A friend and coworker emailed me this little missive earlier today, knowing that rural folk are some of my favourite targets of of derision (not Hutterites though. I love the Hutterites)... I typically mimic banjo music, punctuate sentences with y'all, ga-hyuck, etc, and make inappropriate jokes involving shallow gene pools, innuendo involving sheep and/or cattle, etc, before or after dealing with a rural customer.
Of course, it's all in fun. I find our rural customers are the most grounded, patient, and well-adjusted customers I have, who know what they need and (most importantly) are willing to wait if something's not in stock.
So, imagine my amusement when I read the following list of rules:
THE RULES OF RURAL MANITOBA ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Listen up City Slickers!
1. Pull your droopy pants up. You look like an idiot.
2. Turn your cap straight, your head isn't crooked.
3. Let's get this straight; it's called a 'dirt road.' I drive a pickup truck because I want to. No matter how slow you drive, you're going to get dust on your Lexus. Drive it or get out of the way.
4. They are cattle. They're live steaks. That's why they smell funny to you. But they smell like money to us. Get over it. Don't like it? Hwy 1 & 2 goes east and west, Hwy 16 & 75 goes north and south. Pick one.
5. So you have a $60,000 car. We're impressed. We have $200,000 combines and hay balers that are driven only 3 weeks a year.
6. So every person in rural Manitoba waves. It's called 'being friendly. Try to understand the concept.
7. If that cell phone rings while an 8-point buck and 3 does are coming in, we WILL shoot it out of your hand. You better hope you don't have it up to your ear at the time.
8. Yeah, we eat meat and potatoes. You really want sushi & caviar? It's available at the corner bait shop.
9. The 'Opener' refers to the first day of deer hunting season. It's a religious holiday held the closest Saturday to the first of November.
10. We open doors for women. That is applied to all women, regardless of age.
11. There's little for 'vegetarians' on the menu. Order steak. Or you can order the Chef's Salad and pick off the 2 pounds of ham & turkey.
12. When we set a table, there are three main dishes: meats, vegetables and breads. We use three spices: salt, pepper, and ketchup.
13. You bring 'coke' into my house, it better be brown, wet and served over ice.
14. You bring 'Mary Jane' into my house, she better be cute, know how to shoot, drive a truck, and have long hair.
15. Manitoba Junior Hockey League and Minor Hockey is as important here as the Maple Leafs and Montreal Habs, and more fun to watch.
16. Yeah, we have golf courses. But don't hit the water hazards -- it spooks the fish.
17. Colleges? We have them all over. We have Universities and Community Colleges. They come outta there with an education plus a love for God and country, and they still wave at everybody when they come for the holidays.
18. We have a whole ton of folks in the Armed Forces. So don't mess with us. If you do, you will get whipped by the best.
19. Turn down that blasted car stereo! That thumpity-thump crap ain't music, anyway. We don't want to hear it anymore than we want to see your boxers. (Refer back to #1).
20. 2 inches of snow & ice isn't a blizzard - it's a vacation. Drive like you got some sense in it, and DON'T take all our bread, milk, and bleach from the grocery stores. This ain't Alaska , worst case you may have to live a whole day without croissants. The pickups with snow blades and tractors with snow blowers will have you out the next day.
Now, I'm sure this list has been making the rounds for decades now, and probably started life as Rules of Rural Idaho, Rules of Rural Texas, Rules of Rural Sweden, etc, but I'm reasonably sure the "differences" between rural and city people are universal.
It's nice to know the rural folks have just as much fun at our expense as we do at theirs.
All in good fun, of course!