Regional Culture

Regional Culture

Here's a collection of you-must-be-from-North-Dakota sayings dealing with general and miscellaneous aspects of regional culture. (For Ole and Lars's sake, I wrote this page real slow.)
  • If you tell jokes about Ole, Lena, and Lars . . .
  • If Ole and Lena jokes remind you of real people . . .
  • If you know several Ole and Lena jokes by heart . . .
  • If you know all the Ole and Lena jokes . . .
  • If you know Ole and Lena personally . . .
  • If you tell Norwegian jokes instead of Pollack jokes . . .
  • If "Fargo" brings to mind something other than the movie . . .
  • If "vacation" means visiting out-of-state relatives . . .
  • If your wife wants to go shopping, so you take her to a farm auction sale . . .
  • If your hockey puck melts and smells in the spring time [think about it] . . .
  • If your thumb and shirtsleeves work as well as a handkerchief . . .
  • If you know what leaves make good toilet paper . . .
  • If improper grammar used by TV characters irritates you . . .
  • If you think "initiative" means something to sign . . .
  • If you can identify individual strains of wheat from your car at 70 mph during August . . .
  • If you can sing all the words to "You Ought to Go to North Dakota" . . .
  • If going to Mecca means a weekend in Medora . . .
  • If you know what curling is . . .
  • If you have a wooden sign above your garage door with your family name on it . . .
  • If you think the prairie rose is your girl friend . . .
  • If you think the Little Mo. is oil in the bank . . .
  • If you think a cold winter night is a romp in the sack . . .
  • If you think a prairie chicken is a new bird . . .
  • If you think a fork is a handout . . .
  • If you think a Governor is something you use on the car . . .
  • If you think a three-month summer vacation is a paid holiday . . .
  • If you think the "Dick test" [an old test for scarlet fever] is a rite of manhood . . .
  • If you think the speed limit is a test for the Indy 500 . . .
  • If you think being the turkey in an office is a place of honor . . .
  • If you think Dickinson is Emily the poet . . .
  • If you think Minot fought in the Revolutionary War . . .
  • If you think the Peace Garden is your final resting place . . .
  • If you don't know Fargo was a horror movie or a comedy . . .
  • If you consider somebody strange if they don't own a gun . . .
  • If even though you're not breaking the law, you break into a cold sweat when the game warden appears . . .
  • If you think the opening of deer season is a national holiday . . .
  • If you thought Grumpy Old Men was a documentary . . .
  • If you find it exciting to stare through a hole in the ice and look at the bottom . . .
  • If when you win the prize for the smallest fish, you're proud of it . . .
  • If you honk the horn every time you go over the Red River from Minnesota to North Dakota (while your kids are hiding in the back seat from embarrassment) . . .
  • If pride swells up in your throat when, after a 400 mile trip, you go over the overpass and there's home . . .
  • If every time you see a Michelle Pfeiffer movie, you tell everyone within earshot that her parents came from New Rockford, and her Grandma still lives there . . .
  • If you knew how to drive a tractor before you could read . . .
  • If you think "3 to 5 years" on the side of the puzzle you bought on your last vacation to Bismarck means the average time it will take you to assemble it . . .
  • If you think the capital of Minnesota is M . . .
  • If you don't understand why the governor doesn't call for a statewide holiday every time the Fighting Irish of N.D. win a championship . . .
  • If you wear your best jeans and cowboy boots to your mother's funeral . . .
  • If you own a jacket with the name of a seed company embroidered across the back . . .
  • If cowboy poets are your favorite form of entertainment . . .
  • If you know how to do the chicken dance . . .
  • If someone asks if you've ever fenced, and you think of barbed wire and posts . . .
  • If you call pot-holes "speed bumps" . . .
  • If your bathroom was destroyed by fire, but luckily it was far enough from the house so nothing else burned . . .
  • If the silo you have on your farm isn't underground (and doesn't have a missile in it) . . .
  • If you think air pollution is the guy ahead of you having a bad muffler on his car or pickup . . .
  • If you say "Lawrence Welk" and people smile and don't ask, "Who?" . . .
  • If you never signal or stop when you enter the highway from a side road . . .
  • If you apply for a job as a nanny in Connecticut and the only reference you need is your driver's license . . .
  • If you know what state Angie Dickinson was born in . . .
  • If you talk about lignite and people don't ask what the heck that is . . .
  • If you talk about flyash and people know you're not talking about a breeze going through the fireplace . . .
  • If going to South Dakota is considered going south for the winter . . .
  • If you prefer auction sales to any mall in existence . . .
  • If you still vote for William Langer as a write-in . . .
  • If you keep threatening to quit supporting Minnesota professional teams . . .
  • If your hockey team is national champions . . .
  • If your children can read and write and do math and stuff . . .
  • If the majority of your Christmas cards are addressed to Mesa, Arizona . . .
  • If you have never visited the Peace Garden, but you understand it's pretty nice . . .
  • If your state heritage center is free, unlike that of impoverished states such as Colorado . . .
  • If when someone mentions Classical Music, your instinctive thought is of Hank Williams Sr., but you know better . . .
  • If you prefer pinochle or whist to bridge . . .
  • If you are puzzled why people refer to Indians as proud and spiritual . . .
  • If you see combines with lights on leading a funeral procession . . .
  • If you wait on the curb before crossing the street until the light turns green . . .
  • If the best thing about living in Fargo is that it is located on the west coast of Minnesota . . .
  • If you put your vehicle's name on the front bug shield of your pickup so you don't forget it . . .
  • If you spend your honeymoon to South Dakota driving by junk car lots looking for specials to drive in demolition derbies . . .
  • If every year you have to go help your cousin in Minnesota paint Elvises on black velvet to sell at the Minnesota state fair . . .
  • If your idea of must-have fashion is Sorel boots and brown insulated coveralls . . .
  • If you remember being so bored at times, your favorite phrase was, "Mom, what can I do or eat?" . . .
  • If you remember Saturday night baths in a wash tub, and your Dad might let you swim in an EXTRA tank the cattle weren't using . . .
  • If you had to ride your bicycle or walk to work because you couldn't afford the gas . . .
  • If you figure your gas mileage budget as to whether it's your turn to drive to Aberdeen or not . . .
  • If ordering flowers for your sweetheart or ordering a wedding cake means calling or driving two counties or several towns away . . .
  • If the current movie you want to go see in the local theatre has already become a "Classic" in the rest of the nation . . .
  • If you take delight in viewing the Northern Lights, the Big Dipper, and the open sky . . .
  • If you are very patient--in no big hurry for anything--enjoying life to its fullest--and no crowds are in your way all the time . . .
  • If you're in no hurry to try to beat the train crossing the tracks . . .
  • If you enjoy clear blue water and clear blue sky with no smog . . .
  • If you can go down the middle of Main Street in a wheelchair and no one honks! . . .
  • If your mother has ever said, "I'm getting the bar of soap, it's for your mouth" . . .
  • If when a caller says she's coming by your house, it means company for dinner . . .
  • If an invitation for coffee means gourmet deserts . . .
  • If you know Indians don't ride horses . . .
  • If not only Minnesotans jump when you waltz . . .
  • If you think North Dakota was named that so the first three letters would be the same as for "Norway" . . .
  • If you recognize fellow North Dakotans by their up-turned pug noses (no one knows whether this comes from the freezing cold winters, from their Norwegian heritage, or from being exposed generation after generation to stinky cow and pig manure) . . .
  • If you believe a prospective resident would benefit from a one-way ticket to North Dakota . . .
  • If you tell tourists from the eastern part of the country to spend their money in North Dakota but keep on going to Montana . . .
  • If you would be proud to re-name North Dakota "Upper-Lower Manitoba" . . .
  • If you think of New York City as a Wisconsin suburb of St. Paul . . .
  • If you think the Washington DC beltway is made of North Dakota rawhide . . .
  • If a Saturday night date means Lawrence Welk re-runs . . .
  • If you can name one of the other entertainers on the Lawrence Welk Show . . .
  • If you know what time reruns of the Lawrence Welk show appear on PBS . . .
  • If when you see bubbles, you think of Lawrence Welk . . .
  • If when asked to name your favorite comedian, you reply "Luther Bjerke" (and you pronounce it correctly) . . .
  • If you know where the Geographical Center of North America is . . .
  • If you know what gas station chain is located at the Geographical Center of North America . . .
  • If when someone says Rugby, you think of a town . . .
  • If you don't slow down when passing an oncoming car on a one lane gravel road . . .
  • If you can drive better in reverse than forward . . .
  • If you say to yourself, "that's the smell of money" when driving past a cow pasture . . .
  • If you seal a deal with a handshake . . .
  • If your word is better than any signed contract . . .
  • If you never use your turn signal . . .
  • If you think you have a high-class orchestra because you have two tubas . . .
  • If you watch the Chicago Bulls just to see Phil Jackson . . .
  • If your radio knob snapped off when that rotten grandchild tried to change the channel from KFGO [that's Jack Sunday writing] . . .
  • If upon seeing the movie, Northern Lights, you realize that it can only be understood by North Dakotans and Europeans . . .
  • If during the brief fall you proudly rake the whole yard to get a bag or two of leaves before the wind does . . .
  • If the silent male majority hunts religiously . . .
  • If the area inside your front door is constantly piled with boots, shoes, etc. . . .
  • If you are really into curling, ice fishing, and snowmobiling . . .
  • If you drive 2 to 5 hours (one way) to attend high school sporting events . . .
  • If you buy white vehicles which can't be easily seen, yet paint houses rather vivid colors . . .
  • If durum is king . . .
  • If you think of Rugby as a town, not a sport . . .
  • If you didn't know a suntan could extend above your elbows . . .
  • If you remember taking the clinker out of the stove and not losing the red ashes when burning lignite . . .
  • If the only winter sport in which you participate involves bidding and trump suits . . .
  • If you just wish KFGO wouldn't lower power in the bottom of the 9th with the bases loaded, and Kirby Puckett at bat . . .
  • If the Sytennda Mai parade starts at the landfill and ends at Duffy's, and is broadcast live on KFGO . . .
  • If Olaf Harvey Snoose and Commentary is more popular than Paul Harvey . . .
  • If you have ever gone a full month without having to use the blinker on your car . . .
  • If in high school you were a starter in three or more major sports since your freshman year . . .
  • If you have ever rented a movie before it played at the town theatre . . .
  • If country cruising means anything to you . . .
  • If Northwest Airlines is your lifeline to the outside world . . .
  • If federal relief comes in faster than taxes are paid out . . .
  • If you have a legitimate need for SUVs and know they have been around longer than this yuppie trend to own one . . .
  • If you drive to the neighbors' with the intention of seeing the teenage girl living there but when her father comes out of the house you ask if he has seen a stray horse . . .
  • If you check the bottom of your shoes before you enter a home . . .
  • If you hope you picked the right day, hour and minute the pop can, frozen on top of the ditch, falls into the spring thawed water! . . .
  • If Lawrence Welk is in your family tree . . .
  • If you think New England is a town . . .
  • If directions include where farms used to be . . .
  • If there was no charge for your John Deere hat . . .
  • If Harley is a man's name . . .
  • If you think Tommy Turtle will attract visitors . . .
  • If you know what the Magic City is . . .
  • If local landmarks include a giant Holstein cow or a giant buffalo . . .
  • If you've got a noticeable Farmer's Tan . . .
  • If during the Christmas season your house has more lights than Las Vegas . . .
  • If your kids trip over Christmas lights and Halloween bags while searching for Easter Eggs . . .
. . . then you must be from North Dakota.