As I sit here at my desk in my jeans, dress shirt, sweater, and beige Merrell shoes pondering the additional chin I’ve grown over the past 3 years from meals served with cheese…I am consumed with this simple thought: “Wow…I’m Midwestern.” My SUV awaits me in the parking lot to whisk me away to my 2-story home where I have more Merrell shoes, more cheese, and my daily dose of post-work beer. I’ll slip off my Merrell shoes (did I mention my beige Merrell shoes are slips ons?), settle into the butt-groove of my couch, flip on SportsCenter, and nod off slightly before dinner. This weekend I might get a little crazy and order extra cheese on my salad because yes, shredded cheese comes on your salad automatically here in the Midwest…and I’m not talking about extra Parmesan on a Caesar. This is shredded yellow cheese on a side salad. Mooooooo! I don’t even know if its Cheddar or American (prob’ly ‘Merican). All I know is it’s the same shredded cheese that comes on my soup, or baked potato, or broccoli, or whatever. ‘Mmmerican. I recon. Gonna eat some beef. Beef went up 10¢ this week…watch out ‘Merica. I know this cause the cows live down the street and the drought caused there to be less feed. My chins are nervous. Gettin itchy chins. Chintchy. Boom…just invented a new word. If we all start sayin it ’nuff round here it’ll end up in the dictionary like “jorts.” Don’t know what “jorts” are? Look it up. It’s in the dictionary. Its pronounced exactly how it looks, unlike the Arkansas River, which round here is pronounced “Are-Kan-sas.” Because this is Kansas…’Mmmerica…and don’t go pronouncin Greenwich Street “Gren-itch.” There’s a “Green” in that there fella. I take meetings in my office with my feet up on the desk because I’m laid back. Would you just look at those Merrells? They’re like a luxury car with off-road tires for my feet. Luxury off-roadin. Luxuroadin. That one still needs work. I used to wear “fresh kicks” and go to clubs, now I wear Merrells and go to the country club…where they serve cheese on my salad, my soup, and my baked potato. Steak-umms. Mmmmm. ‘Mmmerica. Gonna give my kid a homemade buzz-cut, teach him to hunt, and drive a tractor. I got my license at 13 growing up out here on the prairie before heading east to ride the subway and do all that city-walkin. Didn’t have Merrells back then. Dad gum fresh kicks with their laces, vibrant colors, and limited edition prices. My Merrells are like a beige ‘Merican flag wrapped in Kansas suede and approved by a bald eagle. Fireworks! Fireworks in the back yard on a Tuesday. Fireworks because its fireworks. Fireworks. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gettin a right bit chintchy so I’m gonna go eat a cheeseburger and chase it with a Nut Roll bar. Don’t know what a Nut Roll is? Marry an Iowan. I did. She looks sweet in “jorts”
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