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About nine years ago when I still lived in Ohio, two of my good friends at the time just so happened to be from Missouri and Kansas. It’s kind of a long story how they got there, but it could be said that they found a lot of our local idiosyncrasies hilarious. One day they decided to compile a fairly smarting list of these quirky traits and emailed it to all of their Ohio friends for a good laugh (it was 2003, we emailed a lot back then). They wrote it all under the moniker “The MO-KAN Connection”.

I’ll admit, I didn’t take it as kindly then as I do looking back on it now. It was pretty darn funny. But sometimes it’s not very much fun to listen to someone with an outside perspective make jokes about “your town” or “your upbringing”. I was born and raised in T-County (Tuscarawas County for long, and yea they made fun of the name too), so sometimes I just didn’t know any different. It’s good every now and then to take a look at things from a different point of view (keep this in mind as you continue reading).

Cuz now, the tables have turned.

It’s nine years later, and I’ve been living in Kansas City for over two years. Both those friends of mine have moved back to the Greater Kansas City area as well, so it’s time for me to give my own little dose of perspective on their home city/state (one of them is actually from Springfield but many of these still apply). Now granted, KC may not be as quirky as Ohio Amish country, I’ll give you that. But you guys still do some pretty crazy stuff out here.

So here goes, make sure to read this knowing the love behind which it was crafted. Also, read it with humility. Cuz it’s all preeeeeeetty much true.

You know you’re from Kansas City if…

  1. You think KU vs. MU is one of the most storied rivalries in college sports.
  2. You can’t wait to take out-of-town guests to see the spectacle that is The Plaza.
  3. You call two slabs of meat on a plain piece of white bread with a dollop of BBQ sauce and a pickle on the side “good BBQ”.
  4. You think people from Johnson County can drive.
  5. You call a trip to the Ozarks “a vacation”.
  6. You don’t think it’s weird that the “University of Kansas” and the “University of Missouri” are abbreviated KU & MU instead of UK & UM.
  7. You don’t understand why the previous statement was included in this list.
  8. You’re considering moving from the suburbs to the city just so you’ll be assured of getting Google Fiber.
  9. You actually enjoy the ketchup & mustard color scheme that the Chiefs have employed since that combination of colors actually looked good together back in nineteen-NEVER.
  10. You really did think it was “Our Time”.
  11. You place the word “highway” after the road it is referring to instead of before like the rest of America, e.g. “71 highway”, “69 highway”, etc.
  12. You’ve never heard of a drive-thru liquor store.
  13. You could lead someone right to Truman’s birthplace like the whole of your existence depends on you knowing this information.
  14. You can name with astounding certainty which Kansas City news anchors are gay.
  15. You defy all pronunciation rules and logic by saying the word ornery (oRn-er-y) like this: “on-ree”. (Ohio friends: Yes, that’s really how they say it)
  16. “Have you been to the Plaza yet? You’ve got to check out the Plaza.”
  17. You actually believe that you get better cell reception on your Sprint phone just because their world headquarters is in OP.
  18. You know the best times to avoid the lines at Oklahoma Joe’s.
  19. You’ve been mugged at least once.
  20. Your car has been broken into at least once.
  21. Your house has been broken into at least once.
  22. You’ve never questioned why such a ridiculously asinine statement like “Rock Chalk Jayhawk” is your school’s battle cry.
  23. You know what “The Triangle” is and when to avoid it at all costs.
  24. You think that arguing with your buddies “which KC restaurant has the best BBQ in the city?” is a wise use of your time.
  25. You know exactly where The Goodfoot is playing tonight. Because it’s the exact same place they played at last week.
  26. You will only fill up your car at a Quik Trip.
  27. You give directions to your home by mentioning the nearest recognizable intersection, e.g. “95th & Metcalf”, “75th & Wornall”, etc.
  28. You consider the 6th inning sing-along to “Friends in Low Places” a fine Kauffman Stadium tradition, even though Garth Brooks isn’t from Kansas City and it JUST MAKES NO SENSE WHATSOEVER.
  29. You think Lee’s Summit is just a short drive away.
  30. “Seriously, you haven’t been to the Plaza? We need to take you to the Plaza.”
  31. You root for the Chiefs, the Cardinals and whichever NBA team your favorite KU player is currently on. And you can’t understand why anyone would ever want to root for all the pro sports teams from just ONE city.
  32. You call anything north of the river the “Northland”. And you REFUSE to ever go there.
  33. You’re not-so-secretly proud that Missouri is now considered by many to be the Meth Capital of the World.
  34. You’ve pronounced it “Missour-uh” at some point in your life.
  35. You didn’t know that Hyvee and PriceChopper weren’t nationally recognized grocery chains until you just read this sentence.
  36. You consider 90° to be a nice, breezy summer day.
  37. You regularly go on something you call “float trips” in the summer. These consist of a river, some form of flotation device and a massive amount of alcohol.
  38. Your claim to fame is that you went to the same high school as Paul Rudd, Jason Sudeikis and that guy from Modern Family.
  39. You got a little bit too excited when Trader Joe’s opened.
  40. You actually root for the UMKC ‘Roos at whatever sporting events they compete in. No really though, what sporting events do they compete in?
  41. You feel that “Schlitterbahn” is a great name for a water park.
  42. You call moving to Johnson County “selling out”. But you do it anyway.
  43. You actually know someone who is sending their kids through the Kansas City school district.
  44. The highlight of a Royals game for you is the tailgating you do beforehand.
  45. You think it’s normal to tailgate before a baseball game.
  46. You freak out about getting your hands on some Boulevard Chocolate Ale, even though you think it tastes like liquefied Hershey bars.
  47. “Did you know Tech N9ne is from Kansas City?” “Umm, who?”
  48. You think the Chiefs are going to contend this year.
  49. When you go out of town you tell people the name of the suburb you’re from (instead of just saying you’re from “Kansas City”), as if they’ve ever heard of it!
  50. You’re not really offended by this list because you’ve found yourself agreeing with so much of it!

With love,

The T-County connection

You can find a copy of my buddies’ list, “You Know You’re From T-County If…“ here, on my old Xanga site.

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Ryan Straits



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