Minnesota Nice? Not on the Highway

Minnesota Nice(wiki) – Minnesota nice is the stereotypical behavior of Minnesota residents described as hospitality and courtesy to others.

This was spurred on a couple of days ago while on the road. I currently work for Sherwin Williams as a delivery driver, at least most of the time, and I was out in Plymouth making one of my many runs for the day. Driving on highway 55 toward 494, I realized I needed to get over in order to merge onto northbound 494. I flipped on my left turning signal with a truck behind me in that lane, and he proceeded to speed up to cut me off. I looked over to glare at the person who could be so unkind and inconsiderate and noted that he drove for the City of Plymouth, meaning he was a driver much of his working day. He was in the same boat as me and yet did not want to allow me in.

And this isn’t an uncommon occurance on the streets of Minneapolis/St. Paul and surrounding areas, and I would know, driving commercially. Of course, everyone knows this. We all realize that people out there are just unthinking and generally self-concerned on the roads. It happens all over the country, all over the world. But what about reputations? Does Minnesota Nice really mean anything? No, you’re saying to me on the other side of your monitor, it’s just something someone came up with to make a joke about the people of Minnesota. We don’t even put consideration into the phrase up here.

So why do I bring it up? Well, maybe we should consider it. Maybe the rest of the world who’ve heard of Minnesota Nice, or some of the people who watched Fargo and thought that it was a city in Minnesota(yeah, its in North Dakota), put a bit of stock in the reputation of Minnesotans. Maybe we should try harder.

After all, the Republicans are coming, are they not? And what does that mean? No, not that. It means that Minnesota is finally going to get a bit of good press. People will look from all over the country and see the city of St. Paul as a major US city, and we need to look good for the Today Show, the Daily Show, NBC Nightly News, CNN, MSNBC, hell, even Fox News.

Henceforth, I give to you the Let Someone In campaign. It’s not hard at all. Just let someone into the lane they’re trying to enter, or onto the highway when they come off the ramp. Just be considerate. Don’t grumble about people being mean and not letting you in and then turn around and do it to someone else. Just be nice on the road. It couldn’t hurt. It may even make someone’s day. And when you do it, someone else may pass on the favor, and it will continue on down the line. So think about it when you’re on the road again, or in traffic, or waiting during rush hour. Trust me, good vibes travel.

And wave to the Sherwin Williams van driver if you see him. It might just be me.