By Richard Peterson
This important information was e-mailed to me by Oberon expatriate Aaron Taylor:
You Know You’re From North Dakota When:
Vacation means going to Medora.
You’ve seen all the biggest bands, 20 years after they were popular.
East means to Fargo.
You know several people who have hit a buffalo.
You’ve ridden the school bus for an hour each way.
You only lock your car in August, so it doesn’t get filled with zucchini.
You think four major food groups are: beef, chokecherry wine, pork and Jell-O with marshmallows.
You carry a blizzard survival kit in your car 12 months a year.
You find three feet of snow a minor inconvenience.
You know if other North Dakotans are from southern, middle or northern North Dakota as soon as they open their mouths.
There is a Dairy Queen in every town with a population of 1,000 or more, but McDonalds are spread out every 100 miles.
You have more miles on your snow blower than your car.
You know Ole and Lena personally.
Though you’re not breaking the law, you break into a cold sweat when the game warden appears.
You owe more money on your snowmobile than your car.
You find it exciting to stare through a hole in the ice and look at the bottom.
You can tell the difference between a gopher and a chipmunk at 300 yards.
You think white rice is exotic and wild rice is hot dish.
Somewhere in the state is a piece of frozen metal with bits of your tongue stuck to it.
When you win the prize for the smallest fish, you’re proud of it.
You hate "Fargo" but realize your entire family has the accent.
People borrow things to you.
You keep the snow tires on your truck all year because it isn’t worth taking them off for only two months.
You are proud that your state makes the national news 96 nights each year because Bismarck is the coldest spot in the nation.
You think a basketball team consists of 12 white boys.
Someone in a store offers you assistance and she doesn’t work there.
You’re polite to telemarketers.
You have a nickname for your chain saw and you pat it on the fuel tank at the end of a hard day’s sawing.
You may not have actually eaten it, but you have heard of lutefisk.
You go to a high school basketball game, the score is 12-8 at half-time . .
. and you don’t think there’s anything strange about that.
You know how to say Fargo and Minot.
You never had to rewind any part of "Fargo" because you missed some of the dialogue.
Your town isn’t trying to be ironic when it plans a "Winter Carnival."
Your bank has the name of your town included in its name.
You think that "UFF DA" is a standard English phrase.
You can recite, from memory, more than a half-dozen "Ole and Lena" jokes.
Every time you see moonlight on a lake you think of a dancing bear, and sing, gently, "From the land of sky-blue waters . . . Hamm’s, the beer refreshing. Hamm’s, the beer refreshing."
Your dog dies, you lose your job, and your car breaks down, all on the same day, and the first thought that comes to your mind is, "It could be worse!"
Your definition of a small town is one that has only one bar.
"Down south" means Aberdeen.
You have no problem spelling Wahpeton.
You expect to be excused from school for deer hunting season and harvesting.
Your soup du jour at your hometown cafe is always beer cheese or knoephla.
You think of something other than the Bible when you hear the words "Great Flood."
You drive to town during a blizzard just to see if the weatherman knows what he’s talking about.
You assume everyone has seen northern lights and sundogs.
You cry when a tree is cut down but complain when a new one is planted because it blocks the view.
You think cold weather gear is a bottle of schnapps.
After you discuss the weather, conversation declines.
You understand "AYH, y’betchyah" means either "I agree" or "You’re full of it" and know the difference.
You grew up thinking rice was only for dessert.
You think that ketchup is a little too spicy.
You didn’t know there was a Red River Valley in Texas.
The band you choose for your wedding has to know rock, country and polkas.
Young boys still get BB guns for Christmas.
You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from North Dakota.