“Ope!” “Well, hey, stranger!” “You betcha!” Whether you are Kansas or Missouri born-and-bred who naturally speaks the everyday language, or a transplant into either side of State Line Rd who adopted “She’s a character!” “DANG It!” and “Jeez Louise!” into your slang, welcome to the art of our chitchat, or as author Taylor Kay Phillips wrapped into the perfect 137 pages of coffee table comedic bliss: A Guide to Midwestern Conversation!
“Kansas City, I made this for you.”
South Kansas City native, Taylor Kay Phillips, spent years, miles, and countless conversations curating this perfectly amusing guide that breaks down the pertinent pieces of being a Midwestern conversationalist; from the basics of our favorite spoken expressions to how we talk about the weather, parent our children, host a house party, and so much more.
Sporting her beloved Charlie Hustle KC heart tee during our KC --> NYC virtual meet-and-greet, Taylor and I talked about how “Coasties” generally perceive residents from the twelve states designated as “The Midwest,” honing in on our respective home states that boast the now nationally renowned Chiefs, Kansas City-style barbeque, and the infamous KC heart that has people asking more and more about this soon-no-longer-to-be hidden metropolitan gem.
An Emmy-award winning writer and comedian now living in NYC and writing for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on HBO, Taylor was a competitive basketball player and graduate of The Barstow School, a member of The Coterie Theater and Young Playwrights’ Roundtable, and is a Harvard University graduate who hasn’t come close to forgetting her Midwest roots.
She has taken her incredible context on how the non-Midwestern folk view us Midwesterners and funneled her comedic creativity into the perfect gift and home decor accessory that will have you cackling. It will also have you asking yourself what classic Midwestern sentiments you are operating on, whether you realize it being a part of your everyday routine or not.
“The Midwest is amping itself up.”
“One of the biggest reactions I have gotten which I think is really sweet is people clinging to their Midwestern cred in some way. Even if the person is from New York, they’ll say ‘oh my aunt lives in Indiana, or my wife is from Kansas, and that kind of stuff is new for me as a Midwestern, to have people wanting to claim a connection to the Midwest, and it’s something that feels really good to have people wanting to identify with it. The Midwest is amping itself up.”
“Get Outta Town!”
Within, you’ll find A Guide to Midwestern Cursing that will have you either outwardly expressing or inwardly blushing: “Oh, for crying out loud.” (see page 16 for the real asterisk-sporting translation!)
“That kid is special.”
The infatuation with the competitive nature of our Midwestern Youth Athlete is enough to drain your bank account at Dick’s Sporting Goods and making it difficult to remember that for most, it’s just a game.
“It’s not so bad without the wind.”
We love our four seasons just as much as we hate the central tenet of their existence that makes each season what they are. But, what it really boils down to is…are you watching the tornado from the front window or the basement window?
“Well, I won’t keep ya.”
Good luck gettin’ out the door amongst The Midwestern Goodbye.
Looking for a great and local gift idea? This book! Find the Kansas and Missouri state profiles boasting fun facts and claims to fame. And as for the rest of the landlocked hilarity? Welp, you’ll just have to snag your own copy for your next family get together, book club, and clever house-warming gift idea!
Shop Taylor’s book locally with Made in KC in partnership with Rainy Day Books in Fairway as well as Monarch Books & Gifts in Overland Park, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.
Interested in where Taylor “used to” and “will now’ hang out around town? These are her favorite throwback + modern-day KC experiences she recommends:
-Blue Chip Cookies & Ice Cream
-Jack Stack Barbecue in Martin City
-Thou Mayest River Quay
-The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
-The Bird Comedy Theater
-John’s Big Deck
-Percheron Rooftop Bar at Crossroads Hotel
-Cafe Ca Phe