Arkansas May 22, 2017
10 Things Arkansans Do That Totally Shock Everyone Else
I’ve had cause to have conversations with a few transplants to our beautiful state, and I’m here to report that you would not believe the things that astound and astonish them about our ways. Below you’ll find 10 things that people from other places find a little disconcerting. Perhaps next time you meet someone from elsewhere, you should send them this list, just so they’re aware of how strange it seems to hear, “What do you mean you’ve eaten
1. We fish and hunt...
I can’t count the number of people who have been surprised about these cultural traditions, though they seem totally ordinary to me. Try telling an out-of-stater, especially someone from a city, about the first time you filleted a fish. It’s a pretty interesting to watch the horror on their faces.
2. ...and then we eat what we’ve caught or killed.
Deer jerky is just about the best jerky in the whole world, and it’s a shame not everybody knows that.
3. We mostly live in rural areas.
The vast majority of Arkansas is rural, and that’s not quite like more densely populated places. Small towns reign in the Natural State, and it’s got to be a little shocking to realize you can’t find a Starbucks just anywhere.
4. Even our cities aren’t exactly bustling metropolises.
Arkansas’s largest city by far is Little Rock, and with a population of just under 200,000, it’s not really very big. Compared with New York’s population of 8.5 million or Los Angeles’s nearly 4 million residents, Little Rock is downright tiny. Even Oklahoma City is nearly three times the size of Little Rock.
5. We take southern hospitality seriously...
We’re going to ask you how you are, and we’re going to mean it, too. We may offer you food or let you skip ahead of us in line, and there are no ulterior motives at play. Folks around here were mostly raised to be good to each other.
6. ...but we can be a little condescending, bless our hearts.
I say "bless our hearts" because that’s how we express these feelings of dismay at the lack of knowledge or manners evident in someone else’s behavior. These things come out like, "Oh honey, you don’t know how to make gravy? Well . . . bless your heart."
7. We’re less offended by certain aspects of agriculture than out-of-staters.
I once met a man who moved down here for school and could not stop talking about the smell of chicken houses. Every time I spoke to him afterward it was the same thing,
chicken houses are so awful. Well, honey, bless your heart, but as my granddaddy says, "smells like money." Somebody’s family is living in a good house because of that smell.
8. Our manners of speech can be a little unsettling.
There’s an extensive list of Arkansas words and phrases that may need a little explaining to outsiders. The word "cattywompus" comes to mind.
9. We call the hogs, occasionally at random times.
Calling the Hogs is a long tradition, and we have to admit that it must be a little . . . interesting to experience . . . for the first time. A bunch of Arkansans on their feet, whoopin’ and hollerin’ and liftin’ their arms in the air? I mean, I get it. It’s an interesting situation to find oneself in.
10. We’re not real fond of jokes about how terrible our home state is.
Maybe in other places it’s fun to say mean things about Arkansas, but if you’re not a lifelong resident of the Natural State, it is definitely not cool to behave that way. Bless your heart, you can go on home if that’s how you feel about it.
You might also want to look over this list of
habits Arkansans will defend to the death. You should also check out this list of jokes about Arkansas that are actually funny and won’t make you want to punch anyone in the face.