This section of The Gumbo Pages is going to be somewhat incomprehensible unless you're a native. You might pick up on a few things if you've been a frequent visitor, but this stuff is almost as hardcore as Benny Grunch's "The 12 Yats of Christmas", and absolutely delightful. Yats and other natives! Feel free to email me with any additions you may have. And thanks a million to Greg Beron for passing this along (actually, I've come to find out that it was taken from an article/contest run my Gambit, a weekly New Orleans newspaper. Hope they don't mind. Besides, we're adding more to it anyway ...
You proudly claim that Monkey Hill is the highest point in Louisiana.
You know the Irish Channel is not Gaelic-language programming on cable.
You drive your car up onto the neutral ground if it rains steadily and heavily for more than two hours.
You have flood insurance.
Someone asks for an address by compass directions and you say it's Uptown, downtown, backatown, riverside or lakeside.
Your idea of a cruise ship is the Canal Street ferry, and your idea of a foreign cruise ship is the Chalmette ferry.
Your burial plot is six feet over rather than six feet under.
You can pronounce "Chop-a-tool-is" but can't spell it.
You can pronounce and spell Tchoupitoulas.
You don't worry when you see ships riding higher in the river than your house.
You know the West Bank has nothing to do with Israel or the Middle East.
If someone says "Magazine," you think street instead of periodical.
You still call the the bus "Public Service".
You get on a bus marked "cemeteries" without a second thought.
You have no idea what a turn signal is or how to properly use it.
You know that the two speeds dey got in dis city are "slow" and "stop".
Bunny Matthews, recounted from from actual dialogue heard in New Orleans
You can cross two lanes of heavy traffic and U-turn through a neutral ground while avoiding two joggers and a streetcar, then fit into the oncoming traffic flow while never touching the brake.
You can consistently be the second or third person to run a red stop light.
You know how long you have to run to a store, get what you need and get back to your car before you get a parking ticket.
You got rear-ended 10 times by people with no insurance.
You take a "right-hand turn" instead of a right turn.
You get off the stoop, walk down the banquette and cross the neutral ground to go get a sno-ball.
The major topics of conversation when you go out to eat are restaurant meals that you have had in the past and restaurant meals that you plan to have in the future.
The major topics of conversation most of the rest of the time are restaurant meals that you have had in the past and restaurant meals that you plan to have in the future.
You judge a restaurant by its bread.
You consider having a good meal as your birthright.
You have gained 10 or 15 pounds permanently, but you don't care anymore.
You not only think the colors purple, green and gold look good together, but you would also consider eating something that was those colors.
You know the definition of "dressed."
Shirley T. Fayard
You think `drinking water' when you look at the Mississippi
River. C. Gonzalez
The white stuff on your face is powdered sugar.
You know better than to drink hurricanes or eat Lucky Dogs.
You visit another city and they "claim" to have Cajun food -- but you know better.
You have the opening date of any sno-ball stand in your Daytimer.
You know that a po-boy is not a guy who has no money, but a great-tasting French bread sandwich.
You judge a po-boy by the number of napkins used.
The four seasons of your year are crawfish, shrimp, crab and erster.
You love Maspero's, like the prices, hate the line, so you know to sit at the wonderfully old bar to place your order and enjoy.
Your stomach can handle a dozen Manuel's tamales at 3 a.m. after having a few at Markey or Saturn Bar.
The waitress at your local sandwich shop tells you a fried oyster po-boy dressed is healthier than a Caesar salad.
Your 3-year-old child comes home singing his latest nursery rhyme:
"Alligator pie, alligator pie,
If I don't get some, I think I'm gonna cry.
Give away the green grass, give away the sky,
But don't give away my alligator pie."
You can eat Popeyes original chicken, Haydel's kingcake and Zapp's while waiting for Zulu. Then you go to Jackson Square for a Central Grocery muffaletta with a Barq's while sucking hot crawdads and cold Acme oysters, hurricanes and several Abitas. Then you can ride the St. Charles Avenue streetcar home past Camellia Grill for a chili-cheese omelette ... without losing it all on your front stoop.
Dan C. Frisard
Ya stood yaselfs in da line by Galatoire's.
Zide B. Jahncke
A friend gets in trouble for roaches in his car and you wonder if it was palmettos or those little ones that go after the French fries that fell under the seat.
You refer to any strawberry soda as "Red Drink." As in, "Get me a Red Drink to go wit' my po' boy."
You cried when McKenzie's went out of business, and ... you had tears of joy when you found out that Tastee's made McKenzie's King Cakes.
Someone at a crawfish boil says, "Don't eat the dead ones," and you know what they mean.
Suck da head, squeeze da tip...
You don't really teach people the right way to eat crawfish, so there's more for you.
Your idea of cutting back on calories is to suck the heads and not eat the tails.
The smell of a crawfish boil turns you on more than Chanel No. 5.
You enjoy sucking heads more than sucking face.
Your idea of foreplay is pinching dem tails and sucking dem heads and chasing it down with a cold Abita beer.
You eat the poo veins.
You berl crawfish and fry them in erl. Don't forget to pack the uneaten tails in ferl.
There is a St. Joseph lucky bean in ya mama's coin purse.
You have eaten fig cookies from the St. Joseph altar while still hung over from St. Patrick's Day.
The first thing you do every morning is pick up The Times-Picayune obit section to see "who died inna papuh?"
When you were growing up you loved to go on the "chute da chute" at the playground and never heard of a slide.
Ya making groceries at Schwegmann's with ya mama to buy Dixie beer and crawfish so you can eat and suck heads in the French Quarter before a Mardi Gras parade.
You use the term "Schwegmann's bag" as a unit of measurement: "Did ya catch a lot at da parade? Yeah you rite! A whole Schwegmann bag full!"
You know your homonyms, synonyms and your "mom-n-ems."
When you speak with a tourist, he asks, "Are you from Brooklyn?"
You make groceries at Schwegmann's to get da Zatarains for da crawfish. Den, ya suck da heads of those crawfish for da juice. Don't forget da beer and da white Russian daiquiris. Afterwards, you go down to Randazzo's for some king cake. While in da parish, you stop at Rocky's for some baked macaroni to take home. On Mondays, you get da begneits, coffee and da Gambit. (Dat Gambit has everything.) For lunch, you go down to Mother's for some red beans and rice. Tomorrow, you get da muffaletta at da Central Grocery. And dat's what we do in New Awlins, dawlin'.
You're not afraid when someone wants to "ax" you.
You were born at Baptist, raised in Metry and hang with Vic and Nat'ly.
You go by ya mom-n-ems on Good Friday to eat crawfish, drink beers and play touch football on the neutral ground.
You have no idea what a dragonfly is, but enjoy watching mosquito hawks fly near the lagoons in City Park.
You don't learn until high school that Mardi Gras is not a national holiday.
You don't learn until graduate school that Mardi Gras is not a national holiday.
You push little old ladies out of the way to catch Mardi Gras throws.
Little old ladies push you out of the way to catch Mardi Gras throws.
You leave a parade with footprints on your hands.
You bring empty grocery bags to a parade.
Every time you hear sirens you think it's a Mardi Gras parade.
On Christmas Eve, your daughter looks up in the sky, sees Santa Claus and yells, "T'row me somethin', mister!"
You fill your Nativity creche with king cake babies dressed like Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the wise men and the angels.
You go buy a new winter coat and throw your arms up in the air to make sure it allows enough room to catch Mardi Gras beads.
Rebecca C. Este
You have a parade ladder in your shed.
Your finest china has Endymion written on it.
Your first sentence was, "Throw me something, mistah," and your first drink was from a go-cup.
You wonder what Anne Rice has against a building that looks like a Mardi Gras float.
You can't stand people that say "THE Mardi Gras" or "THE Jazzfest".
You still write "NOPSI" on your utility bill.
Crescent City Classics
You still hope Angela and Garland get back together.
You know where you got your shoes.
You ask someone where they went to school and they tell you which high school they attended.
You were in high school before you learned that the two major religions aren't "Catholic" and "public".
You haven't been to Bourbon Street in years.
You know better than to try to rent a room at Hotel Dieu.
You can remove the cap from a Tabasco bottle with one hand.
You know the color purple is a drugstore and not a movie.
You refer to objects of a certain color as being "K&B purple."
Your favorite color is "K&B purple."
You know the lyrics to the jingles for Seafood City, Pontchartrain Beach and Rosenberg's.
If you're an expatriate New Orleanian, living in another city, and you meet another expatriate New Orleanian, within 15 minutes you will be singing the jingles for Seafood City, Pontchartrain Beach and Rosenberg's.
You have seen men in tuxedos boiling crawfish on a TV commercial.
You have a special set of well-broken-in shoes you refer to as your "French Quarter" shoes.
You still call the convenience store "Time Saver."
You move somewhere else and you feel like you are from Oz and you moved to Kansas.
Everywhere else just seems like Cleveland.
Every so often, you have waterfront property.
Your last name isn't pronounced the way it's spelled.
You believe Al and Anne are the Uptown version of Vic & Nat'ly.
You know what a nutria is but you still pick it to represent your baseball team.
You have spent a summer afternoon on the Lake Pontchartrain seawall catching blue crabs.
You play hopscotch on "da bankit."
You remember waiting up and staying awake for complete TV coverage of the meeting of the Comus and Rex courts.
You watch a movie filmed in New Orleans and say things like, "Dere ain't no way they can run out of a cemetery right on to Bourbon Street ... and don't call me 'Cher.'"
Mary K. Maunoir
That brown bag you take to the Saints game ain't your lunch.
You really were in Tulane Stadium during the Saints first game when John Gilliam ran the opening kickoff back for a touchdown.
And you really were in Tulane Stadium when Tom Dempsey kicked the NFL record field goal to win the game against the Lions with 2 seconds remaining in the game. (The record still stands, 27 years later.)
You know that "Tipitina" is not a gratuity for a waitress named Tina.
You have to buy a new house because you ran out of wall space for Jazz Fest posters.
You like your rice and politics dirty and dislike clean living.
People tell you that they have known you since you were knee high to a duck.
You still wear your high school band jacket.
You worry about deceased family members returning in spring floods.
You can ask for lagniappe and not feel guilty.
Merlin L. Taylor
You reply to anything and everything about life here with, "Only in New Orleans.
You know that Morgus the Magnificent was a horror movie host, a Mac Rebennack song and a sno-ball flavor.
Robert LaCour Greenberg
You're out of town and you stop and ask someone where there's a drive-thru daiquiri place (then they look at you like you have three heads).
Party on, Earl
You go to sleep Friday evening before you go out Friday night.
Someone mentions the Democratic party and you ask, "Where, what time and is it B.Y.O.L.?"
You consider a Bloody Mary a light breakfast.
Neither rain, nor sleet, nor hail will keep you from the Jazz Fest.
You have a monogrammed go-cup.
You use your Gambit as your social calendar.
You like your crawfish so hot, you can't distinguish between sweat, snot and crawfish juice.
Your 'do is high enough to catch stray crawfish juice and able to stand 100 percent humidity and temperatures above 90 degrees.
Your butt burns when you go to the bathroom.
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Chuck Taggart (e-mail chuck)