For the past four days I've been driving a rental car with Minnesota license plates. I have been a stranger in my own state, or at least perceived as one. For instance, people pass me all the time regardless of how fast I'm driving. It's like they're just sure that idiot from Minnesota is going to slow down or do something stupid soon. Of course, I have taken advantage of that by doing stupid things (pulling over abruptly, making U-turns, etc.) and knowing that people will curse Minnesotans, not me.
Today when that woman came over the hill to find a man relieving himself by the roadside, she probably saw the license plates and commented to her passenger that Minnesotans are so ill-mannered that they piddle along the road like stray dogs. What can I say? I really had to go!
Anyway, since I picked up the car before selecting music for the trip, the Minnesota plates had a big influence on my choices. I started out with several Soul Asylum CDs, plus Dave Pirner's solo disc. Then I added Semisonic and Bob Mould. Alas, I didn't bring along any Husker Du, Trip Shakespeare, or Bob Dylan. I'll save those for a trip to Minnesota. Since this is a central and southern Illinois trip, I brought along Jason Ringenberg (frontman of cowpunk legends Jason & The Scorchers) and Uncle Tupelo.
I've also been speaking in that Northern Plains accent that I learned from my (formerly) North Dakotan relatives. But only to myself. I'd probably burst into laughter if I tried talking to anyone else that way.