Saturday, August 18, 2007

5 Things Every Iowan Should Do Before They Croak

Many Iowans, especially young Iowans, think that since Iowa doesn't have mountains or oceans there's nothing to do here beyond binge drinking and destruction of property. Not true! Here is my list of five uniquely Iowan things to see or do before the gophers start bringing your mail.

#5) Visit The Field of Dreams Movie Site near Dyersville:
This is the site where the 1989 Kevin Costner movie about baseball and second chances was filmed. In it, Costner's character (Ray Kinsella) is instructed by a mysterious voice to build a baseball diamond in his cornfield. A feel-good movie that would have made Frank Capra proud, it features the best line ever uttered on film:
Shoeless Joe Jackson: Hey, is this heaven?
Ray Kinsella: No, it's Iowa.
If you've never seen this movie you should have blood tests done to make sure you're not really a Minnesotan. Visiting this mystical baseball diamond amidst the corn provides an even more spiritually uplifting experience than visiting the Iowa filming site of the Bob Newhart flick "Cold Turkey."

#4) Attend The GOP Straw Poll In Ames:

Attending this event last week got me thinking of what a unique and weird political tradition this is. Where else in fly-over country can you see so many leading presidential contenders in one spot? Where else can you have these men, mostly powerful senators and governors, kiss your butt, then ride on a Ferris wheel?
Not a Republican? No problem. Just pick a candidate that is offering you a free ride and the best lunch. If you're a Democrat vote for one that you think will be easy to beat in the general election.

I'm not necessarily advocating this for sport or leisure, I just think it's the civic duty of every Iowan to kill at least one of these locust-like horned rodents, so that Iowa motorists can quit crashing their cars into them. If you're morally opposed to killing these graceful woodland creatures, then stay there in Iowa City and wash your beansprouts down with a nice, big glass of, "Shut The Hell Up!"

#2) Attend a Hawkeye Football Game:

Sorry Cyclone fans, but this IS the Hawkeye State. I'm not much of sports fan, but even I've attended one of these. I never enjoy watching football on TV, but there's just something about going to an actual game in the crisp autumn air that is exhilarating.

#1) Attend the Iowa State Fair:

Sure it's corny and cheesy, but this is Iowa what do you expect? One of the best state fairs in the country it even inspired the film "State Fair," which I've never actually seen but I remember the people on the TV show "MASH" watching it on movie night, so it must be good. I've only been to the state fair once when I was a kid, but, when my kids are old enough, you can bet your butter cow that we'll be going there.

1 comment:

Bawb said...

6. Catch a big ol' nasty channel catfish using the remnants of a sucker fish that's been festering in a glass peanut butter jar in the sun for the previous week on a hot summer night in August.

7. Have a "river name" spelling contest with out-of-staters and give them Wapsipinicon, Nishnabotna, and Maquoketa.

8. Cross the Mississippi River into Rock Island, Illinois at Davenport and watch your tax dollars at work at the Armory cutting beautiful old WWII and Korean War vintage weapons up into little pieces.

9. Go pheasant hunting to help Iowa beat South Dakota for the title of #1 Pheasnt State in the Union.

10. Pay homage to "The Duke" at his birthplace in Winterset, Iowa.