33 Things People From Michigan Have To Explain To Out-Of-TownersWith Yoopers, trolls and this thing called the “Michigan left,” newcomers to The Wolverine State have some questions.
1. Directions In Michigan Are As Simple As Using Your Hand
Ask A Michigander where they’re from and they’ll point to a spot on their hand. The state of Michigan looks roughly like two hands positioned by each other, and every Michigander knows exactly what freckle their town is by.
2. A Trip To The Lakes Beats A Trip To The Ocean Anyway
Michiganders have no reason to head south in the summer, there are lakes everywhere. These beaches don’t have salt water, there are no sharks, and it doesn’t take 20 hours to drive there. People in Michigan love their lakes, and any bad words about them could get you a punch in the mouth.
3. Michigan Sauce Is The Ultimate Condiment
Just like Chicago has their hot dogs, so does Michigan. In Michigan, they’re topped with “Michigan sauce,” a meaty, tomato based Coney sauce, as well as chopped onions and a line of mustard.
4. Superman Ice Cream Won’t Give You Special Powers But It Is Super Delicious
Every young Michigander’s favorite, what locals call “Superman” ice cream is made up of blue, yellow, and red layers. The yellow is usually recognized as vanilla, the red is some sort of sweet red fruit, and the Smurfy blue layer is often cited as simply tasting “like blue.” It’s an unbeatable combination on a hot summer’s day.
5. There’s An Instate Civil War Brewing
The rivalry between Michigan and Michigan state sports couldn’t be more intense. Every time they meet, fans from each school are practically at each other’s throats. As far as football goes, Michigan leads the rivalry with a record of 68-33-5, however Michigan State took home the traveling Paul Bunyan trophy last year in a blow-out game. It’s pretty clear that this rivalry won’t be over anytime soon.
6. Don’t Bring Up Ohio State To A Michigander
Michigan football fans hate the state of Ohio. One of both Michigan and Michigan State’s Big Ten rivals, if the Buckeyes are brought up around a Michigander, the mood of the conversation instantly turns sour. God forbid someone in Ohio red and white stumbles into an Ann Arbor bar on game day.
7. Lions Fans Are The Definition Of Diehard
Lions fans have a rich tradition of sticking with the team through the thick and thin. Fortunately the Lions are doing better than they were a few years ago, when many fans attended the games with paper bags over their heads to avoid embarrassment.
8. There’s This Thing Called The “Michigan Left” And It’s Terrifying
As if the snow didn’t making driving in Michigan hard enough for out-of-towners, they’ve got to throw in these crazy left hand turns that no one really understands. It’s similar to pulling a U-Turn at a traffic light instead of simply turning left, and it’s done by traveling through the light first in a straight lane and then turning left at a cut-away between lanes.
9. If You Want A Carbonated Beverage In Michigan, You Order A “Pop”
A soft drinks in Michigan isn’t’ “soda,” it’s not “coke,” it’s “pop,” and Faygo reigns king.
10. Detroit Pride Is Still Alive And Well
Even though Detroit is facing some rough times, Michiganders tend to stick behind their largest city. They know it’s a bit out of its glory days, but are completely confident in the city making a comeback.
11. The UP And LP Are Completely Different Worlds
Among Michiganders, the Upper Peninsula is known for its frigid temperatures, sparse populations, and “roughin’ it,” while the Lower Peninsula is known for big cities, universities, and professional sports. If an out-of-towner is in state, there’s a good chance they’ll be visiting the lower half.
12. But, The Upper Peninsula Is The Most Beautiful Place On Earth
While people in the LP love to hate on the UP, they all know that the Upper Peninsula has got them beat when it comes to natural beauty. Summers in the UP are unbeatable, with an awesome coastline and tons of forest to explore. The winters may be harsh, but anyone living in the Upper Peninsula will tell you that summer is worth the wait.
13. And The People That Live There Are “Yoopers”
If someone lives in the Upper Peninsula, they’re a “Yooper,” and there’s nothing more powerful than “Yooper” pride. Yoopers are a special breed of survivors, putting up with some of the harshest weather in America and somehow thrive. The “Yooper” name is definitely something that’s earned.
14. The Lower Peninsula Is Actually Really Pretty, Too
Even though people in the LP might make trips up north during the summers, that doesn’t mean that their half of the state isn’t drop dead gorgeous as well. Peppered with huge lakes, serene waterfalls, and beaches that stretch for miles, there’s no excuse for someone in the LP not to be outside exploring during their free time.
15. There Are “Trolls” Who Live Under The Bridge In Michigan
Every once in a while, the term “Troll” appears in a Michiganders conversation, especially if it’s a Yooper that’s talking. People that live in the Lower Peninsula are jokingly called “trolls” because they live under the Mackinac Bridge.
16. It’s Not “Mack-I-Nack!”
The word “Mackinac” pops up a lot in Michigan and only tourists pronounce it like it looks. Make sure out-of-towners know that it’s “Mack-I-Gnaw,” otherwise there’s a good chance they’ll be laughed out of the state.
17. You Can’t Take Your Car Everywhere In Michigan
Speaking of Mackinac, one of the coolest places in Michigan is Mackinac Island. While it can be a bit touristy at times, it’s a true blast from the past. Personal cars are banned on the island, so the only way to get around is by horse-drawn carriage, bicycle, or by foot. With huge Victorian houses and a beautiful coastline, a trip to Mackinac is a must-do for any visitor to that area of the state.
18. To Michiganders, Vernors Ale Can Cure Almost Anything
Michiganders reach for Vernors ginger ale instead of conventional medicine when their stomach starts to gurgle or their throat starts to itch. This carbonated drink has been used as a home remedy for illness in Michigan for years, and surprisingly, it usually works.
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19. To Michiganders The “Door Wall” Is The Sliding Door
In certain places in Michigan, locals call what most out-of-towners know as a “sliding door” a “door wall.” Using the term door wall around a visitor to the state is sure to get some strange looks.
20. Michiganders Never Toss Their Cans
In the rest of the country, people simply throw out their cans and bottles with the rest of their trash, in Michigan, that’s not the case. A law passed in 2004 made it illegal to dispose of beverage containers in the state. Instead, Michiganders are able to return cans and bottles for cash. The redemption rate is over 95 percent.
21. When You Get To Michigan Eat A Pasty ASAP
Every Michigander knows that a good pasty is worth the drive. These flaky meat filled treats are so popular in the Upper Peninsula there’s even a pasty festival in Calumet every year. Originally the meal of choice for copper miners in the area many years ago, pasties have stuck around due to the demand of local taste buds.
22. Michigan’s Big Mac Won’t Blow Your Diet
The Mackinac Bridge, also know as the “Big Mac” is one of the world’s largest suspension bridges, connecting the Upper and Lower peninsulas of Michigan. It’s so long, that there’s even a service assisting people too scared to drive across themselves.
23. Michigan Is Home To Hell On Earth
There’s a place literally called Hell, Mich., and only a couple hundred people live there. However, it doesn’t really live up to its name, as most of the year it’s a pretty cold place to be.
24. Half A Michiganders Change Is Usually Canadian
It’s no secret that Michigan is close to Canada. While it’s a completely different country, that doesn’t stop coins sneaking across the border into Michigan cash registers across the state. For every ten pennies in a Michigander’s pocket, at least a few are the Canadian coins of the same size.
25. In Euchre, Jacks Are High
Michiganders play this card game called Euchre. It takes four people to play and many people cite it as one of the most confusing games around. Jacks are the high card, the winning suit constantly changes, and there’s this thing called “reneging” that gets taken pretty seriously. The only way to really learn is to watch people play a few games.
26. There Are Two Seasons In Michigan: Summer And Construction
Even with all of the ice on the ground, it’s safer to drive in winter as the huge number of potholes in Michigan are filled with snow instead of having orange cones around them. It seems like the second that the warm weather comes, every road in the state is getting repairs of some sort or another.
27. The Rain In Michigan Smells Like Worms
Most Michiganders probably don’t even notice it at this point, but every out-of-towner will point out that Michigan rain smells like worms. It probably has something to do with the close proximity to the Lakes.
28. November 15 Might As Well Be A State Holiday Here
November 15 is the start of deer season in Michigan and it coincides with people all across the state “calling in sick” to work. Deer season means fresh venison, something many out-of-towners have never tried. As long as they don’t think of Bambi when they’re chewing their first bite, they’ll definitely be headed back for more.
29. Fridays In Michigan Are Synonymous With Fish Frys
Every Friday across the entire state, tons of Michiganders head straight to their favorite fish fry place, whether it’s a local restaurant or simply a gathering with their friends. Originally stemming from the “Lent” rule forbidding meat on Fridays, people decided they’d be better off practicing for Lent year-round after tasting how delicious a Fish Fryday can be.
30. Michiganders Get Their Beer At The Party Store
Michiganders don’t head to the liquor store to buy their booze for the weekend, they head to the “party store.” It’s basically the same thing, and either place will get you just as drunk.
31. Michiganders Don’t Settle For Cheap Beer
Michigan might as well be the craft beer capital of the country, as their taps are pouring the finest local ales around. With well over 100 breweries in the state, every town is close to a local brew pub serving up something delicious.
32. In Michigan It’s Actually Possible To Drive South To Canada
Not all of Canada is north of America. In fact, if you drive south out of Detroit you’ll instantly hit Windsor, Ontario. It’s the only major city along the border that’s actually located above our neighbor to the north.
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33. Once A Michigander, Always A Michigander
The people in Michigan have more state pride than can be found anywhere else in the country. They live in an awesome place, and they know it. If someone is born and raised in Michigan, they’ll be a Michigander for life. What have you had to explain to out-of-towners about Michigan? Tell us in the comments below!