Although I’ve lived in Wisconsin all my life, I, and pretty much all of my family, have somehow remained as anti-Wisconsin as I could. For instance, the younger of the Slattery kids refuse to support Wisconsin’s football team, the Packers, and have instead decided to cheer for the rival team the Minnesota Vikings, for which we’ve suffered large amounts of verbal persecution. I obviously don’t hate the place-there are actually some things I genuinely like about it-but some other things I could definitely do without. Like that horrible Wisconsin accent that’s as thick as any Southerner’s Southern accent-just much less appealing. Thankfully, my family has somehow seemed to almost completely repel this leech-like accent, but I will say I’ve found a few of my words tinted with it now and then, to my absolute horror. And just like any state, we have our own unique qualities here in Wisconsin, some (lots) of which aren’t too grand. There’s no doubt that we’re America’s Dairyland. Out in the country, dairy farms are everywhere, and the smell of manure becomes a common occurence. It seems so normal to me, but when I think about it, it’s probably not everywhere that you see a tractor pulling a load of manure straight through the middle of town. Lately I’ve seen some things that really stuck out to me as only in Wisconsin. A few weeks ago, a classmate’s sister got married. Her wedding actually occurred on the same day as The Red Dirt Royal Wedding. On the Monday after the wedding, my classmate was bubbling over with stories of all the problems that had gone on the weekend of that wedding. He was telling them all to one of my teachers, and one thing that he talked about almost made me burst out laughing. “But the worst problem they had”, he said in a voice that made it sound like it was leading up to something horrible, “they forgot to buy melk for the dress rehearsal!”( To the real country hicks in Wisconsin, milk is pronounced melk, just as manure is pronounced ma-nrrrr.) My teacher was aghast at this statement, and said, “They forgot to buy melk? No way! How could they forget that?!” I was holding in my laughter at this exchange of words. I remembered how in Oklahoma, the only drinks offered were iced tea or lemonade, which I prefer to milk, being I’m actually not a big fan of milk. Now if that was Wisconsin, it would have been a major mistake. Just a couple of days ago, I witnessed another thing all-Wisconsin. It was National Drive Your Tractor to School Day, and so I watched as at least 20 of the dairy farming high school boys walked out of school, straight to the parking lot, and hopped on their big, manure covered tractors. This happens every year, and although I find it really stupid, it is quite amusing. As we drove past I laughed and smirked at the boys pulling out of the school lot with smelly exhaust pouring out behind them, and heard my mom say, “Well that’s something you don’t see everywhere.” What a true statement. Maybe next year James could drive Dad’s tiny blue tractor, Babe, to school?