"Yah, you betcha!"
"Oh, fer gosh sake."
For better or worse, these are sayings that are associated with Minnesota. Although you'd probably have to go to your 80-year-old grandmother's church basement mixer to hear those in regular conversation uttered without a drop of irony.
While we embrace our long vowels -- especially after a couple drinks, don'tcha knooow -- there are some things we simply don't hear in our fine Land of 10,000 Lakes. Here are 20 of 'em. There are definitely more things you'll probably never hear escaping the lips of a Minnesotan, so leave your suggestions in the comments.
20. "Fall is so ugly here." You know what time of year we're talking about -- when the first leaf turns vaguely yellow until the last brilliant red one falls -- it's Instagram season. Before the trees hang over the streets like skeletal hands emerging from four-foot snowbanks, they put on a damn good show. From Grand Portage to Red Wing and everywhere in between, stepping outside in the autumn is like walking into a damn-near magical Thomas Kinkade painting.
19. "Look at all those intelligent folks barhopping downtown in the middle of winter without a jacket. Why didn't I think of that?" If you're hankering for a blistering case of frostbite, leave that jacket at home! Forget those gloves! Don't even bother with sensible shoes! No one is a fan of standing around waiting for Uber with a 40-below windchill or trying to hail a cab in blizzard. Just bring your coat and check it, you'll be glad you did when you don't have the sniffles on Monday morning.
18. "I'm not big on the local stuff. Ya got Bud Light on tap?" Minnesota is the land of 10,000 craft beers, local brews that reign supreme in taprooms and bars. A question like this one would prompt a record scratch and a swift exit in most Minnesota crowds.
17. "Let's go skiing down a mountain!" This is actually impossible, since we live in one of the flattest states in the land. Don't get us wrong, we've got some great ski hills -- but that's what they are: hills.
16. "It looks like it might rain. Let's sit inside." Sixty degrees might sound painfully chilly to folks on the coasts, but here -- that's patio weather. We're a stubborn, hardy bunch that doesn't need the warm rays of the sun to dictate our time outside (though it helps). We'll sit on patios -- at home, at brunch, anywhere -- until the weather calls our bluff. Hell, we'll even deal with blustery days and sprinkling if it means we get to soak up the great outdoors for just a little longer.
15. "It doesn't matter where you went to high school." Seriously, we've been asked about high school by strangers more times than we can count. You'd think everyone has a Friday Night Lights-fueled obsession with high school -- we love Tim Riggins, too, but it can get kind of ridiculous. Be prepared to probably get judged based on your old school from there on out, too.
14. "Who's Paul Bunyan?" Larger-than-life statues of lumberjack Paul and his big, blue ox Babe tower around the state keeping an eye on the forest... and being the best opportunities for forced-perspective travel selfies in outstate Minnesota. He's also the pretty much the most identifiable legendary figure from the North Star State, making appearances in pop culture from commercials to brewery murals to Coen Brothers flicks. Plus, he's the best part of the log chute ride at
Camp Snoopy Nickelodeon Universe.
13. "There aren't any decent record stores in the Twin Cities." If you ever hear someone say this, clearly they've never indulged in the late spring, must-see-must-do event for music lovers: Record Store Day. Around the Twin Cities, record stores both old and new open their doors, marking down their vinyl goods, offering limited releases, and hosting some great live music. But that's just one day -- the rest of the year, these vinyl havens (Treehouse Records, Electric Fetus, and Hymie's to name a few) are your High Fidelity haven in a world filled with surprise U2 albums on your phone.
12. "I have absolutely no opinion whatsoever about Joe Mauer." Whether you love him or hate him on the field, chances are you've got an opinion on the Twins' hometown hero and his epic sideburns. The star catcher-turned-first-baseman has three Gold Gloves and an MVP title to his name... if only Mauer and the Twins could score some World Series rings, too.
11. "The local news media doesn't cover Prince nearly enough." The way Minnesota news covers Prince, you'd think he personally pays our bills to keep him relevant. Pancake breakfast at night? On it. Returning to Saturday Night Live? We've got our TiVo ready. But hey, this local legend is rock royalty for a reason, and we're damned proud of him.
10. "Let's go see a Major League Soccer game!" Though Minnesota is represented in all the "big four" leagues -- NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA (and WNBA, of course) -- we still don't have an official MLS squad. That being said, we're still totally into Minnesota United FC and the team's ultimate diehard soccer fans, the Dark Clouds.
9. "It's been so long since I've seen a good show -- I wish there were better concerts here." On any given night, you're bound to find an epic show in the Twin Cities -- from legends like Fleetwood Mac opening their reunion tour at Target Center to rockers like the Black Lips spitting up a storm on the Varsity's stage. You might even catch Prince playing an intimate show at the Dakota Jazz Club. But it's not all national acts that make the local music scene incredible -- local musicians from Marijuana Deathsquads to Haley Bonar are lighting up stages around the cities. And if you still have trouble finding shows -- we've got your one-stop-shop for concerts around the Twin Cities.
8. "That car looks stuck. Who cares?" Vrrrooooom. Vrrrrooooom. We all know that sinking feeling of hearing your tires spin into a snowy
grave rut during the winter. Never fear. Whether you've spun out on the highway or are just trying to get to the grocery store, Minnesotans are awesome about stopping to help get cars out of plow hills and alleyways in their neighborhoods.
7. "I wish this show was at Roy Wilkins." If you've ever been to a show at Roy Wilkins, you understand why music fans spend an extra second considering whether or not to buy tickets for a concert in that expansive space. To put it simply: it's so big, it usually muffles even the best musicians' sound. There's a reason we called it a "glorified gymnasium." But when shows there are good -- they are oh-so-great.
6. "What's a Honeycrisp?" Minnesota pride in fruit form, the Honeycrisp is the wildly successful creation of the University of Minnesota Horticultural Research Center and we won't let you forget it.
5. "Gary Anderson is the greatest kicker of all time." The year was 1999 and the Vikings were having what would now be considered a golden season with a lineup of Randy Moss, Randall Cunningham, Cris Carter... and Gary Anderson. At the last minute during the NFC Championship in the Metrodome against the Atlanta Falcons... he choked on a 38-yard field goal. Once again, Vikings fans said goodbye to the Superbowl (two words: "wide left") -- but that time was just so damn heartbreaking.
4. "That band was actually worse at the 400 Bar compared to their show a few years later at [bigger venue]." ...Said no music fan trying to sound cool and knowledgeable ever.
3. "It's Sunday, let's pick up some beer for the party." Didn't plan ahead for the big Sunday afternoon game? Want a bottle of wine on the couch? Too bad. Unless you want to drive to Wisconsin or buy 3.2 percent beer from a grocery store, you're outta luck. Despite numerous attempts to change the law, there are no liquor sales on God's day of rest in this state... so, who wants to hit up a bar with us?
2. "I love my rear-wheel drive during the winter." The slickest villain on Minnesota roads during the winter isn't road-rage -- it's black ice. But you don't even need to run into that dastardly road hazard to spin out if you're relying on a rear-wheel drive car. It feels like a couple flurries hit the pavement and suddenly you're fishtailing harder than a salmon swimming upstream. Any seasoned snow-driving vet will advise you to spring for the all-wheel drive and a good set of snow tires to avoid ending up in a ditch.
1. "I'd like to confront you directly about this contentious issue." If you're from around here, you know that "Minnesota Nice" is really code for "passive aggressive, conflict averse." Translation? Slight us and we won't come at you, bro. We'll leave a few pointed notes and then quietly stew for eternity.