Aw'right! Aw'right! I will recall my non-Michigan roots and have mercy on the fair readers dwelling outside Michigan. For you native Michiganders, realize that I am not one of you. I was born in Connecticut and raised in Illinois. Do not send me nasty e-mails about God's Country or Seceding from the Union and my unsupportive efforts to promote such gibberish.
First, The Map:
1. Motown. Another word for Detroit, home of Motown Records, Aretha Franklin, etc....Also known as the Motor City.
2. The Thumb. A body part and a geographic region. I live in 'The Thumb'.
3. The Bridge. This is the Mackinaw Bridge. Your location in regards to The Bridge define what kind of Michigander you are. When stating how far you are in driving time from The Bridge, speak with authority, like you know what the h#$@ you're talking about: stand with feet firmly planted, lift sternum and announce, "I Live Three Hours From The Bridge!" Or in the case of Deb Roby, "I Live Forty Seven Hours From The Bridge!" Note to MI natives: Do not send me nasty e-mails telling me it's The Mackinac Bridge because there's a strong chance that I don't care.
4. Upper Peninsula. The part of Michigan above The Bridge. If you're from there, you're a 'Yooper' (U-P-er. Get it?) and you believe with all your heart in the UP being it's own nation. You do not need to be yoked with over-civilized, urban rif raf from under The Bridge. Those people couldn't survive a day in the woods without guidance. You are independant, self sufficient, and could go months without a trip to a grocery store, if you had to.
If you're from the rest of Michigan, you're a Troll because you live 'under the bridge'. You don't want the U.P. to be it's own nation because you like to go there for vacation and you already have Canada next door, you don't need another international border to cross.
5. Scar from 1979. Not a suicide attempt, like my whole neighborhood thought, but a clumsy accident where I tripped on a step, fell through a door window and cut myself after checking on my new puppy. I was eleven, I was wearing a white terry cloth shorts set and flip flops. The time was 10:05 p.m. I know that because I was looking at the clock while yodeling, 'Moooom!'. It was the first time I entered that 'It's a crisis yet I'm freakishly calm' state. Fourteen stitches and 5 days later, I had to go to camp and 'swim' by standing in the shallow part of the lake with my plastic bag-encased wrist held high above my head. I thought it was really cool. -snort- still kinda' do.
6. The Leelanau Peninsula. Home of Desi from yesterday's post. Lots of wineries, cherry trees and tourists there. If you ever come to Michigan, go to the Leelanau Peninsula, breathe the lakeside air and marvel at the scenery because who knew that a Midwestern state could hold such beauty? I plan to live there when I grow up.
7. Lansing. Our state Capitol. Also home to Michigan State University, in case you care.
To truly speak like a native, you'd have to learn more tedious terminology and how to defend which teams you root for. But I believe that by studying this guide, smiling often and speaking little, you can pass unscathed.