Elusive, Shifty Hooters Hoosiers

2942440welcome_to_indianaindianaA drive through northern Indiana produces a lot of very expected scenery: barns, silos, corn & soy bean fields, half-standing barns, semi-trucks, American-made cars. It’s actually not a bad drive. There are a plethora of bumper stickers celebrating cold dead hands, but the scenery is otherwise very pretty. Especially fall through spring. Big trees, rolling fields, you get the point. I’ve made this drive many times. For some reason, this time I noticed something I’d not really seen before. And it might be because I’ve developed an extraordinary ability to block out 90% of roadside billboards. Maybe because I’ve worked in advertising, I don’t know. But this past Memorial Day Weekend, something caught my attention. Boobies.

Breasts can catch any of us off-guard. I have no shame with this. But between the casinos near Gary and Michigan City off I-65, and the numbers of Hooters Restaurants and strip joints the rest of the way, there is an insane number of billboards in Indiana promoting Boobs. My wife actually said it first – “you think they like Boobs in Indiana?” We’re talking nearly 20 booby billboards before Merrillville. Not like you know where that is. But if you ever drive through Indiana from Chicago, start counting as soon as you get on the toll road. And if you like boobs, do take the toll road.

But then the boobs opened up my eyes to all of the other interesting ads along the way. Billboards for a dairy farm you can visit and see a live calf being born. It actually has a picture of a little girl and the words “I saw a live calf being born!” Also lots of interesting church ads and pro-gun signs. There was the standard “Guns Save Lives” ads, and the aforementioned “You can pry it form my cold dead hands” bumper sticker. I wonder if anyone has actually done that: Shot someone then pried their gun from their cold dead hands. You’d have to wait for a while, wouldn’t you? Until their hands actually became cold as well as stiff enough to justify a prying. Would you shoot them, then sit there and wait a while? Maybe you’d go get a coffee and come back later.

Anyway, I started to think two things:

  1. That there may be a shortage of naturally occurring boobies in Indiana, and
  2. those Hoosiers are damn shifty.

Since I’ll never live in Indiana, I’ll never have the time to go around and check on the boob inventory, but man, as soon as I think I know the Hoosiers they switch it up on me. Until the last election when Indiana went blue, I had made a few assumptions about it. There’s a Cracker Barrel in every city. I stand by that one. There’s a Bob Evan’s in every city. I stand by this one too. There’s an Applebee’s in every city. This last one may not be true. Some cities seem to have a Chili’s instead. So I had begun to think of Indiana in very stereotypical rural terms. Guns, religion, half-standing barns. Then they voted for Obama in the last election. Even after his guns and religion comment. I was really proud of Indiana. Since my family, who are all quite conservative live there, and all of their friends I’ve ever met are quite conservative, I was blown away. Who voted for Obama in Indiana? How did it happen? So then in my mind, Indiana became Guns, religion, half-standing barns, support of a liberal, progressive, forward thinking leader.

Now I can add to that list, a love of unfamiliar boobs. This is the Indiana that I thought I knew and frankly, I had felt a little out of sorts on my last couple of visits with the whole Obama thing. Now that I have noticed that boobies are running amok in the countryside, I can feel more at home on my visits to the Hoosier state. Like, these are the Hoosiers I know and Love. Indiana: Guns, religion, half-standing barns, support of a liberal, progressive, forward thinking leader, boobies.