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By: Tad Simons | Posted: 04/17/2014
FX’s new TV series, Fargo, is up and running, which means Minnesotans everywhere will spend the next ten weeks answering questions from outstate friends and relatives about how accurately the show depicts “real life” in Minnesota. As we all know from that damn Coen Brothers movie, these are not questions to which people really want answers—they’re just questions that certain morons ask because the question itself simultaneously insults an entire state full of people and makes said moron feel superior for living in some snow-forsaken place like Miami or Houston.
To help make the next ten weeks go a little smoother, try using these stock answers to the questions some idiot is inevitably going to ask you:
Are the police really that stupid in Minnesota?
Yes, which is why it’s so easy to get away with pretty much any crime you want to up here. Why, some of my best friends are murderers and rapists, my priest is a well-known child molester, and I myself make a darn good living selling bogus insurance policies to senior citizens. It’s great. Nobody cares what you do in Minnesota, as long as you have the decency to clean out the wood-chipper for the next guy.
They keep saying it’s going to get to “10 below” at night. How do you keep from freezing?
Minnesotans employ several coping strategies to deal with the severe cold, but the
most common is frequent and vigorous fornication. To keep warm, the average Minnesotan has sex five to six times a day—more if the temperature dips below zero for long. You’d be surprised; it really helps take the edge off.
It looks so desolate and depressing in Minnesota. How can you stand it?
The most popular way for Minnesotans to cheer themselves up is to binge on YouTube footage of hurricanes like Katrina and Sandy, earthquakes in San Francisco, wildfires in Southern California, avalanches in Colorado, ice storms in Atlanta, tornadoes in Kansas, traffic gridlock in L.A., and pretty much anything that happens in Detroit. Suddenly, things don’t seem so bad.
Do people really say nerdy things like “Ah, jeez,” and “you betcha,” and “uff da”?
Yes, but the show completely misses the nuances of the Minnesota dialect. The way those words are pronounced on the show, they don’t mean anything. For example, the phrase “uff da,” spoken correctly, really means, “One more word and I will kill you.” In the first episode, the way that insurance guy said it, roughly translated, meant, “I ate a raccoon for lunch.” It’s all in how you pronounce the “ff.”
Bemidji looks like such a boring town. Even the signs are boring. What’s up with that?
Are you kidding me? Bemidji is a blast! Bemidji is where everyone in Minnesota goes to get their freak on. All that plain signage is just an in-joke for the locals—because, trust me, a weekend in Bemidji will rock your world so hard your head will explode. And no, I’m not joking. The place is insane!
Wow, that guy in the first episode had a lot of guns. Is that typical?
No. Most people have lots more guns. In addition to fifteen or twenty rifles in the basement, most Minnesotans hide several handguns around the house, a shotgun or two in the garage, and a stash of semi-automatic weapons in the attic. Right next to the dynamite and blasting caps.
Do people really wear those stupid-looking hats with the furry ear-flaps?
Only rich people. I know it doesn’t look like it, but those hats go for anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000. Why so expensive? Because those ear-flaps, as you call them, have custom-fit Bose headphones inside, the “fur” is really thousands of tiny solar-powered fingers which continuously massage the wearer’s scalp, and if you put the ear-flaps in the “up” position and run into the wind, an average-size adult male can fly unaided for up to ten minutes.
Is ice-fishing any fun?
There’s no such thing as ice-fishing. No one is really fishing in all those little houses on the lake. They’re just trying to keep warm.
Tad Simons is a contributing editor for Mpls.St.Paul Magazine's arts and entertainmenet section. See bio
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