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SPOTLIGHT
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Where do we fit in this geographical conundrum?

Published on -1/7/2014, 9:40 AM

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It wasn't that long ago when Kansas was part of the Midwest.

Or so I thought.

Today, for all practical purposes, that notion has been cast aside as national media outlets are wont to do with small states these days.

Instead, Kansas, along with Oklahoma, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota, all are part of the Plains States.

I get that, I suppose, but I don't get how these five states were unceremoniously cast off from the Midwest. Or, I don't get how Kansas, and its ken, no longer are part of the Great Plains. I won't even mention the High Plains, to save further confusion.

But how on earth can Illinois, Indiana and all those other states that supposedly make up the Midwest, actually be in the midwest?

Shouldn't those states be the Mideast, although that certainly would cause considerable confusion with that other Mideast, you know, Egypt and the like. It's too much work to call that area the Middle East.

But Chicago in the Midwest?

No. Never.

The west is, how do I say this, west of there.

I'd even argue Kansas and its ilk never should have been in the Midwest, but rather either the Plains States or the Central states.

I personally would vote for the Central states, given Oklahoma has mountains, and South Dakota certainly does. Just look at the Black Hills.

I'm still unclear where Texas fits into all this, considering it's not part of the Midwest, the Plains States or any other category. It's just Texas.

And that's fine, keep them out. That's where they want to be, other than when Gov. Sam Brownback pines for a Rick Perry moment. It would be safer, and likely much less expensive, if Sam just would visit a hair salon and ante up the $20 or so to get perfect hair.

Suffice it to say, it's past time to properly describe regions.

Sure, it will cause a touch of confusion for a bit, but the national media whoop-de-dos won't notice. After all, all they know is the East Coast and the West Coast.

And the Midwest, as long as it includes Chicago.

Mike Corn is a reporter and Outdoor editor at The Hays Daily News.

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