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You Know You're From Memphis If...



You know the drill. These kinds of stories are stock-in-trade for local publications all over the country — and probably all over the world. "You Know You're From Swaziland If ... ?"

One reason these stories are so popular is because they're fun, and who are we to argue with popular and fun? Nobody, that's who. So, a couple weeks ago, we put out the call to Flyer readers and staffers to come up with some truly Memphis-centric answers, and boy, did they come through. Have fun.

... at least one person told you to have a "blessed day" in the past 24 hours. 

... you remember all the restaurants that have been on the "death corner" in Cooper-Young. 

... you have a really good "Hurricane Elvis" story. 

... Jay Reatard got high at your brother's house. 

... you brag about never having been to Graceland.


... Kerry Hayes pitched a story idea to you today.  

... you've worked in a Morgan Jon Fox film.

... you got drunk with Joe Walsh that one time.

... scared the shit out of a visiting friend by taking them to Wild Bill's.

... you remember when the people in the P&H told their own jokes.


... you ever called them the "City Clown-cil" or the "Shitty Council."

... you understand the Parkway system, and you hate to leave it. 

... you know your mayor is close by, just by his laugh. 

... you pretend to understand Black Snake Moan in front of your out-of-town friends. 

... councilman Joe Brown has ever asked you a "querstion."

... you've driven by "Voodoo Village."

... you've been to the Gold Mine inside of Mall of Memphis.

... you went to Catfish Cabin for your birthday.

... you've been to Adventure River.

... you remember the Big Shoe on Lamar. 

... you open the doors of your car and stand outside it for two minutes in the summer to let the interior cool off. 

... you know what "Get Buck" means.

... you know what the Zippin Pippin is. 


... you still call U of M "Memphis State."

... the words "dry rub" make your mouth water. 

... you can remember the Corey B. Trotz phone number, but only if you sing it.

... you own a "Memphis as Fuck" T-shirt.

... you have a secret crush on Mark Goodfellow.

... you use the word "flodging" instead of "flaking."

... you call people "mane."

... your coworker is the aunt of your former roommate's first-grade teacher.

... you hate Nashville.

... you can spell Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu, and Montesi.

... you've gotten a speeding ticket on Peabody.

... you know you're supposed to hate the song "Walking in Memphis" but might kinda like it.

... Summer is your Poplar.

... you say "errrbody."

... you pretend to like Justin Timberlake.


... you remember JAM-JAM1.

... you select a barbecue place like you're picking a fine wine.

... you've seen Craig Brewer at Target.

... you know what sizzurp is.

... you cried when Triple 6 won that Oscar for "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp."

... your cabinet is filled with Flying Saucer "keep the glass" night pint glasses.

... you go to West Memphis to buy fireworks from Jerry Lawler's and then stop by the West Memphis Walgreens for a 30-pack.

... when you say you're running to the "beer store," you mean the Cash Saver. But when referring to the Cash Saver, you call it The Pig.

... you freak out at any mention of snow, but shrug off tornado warnings.

... the Malco Jedi has ever filmed you parking on the Greensward or eating at Bar Louie. 

... you have more than one Growl Towel.

... you bitched when when they added bikes lanes on Riverside — or when they removed them.

... you still think bike lanes will kill business on Madison.

... you had an opinion on the Bar Louie dress code.

... you wore a Greensward shirt to the zoo.

... you sub the house-made potato chips for the tortilla chips on your nachos at Central.

... Karen at Earnestine & Hazel's knows your name.

... you use the "old Hi-Tone" as a reference for giving directions in Midtown.

... you have a name for every Kroger: Murder Kroger, Mob Kroger, Krosher, Mexi-Kroger, etc.

... you know about the two-for-one beers at Huey's.

... you've partied with Paul Ryburn.

... you've seen A C at the Union Kroger at midnight.

... you know that A C aren't initials.  


... you drank the Ghetto-Aid at Alcenia's.

... you've bought weed from Thorne Peters.

... you've seen Muck Sticky at Wizards.

... "fireworks or gunshots" is a for-real game you play.

... you don't know who your city councilperson is but can talk extensively on barbecue nachos.

... you know that Rockbone is probably the most Memphis beer name ever.

... you remember Manny the Manatee in McKellar Lake.

... you just go to Bass Pro Pyramid to ride the elevator and drink.

... a toothpick shot out of some kid's straw dropped onto your plate at Huey's.

... you gave the one-eyed homeless guy at Walgreens some change. 

... you've never put as much as your big toe in the Mississippi River, and, by god, you never will.

... you've ever gotten your change at Mapco in lottery tickets. 

... you refuse to shop at the CVS at Union and Cooper because you're still mad about that church they tore down. Whatever its name was.

... you know "grit and grind" isn't just a Grizzlies thing; it's who we are, dammit.

... you balk at the thought of paying more than $800 a month in rent. 

... you know who we're talking about from the following description: rubber chicken, no shoes, Zambodian.

... you refer to any area beyond the Parkways as "out East."

... you learned to ice skate at the Mall of Memphis.

... saw Prince at the Coliseum, the Pyramid, and the New Daisy.

... you miss Black Lodge Video.

... you've been creeped out at Decadence Manor.

... you've hung out at Pat's Pizza.

... you were ever kicked out of 616.

... you claim to have seen R.E.M. at Antenna.

... you still call it Seessel's.

... you've gotten naked in a Mike McCarthy movie.

... still call Zinnie's "Old Zinnie's" even though there's only one Zinnie's now.

... you're sweating right now.

... you're instantly suspicious of lists like this one. 

... you've got a "Superman Dam Fool" tattoo.

... you think turn signals spoil all the mystery and excitement.

... you know Mud Island isn't an island. 

... you've been panhandled at the Krystal drive-through.

... you give directions based on the river and where things used to be: "You'll wanna head down Madison, away from the river, and go about two blocks past where Anderton's used to be."

... you've ever written on the bathroom wall at the P&H Cafe.

... you've sat by Jerry Lawler in a movie theater. 

... you had a pleasant conversation with a delightful older person in line at Walgreens, then later realized that person had several hit records, many of which you've danced and made a fool of yourself to. 

... you believe grammar requires one to follow most adjectives with the word "ass." 

... you can spot Raiford's car in the daytime. 

... it doesn't take much to get you buck jumping.

... you remember when the Levitt Shell was falling apart. 

... you've ever had someone in a foreign country go out of their way to do you a kindness because they love your city's music. 

... you honestly don't know how people in other cities tolerate that horrible stuff they call water. 

... everything you needed to know about music you learned from Captain Pete and Bashful Bob. 

... you can't see a pole without thinking of Janis Fullilove. 

... you remember when Myron Lowery fist-bumped the Dalai Lama. 

... you think of West Memphis as the place where Memphis keeps its fireworks. 

... New Orleans feels closer than Nashville even though it's so much further away.

... Sue or Ann ever made you leave the Lamplighter for cussing. (Make that Shirley or Ann. Sue would just give you a warning.)

... 99 percent of the cups in your cabinet are from Young Avenue Deli.

... all you need is a smell to say which barbecue joint your food came from.

... you haven't been to Graceland, but you were a lifetime member at Graceland Too. 

... you only need to set aside 15 minutes to get anywhere.

... If they say it might really snow, you get a day off work. 

... you've run into Rick Ross on more than one occasion at Wingstop. 

... when you see smoke billowing from a building, you just think it's a new barbecue joint.

... you know that Vance Lauderdale is more than just an intersection in South Memphis.

... you're still ticked off about Cleveland getting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

... when somebody mentions "the doughboy," you don't automatically think of Pillsbury.

... you know that Sivad is not a new pill for erectile dysfunction.

... you know that Happy Hal is not the name of a neighborhood dope dealer.

... you know that McLean is not pronounced "McLane."

... you know the way to Jerry's Sno-Cones.

... you think a yellow traffic light is nothing more than a pretty decoration for that intersection.

From Flyer Readers ... 

... you've ever vultured the Pho Binh buffet waiting for the lemongrass tofu refill. — Laura Jean Hocking

... you've chanted "Whoop that Clip," while yellow fuzz is clogging your lungs, with 18,000 of your new best friends. — Emily Taylor

... if you think nothing of the fact that Quince becomes Rhodes becomes Semmes, Walnut Grove becomes Union, and Shady Grove runs east and west before turning south where it then becomes Ridgeway before becoming Hickory Hill! — Philip W. Cruzen

... you came home with Gus's Fried Chicken and Gibson's Donuts in the same bag. — Aaron Prather


... people from out of town refer to you as "that guy from Memphis" or "Memphis dude." — Richard Jones

... a car goes by and has its music bumping and everyone within earshot starts dancing. — Jennifer Bald

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