1. “I flew over Ohio once.”

Let’s get this out of the way: if you’re the type of person who calls certain states “flyover states,” you’re a boring person. Sure, there are places with beaches and mountains, and those places are all really cool, but everyone who does not suck knows that a great city or state is built on its people and not its scenery. Have you been to London or Paris? You don’t go there for the natural scenery. They’re both in relatively boring areas. But the cities are awesome because the people there built something cool.

Put out some effort. Find the cool spots in every place you’re visiting. I swear they’re there — especially in Ohio. As the great ’90s bard Harvey Danger said, “If you’re bored then you’re boring.”

2. “I’m sorry.”

Oh? And you’re from where? LA? Yeah, how does it feel having spent a quarter of your life in traffic? Or New York? I’ll bet it was wonderful not seeing an open field until you were 18 and were driving to college for the first time. Unless your apology is for giving the world Donald Trump, then I have no interest in accepting it.

To be fair, I complain about my home state a lot. But it’s Mom complaining. Which means I can do it, you can’t.

3. “I drove through Ohio. There’s a lot of corn there.”

Yeah, I actually can’t argue with you on that one. I actually had a guy once say to me, “Aren’t you guys the potato state?” No. No we are not. That is Idaho, and it is not even remotely close to us.

4. “Ugh. Cleveland’s like a less impressive Detroit.”

Ouch. What is it with kicking struggling cities while they’re down? Detroit gets crapped on all the time, and shitty comments about Rust Belt cities that are trying to reinvent themselves seems kinda unnecessary given how much they need to do to recover from the recession in the first place.

And also, Cleveland has actually bounced back from the recession pretty solidly. Also, there’s the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame there, so it beats Detroit on that alone.

5. “Hey, thanks a lot for Bush / Obama.”

Ah, to live in a non-swing state where you can simply blame the state of your country on Ohio and Florida. First off, it’s no treat being in a swing state — you can’t turn on the TV within six months of a presidential election without seeing some horrible attack ad — and second, if you knew anything about politics, you’d know it’s the holdouts who get all those wonderful, bribey favors and promises from candidates. Sorry, Texas and California, no president’s ever gonna pay that much attention to you. You’re gonna have to move to Iowa or Ohio if you want your baby kissed.

6. “Did they try and teach you creationism in school?”

No, we’re not Mississippi. There are a lot of religious folk in the state of Ohio, but most of them are the friendly, “Hey, come to our church luncheon!” type and not the fire-and-brimstone Fred Phelps type. My high school science teacher brought up the creationism debate in class for 2 minutes one day, explained what it was, and then said, “But I teach science, so we’re just gonna skip over all that.”

7. “All those astronauts! What is it about your state that makes people wanna flee the planet?”

Ha! I bet you get all your jokes from bumper stickers. The reason so many of the great American astronauts (John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell) are from Ohio is because Ohio is the birthplace of aviation. The Wright brothers grew up in Dayton and built the first plane there, and now Dayton is home to the Wright Patterson Air Force Base. So as much as I’d like to say that Ohioans are the hardy, intrepid, pioneering type, in reality we probably just have a lot of astronauts because the company was based in the neighborhood.

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