After Army basic training in the hills and forests of the Missouri Ozarks, I was given a leave to fly home to visit the family.
As the airplane flew over eastern Kansas, headed west, I could hear a couple of women in the seats behind me commenting on the view out the window.
"Look how flat that countryside is," one said. "Wouldn't it be depressing to live in a place that is that flat?"
I let it go, but what I was thinking was, "It looks awfully good to me, ma'am."
Kansas is an acquired taste. Some people acquire it; some don't. That includes both people born and raised here and those who came from somewhere else.
There is a wicked list of insults defaming our beautifully acquired love of Kansas, and I don't understand why, except there are some mean people in the world.
The list was sent to me by a friend in Texas, who I am sure intended it as good clean humor.
Following is the list he sent, with some of the more offensive items edited out.
Here is what is left:
Q. How do you know the toothbrush was invented in Kansas?
A. If it was invented anywhere else, it would have been called a teethbrush.
Q: Did you hear that the governor's mansion in Kansas burned down?
A: Almost took out the whole trailer park.
Q: What does a Wildcat grad call a Jayhawk grad in five years?
A: Boss! I'm not saying Jayhawk basketball players are dumb, but the coach is dressing six players for this Saturday's game. The rest will dress themselves.
Q: Why is "The Wave" banned in Bill Snyder Football Stadium?
A: Two Cyclones fans drowned last year.
Q: What happens when blondes move from Nebraska to Kansas?
A: Both states become smarter!
Q: Why do Kansas State students have such beautiful noses?
A: They're hand-picked.
Q: Why did Wichita State disband its water polo team?
A: All the horses drowned.
Q: What's the difference between a Wichita State diploma and toilet paper?
A: About $50,000 per sheet.
One way of looking at this is that my friend recognizes the Kansans' sense of humor. We laugh at his jokes then send some back to test his Texas sense of humor.
For source material I suggest borrowing (stealing) from a similar list I acquired years ago about an in-state Florida college rivalry:
The Star-Banner in Ocala, Fla., asked readers to share their favorite Seminole or Gator jokes. Here are the best of the printable contributions:
Q: What does a University of Florida graduate say to a Florida State graduate?
A: Welcome to McDonald's, can I help you?
Q: What is the difference between Steve Spurrier and God?
A: God doesn't think he's Steve Spurrier.
Q: What do you get when you go slow through Tallahassee?
A: A diploma.
Q: Why do Florida State graduates put their diplomas on the dashboards of their cars?
A: So they can park in the handicap spots.