10 Commandments for Living in Kansas

by Joseph Griffin Feb 9, 2017

1. Thou shalt practically bathe in bug spray during the summer.

During the summer months in Kansas, mosquitos, ticks, and chiggers form a triumvirate of evil that everyone in Kansas seeks to ward off by whatever means necessary. As it’s not very practical to walk around with a lit citronella candle everywhere you go, a baptism in OFF or some other type of bug spray is the typical solution.

2. Thou shalt not be phased by tornado warnings.

Yeah, yeah, so there’s a tornado warning. Wake me up when it gets here. Tornado warnings are a dime a dozen in Kansas. Rather than keeping an eye on the weather report, most people will just step outside to see if there’s a tornado in the first place and, if so, which direction it’s heading. Chances are, it’s nothing to worry about.

3. Thou shalt freak out at the slightest possibility of an ice storm.

So there’s a five percent chance of an ice storm this weekend? Better go to the grocery store and stock up like the apocalypse is upon us.

4. Thou shalt enjoy the outdoors.

Whether you’re into hunting, fishing, hiking, biking, or just watching the sunset, there’s plenty of ways to enjoy going outdoors in Kansas. There’s lakes, streams, fields, National Parks, the Flint Hills, all types of places to go. Just remember to put on some bug spray.

5. Thou shalt pledge allegiance to a university in Kansas.

In Kansas, you pick a university to have an unyielding loyalty to and keep the faith at all costs. While they’re not the only schools, the biggest rivalry is between The University of Kansas and Kansas State University. And the struggle is real. I met someone recently who had a falling out with a long-time friend over a KU/K-State basketball game, and the two haven’t spoken to each other since.

6. Thou shalt have some state pride.

Wildcat or Jayhawk, there’s one thing Kansans have in common and that’s state pride.

7. Thou shalt only drive in the left lane on the highway when passing.

First of all, this is a state law. The only time you should be in the left lane on the highway is when you’re passing a car in the left lane. Second, it should just be common sense. It’s ok to take a Sunday drive, but, if you’re going too slow in the left lane, that’s just obnoxious and rude.

8. Thou shalt like Ike (or whoever your favorite famous Kansan is).

Dwight D. Eisenhower was from Kansas. So was Amelia Earhart, Wyatt Earp, Buster Keaton, Gwendolyn Brooks, Dennis Hopper, and Gordon Parks, just to name a few. Inventor of basketball, Dr. James Naismith, founded KU’s basketball program. Celebrated poet Langston Hughes lived in Kansas in his youth. And William S. Burroughs spent the last years of his life living in a small house in Lawrence. If you live in Kansas, you’ll have at least one favorite famous Kansan.

9. Thou shalt respect farmers.

Somewhere around 90 percent of Kansas is farmland. So you can’t go very far in Kansas without passing by a farm. Even if you have nothing to do with farming, which most people in the state don’t, you know that crops and livestock don’t just grow themselves and those farmers are out there day in and day out working long hard hours to make that happen. You’ve got to appreciate the time and dedication that takes.

10. Thou shalt appreciate wheat.

Even people who are gluten intolerant have to appreciate the importance of wheat to Kansas. Kansas is the “Wheat State.” Wheat is one of the major crops grown in Kansas. There’s a life-sized, exact replica of the Liberty Bell made of wheat in Kansas. Wichita State University’s mascot is a bundle of wheat. People “wave the wheat” at KU sports games. 36 billion loaves of bread could be baked with all the wheat produced in Kansas each year. Wheat is a fact of life in Kansas. That’s just how it is.

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