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11 Things Everyone From Minnesota Has to Explain to Out-of-Towners

by Alethea Alden Jun 6, 2016

1. Our liquor laws are downright bonkers.

You can’t buy alcohol in a grocery store. And liquor stores are closed on Sundays. This used to mean a lot of extra business in Wisconsin on Sundays, but thankfully a new law passed in 2015 allowing brew pubs and breweries to sell beer growlers in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth and a growing number of other cities. So long, weekends in Wisconsin.

2. The game is “duck, duck, gray duck”.

The childhood game of sitting in a circle while someone goes around patting everyone’s head and then chooses someone else who is ‘it’ — they’re the gray duck. No goose involved.

3. We take hours to say goodbye.

We seriously spend half the night at a party saying goodbye to people. From when we announce we’re leaving to when we get out the door can be an hour or more — as we shuffle towards the exit, and then stand there talking for another 15 minutes. When you point this out to Minnesotans they have no idea it’s not normal. Ask any local about the Minnesota Goodbye and they won’t have any idea what you’re talking about.

4. Everything tastes better deep fried and on a stick.

Known as the Great Minnesota Get-Together, the Minnesota State Fair is the largest (in daily attendance) and best (as voted by readers of USA Today in 2015) state fair in the USA. While there are many reasons people attend, bizarre deep fried food is up there. Pickles, ice cream, alligator, snickers bars — it all tastes better deep fried on sticks.

5. Our microbreweries are better than yours.

Or so we’d have you think. Summit Brewery started the craft beer trend in Minnesota 30 years ago. Currently, there are over 100 microbreweries in the state. 10 years ago, there were five. This is in large part thanks to Surly Brewing, who helped change the liquor laws so breweries could finally serve their own beers on site. Enter the microbrewery boom.

6. It’s called pop.

Not soda, not coke. Just pop.

7. Hot Dish is where it’s at.

What everyone else calls a casserole, we call a hot dish. It’s pretty much the same, throw in some meat, potatoes or pasta, with maybe some canned veggies or cream of mushroom soup mixed in. Then the vital ingredient is either tater tots or crumpled breakfast cereal on top. Better yet, both.

8. Our winter is a scary beast.

Four solid months of cold and snow, with weeks of 20 degrees below zero temperatures and a negative 20 degree wind chill. So, we’ve adapted –t hings don’t close for snow; they close for cold. We’ve built skyways and underground tunnels to bypass the biting pain whenever possible. And we love outdoor winter activities — especially skiing, ice fishing, sledding, hockey — but the only way we really survive winter is amnesia. Like women forget how painful giving birth is and get pregnant again because they love their child so much they want another one — every year, having been seduced by months of fantastic spring, summer, and fall weather, we have amnesia about how awful winter is. By the time we remember, it’s too late and we’re swearing we’re going to move before next winter. Then we’re seduced again and forget.

9. Even non-metrosexual guys know they have to moisturize in the winter.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a lotion user or not. Winters are so dry that if you don’t moisturize every time your skin gets wet, it cracks and you get alligator-scale-skin that starts flaking off. Seriously, no one wants that.

10. Never mention the Packers or the Badgers.

If they win a game, you can feel the mood divebomb all throughout Minnesota.

11. We’re living the good life up here.

We don’t want your pity, Californians. Minneapolis and St. Paul are some of the best cities in the mid-west. A couple years ago NerdWallet ranked them as the third and fourth cities (out of 100) for best qualities of life. They offer work-life balance, a low cost of living for the quality of life, good health care coverage, culture, sports and a good local economy. There are even 17 Fortune 500 companies. But the winters still weed out people who aren’t truly dedicated and won’t succumb to a little amnesia.

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