This is a funny portion of Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle (an absolutely brillant book) that seems appropriate to share given tomorrow night's UW-IU men's basketball game:
Crosby asked me what my name was and what my business was. I told him, and his wife Hazel recognized my name as an Indiana name. She was from Indiana, too.
"My God," she said, "are you a Hoosier? "
I admitted I was.
"I'm a Hoosier, too," she crowed. "Nobody has to be ashamed of being a Hoosier."
"I'm not," I said. "I never knew anyone who was."
"Hoosiers do all right. Lowe and I've been around the world twice, and everywhere we went we found Hoosiers in charge of everything."
"You know the manager of that new hotel in Istanbul?"
"He's a Hoosier. And the military-whatever-he-is in Tokyo..."
"Attache," said her husband.
"He's a Hoosier," said Hazel. "And the new Ambassador to Yugoslavia..."
"A Hoosier?" I asked.
"Not only him but the Hollywood Editor of Life magazine, too. And that man in Chile..."
"A Hoosier, too?"
"You can't go anywhere a Hoosier hasn't made his mark," she said.
"The man who wrote Ben Hur was a Hoosier."
"And James Whitcomb Riley."
"Are you a Hoosier, too?" I asked her husband.
"Nope. I'm a Prairie Stater. `Land of Lincoln,' as they say."
"As far as that goes," said Hazel triumphantly, "Lincoln was a Hoosier, too. He grew up in Spencer County."
"Sure, I said.
"I don't know what it is about Hoosiers," said Hazel, "but they've sure got something. If somebody was to make a list, they'd be amazed."
"That's true," I said.
She grasped me firmly by the arm. "We Hoosiers got to stick together."
"You call me 'Mom.'"