Here in Wisconsin, we’re generally fairly nice and affable. We’re easygoing and it takes quite a bit to get on our bad side. But there are a few things folks can do to really make us a bit more unfriendly. Here’s a list of 15 things people say and do that get our hackles up and make us cringe:
1. When you pronounce is "Wes-consin" or "WisCANsin."
Neither are right. In fact, as far as difficult-to-pronounce place names here, this one doesn't even register. It's said as it's spelled. When you've said "Wesconsin" - you've said it wrong.
2. People asking you pretty much anything to do with cows.
Other than the milking parlor at Milwaukee County Zoo and some trips to the state fair, my interactions with cows are actually pretty minimal. I've never tipped one - never even tried. Yup, we've got a lot of cows. They make delicious milk, ice cream, cheese and more. But we don't ride them to school. (Yes, someone did once ask me that.)
3. When people drive without cleaning the snow off their cars.
There's nothing worse than having spent your morning clearing snow only to get on the road and have some lazy person's leftovers fly on your windshield, blinding you at freeway speeds. No one loves cleaning off their car - we've all been there - but be kind to your fellow drivers.
4. Cubs series at Miller Park
Especially now that the Cubs won it all, it's way easier for Illinoisians to get tickets to Miller Park. Plus, the tailgating is better. Ticket and parking prices go up - as do arrests. It's a bit of a free for all and not particularly family-friendly.
5. When people think we only ever eat brats
Don't get me wrong - brats are delicious and one of the things I missed most when I didn't live here. But folks, you can't make fun of us for being nothing but farmland and then ignore the fact that that means we've got access to an abundance of fresh foods. From veggies and dairy to meat and fish, we've got it all within a few hundred miles.
6. When people try to imitate our accent.
Yooper is a Michigan think. "Doncha know" is a Minnesota thing. We're a long way from Fargo. Yet folks tend to lump all those things together and think that makes up our accent. Unless you've got a nice nasal tone and are drawing out the vowels in words like bag and soda, you've got it all wrong. Also, adding random heys at the end of sentences.
Listen, we know there are stereotypes and we've seen bad drivers from every state, but don't pretend that when you hit the road on Friday to head up north that you don't cringe a bit when you see how much traffic there is and how many plates are from Illinois. For a state they seem to hate so much, they sure spend a lot of their leisure time here.
8. When people think Wisconsin is nothing but boring, flat farmland.
There's so much amazing geological history in Wisconsin that leads to amazing land formations of all types. From glacial lakes and streams to fault line mountains, Wisconsin has an awesome, varied landscape and to think we're in the flat lands is to totally miss out.
9. Thinking all we drink is Pabst, Schlitz and Miller
Yup, we're home to some of the oldest names in brewing and we were making a ton of beer here long before it was trendy. And for a cheap night, we'll still use some of those old standbys. But just like Wisconsin was a brewing leader back then, we've got it covered now and have some of the best microbreweries in the country.
10. When other states shut down for a few inches of snow.
Alternately, when your non-native friends cancel plans with you because there's a light precipitation outside.
11. Rooting for anyone but the Packers.
I don't care where Brett played, rooting for anyone other than the Green and Gold just doesn't fly here. And if you were a Vikings, Bears, Cubs or Cardinals jersey, you will get booed.
12. Construction season
There's an old joke that Wisconsin has three seasons - Summer, Winter and Construction. Cold winters keep those crews off the road, so one of the best signs of impending warm months is when you start to see the orange barrels. There are parts of the state that feel like they've been under construction non-stop for years.
13. When people ask you where you're from and the only reason they know Wisconsin is Laverne and Shirley, Happy Days or That 70's Show.
Alternately, when you're in another country and they clearly have no idea where Wisconsin is so you have to suck it up and say "Near Chicago."
14. Asking if we've ever been to the beach.
Listen - we've got two of these lakes. You could even say they were "Great." We've got a plethora of lakes and rivers. Heck, we're so advanced we've even got pools. So yes, we know how to swim. And yes, the name's not a hyperbole. The Great Lakes really actually are Great.
15. People thinking Wisconsin is anything other than perfect.
We'll be the first ones to poke fun at ourselves, but in all honestly, life here is pretty great. We've got amazing scenery, local food, a ton of lakes and rivers and the nicest people you could hope to meet. What's not to like?