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Welcome to Minnesota: A Primer

Welcome to Minnesota. You probably have a lot of questions. We don’t blame you. It’s cold (it’s been colder, as someone already told you) and there are giant piles of snow and people keep talking about “Juicy Lucy” and you don’t even know a Lucy. Here’s what we can tell you.

  • Please enjoy Nicollet Mall. It took us 12 years to finish the thing.
  • Please enjoy US Bank Stadium. We built it on top of our old stadium. It would deflate when it snowed. It snowed a lot.
  • Please enjoy the Mall of America. We built it on top of our other old stadium. That team went to a lot of Super Bowls! Don’t ask us any questions beyond this!
  • Please enjoy First Avenue. It’s an old Greyhound bus station. Prince and some other local kids turned it into the loudest non-denominational church in the 5-state area.
  • The elevated sidewalks that connect downtown buildings are called skyways. One visitor called them “skybridges” and his body never was found.
  • Tom Brady’s grandma is from Browerville. To get there, get on 94 and go west for a couple hours. Not on Fridays, though; it’s a total shitshow with a bunch of guys named Dale towing pontoons or snowmobiles. Take the Glenwood/Sauk Centre exit and go north on US 71. You’ll hit Browerville in about a half-hour. The Browerville Liquor Store is probably open if you need a Heggie’s Pizza.
  • On your way to Browerville, you’ll drive through Maple Grove. Sisqo lives there now. Yeah, “Thong Song” Sisqo. We don’t know what that’s all about, but there was a story about it in the paper. Just passing this along.

  • Hotdish, not casserole. Casserole can go jump in a lake.
  • When we almost collide in a doorway, we will say “Ope.” It’s pure instinct at this point. We don’t know why we say it. We’re sorry we ran into you. We said “Ope.” Let’s move on.
  • Flannel, blaze orange, and camo are not seasonal fashions so much as foundational lifestyle choices.
  • Choppers are big golden/yellow mittens. You can get them at Fleet Farm. They have a silo in the parking lot. The three preceding sentences could be the most Upper Midwestern sentences in existence.
  • Black ice is not an energy drink. Avoid unless you like tow trucks and auto body repair.
  • The snow/dirt/ice/salt/sand/small woodland creature mixture on the bottom of our cars? That’s going to be there until the first warm day in March and the line at the car wash is going to be prohibitively long, so it’s going to be there juuuuust a little longer than that.
  • You call them parking garages. We call them parking ramps. Honestly not married to this one, so if you want us to start calling them garages, we’ll work with you.
  • You call it soda. We call it pop. We don’t get it either but that one’s not changing.
  • You’ll engage in a conversation about the weather with a native Minnesotan. We literally cannot help it. It’s a compulsion. We got a ton of snow last week, but it was nothing like the Halloween Blizzard of 1991. See? We’re already doing it.
  • People who have very strong opinions about the aforementioned Juicy Lucy. It’s basically a reverse cheeseburger (beef on outside, cheese on inside) with a creation myth still being disputed to this day. Friendships have ended over the Matt’s Bar/5-8 Club dispute.
  • Be ready to experience first-class passive aggression. If someone says your old school Ron Jaworski Eagles jersey is “interesting,” they are not a fan. If someone says, “I’m not mad,” they are, in fact, mad. If you get to a 4-way stop at roughly the same time as another driver(s), your best bet is to just abandon the car, get out, and walk to your destination, as who gets to go first will never be resolved by conventional means.
  • Our parks, trails, and museums are pretty goddamn great. We don’t brag often, but this shit is cool.
  • RE: The “Fargo” accent. unless you get outside of the metro area, you won’t hear it. Once you get to the suburbs, you’ll hear traces. Once you get outstate (or as it’s called by news anchors and nobody else, “greater Minnesota”), it’s like being in the movie.
  • If you find that accent, you’ll find a meat raffle. It’s exactly what it sounds like.

Surly is on tap and in liquor stores all over town and large chunks of the Upper Midwest. We’re even in Arizona now, which while nowhere near the Upper Midwest is home to all of our older relatives who got tired of shoveling.

Thank you for coming to town.

(Image courtesy Flickr/Sajith T.S.)

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