When asked where I'm from, I have to stop and think...not because I can't recall where I live, but because I'm really not always eager to answer honestly, to undergo the scrutiny or knee-jerk reactions some people display when told I hail from Kentucky.

After they have scanned me up and down and discovered, to their surprise, that I wear shoes, have all my teeth and walk reasonably erect, they glare as though to challenge my claim. "What part?" "Owensboro." And gods help me if they watched MTV's The Real World and remember that John Brennan lives here. Fortunately, few do, and the next question is invariably "Where's that?"

Call it pique, but I know the three largest cities of my neighboring states and take umbrage when "outsiders" display exactly the ignorance they stereotype my fellow Kentuckians with.