We all know the old joke about how everything is supposed to be bigger in Texas. But what about Kansas? Well, turns out there’s a joke about that too!
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Q: What’s the official state bird of Kansas?
A: The mosquito.
The origin of the joke
The joke is about a man from Kansas who goes to New York City and is amazed by all the tall buildings. He asks a New Yorker, “How do they keep the buildings from falling down?” The New Yorker replies, “We keep an eye on Kansas.”
Why it’s funny
Why is the Kansas joke funny? Because it’s relatable! Everyone knows someone from Kansas, and most people have been to Kansas at least once. The joke pokes fun at the stereotype that everyone from Kansas is a boring, uneducated hick.
The Kansas perspective
If you want to understand the Kansas perspective, consider this joke:
Why did the chicken cross the road?
To get to the other side of Kansas!
This joke highlights how big Kansas is compared to other states. It also pokes fun at how rural Kansas can be.
The national perspective
The national perspective of the “What about Kansas?” joke is that it’s a way to laugh at people from the Midwest who are considered to be naive or uneducated. The joke is often used by people from other parts of the country to make fun of Midwesterners, and it has become a stereotype that all Midwesterners are naively optimistic and not very bright.
The political perspective
In the United States, there is a joking perspective that people from Kansas are uneducated and backward. The joke goes that if you ask a Kansas person what they think about politics, they will say “I don’t know, what about Kansas?” This perspective is meant to be humorous, but it also speaks to a larger issue of political ignorance in America.
The historical perspective
The state of Kansas has been the butt of many jokes over the years. Some say it’s because of the stereotypical “flatness” of the state, while others believe it’s because Kansas is often seen as a “fly-over” state. Whatever the reason, there are plenty of jokes out there about Kansas.
Here are just a few examples:
Why don’t they just tear down Kansas and use it for farmland?
How do you keep a Kansan in suspense?
What’s the best thing about living in Kansas?
Why did the chicken cross the road in Kansas?
All these jokes aside, there is some historical perspective to be considered. Prior to becoming a state in 1861, Kansas was considered part of the “Wild West” and was known for its outlaws and lawlessness. Over time, however, Kansas has transformed into a much more peaceful place. In fact, it has been said that if you want to see what America will be like in 20 years, just take a look at Kansas today.
The cultural perspective
From the perspective of many in the United States, the phrase “What about Kansas?” has come to represent a caricature of small-town America, often used to contrast rural values with more “enlightened” urban ones. The joke, which typically features a city slicker asking a farmer about the intellectual merits of his home state, is meant to lampoon what is perceived as the simple-mindedness of Middle America.
The societal perspective
The societal perspective on the “What about Kansas?” joke is that it is funny because it is true. The joke is based on the fact that many people in the United States mistakenly believe that Kansas is a flyover state, when in reality it is a beautiful and vibrant state with a lot to offer.
The global perspective
A good way to think about Kansas is from a global perspective. With a population of over 2.9 million people, it is the 34th most populous state in the United States. It is also the 15th largest state by area, covering over 82,000 square miles. From a global perspective, Kansas is smaller than countries like Italy and France, but larger than countries like Croatia and Austria.