How to Offend Midwesterners in 3 Easy Steps

First, accidentally insult their taste in literature, like so:

SETTING: Airport bookstore.
PERSONAE: Two middle-aged blonde ladies, nicely blow-dried and made-up, browsing the mass-market paperbacks, and me, a compulsive know-it-all.

LADY 1: Is this any good? [holds up Girl with the Dragon Tattoo]
LADY 2: Oh, I don’t know! I was wondering that too!
ME: Yes! It’s great. I read all of them. They’re good! And I don’t even usually read that stuff!


LADY 1: Oh! … What do you read?

Next, get really flustered, look blank, and when you finally begin speaking again, use the lord’s name in vain.

ME [flailing pathetically]: Oh! … God, everything … books …

Finally, exacerbate the problem by continuing to babble and then running away. 

ME: I’m sorry, that sounded so snobby! I didn’t mean — uh —  I mean — bye! 

I am officially almost as bad as Sarah “Um, all of them” Palin

Otherwise, my first visit to the hot, beating heart of America, St. Louis, MO, went smoothly. Except for the fact that, five minutes into the first big group meeting, I dropped a pretzel down my shirt and couldn’t find it. I didn’t want to be caught staring into my own cleavage, but come on! A chunk of wheaty goodness covered in salt doesn’t just disappear.

Being that it was 100 degrees out there in flyover country, I had to worry what kind of radioactive effect my bosom would have on that pretzel — would it turn into Spider Man? or the delicious mutant equivalent? Worse, would it decide to stage a re-entrance by falling out of my clothes at an inopportune moment? 

Even went I ducked into a bathroom to fiddle around with my bra, I couldn’t find the offender, so I had to give up and live in fear. Luckily, the pretzel and I both emerged unscathed from the experience: it showed up later, looking all innocent, on my hotel room floor, and I managed to give away every business card I’d brought with me without being overtaken by a monstrous sweaty monster bursting out of my shirt. Win-win! 

2 thoughts on “How to Offend Midwesterners in 3 Easy Steps”

  1. my question is: did you eat the pretzel off the floor? i think i know the answer but i had to pose it anyway.

  2. No i most certainly did not. i wasn't letting that thing get anywhere near me just in case it changed its mind and decided to attack after all.

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