Friends Don’t Let Friends Live in the Upper Midwest

This year, Minnesota is the third-worst state for drunk driving. We got beat only by Wisconsin and North Dakota. In fact, the top five are all in the upper Midwest: WI, ND, MN, NE, and SD.

In Minnesota, nearly 24% of people in a survey admitted to driving drunk, compared to a national average of 15%, and the low of Utah’s 10%. This means one of two things:

1. At 6:30 in the morning and 14 degrees below zero, the only way to gather enough courage to get out of bed and layer yourself in wool and fur for the reward of scraping ice off your car and going to work in the dark is to start the day with a six-pack.

2. People in the upper Midwest are honest to a fault.

I can see arguments for either one of these contributing factors. How else to keep your sanity intact during the long, cold winter than to pour a little sunshine in your glass? Q.E.D., it snowed yesterday. Yesterday. When T.S. wrote that April was the cruelest month, he meant something else altogether, but we understand him fine up here. I would drive drunk right now if the roads weren’t so icy.

Other folks in other climes, in tropical locales like Pennsylvania and Kentucky, have had whole springs; plants have grown, flowered, and moved on; barbecues have already become passé. In Minneapolis, we just danced around the first ragweed to poke a little green through the yard.

The other argument is even simpler:

Survey: Have you driven drunk in the last 12 months?
Minnesotan: Oh ya, you betcha.

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