1. Minnesota Nice, Class A: “I smile a lot and act very nice, but I don’t actually want anything to do with you, because you’re not just like me.”
  2. Minnesota Nice, Class B: “I smile a lot and act very nice, and I actually do want to be your bestest bud! Don’t you want to be my bestest bud?”
  3. I’m 5’10″; not especially tall, but not short by any means. I shouldn’t feel like a total midget in a land of Scandigermanian giants.
  4. The very real threat of death by exposure.
  5. Gratuitous worship of Bob Dylan. This is not a Minnesota-specific illness, but it’s particularly acute amidst fans of “homegrown” music, which is ironic, considering that most of his connection to Hibbing and its environs involves him leaving and not looking back.
  6. It’s really not as liberal as everyone says it is, especially once you get out of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
  7. Garrison Keillor.
  8. Four days of lung-squeezing humidity, followed by a day of tornadoes and a night of torrential thunderstorms. It’s like Revelations every summer.