1. The Battle For The Golden Egg Is Serious Business

30 Things People From Mississippi Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: Flickr user 37688925@N07
When the Ole Miss Rebels and the Mississippi State Bulldogs battle it out for the Golden Egg, an out-of-towner’s best bet is to just claim they’re Switzerland and refuse to take sides.

2. Comeback Sauce Is The Only Condiment You’ll Ever Need

30 Things People From Mississippi Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: Flickr user saucesupreme
It doesn’t just have an epic name, it’s also incredibly delicious. The base is mayonnaise and chili sauce, but everyone has their own favorite secret ingredient.

3. Mississippians Are Very… Creative With Their Pickles

30 Things People From Mississippi Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: Flickr user torrez
Do Kool-Aid pickles look disgusting? Yes. Do they taste disgusting if you haven’t been eating them your whole life? Yes. Will you learn to love them? Inevitably.

4. Hotty Toddy Is Not A Drink… Maybe

30 Things People From Mississippi Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: Flickr user lordsutch
No one is totally sure what it means. It’s just the only way to respond if you went to Ole Miss and someone asks you, “Are you ready?”

5. Mississippians Will Totally Survive The Apocalypse

30 Things People From Mississippi Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: Flickr user usgeologicalsurvey
Sure, people like to make fun of hunting and fishing, but they sure are handy hobbies to have if whatever apocalypse people are predicting now ever happens.

6. You Better Come To Church On Sunday

30 Things People From Mississippi Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: Giphy.com
If someone invites you to church in Mississippi, it’s like they’ve invited you into their home. Plus, it’s not like there’s anything else to do on a Sunday morning.

7. Or You’ll Miss Out On All The Good Gossip

30 Things People From Mississippi Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: Tumblr user gossip--gleeks
Or worse yet, become the subject of it. Church in Mississippi isn’t just about religion. It’s also about community… and hanging out around the coffee table with all the awesome blue-haired ladies who know what’s what and who’s who around town.

8. Mississippi Beaches Are Seriously Underrated

30 Things People From Mississippi Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: Flickr user hurricanehollyphotography
People don’t normally think of a gorgeous shore when they think of Mississippi, but they totally should. The Gulf Coast isn’t just the best place to spend a hot and humid summer day, it’s also ridiculously affordable to live there.

9. The Quickest Way To A Neighbor’s Heart Is Through A Casserole

30 Things People From Mississippi Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: Flickr user cameronnordholm
If there’s one way to show a Mississippi neighbor you care, it’s by baking them a casserole. It’s also the best way to get to know anyone, since you’ll inevitably be invited in to discuss your recipe and your entire life story, as is the Mississippi tradition.

10. Everyone Who Lives Near The Swamps Has An Alligator Story

30 Things People From Mississippi Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: Flickr user usfwshq
But is everyone’s story true? Probably not. Mississippians know when to take a “guess how I got this scar” story seriously and when to dismiss it.

11. The Whole Uneducated Thing Is A Baseless Stereotype

30 Things People From Mississippi Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: University of Mississippi Facebook
The University of Mississippi (or Ole Miss) has a great business and medical school, and Mississippi State has a well-known research program. Plus, Millsaps, Blue Mountain, Rust, and Tougaloo College offer liberal arts programs, for all those kids whose parents were a little too encouraging about following your dreams.

12. And They Can Kick Your Butt In A Spelling Bee

30 Things People From Mississippi Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: imgur.com
They learned that whole sing-song M-I-S-S…I-S-S…I-P-P-I thing before they could even write their own name. Living in a state that takes eleven letters to spell really improves your recall.

13. Minding Your Manners Is Essential

30 Things People From Mississippi Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: Tumblr user giffity-gif-gif
A “yes sir/yes ma’am” will get you a long way with your Mississippi elders. And a please and thank you before every favor are a must unless you want to be reprimanded.

14. This State Is Full Of Literature Lovers

30 Things People From Mississippi Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: Flickr user conejoazul http://www.flickr.com/photos/conejoazul/466413372
When William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, and Alice Walker come from your state, it’s safe to say your literary traditions are nothing short of totally awesome. So yes, misguided northerners, of course people from Mississippi read.

15. Mississippi Accents Are As Pretty As A Song

30 Things People From Mississippi Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: Wordpress user walktorio2016
There are tons of awesome dialects across Mississippi. You can pepper your speech with lots of ain’ts, y’alls, reckons, and fixins all you like, but an attempt at the real deal usually just comes off as a pale imitation.

16. Summer Is Really As Bad As You Think

30 Things People From Mississippi Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: Flickr user randallsaxton
Some days, when it’s nearly 100 degrees and the humidity is so thick you could make a soup out of it, the only thing to do in Mississippi is take a cold bath and sit in front of the air conditioner.

17. But Winter Is Nowhere Near As Bad As People Say

30 Things People From Mississippi Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: gifpal.com
Sure, Mississippians like to complain every time it gets anywhere close to forty degrees, but they all secretly know how lucky they have it.

18. Politically, It’s A Lot Like The Rest Of The Country

30 Things People From Mississippi Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: Flickr user nataliemaynor
Mississippi is usually thought of as just about the reddest red state around, and that’s sort of true—it’s definitely a more conservative state. But a 2009 Gallup poll showed that 44% of respondents called themselves Republican, while 43% said they were Democrats. So just like everywhere else, Mississippians are divided.

19. Comfort Food Is A Serious Understatement

30 Things People From Mississippi Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: Flickr user southernfoodwaysalliance
Mississippi home cooking goes beyond just being comforting. Make Your Entire Outlook On Life Vastly Better Food is really a better name for it. Just try eating some homemade jambalaya and corn bread before you write this one off.

20. Mississippians Take Hospitality To The Next Level

30 Things People From Mississippi Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: Facebook user Neshoba County Fair
The Neshoba County Fair isn’t your average county fair. It’s dubbed Mississippi’s Giant Houseparty for a reason. It’s an annual event for local families to gather together and for relatives to come in for a reunion. The real highlight is all of the sitting on front porches and catching up.

21. Asking For Unsweetened Iced Tea Is Sacrilege

30 Things People From Mississippi Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: Flickr user ironypoisoning
Well… maybe not literal sacrilege, but you’ll still get a long lecture on why your tastes are wrong if you try it.

22. Fried Catfish Is Perfect For Any Meal

30 Things People From Mississippi Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: Flickr user fuzzy
Supper, dinner, hey, even breakfast, if you throw some grits on the side. When you’re living near the Mississippi River, nothing makes for better eating.

23. Even The Big Cities Keep That Treasured Small Town Vibe

30 Things People From Mississippi Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: Flickr user nataliemaynor
If you’re looking for the constant motion of New York or Los Angeles, you won’t find it in Mississippi. Mississippi cities like Jackson, Biloxi, or Hattiesburg offer plenty of big city amenities and entertainment, but all the great Southern small town values—community, hospitality, family—are still a big deal.

24. No One Ever Really Leaves Mississippi

30 Things People From Mississippi Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: Flickr user prybylphotos
Sure, people might go for a time, but they tend to come back. If you ask someone where they’re from originally, you’ll probably get a, “Born and raised.”

25. A Gas Station Is The Best Place For Fast Food

30 Things People From Mississippi Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: weknowmemes.com
Yes, that’s right, a gas station. Don’t judge until you eat a meat-and-three or some homemade apple pie from a little hole-in-the-wall gem.

26. Everybody Has The Blues (And That’s A Good Thing)

30 Things People From Mississippi Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: Flickr user visitmississippi
From the rich Delta blues tradition that included artists James Cotton, Muddy Waters, and John Lee Hooker, to the Blues Fest and Blues Marathon, to the numerous clubs and venues, blues music is alive and well in Mississippi.

27. Keep Your Eyes Peeled For Morgan Freeman

30 Things People From Mississippi Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: Flickr user dsifry
Morgan Freeman is known to split his time between Charleston, Mississippi and New York, and a sighting will get you major points with the locals.

28. Mosquitos Should Really Be The State Bird

30 Things People From Mississippi Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: Flickr user edans
Buying bug spray in bulk is the only way to survive a Delta summer without all your limbs swelling to twice their size.

29. They’ll Give You The Shirt Off Their Back

30 Things People From Mississippi Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: Tumblr user letsrewatchsupernatural
People in Mississippi are happy to help, even if you’re a stranger. If your car breaks down or you lose your wallet, you’ll have someone looking under the hood or searching with you in no time. It’s not the most charitable state in the nation for nothing.

30. Life Moves A Little Slower Here

30 Things People From Mississippi Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: Flickr user natecardozo
You don’t rush in and out of a restaurant, you don’t honk at drivers for obeying the speed limit, and a goodbye takes at least forty-five minutes. It may be grating to some Yankees, but to Mississippians the pace is just right. What do you have to explain to out-of-towners about Mississippi? Tell us in the comments below!