Iowans, like most Midwesterners, tend to live pretty simple lives. We work and play and do it all without too much fuss. But we do hold a few quirky things near and dear to us, like these strange traditions.
11. We don't decide between tacos and pizza.
We just smash them together into the ridiculously delicious taco pizza.
10. We always drive in the middle of a dirt or gravel road when no one is around.
I'm sure this has something to do with the middle of the road being safer, and people in other states definitely do it too, but it's a habit that I always associate with Iowa.
9. We get REALLY into politics.
We take our role in the democratic process very seriously. We meet with the candidates, we read up on the issues, we put up with endless volunteers knocking on our doors, and we discuss the issues. It's a big deal around here.
8. We put ranch on EVERYTHING.
Having some pizza? It's better with ranch. Having a hamburger? Slap some ranch on it. Digging into some fries? You'd better get a cup of ranch on the side for dipping. Some of us would probably drink it straight if it were socially acceptable.
7. We run outside in bad weather, not inside.
How else are you going to see the big storm?
6. We eat comically large pork tenderloins.
If the bun even comes close to being the same size as the patty, you're doing it wrong.
5. We do the "farmer wave."
Also known as the two-finger wave or farmer salute, this is the traditional way to acknowledge another car approaching on a rural road. It's not optional.
4. We put olives in beer.
I like to call this an Iowa martini, but I don't think it's caught on yet. You may turn up your nose at the combination at first, but don't knock it till you've tried it. It's surprisingly tasty. (Just don't try it with a dark beer.)
3. We'll travel hundreds of miles once a year to look at a cow made of butter.
That's not the ONLY reason to go to the Iowa State Fair, but it's a pretty good one.
2. Halloween is a little different in central Iowa.
In Des Moines and surrounding areas, kids can't just hold out their bags and expect candy to be dropped in. On Beggars Night (usually observed on October 30th), kids actually have to do a "trick" to get a treat. It's as simple as memorizing one really corny joke and telling it at every house.
1. We have an annual celebration of the hobo.
The National Hobo Convention celebrates the migratory workers who rode the rails from one job to the next after the Civil War. But besides that, it's just a whole lot of goofy fun. The festival has been a favorite event in Britt since 1900.
Sure, you can find some of these traditions in other states, too – but like everything, these traditions are just better in Iowa. What are some other crazy Iowa traditions you love?