Fact of Michigan life: University of Michigan people hate Michigan State people, and vice versa. Of course this is an overgeneralization, but it’s a big, big rivalry. (Are you listening, Ohio State? People just don’t care all that much about you.) The differences break down along the usual lines, but the shorthand version is this:
U of M people are effete, nose-in-the-air, self-satisfied liberal intellectuals who think Ann Arbor is really just a smaller, snowier version of Athens (Greece, that is), and that they, as its residents, are so, so special.
MSU people are knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing lummoxes whose interests range from hockey to football. Anyone with a pulse and a nasal Michigan accent can get into MSU. They are, well, the dumb school.
MSU also has a vet school (because they’re so earthy, you know), and most of the vets who practice here went there. The dog had his first vet visit today, and we met the tremendous Dr. Larry. I was giving him the little man’s health history, and mentioned our stay in Ann Arbor, because the vet there had a different philosophy about treating his flea allergies than our Fort Wayne vet. (Short version: She considered our Fort vet a knuckle-dragger.) He listened, chuckled, and mentioned the MSU-UM thing. I told him my favorite Ann Arbor vet story, about when I took the dog in and he was doing his usual waiting-room act, boiling at the end of his short leash, moving back and forth, panting, getting all terrier-ific.
“Excuse me,” another man in the waiting room said. “Would you mind picking your dog up? I would hate for him to arouse my dog’s prey instinct.”
Dr. Larry chortled with satisfaction. “Tell me that again,” he said. “I want to write that one down.”
Grist for amusement at the next alumni gathering, no doubt.