As a lifelong resident I’ve played on your prairie land, attended your schools, hidden from your tornadoes and always maintained a sense of pride about hailing from the boxiest state on the map. Over the years, I’ve cringed when the media called you, “backward,” “slow” “unhealthy” and that time you were named the worst city to live in for allergy sufferers. *reaches for another Kleenex* Even though I think that one is. . . *sniff*. . . totally true.
I’ve endured countless jokes about the Wizard of Oz connection and when I’ve traveled beyond these flat plains, I’ve laughed politely when people in other states reminded me, “You’re not in Kansas anymore, are ya?” Ahhh, that never gets old. *whisper* It totally does. Hell, I’ve even paid tribute to and capitalized on Kansas’ kitsch by making it a central theme in my short story, “No Place Like Home,” as well as, my novelette, “Next Left.” *ahem* Shameless plug.
But now, Kansas, you and I have a problem. Lately your lawmakers have been drinking the crazy Koolaid and once again, the world is taking notice. Last night I saw this tweet from The Daily Show:
I’m a Kansas girl. I say y’all, have an affinity for overalls on tiny children (not grown men without shirts) and when it’s tornado season, I get fluttery nervous butterflies in my tummy because I respect the twister. And I don’t mean the 1996 blockbuster movie with Helen Hunt and Chet from Weird Science. Though, come on, that movie was AWESOME!
Today I’m sitting here on the eve of our first major “spring weather event” and even though I’ve already carved out a space in our basement storm shelter, a.k.a picture, garage sale, camping gear storage room, and I’m watching Weather Channel radar so intently you’d think the storms are promising to drop Little Debbie snack cakes from the clouds, I’m vowing to remain calm. I’m the calm one.