No, it’s not that locals pronounce it “Missourah” and outsiders pronounce it “Missouri.” Nor does it have anything to do with whether you live in the Ozarks. Most people say “Missouri” and some people say “Missourah” and that’s all cool.
Our school literally had us line up in the gym and take turns firing rifles at targets. We were also required to pass a written test on gun safety and hunter safety. Don’t say that Missouri doesn’t take its hunter education seriously.
Missouri doesn’t let its students graduate without passing a written test on both the US and Missouri constitutions. Many of us spent a few weeks in high school playing “Missouri Constitution Jeopardy” to prepare for the test. “I’ll take Preambles for $800, Mrs. Harris!”
St. Louis is often used as an arbitrary endpoint, as in: “I live in Hannibal. It’s about two hours north of St. Louis.” People from Missouri will often say things like that to people from other states, as if everyoneelse automatically knows where St. Louis is and why it’s important that Hannibal is two hours away.
While we’re on the subject of Hannibal, you probably took at least one trip to the Mark Twain Cave. Did your tour guide do the thing where they turned out all the lights and showed you what the cave would have looked like when Tom Sawyer explored it by candlelight?
Hannibal’s Tom and Becky Program invites 7th graders to dress up as Mark Twain’s favorite characters and become “goodwill ambassadors” for the local area. If you got to be a Tom or a Becky when you were in 7th grade, you know you were the coolest kid around.
It’s a school for everyone who lives on the same rural route! It’s self-explanatory! What’s a “rural route?” Um… there are rural areas, and they’re connected by roads, and… oh, it’s a US Post Office designation? Good to know.
It’s practically required that every Missouri child visit the St. Louis Science Center at least once, preferably arriving in a school bus with at least 40 other children. If you were really lucky, your school got you tickets for the OMNIMAX Theater.
The Science Center wasn’t the only reason to visit St. Louis — you also begged your parents to take you to Six Flags at least once every summer, so you could ride the Screamin’ Eagle or Mr. Freeze. The really lucky kids had season passes.
Shhh. Don’t tell non-Missourians how much fun Silver Dollar City is. They still think only senior citizens go to Branson, and there isn’t a secret amusement park with water rides, an old-timey fun house, andsix roller coasters hidden in there.
A lot of us Missouri kids were in 4-H, studying everything from livestock to nutrition to technology. Many of us ended up exhibiting what we learned in 4-H at the county or state fairs. Did your exhibit win a ribbon?
Never mind that half-a-dozen other Midwestern schools want to claim that title. Missourians know that there can only be one other Harvard besides Harvard, and it’s Truman State.
Fireworks are legal in Missouri, which means there are a lot of fireworks stands set up along the highway come summertime — and a lot of people driving over the state line to get those fireworks, even though they might be breaking the law by shooting off those fireworks in their home state…
Because it’s shaped like a boot heel, of course. What else would you call it?
Generations ago there was some apocryphal story about some Missourian saying “Show me!” and we’ve been stuck with the “Show-Me State” nickname ever since. But it’s kind of true. Want a Missourian to believe something? You had better be ready to provide proof. After all, we grew up in the land of tall tales, jackalopes, and those “weather predictor dolls” that come with a little index card that reads “If the doll is wet, it’s raining.” You’ve been fooled once and you won’t be fooled again.