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15 Things Only People from Iowa City Think are Normal

Iowa City is a mystery to much of the country. Somehow, a bunch of reckless kids and head-ass townies were thrown together in a little block of Midwestern glory. We’ve created our own world, and here are the bizarre social norms that make Iowa City what it is:

15.) Insisting America Needs Farmers when you don’t know anything about farming:
Half of the Hawkeye fan base are farmers, and the other half are college kids who just want us to win the game. Those ANF hats really are cute though. And the ANF-themed Hawkeye game is totally one of the best: the patriotism!! Go America! Go farmers! Roll corn!

14.) Throwing up anywhere except for a bathroom:
The sidewalk outside of D.P. Dough either looks just like a garbage can, or Hawkeyes stopped caring about where their chunks blew somewhere along the line. Ped Mall? Old Cap? That tree by the Lindquist Center? The alley behind Kum n’ Go? All are excellent substitutes when the line’s a little too long to hold in your nausea from that liquor pitcher you just chugged.

13.) Doing the 8:30 a.m. lecture participation polls from your bed:
When you’re dragging your ass to a Monday morning lecture and get that text from your friend asking if you’ll let them know when to click in, you’ve just gotta remember that we’ve all been there. In Iowa City, karma is mainly distributed through the people who help you miss class with no consequence.

12.) Regularly saying “Kum n Go” without thinking twice about it:
When you first got to Iowa, you couldn’t tell your mom why you thought the name of IC’s favorite gas stations was funny. And maybe it’s because you stop there every day for a 32 ounce Coke, or maybe it’s because there’s innuendo around every corner of this campus, but you can’t remember the last time saying “Kum n Go” made you giggle.

11.) Starting Saturday morning with a 6 a.m. “Back in Black” alarm and twelve beers:
Proudly representing one of the best tailgate campuses in the country, this social practice is not just accepted but encouraged. It’s in the recruitment info for the school. Hey, high schoolers, do you want to wake up earlier for football than you do for class? Do you want to be belligerent by noon? Fuck state? Perfect. This is the place for you.

10.) Having the bouncer laugh in your face and then let you in:
Is the person on your ID 200 lbs heavier than you? A different race? A different gender? Do you have nothing but a laminated piece of notebook paper with a cartoon stick figure and “21” written under it? No worries! Have fun! Buy alcohol! Tip your bartender! Come back tomorrow!

9.) Alternating routinely between Casey’s breakfast pizza and Airliner slices:
Iowa City takes care of its residents by covering not one but two meals with pizza. If you play your cards right around here, you could probably get by on pizza and alcohol exclusively. If you’re really smart, order as much pizza as you possibly can on Sunday dollars slices at Liner, and it could last weeks.

8.) Getting fucked up on a Tuesday
Because cheaper-than-usual drinks is a great excuse to get drunk on a weeknight, when you have a lot of other stuff to be doing. At this rate, Tuesday might be one of the most fun nights of the week–so keep your priorities straight and embrace the Iowa Shitty lifestyle.

7.) Complaining about hills in a state filled with corn fields:
If a University of Iowa Bachelor’s degree doesn’t come with a Kardashian Booty Certification, we’re all being cheated. Tour guides say that the average student walks up enough hills in four years to have climbed Mt. Everest, so go ahead and skip the gym. You’ve done enough walking from the library to your apartment.

6.) Going straight from class to the bars to class again:
This is so common in Iowa City that it has its own acronym. If a quick “FAC?” text doesn’t sum up the Iowa City experience, we don’t know what does. Friday After Class is a Hawkeye tradition, and the only thing better is Monday After Class, TAC, WAC, and THAC.

5.) Maniacal coffee house hopping:
It’s obvious that Iowa City loves its booze, with bars lining every street. But we also like our caffeinated bean water, and it’s just as common to get in an argument over which coffee house to choose as which bar. Starbucks? Java House? High Grounds? Prairie Lights? Fairgrounds? Cortado? Why not just hit ’em all? Espresso shots across the board.

4.) Identifying way too closely with a city three hours away:
Chances are, if you’re downtown during a Cubs or Bears game, you will be shunned for not bro-ing out. It’s simple. If you don’t know the answer to “Hey Chicago what do you say?” what do you think you’re doing in Iowa City???

3.) Smoking a pack in one night – but only when you’re drunk, swear:
What’s to be expected, walking through the tunnel by Tini’s with the smell of a cigarette army wafting into your nostrils? Hang out for a minute. Take a drag or two. It’s Iowa City, after all, and you’re drunk so it doesn’t even count.

2.) Spending $6 on a fucking grilled cheese:
After all those tequila shots, and then the dancing, and then the cigs, man, you could really use a grilled cheese to balance it all out. And Iowa City is famous for Marco’s grilled cheese. And it’s right there! Do it, it’ll be worth it before you check your bank statement tomorrow.

1.) Turning your bar wristbands in to a piece of art:
Like an athlete’s trophy cabinet or a hunter’s best kills on display, it is natural for Iowa Citians to find creative ways to say “I drink, and I’m good at it!” Whether it’s tied to the bridge over the Iowa River, turned in to a collage, or stuffed into a jar, wristbands are the most sacred manifestation of IC, and must be respected as such.

Is this heaven? No, it’s Iowa City, and we’re all so incredibly lucky to be here.

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