In 2011, when I was volunteering at the Everglades International Hostel in Florida City, I met two guys from the Netherlands. Thijs and Job (pronounced “Tiess” and “Yohb”) had bought a cheap van and were launching a road trip across the US. They spoke with graceful Dutch accents (their English was excellent), talking about sleeping in their van and creating their game plan if a cop ever confronted them: “We will just use stronger accents,” Thijs said, “and pretend to be dumb foreigners.”
As we played a dice game, they talked about their target cities. I was surprised to hear that St. Louis was one of them. “Not many people want to go to the Midwest,” I told them. “Most people just skip it. They call it ‘flyover country.’”
“I hear there is good music—” Thijs began, but he didn’t finish his sentence, because at that moment Job blurted out, “NASCAR!” in the best backwoods-Kentucky accent I’ve ever heard.
We had to pause the game, I was laughing so hard.