All I Need to Know I Learned in the Midwest

Now that I’m finally home, I can start to catch up on writing all the silly drivel about the reunion and other travel mayhem I know you just can’t wait to read.  In the meantime, here’s a short list of some of the crucial things I learned (most the hard way) while gallivanting through the Midwest (in no particular order):

  • Deep Fried Mush is really fucking weird – and no kind of good.
  • You can’t teach an eight-month-old to say Douche Bag, no matter how many times you repeat it.
  • You CAN teach an eight-month-old to suck on the nose of whoever might be holding said baby.
  • One bag of Trader Joe’s Popcorn will last you two solid weeks if rationed properly.
  • Ginny has a car alarm.  (Yeah, this was a bad, bad scene somewhere in rural Indiana.)
  • People do not react calmly when you call their child “Jabba the Baby.”
  • Organic, free-range beef jerky inspires much ridicule.
  • The people that named “Big Bone Lick State Park” honestly did not have a sense of humor.
  • Lack of internet puts a serious damper on blog-ification.
  • On that note – if it wasn’t for Rocco, I might just marry Webster.  I love my phone THAT MUCH.
  • One of my uncles killed an entire flock of chickens when he greased their asses in an attempt to make egg laying easier on the poor girls.
  • The evidence of our recession is far more pronounced in the Midwest than here in NYC.
  • You can make s’mores in a driveway.
  • Bing Cherries in KY are cheap as hell.
  • I can type in a car without hurling chunks of previously paper-wrapped cuisine all over the dashboard.
  • I can’t ride in the back of the van when Dad is driving and not vomit into my mouth.
  • Thom (thankfully) always has mint gum in his pockets.
  • Even though I fear I’ll never know all the lyrics, the 5th day of the Middleton version of “Twelve Days of Christmas” is my cousin’s (Mrs. Mouse) favorite.  (sing it with me – FIVE MO-THER FUCKERS!)
  • Despite being one of the flattest states in the continental US, Illinois (specifically Dixon) has the best kiss-me-quicks in the world.
  • The men’s room at Wrigley Field is a giant trough.  It frightens young boys…and Rocco.
  • Everyone ALWAYS underestimates the weight of a solid chunk of concrete.
  • Thom may have been a professional wrestler in a previous life.
  • Snickers bars are perfectly acceptable ingredients in a salad.
  • Children without toilet paper are resourceful in ways one should never have to witness.

Screw a year of Kindergarten, two weeks with the fam is far more educational.  One of my cousins said something interesting about her kids that stuck with me.  I’m paraphrasing and hopefully not screwing it up too terribly, but basically she felt that kids couldn’t be interesting adults if they didn’t have a little emotional scarring along the way.  I’d say that’s true of all the nifty adults (at least in age, if not in maturity) that I know.  I’d say with this family, she’s going to have some pretty fascinating kids…and I mean that in the best way possible.  I miss you guys already.  Thanks for a rollicking good time.


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