Mess with an Arkansan at your own peril. You’ll likely get served a nice black eye. What will really shock you is seeing the punch thrown with the politest of smiles (because that heat thrown at you came from a place of love and education; teaching you not to fool with the wrong person). We Arkies ain’t scared of you, your mama, or your big brother – we fight hard and win! What makes us so tough? Well, I’m glad you asked…
10. We Live On The Edge
The spotlight stays on the Golden State when it comes to worrying when "the big one" will hit, but Arkansas also sits on a major seismic zone that could cause serious damage if a strong earthquake happened to rock the residents. The New Madrid Seismic Zone potentially threatens seven states in the US, and the Natural State's a part of the hot spot. Worried? Not really. We're too busy keeping an eye out for twisters.
9. We Survive Tornadoes
People who aren't from around here watch movies like "Twister" and "Into The Storm" and wonder out loud how others can live in an area where tornadoes are commonplace. They say we're not so bright because we live in a state that's prone to such a devastating natural disaster. The truth is, we're not scared to rebuild when a twister comes through. Sure, an Arkansan will run from a funnel cloud, but you'll discover Natural State natives run back pretty quickly with hammers, nails, boards, trucks, and helpful residents and neighbors who aren't shy to work hard and get things back to normal.
8. We Survive Floods
If living on a fault line and under threat of tornadoes wasn't enough, Arkansans have been toughened up by the high number of flash floods and major floods that often occur in the Natural State. Living in such an unpredictable location gives residents reason to educate themselves on preparation, and many Arkansans became excellent survivalists before that term or the name "preppers" even became popular.
7. We Have An Arsenal
The Pine Bluff Arsenal is a US Army installation located in Jefferson County, just northwest of the city of Pine Bluff. The Arsenal is one of nine Army installations in the United States that stores chemical weapons, PBA supplies, provides storage, maintenance and distribution of readiness products, and delivers technical services to the Armed Forces and Homeland Security. Don't mess with the US...and don't mess with Pine Bluff.
6. Gangsters Knew Before Everybody Else
If Al Capone comes to your town you can't be a weak, lily-livered sap! Hot Springs was at one point in history a corrupt town, a hotbed for criminals during the Gangster Era (1927-1947) thanks to known criminal Owney Madden. It wasn't until 1967 that gambling became illegal (other than horse racing at Oaklawn) and the town (slightly) slowed down.
5. We Can Take Criticism
From Maya Angelou to John Grisham to Nancy A. Collins to Charlaine Harris, the Natural State is full of creativity and popular writers and poets who have called Arkansas home. These authors are a good example of the state's overall sense of persistence - whether or not it's a best seller or if the New York Times doesn't have anything good to say about their latest work, these artists press forth with their publishing and book lovers continue to laud these writers with high praise.
4. We Produce Boxers
Okay, so Jermain Taylor isn't the best example of an Arkansas born-and-bred fighter at this moment (he's not really fighting fair anymore, or fighting actual boxers for that matter), but we'll always have tough as nails former heavyweight champion Sonny Liston of Sandy Slough to brag about - and we'll always have the Liston/Ali fights in 1964 and '65 to enjoy.
3. We Are Die Hard Fans
If you thought politics was a hotly disputed topic in Arkansas, you should try a debate with a sports fan from the Natural State. Even if you're an Arkansan who isn't a Razorback fan (shame on you), it's pretty likely you're an ardent supporter of another team, and you'd better be ready to back that love up if you're ever in an argument with a fellow Arkie who disagrees with you. You'll either end up talking yourself sick over the subject or in a physical confrontation depending on the circumstances.
2. A Red State Rocks Blue Politicians With Style
For every one Huckabee there's two Clintons. Love them or hate them, Bill and Hillary brought Arkansas into the American conscious and proved that the Natural State has come a long way from its cultural roots. The two terms that Bill Clinton served in the White House were tumultuous at times and the spotlight was on the Natural State quite often during the former President's campaigning. Everything from Arkansas restaurants to residents came under scrutiny - and Arkansas endured the intrusive stares and crass late night TV jokes with class and Southern hospitality. Who's afraid to meet the press, anyway?
1. Dangerous Towns Ain't Nothin' But A "Thang"
You'd think Pine Bluff would chill out a little since there's an arsenal of weaponry there, but no - crime in PB is pretty bad. The same thing goes for a few other Arkansas towns such as Blytheville and West Memphis - even Little Rock was the focus of a gang warfare HBO documentary in the 1990s. However, Arkansans are wary of where they go in these towns. If you're not looking for trouble, you won't find it. However, if trouble starts, you can count on Arkansas' finest or even a helpful resident with a concealed carry license for a weapon (which many Arkansans have) ready to put the commotion down.
So there. Come at us, America, we’re ready! Arkansas has seen it all and been through most of it, so there’s nothing the rest of the country or the world itself can do to shake us to our foundation (unless it’s a major earthquake on the New Madrid Seismic Zone, then maybe.)