We’re pretty friendly Midwestern folk here in Wisconsin, but that doesn’t mean that we’re not occasionally judging you. All friends are welcome here and we’ll greet you with open arms, but we know how to spot whether or not you’re from Wisconsin at more than 1000 feet. Here are some of the foolproof ways we can spot folks who clearly weren’t born and raised here:
1. You ask them to dinner on Friday night and they order a salad.
Fridays are for a fish fry! That may very well be the first Wisconsin commandment. We'll forgive you for ordering fries instead of potato pancakes, but forgoing fish altogether? And for a salad? That's a punishable offense.
2. When asked what their favorite sausage is, they choose kielbasa.
If we ask about your sausage preferences, we're not asking if you're hungry. The Racing Sausages may be switching ownership groups, but everyone has a favorite (It's obviously Chorizo!).
3. They give directions in miles.
Not only do we tend to give it in distances, but we also rarely give straightforward instructions - turn right at the water tower, go left at the stop and go light...
4. They believe the weatherman.
It's an old joke, but there's that adage that if you don't like the weather you should just wait a minute, it'll likely change. We like to say "cooler by the lake," but regardless, from snow totals to high temps, we here in Wisconsin know any day can bring just about any weather outcome.
5. They dress inappropriately for the weather.
Speaking of the weather, a Wisconsinite is never not dressed for the weather. We know never to leave the house without dressing options for multiple outcomes. Most of us could dress multiple people from the clothes we accumulate in the back seat of our car over the course of a season.
6. They think it's weird that people wear shorts in winter.
We just talked about dressing appropriately, but this guy made a deliberate choice here. Any winter day above 40 degrees, when you're shoveling...there are a lot of occasions where we think shorts are appropriate in the winter.
7. They cheer for the Vikings ...
You're far more likely to find Packer fans in other parts of the country than you are to find folks who cheer for other teams here in Wisconsin. We're pretty rabid about our Packers and we don't have a lot of love for any of the other teams in our division. It's a truth universally accepted that we pretty much dislike all things Minnesota or Illinois-related.
8 ... or, Heaven forbid, the Cubs.
The football hatred is a bit mellower these days because the Packers have been so dominant in the division - there's not a lot of rivalry there. But since their fans tend to come up here in drunken droves (and because they're more insufferable than ever since the World Series win) we really, really don't have much love for Cubs fans.
9. They don't know how to pronounce our unusual town names.
Manitowoc. Sheboygan. Racine. Trempealeau. Ashwaubenon. We could go on and on. But anytime there's someone who's thrown by one of our town names, we know they're not a local.
10. They order a whiskey old fashioned.
Everyone knows we're a brandy state. One-third of all the brandy Korbel makes comes to Wisconsin. When Badger fans travel, bars in other states run out of brandy because they are totally unprepared for us.
11. They plan to make a concession run between the third and fourth quarters of a Badger game ...
It's hard to imagine someone not knowing about our "Jump Around" tradition at this point, but whenever I see folks heading for the exits as the third quarter winds down I figure they must not be from around these parts.
12. ... and plan to leave immediately after the game is over.
We love the band and the dancing so much, we've added another period to our football games just for enjoying our band.
13. They don't know how to polka.
Let's face it, we have our kids dancing the polka pretty much as soon as they can walk. The polka is a staple of pretty much every Wisconsin celebration, from weddings to summer festivals. After all, it's the official state dance.