I finally rediscovered an article, a year later, which I wanted to write about and contrast much like I did the previous Re: 21 Things You Have To Explain to Out-of-Towners About Memphis article. Notice how all these articles, from all these random sites, are so nearly identically written? Funny how these clone websites actually provide nothing original (not that some of my content is the most unique, but I still try) and all seem to share the same dozen article types over, and over, and over.
Anyway, naturally, living in Memphis and being the guy I am, these articles really need some contrast thrown in, since they are most often seemingly written by midtowners who eat, sleep, and breath a tiny few square miles in the center of the city.
Let’s begin! Keep in mind I’m a little harsh when riffing on these articles, so take what I say with a grain of salt, as they say. I do love this city, but I’m not afraid to say what I really think about aspects of it, both good, bad, and neutral.
1. You Will Be Referred To As Y’all, Mane, and Bruh
This one is true – Y’all is a traditional southern term for a group of people, of course, but “Mane” and “Bruh” are straight up urban slang that has made it’s way into common vernacular due to, well, the ethnically diverse nature of Memphis – if you work anywhere in the city remotely, you work with people who use the terms regularly, so yeah, just get used to it.
2. Jerry’s Sno Cones Are The Best Way To Get Through A Memphis Summer
Never been here. I’ve heard good about them, but all in all, it’s just a sno-cone place. It just goes to show how little there is left to do in this city, if you ask me.
3. Everyone From Memphis Is A BBQ Expert
Yep, we like Barbecue It’s a thing here. Everyone has opinions, and they like to share them. That’s just how it works when people like stuff. It’s the same as people debating which fast food place they like, only it’s BBQ.
Mama’s BBQ, in Bartlett, is the best, by the way. Don’t question it, just go.
4. And The Only Way To Make Nachos Better Is By Adding BBQ Pork
…okay? Your point is?
5. Gibson’s Donuts Are The Best Way To Start Any Day
Never heard of this place, and certainly never had their donuts. I’m sure they are good, but again, food isn’t that major to me.
6. Unless You’re In The Mood For Pancakes
I pass this place from time to time, and I do want to check it out. I’ve also heard good things about it, so maybe one day I’ll check it out.
7. Everyone Is A Memphis Tigers Fan
No, we aren’t. I don’t care about sports. I sure as hell don’t care about college sports. Period.
8. Everyone Drives Too Fast Or Too Slow
No one in this city seems to drive correctly – always going too fast or too slow as this states, but beyond that they don’t know how to merge, how to respectfully turn off their high beams when behind someone or when there is oncoming traffic; really anything you can imagine. It’s fucking nuts and I really need to collect some video to demonstrate this to you sometime in a future article.
9. No One Really Knows What The Aquifer Thing Means…
They should, if they aren’t idiots. Memphis is known to have some of the best water possible, thanks to a massive sand aquifer under the city – basically it’s a large repository of water that happens to, thanks to the sand, be very heavily filtered naturally. Pump it up, do the normal treatments that are required, and there ya go!
10. Yes, Everyone Totally Believes Voodoo Village Is Haunted
No, I don’t. It is a creepy place, though…
11. The Possibility Of Snow Can Clear Out A Grocery Store
Be sure to buy all the milk and bread you can! Seriously, that’s what everyone buys. Why, I have no fucking clue. Some people have written articles trying to explain it, but honestly I think they are overthinking it – I think everyone’s just too stupid to realize that if the power goes out that milk is going to go bad in an instant, and that bread is, well, bread…
Seriously, next time it snows I should write about this myself, and try to get some photos / video of it in action.
12. Coke Has Many Flavors, Including Sprite
The south uses “Coke” for soft drink / soda / pop / sodapop / carbonated beverage. Probably has to due with our proximity to Atlanta, the home of Coca-Cola. Big deal.
13. The University Of Memphis Will Always Be Memphis State
Yeah, many people still call it such. It’s called inability to adapt to change. I like old names for things as well, or odd terms, but seriously, stop insisting it’s Memphis State. It isn’t. The name changed like 20 years ago, get over it.
14. Not Everyone From Memphis Is Crazy About The King
Holy crap one that actually is correct! No, not everyone cares about Elvis. I don’t think he was a bad artist but I just don’t care at all myself. Still, it’s a way to start a conversation when I talk to people internationally, they all know Elvis.
15. Memphis Has A Killer Art Scene, And It Lives On Broad Avenue
Eh, this one is true – we do have a very creative vibe among many people (me included) and Broad does seem to be a nexus for such. Can’t complain about this one.
16. Memphis Has The Best Mayoral Candidate Ever
Ah, Prince Mongo. this guy is crazy in the best of ways. I can’t do him justice, just look him up yourself.
17. This City Is As Bluesy As Ever
Memphis in May, and all the associated events just aren’t my scene. It feels like an artifical way to show what Memphis “is” historically and publicly, but not what the city actually is; a dying shell of it’s former self, holding on to its past not out of respect, but because there isn’t much of a future coming anytime soon. Seriously, what happened to the 80’s resurgence? It just died cold circa 1995….
18. Pancho’s Cheese Dip Is The Ultimate Condiment
This stuff is good, and locally made. If you live near Memphis perhaps you’ve had it. Maybe not. Either way it isn’t the best thing ever, but it’s good.
19. Grabbing A Burger At Huey’s Is A Requirement
No, it isn’t. Don’t act like it is. I don’t know where this place is, and I don’t want a burger from there any more than I would anywhere else. If you ask me, Dyers is the place to go, but again, another article for another time.
20. Spaghetti Is Not A Meal—It’s A Side Dish
Yes, it is a meal, and a side. It’s good food, eat it how you want to, let me eat it how I want to, and shut up about it.
21. The Streets Change Names… Kind Of A Lot
Yes, they do. Take Stage road for example: coming in from Nashville way, it’s Highway 64; then Stage, then James, then Stage James, then… I don’t even know. Charles Bryan goes ALL OVER the Bartlett area, Macon loops around on itself (or at least it feels it does) and don’t even get me started about the Parkways.
Incidentally, I have a map of Memphis from 1977 that lists quite a few alternate names to roads I’m on every day, so the names seem to just keep on changing.
22. But The Mississippi River Serves As A Kind Of North Star
I guess, for people who don’t know directions. Everything is based on the River, and address numbers start from South-West and move larger going North or East – it makes it easy to find someplace based on address if you understand this, but of course, very few people do.
23. The Bridges Have Names… But No One Remembers Them
Yeah, this one is true. Eh, can’t argue with it.
24. There Is Literally Nothing Alcenia’s Can’t Fix
Once again, another place I know nothing about.
25. The Memphis Zoo Lives Up To All The Hype
The Memphis Zoo is awesome. This one is also true. Seriously check it out. Hell, you can do it via Google Street View – yes, the Memphis Zoo is on there. Check it out now!
26. The Dixon Gallery And Gardens Is The Perfect Getaway
Eh, it’s nice, but as much as I like art, it still isn’t my scene. Not bad, but not great.
27. Only People From Memphis Can Insult Memphis
This is your normal hometown pride mess. Funny though, in an article about how great the city is and how you have to explain stuff to outsiders, it addresses the complaints, of which there are a ton one could have about Memphis. This city has so much wasted potential that it makes me want to cry sometimes.
Maybe one day… but damn that will take more effort than I think people are willing to put out, currently.
Well, this article wasn’t all bad – it has it’s hit and miss elements. Still, it has that same old feel that these articles do. That being said, this is just my take on the article, and if you are local you might feel different. Take it for what it is, just my opinion.