wasn’t there last time we visited, back in the 90s.
        One of these days, we’re gonna do an East Coast/Gulf Coast road trip, hit USS Intrepid, USS North Carolina, whatever Georgia and Florida might have to offer, and finish off at USS Alabama. Might even go over and see my old girlfriend, USS Texas – the oldest Dreadnought-style battleship in the world!
        (This concludes tonight’s episode of “Up Your Gangplank”. We now return you to “Tanks For The Lunacy” already in progress. 😀 )

        • But that’s Navy stuff.

          • John Erickson Says:

            Yeah, but aren’t you pretty much “been there, done that” with Army stuff? Though I have to admit, I think it’d be a kick to tour the Patton Armoured Museum with you as a guide!
            And of course, if you soul takes to flights of fancy, I literally have BOOKS listing various airplane museums. I’d be delighted to give you the tour of the USAF museum in Dayton!

  10. Holy earthquake bait, Batman. I really can’t think of anything that’s positive about California other than the small number of my family still trapped there.

    Wow … not sure if I should be insulted or not. Guess that would depend on whether or not I’m considered family. 😆

  11. Kansas City is also in Kansas. We have tons of book stores and Lawrence is a college town.. they have some books there. We also had an earthquake a couple of weeks ago and I have to say- I prefer tornadoes.

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