Linda K. Burch is President of WildTech,
maker of FireTacks Trail Markers and More.
mutt. I was raised in the city and in the country. I also
spent summers both at my grandparent's farm in Perham, Minnesota - and
at my other grandparent's house in St. Paul and on Forest Lake.
My adult life is somewhat the same: both city and rural.
I don't feel that hot collared flush of defensiveness too very
often. But, the first time I was lumped into the enigmatic ilk of
"Cidiots", I took offense. I certainly was NOT a
Cidiot. And furthermore - what the heck was a Cidiot,
anyway? It sounded real bad, that's all I knew.
Years ago, someone said I was a "Cidiot" just because I lived in the
city and owned an ATV, as if that meant I spent my weekends racing
around trespassing, getting "good mud" and damaging wetlands.
Okay, I do live in the city, by necessity. It's where I work to
support myself. But I didn't think I was one of "them". A
real "Cidiot", I mean. At least not in the way that I thought my
accuser meant the term. After all, I had land and a cabin with no
electric or running water, and I spend 2-3 days a week, ten months a
year there. Cidiot. Hmph!
After many years of spending half my life 'Up North", and not only up
north, but primitive, and not only primitive, but liking it, I not only
have figured out what Cidiots are, I know em' when I see em' and I know
I am not one. It's not a bad thing. It's simply a cultural
Let me preface this by saying that not every city dweller is a Cidiot,
and not every Rural is the 'opposite' … whatever the 'opposite'
is. There are rurals who act like Cidiots, and visa
versa. The following comments are generalizations.
Another morning commute to work. Hey, you want quit tailgating?
So what's the difference? Here's an example: In the city,
if you don't go 70 in a 55, a Cidiot will get right on your tailpipe to
intimidate you, and not just to intimidate you to go faster,
because I've had Cidiots stay on my tailpipe when there was no reason
at all to do so. And, I drive a full size truck so I really could
hurt them if I wanted to. Nope, they just do it
Another example: On most rural roads, a driver will wave at you
even if they have no idea who you are. It's a friendly
thing. I've tried this in town and have gotten the finger, been
glowerd at, or simply just gotten demurely ignored via a turn of the
head as if they didn't see me when I knew they did. Nope, Cidiots
don't wave, don't look, don't even acknowledge you exist. I guess
waving is not cool. Or maybe they just think I'm going to ram
their SUV and mug them if they are friendly back to me.
Yet another example: Rurals get out of the way when they slow
down their vehicle. Plus, they regard the oncoming lane as a left
turn pocket when the road is devoid of traffic, because it's just
polite to get out of the way so the guy behind you doesn't have to
brake so much. Try that in the City and the guy behind you will
hang his head out the window and scream that you are drunk, even if
there are no other cars around for miles.
OH YEAH< SAME TO YA BUDDY!
Cidiots give you're the finger. Rurals shake their finger.
Cidiots whine about Minnesota weather. Rurals appreciate and work
around Minnesota weather. Cidiots play golf on Sunday
morning. Rural do chores and/or go to church and then play.
Rurals have Polka Mass. Cidiots play Bunko. Cidiots have
de-clawed cats that eat Frisky Feast from a micro-can. Rurals
have cats that eat mice. Cidiots walk their dogs and keep them in
kennels. Rurals work their dogs and keep them on the
porch. Cidiots nearly always go over the speed
limit. Rurals often go under the speed limit. Cidiots
complain about their jobs. Rurals are grateful to make a
living. City kids watch too much TV, surf the internet hours
every day and have sense of entitlement. Rural kids do chores,
then play, and are instilled with a well formed work ethic. The City is
fast and stressful and Bi-polar. The country is slower and steady
and peaceful. The city is a contract. The country is a
I know I've gone romantically afield here, and it's not like rurals are
"better" than city dwellers. Just different in a good way, I
think. I come up to my home and acreage in the woods late in the
week, but by Saturday the area is crawling with Cidiots. I
understand the importance of tourism and I appreciate how the influx of
city dwellers supports Isle and the surrounding areas. The
Casinos, and golf and fishing and ATVing, etc., are all wonderful for
our economy, for which I am grateful. It would be nice
however, if we could offer a debriefing or orientation for visitors and
transplants as a prerequisite for hanging around here. We love
them, we just don't like Cidiots.
Now, an interesting observation is that there is one rural subculture
that closely resembles Cidiots: Young males, between the ages of
15 and 21. For some reason, they go through a Cidiot phase
regardless of where they were raised. My own son is 23 now and
went through that phase himself.
Now this is more like it.
Once in a while I have a Cidiot relapse but I catch myself. I
would like to relocate "up north" permanently and leave my evil
Cidiot twin in metropolis for good. However, when a person is
immersed in Cidiots on a daily basis, it's kind of like a reformed
alcoholic hanging around a liquor store. So, for the time being,
I shall remain a mutt, until one fine day when I manage to move my
entire life "uppa da north".