September 10, 2007
The answer is an unqualified YES.
I lived in Minnesota for two years, back when I was in grad school. A better place I cannot imagine. Oh, sure, the snow could be a little much (like the 27-1/2" we got in twelve hours... ON HALLOWEEN), and it can get a bit cold (like the week it never got above -10 F, and one night the windchills were -100 F and the police were on the radio stations saying "don't go outside, you will die."), but Minnesota is, above all else, normal.
It's a wonderful, laid-back state. When the register operator at the Hy-Vee on Riverfront asked "How are you", she was honestly wondering how you were.
A place where someone you knew only by sight would give you a scarf, because they saw you didn't have one.
A place where the strippers in Mettler's were friendly, and not because you had money.
It's the place that A Prairie Home Companion had to jazz up to be interesting.
It's the only place in the world where macaroni & cheese is considered "pasta" unironically.
Minnesota IS normalcy objectified. The Twin Cities, on the other hand, is about as sane as San Francisco. The only place in the world that they'd consider the Metrodome (if you don't know what the Metrodome looks like, imagine the Michelin Man's coffin as seen from the side) a suitable place for a ballpark. Minneapolis-St. Paul is where the 'weirdos' from the rest of the state go.
But yet, even they are relatively normal. Oh, the strangest people in the TCs would be strange anywhere, but most of the oddballs would be small-fry in Chicago, or Seattle, or New York, or (god help us) Los Angeles.
The only reason the stories Steven mentions are considered particularly odd is because they happened in Minneapolis. You think toe-sucking muggers aren't a dime a dozen in New York? Congresscritters proposition strangers in a bathroom every day in Washington!
No, it's only the low level of oddness in Minnesota that makes these events strange.
Minnesota: Where 'bland' is a flavor... and I love it.
UPDATE: They caught the toe-sucking mugger from Steve's post... and the Smoking Gun was there (NSF liquid refreshment in mouth). Seriously.
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