“Back Home Again in Indiana …”

Since I’ve been in Indiana now for over three months, I feel that I am now at a place where I can answer the question I hear most frequently, “So, what do you think of Indiana?” Of course, I know that the full question is really, “So what do you think of Indiana having come from the elitist liberal eastern coast of the U.S.?” but people in Indiana are too polite to pose the question that way. But I know. I know.

But as I said, having been here three months I now feel I have a good handle on all things Indiana and can now pontificate at great length, offering some learned observations. So here goes.

In Indiana, it’s okay to take a right-hand turn from the third left-hand lane as long as you stop in the middle of the road and use your signal blinker at the last minute. This is especially true in downtown Indianapolis.

In Indiana, fried food is considered to be a major food group in the nutritional food pyramid.

In Indiana, there’s a driving practice that I call the “green light saunter.” That’s what happens when the light turns green, the driver in front of you notices the light, and still pauses, often at great length of time, to get the car rolling. After a few minutes or so, they may decide to saunter along.

In Indiana, it’s a good thing to serve at least three starches at meals. So next to the fried food goes corn, mashed potatoes, and noodles, etc. Lots of corn, mashed potatoes, and noodles …

In Indiana, one does not “tweet” or “post” any joke about corn or corn farmers. Ever. Believe me, I know.

A codicil to the “saunter rule” noted above is the “no horn” rule. If you are in the car directly behind the sauntering driver, you should not toot your horn to get them moving since that just provokes the driver to look in the rearview mirror at you as if you are an idiot or a psychopath or an idiot psychopath. The end result is the driver in front moves even slower.

In Indiana, if it looks like some part of the car in front of you is about to fall off, it probably will. Either move into another lane, another street, or let someone else pass you and eat a bumper or muffler.

In Indiana, NRA does not stand for National Registry of Accountants.

In Indiana, there is a lot of flat land. You can watch your dog run away for two days.

In Indiana, “the Race” means two different things, depending upon whether you are near Indianapolis or just across the river from Louisville. Whatever Race it may be, both seem to involve more drinking than racing (except to the men’s and ladies’ room).

In Indiana, there is a process called RCIA which stands for Rite of Colts Initiation for Adults. People are very evangelical about this and cannot understand why anyone would not want to join their cult. Those who choose not to enter RCIA are treated with a polite nod of sadness usually reserved for idiot psychopaths.

These are just a few to get started. Please feel free to send me more as a comment as you wish.



8 Comments. Leave new

As a native Hoosier, I can honestly say this is all just too, too true. Funny, and so true! Welcome Bishop Coyne!

Bishop Coyne,

Your observations – especially on manners and starches – are spot on. Your indoctrination is incomplete though. You’ve yet to face your greatest test: basketball season. I assume by your propensity to wear black that you are a Purdue fan. God be praised!


Bishop Coyne, I thoroughly enjoyed your Hoosier observations, but you left off a few. Namely-
-Keystone Ave is the amateur’s Brickyard- avoid driving on it during the months of May and June unless you can put the pedal to the metal all the way up to each and every red light (at which point you get to test your brakes!).
-You haven’t been through State Fair season; this will be your introduction to The Fried Tenderloin Sandwich.
-Just wait until December when Monument Circle is transformed into what is locally billed as “The World’s Largest Christmas Tree.”

I so dearly miss living in Indiana and hope you enjoy life there as much as our family did for the 12 years we called Westfield home.

The good Lord has taught me many lessons in patience using the green light saunter.

This is wonderful. 🙂 I moved from the east coast to Indiana to attend college several years ago. Never got into the Colts though (go Redskins!). However, I did take the *real* RCIA in Wisconsin, and have now jumped on the Packers bandwagon. 🙂

Ah, but Bishop, do you know the state casserole yet? If you don’t then simply have a pot luck and it’s sure to show up every time. As a hint, it’s gloopy and soupy and green.

Hilarious!! Especially the part about watching your dog run away for two days.

In addition to the green light saunter there is also what my brother and I have come to call “speedway rules”, where apparently within the confines of the town of speedway yellow lights are just green lights with less blue in them. Must be all that racing.