RAYGUN's Guide To Midwestern Communication.

Here in the Midwest, communication can be a little tricky, but RAYGUN is here to help visitors and locals alike! This post has some situations and some characters that look like a cross between Minions and Post-It Notes

Let's start with the word "fine." Sometimes "fine" means "fine," sometimes it means "great," and sometimes it means "literally the opposite of fine."

The situation, the facial expressions, and the delivery really determine the meaning:

Fine with a smile is great; fine (with an "Ohhh" or a sigh or a sad face) is not great

The only phrase worse than "fine (with an "Ohhh" or a sigh or a sad face)" is "could be worse."

If a Midwesterner says something "could be worse," it actually can't be much worse: 

You hear that phrase and you should probably give that person a hug.

But instead you'll just nod and go, "I hear that." 

Even if you're told that you're "Fine right there," a true Midwesterner should be driven nearly insane by the urge to help clean up. 

At restaurants Midwesterners want to hand the glasses to the wait staff or stack plates before you hand them over, just to feel like you're doing something. 

Along with "fine," "interesting" can mean "interesting" if it's said with enthusiasm, but if you get a "huh" then an "interesting..." 

"That figures" is a slightly more aggressive "huh" then an "interesting..." 

A lot of this stems from our lack of assertiveness. Or our lack of wanting to look assertive? 

Whatever the cause, we end up doing a lot of "thinking" that something "may" have happened:

Realize that something's been forgotten? You want to leave the door open that maybe reality isn't reality: 

But say you call your mom to tell her you "think" you "may" not come home for the holidays? Well, then your mom can give you some things to "think" before you "make" your decision. 

Our lack of decisive language can make goodbyes tricky:

And non-confrontational drifts into passive aggression: 

"You want to rake my GD leaves for me or something? You want to look like a wacko raking someone else's leaves?"

Passive aggression is a Midwestern speciality that will require its own guide: 

And then there's "ope," a Midwestern classic:

Everyone's sorry, everyone's fine...

And JUUUUUUUST "sneaking" or "sliding right past you."

"We don't have the technology to pass through other people, so this is what we have to do." 

Trying to move your way to the front of a crowd could take 33 "opes" and 45 light shoulder taps. 

Coming over? You better eat SOMETHING. Anything. 

In a hurry? TAKE IT TO GO. 

Not in a hurry? LOOK AT ALL THE OPTIONS. 

Don't have what you want? WE CAN ORDER IT! 

We think every Midwesterner wants to be able to bring a dessert to a meal. 

It's probably why we have invented "Marshmallow Salad" and "Jell-O Salad." That way, even if you're asked to bring salad, you can bring dessert. 

A red flag for us is when someone tells you how far away something is in miles:

If someone said, "It's 35 miles away," that's almost totally useless information. Interstate? Highway? Rural Roads? City? If it's city, is there traffic? Is that gonna be 45 minutes or 35 minutes?! That 10 minutes is a big difference! 

The "2 minutes late" alert.

As if the region is full of people who are sitting at a table, waiting, then look at their phone and say, "9:02! F-- it, i'm outa here." 

 And if you need any of these in real life as reminders...