Friday, April 24, 2009

Why I Get Lost EVERYTIME I Go Downtown

My dad sent this to me and it made me smile. I thought I would just post the part about the roads, but as I read on I realized "Yeah, that's about right..." Except for the part about the women smoking the Marlboro's. I really don't see that many women smoking in public anymore. Even in their own car. But anyway, of course some of this is an overgeneralization, but some of it is just plain truth, especially about the Malfunction Junction. I'm not sure who to give credit to on this, but it if definitely someone who lives here in the South. You can't understand it until you live it.

Visitors Guide to Birmingham , Alabama
First you must learn to pronounce the city's name.
It's 'Bur-min-ham'.

Driving Information:
Burminham has its own version of traffic rules. The truck with the loudest exhaust goes next at a four-way stop.The truck with the biggest tires goes after that. Note: Blue-haired ladies driving anything have the right-of-way anytime.

To find anything in the city, it is required that you know where Malfunction Junction is, which is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. It may be one of only two 'cloverleaf formation' interchanges in the world. We invented it and only one other city was stupid enough to implement it again Atlanta -- making them only a wee bit dumber than we are.

The morning rush hour is from 6:00 to 10:00. The evening rush hour isf rom 3:00 to 7:00. Friday's rush hour starts Thursday morning. If the term 'merging delays' is ever used by the person reporting the traffic, even in passing, call in to work and tell them that you will beat least 30 minutes late regardless of where you are in your commute.

If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be (at the very least)rear-ended, cussed out, and possibly shot. This applies to male and female drivers alike.

You must know that 'I-459,' 'I-59,' 'I-20,' and 'I-65' are the same road.

They just loop around, cutting in and out of each other's path. We think this was a ploy utilized to confuse outsiders and discourage visitors after the War of Northern Aggression.

Always, always, always, find out if it is a race or football weekend before you get on any of these highways to travel somewhere. If it is a race or football weekend, stay home. You won't be pleasantly going anywhere else.

Construction is a permanent fixture in Burminham. The barrels are moved around in the middle of the night to make the next day's driving a little more interesting.

If someone actually has their turn signal on, wave them over to thes houlder immediately to let them know -- you can be sure it was 'accidentally activated'.

The minimum acceptable speed on 'I-65' (see above) is 85 mph.Anything less is considered downright sissy.

This is also Alabama 's state-highway-sponsored version of NASCAR --especially during rush hour (see above) and everyone in the city is driving at once, bumper-to-bumper. If you are in the left lane and only going 70 in a 55-65 zone, you are considered a road hazard, and will be'flipped a bird' accordingly.

Do not gawk at the woman in the car beside you in traffic who is applying make-up, drinking a Diet Coke, smoking a Marlboro, and maintaining a steady speed of 85 mph on I-65 in rush hour traffic. If she is coming from north of Burminham, she might be packing. If she is coming from south of Burminham, she IS packing and is not afraid to use it.

Weather Information:
If it's 110 degrees, Thanksgiving could be next weekend. If it's 10-20degrees and sleeting or snowing, then watch out. Burminham residents consider this 'demolition derby' day and will be all over the roads(frontways, sideways, etc). Please proceed with caution, as you could be the next target.

Seasonal Information:
If you stick to the seats in your vehicle, it is Spring.

If you need to let the car 'get some air' while standing next to it with the doors open for a minute before you can stick your upper body inside to crank it and get the air going, it is Summer.

If you are sweating even with the windows down, driving 55 mph, it is Fall. If you finally turn the AC off and roll your windows up, it is Winter.

General Information:
Do not ever speak during the song ' Sweet Home Alabama ' unless it is to sing along with the lyrics. This is a form of heresy and will erupt in a brawl if everyone doesn't show 'proper respect' to the band who gave us Free Bird. This is especially true if alcohol is present (notice I didn't say 'sold at this event,' but 'present').

Yes, we know that Vulcan is mooning the entire city. It's not that funny to us anymore, and by now we're used to it.

If you ask someone for a 'coke,' they will often ask you, 'What kind?'This is not a trick question. Tell them what you want: Sprite, Dr.Pepper, Root Beer, etc., it is all 'coke'.

All tea is sweet. If it's not sweet, you are in a Chinese restaurant or have crossed the Mason-Dixon Line .

Possums sleep in the middle of the road with their feet in the air.

There are 5,000 types of snakes on earth and 4,998 of them live in Alabama .

There are 10,000 types of spiders. All 10,000 live in Alabama , plus a couple no one's seen before.

If it grows, it sticks; if it crawls, it bites.

Onced and Twiced are words.

It is not a shopping cart; it is a buggy.

People actually grow and eat okra.

'Fixinto' is one word.

There is no such thing as 'lunch.' There is only dinner and then supper.

Iced tea is appropriate for all meals and you start drinking it when you're two. We do like a little tea with our sugar!

Backwards and forwards means 'I know everything about you.

DJeet is actually a phrase meaning 'Did you eat?'

You don't have to wear a watch because it doesn't matter what time it is.

You work until you're done or it's too dark to see.

You don't PUSH buttons, you MASH them.

You measure distance in minutes.

You'll probably have to switch from 'heat' to 'A/C' in the same day.

All the festivals across the state are named after a fruit, vegetable,grain, insect or animal.

You install security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked.

You carry jumper cables in your car . . . for your OWN car.

There are only own four spices: salt, pepper, Tabasco and ketchup.

The local papers cover national and international news on one page, but require 6 pages for local gossip and sports.

The first day of deer season is a national holiday.

100 degrees Fahrenheit is 'a little warm.

We have four seasons: Almost Summer, Summer, still Summer and Christmas.

Going to Wal-mart is a favorite past time.

Fried catfish is the other white meat.

We don't need no stinking driver's ed... if our mama says we can drive, we can drive.


  1. Amen and Amen Isn't Alabama Great!!

  2. What? You mean all that stuff isn't normal everywhere???

    :) Too cute!

  3. Wendy, I love reading your experiences. I look at the misery around our world and wish every family could have the joy that abounds in the Clark house.

    I am not that emotional but most every time I read your blog, tears develop as I see how my 'little girl' has turned out. I am so proud of you. Daddy

  4. All so true! BTW at church on Sunday my Kallie was talking about Jesus' "Last Dinner." You know its the South when Jesus ate a last dinner not Last Supper! :)

  5. Jennie, that is hilarious!!!! I think I will call it the Last Dinner from now on.

  6. I laughed my butt off , my family lives in jasper just up the road , I know malfunction Junction well . I am so glad i am able to meet a fello sane alabama person


  7. um...yeah...
    Come visit me and I'll be the translator...

  8. This is so true and I couldn't agree more! Having lived a while in Atlanta, and now Birmingham, this is spot on. LOL