Minnesota border war II

Monday, January 21, 2002

Here we go again. In 1996 in this space, I covered the biggest thing since the Civil War, when then-Governor of Minnesota Arne Carlson dented Iowa's pride by complaining that our state capitol is "absolutely dead."

Iowa governor Terry Branstad came out frothing at the mouth, demanding an official apology. Chuck Grassley demanded that Carlson present himself to be dragged around to Des Moines attractions. Blubbering Iowa legislators proposed all manner of revenges, including an Iowa boycott of that Minnesota mega-mall. The Associated Press termed it "border war."

Iowans, of course, practically make a living bashing Des Moines. That isn't the point. Nobody from bloody Minnesota had better say it.

Deja vu, sparky. Here we go again. During the taping of his weekly radio show last week, Minnesota Gov. Jesse "The Body" Ventura had a few jabs for the Hawkeye State.

"You know what I love about Iowa? I love about Iowa their vacation ads they run here... like a Minnesotan is going to Iowa to water ski?"

His comments of course, were all in fun. "I think Iowans have a sense of humor. I think you have to, to live in Iowa."

Ventura joked that Minnesota and Iowa don't need to worry about deficits. "It will be a war between Minnesota and Iowa."

At least Governor Body has some new comedy material, which is more than can be said for those who attend every Hawkeye-Gophers game just drooling to use that one old Minnesotan joke: "What does Iowa stand for? Idiots Out Walking Around."

Personally, I think it has all gotten way out of hand. We need Minnesota! If it were not for the Vikings, all our favorite teams wouldn't have anyone to beat.

I actually like Minnesota. It is a perfectly good way to get back and forth from Iowa to Ontario.

Why, I would never stoop to the sophomoric level of insulting our good neighboring state.

And it's a good thing, too. Because these are just a few examples of the things I would never, ever want to say about Minnesota:

* There are two seasons in Minnesota, winter is coming and winter.

* Minnesota, where objects in your rear view mirror are dumber than they appear.

* Minnesota: falling out of the stupid tree and hitting every branch on the way down.

* Minnesota, where they think Johnny Cash is a pay toilet.

* Minnesota. Where when you say it's chilly outside, all the natives run outside with spoons.

Please, people, be nice. What good does it do to insult our good neighbors? For goodness sakes, please don't let me hear you saying any of the following, for example:

* Minnesota, where a shopping center is considered the state's natural resource.

* Minnesota people are so fat that their high school yearbook pictures are aerial photos.

* Minnesotans are so cheap they go to McDonalds and put a shake on lay-away.

* How many Minnesotans does it take to change a light bulb? 4,353,000 - one to hold the bulb and the rest to turn the state.

Sure, the governor of Minnesota may have taken a cheap shot. But we are bigger than that, much bigger. That's why I would never, never, suggest anything like the following:

* Why doesn't Iowa have a major league baseball team? Because then Minnesota would want one.

* Minnesotans are so ugly that when they walk into a bank, they turn off the surveillance cameras.

* Minnesotans are so old, most of them owe Moses a quarter.

* A Minnesotan takes an hour and a half to watch "60 Minutes."

Why, Minnesota is a perfectly fine place. I have known several Minnesotans who appeared to be normal or at least a stone's throw from it. I pays to be understanding and appreciative of our neighbors, and not get caught up in political mud-slinging. Examples of what we should not say might be something like this:

* I saw a Minnesotan in the frozen food section at Hy-Vee with a fishing rod.

* Why didn't anybody show up at the Minnesota Amateur Boring Championships? Turns out they were all professionals.

* Minnesotans keep getting fired at the M&M candy factory for throwing out all the W's.

Doesn't it feel good to be pure of heart and to distance one's self from resorting to childish insults? Why, I would not dream of being involved with any of the following statements, and I mean that:

* Minnesota: Jesse's exercise wheel is spinning, but the

hamster's dead.

* Minnesota: Land of 10,000 Petersons.

* Minnesota: Land of the ski and home of the crazed.

* Minnesota is famous for growing three things: colder, older, fatter.

* University of Minnesota motto: "I came, I thawed, I transferred..."

* What's the best thing coming out of Minnesota? I-35... South.

Rest assured, my friends in the northlands and good Governor Ventura, we will be on the lookout for these and other abuses so that they can be nipped in the bud.

Have a nice day.