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 ...

Enjoy, dawlin'.


You proudly claim that Monkey Hill is the highest point in Louisiana.
John Dunn

You know the Irish Channel is not Gaelic-language programming on cable.
Al Bostick

You drive your car up onto the neutral ground if it rains steadily and heavily for more than two hours.
Avis Sherman

You have flood insurance.
H. McDoskey

Someone asks for an address by compass directions and you say it's Uptown, downtown, backatown, riverside or lakeside.
Jackie Bettencourt

Your idea of a cruise ship is the Canal Street ferry, and your idea of a foreign cruise ship is the Chalmette ferry.
A.C. Tynes

Your burial plot is six feet over rather than six feet under.
Lori Mansuy

You can pronounce "Chop-a-tool-is" but can't spell it.
Larry Barattini

You can pronounce and spell Tchoupitoulas.
Dana Harrison

You don't worry when you see ships riding higher in the river than your house.
C. Gonzalez

You know the West Bank has nothing to do with Israel or the Middle East.
Mark Whitley

If someone says "Magazine," you think street instead of periodical.
Larry Simoneaux


You still call the the bus "Public Service".
Sylvia Meyers

You get on a bus marked "cemeteries" without a second thought.
Lori Mansuy

You have no idea what a turn signal is or how to properly use it.
M. Matthews

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.
Michael Bailey

You can consistently be the second or third person to run a red stop light.
Howard Pink

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.
Sue Ward

You got rear-ended 10 times by people with no insurance.
Debbie Rusk

You take a "right-hand turn" instead of a right turn.
Ernie Simoneaux

You get off the stoop, walk down the banquette and cross the neutral ground to go get a sno-ball.
S. Weaver


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.
Katherine Young

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.
Chuck Taggart

You judge a restaurant by its bread.
Barbara Causey

You consider having a good meal as your birthright.
Lori Mansuy

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.
J. Hopkins

You know better than to drink hurricanes or eat Lucky Dogs.
Murray Tate

You visit another city and they "claim" to have Cajun food -- but you know better.
Tony Paladino

You have the opening date of any sno-ball stand in your Daytimer.
Kate Butler

You know that a po-boy is not a guy who has no money, but a great-tasting French bread sandwich.
Charlotte Popovich

You judge a po-boy by the number of napkins used.
Barbara Causey

The four seasons of your year are crawfish, shrimp, crab and erster.
Brian Lyons

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.
Terry Durel

Your stomach can handle a dozen Manuel's tamales at 3 a.m. after having a few at Markey or Saturn Bar.
Kevin Ibos

The waitress at your local sandwich shop tells you a fried oyster po-boy dressed is healthier than a Caesar salad.
Gina Mikelonis

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."
Amy Smith

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.
Pam Butler

You refer to any strawberry soda as "Red Drink." As in, "Get me a Red Drink to go wit' my po' boy."
Larry Simoneaux

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.
Kevin Hoffman

Suck da head, squeeze da tip...

Someone at a crawfish boil says, "Don't eat the dead ones," and you know what they mean.
Robert Kemp

You don't really teach people the right way to eat crawfish, so there's more for you.
Jodie Brady

Your idea of cutting back on calories is to suck the heads and not eat the tails.
LaJuana Chenier

The smell of a crawfish boil turns you on more than Chanel No. 5.
Don LeMonier

You enjoy sucking heads more than sucking face.
Debbie Montreuil

Your idea of foreplay is pinching dem tails and sucking dem heads and chasing it down with a cold Abita beer.
Deborah Goldman

You eat the poo veins.
Mike Tebbe


You berl crawfish and fry them in erl. Don't forget to pack the uneaten tails in ferl.
Debra Winbush

There is a St. Joseph lucky bean in ya mama's coin purse.
Bev Chapoton

You have eaten fig cookies from the St. Joseph altar while still hung over from St. Patrick's Day.
Mike Luquet

The first thing you do every morning is pick up The Times-Picayune obit section to see "who died inna papuh?"
Mimi Tremoulet

When you were growing up you loved to go on the "chute da chute" at the playground and never heard of a slide.
David Paternostro

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.
Charlotte Blanchek

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!"
C. Christenson

You know your homonyms, synonyms and your "mom-n-ems."
Bridget Robinson

When you speak with a tourist, he asks, "Are you from Brooklyn?"
Harold Gallagher

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'.
Kerry Reuber

You're not afraid when someone wants to "ax" you.
Lori Mansuy

You were born at Baptist, raised in Metry and hang with Vic and Nat'ly.
Chip Perry

You go by ya mom-n-ems on Good Friday to eat crawfish, drink beers and play touch football on the neutral ground.
Joy Scott

You have no idea what a dragonfly is, but enjoy watching mosquito hawks fly near the lagoons in City Park.
David Paternostro

Carnival Time

You don't learn until high school that Mardi Gras is not a national holiday.
John Silbernagel

You don't learn until graduate school that Mardi Gras is not a national holiday.
Chuck Taggart

You push little old ladies out of the way to catch Mardi Gras throws.
Howard Pink

Little old ladies push you out of the way to catch Mardi Gras throws.
Chuck Taggart

You leave a parade with footprints on your hands.
Sandra Gainey

You bring empty grocery bags to a parade.
Lori Mansuy

Every time you hear sirens you think it's a Mardi Gras parade.
Monica Giles

On Christmas Eve, your daughter looks up in the sky, sees Santa Claus and yells, "T'row me somethin', mister!"
Kelley Williams

You fill your Nativity creche with king cake babies dressed like Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the wise men and the angels.
Ann Case

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.
Bev Chapoton

Your finest china has Endymion written on it.
Lori Mansuy

Your first sentence was, "Throw me something, mistah," and your first drink was from a go-cup.
Linda McNamara

You wonder what Anne Rice has against a building that looks like a Mardi Gras float.
Howard Wetsman

You can't stand people that say "THE Mardi Gras" or "THE Jazzfest".
Alan Davis

Crescent City Classics

You still write "NOPSI" on your utility bill.
Alan Huard

You still hope Angela and Garland get back together.
Kate Butler

You know where you got your shoes.
David Nusloch

You ask someone where they went to school and they tell you which high school they attended.
Shannon Prince

You were in high school before you learned that the two major religions aren't "Catholic" and "public".
Melanie Seals

You haven't been to Bourbon Street in years.
Jolie Clark

You know better than to try to rent a room at Hotel Dieu.
Mike Luquet

You can remove the cap from a Tabasco bottle with one hand.
Susie Kehoe

You know the color purple is a drugstore and not a movie.
Al Bostick

You refer to objects of a certain color as being "K&B purple."
Chuck Taggart

Your favorite color is "K&B purple."
Kevin Hoffman

You know the lyrics to the jingles for Seafood City, Pontchartrain Beach and Rosenberg's.
Alan Huard

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.
Chuck Taggart

You have seen men in tuxedos boiling crawfish on a TV commercial.
Rhonda Luquet

You have a special set of well-broken-in shoes you refer to as your "French Quarter" shoes.
Kate Butler

You still call the convenience store "Time Saver."
Jamie Lobell

You move somewhere else and you feel like you are from Oz and you moved to Kansas.
Lisa Gourgues

Everywhere else just seems like Cleveland.
Mike O'Connell

Every so often, you have waterfront property.
Lori Mansuy

Your last name isn't pronounced the way it's spelled.
Bettina Benoit

You believe Al and Anne are the Uptown version of Vic & Nat'ly.
E. Lindsey

You know what a nutria is but you still pick it to represent your baseball team.
Liz Ducote

You have spent a summer afternoon on the Lake Pontchartrain seawall catching blue crabs.
Vernon Coy

You play hopscotch on "da bankit."
Robert Fuxan

You remember waiting up and staying awake for complete TV coverage of the meeting of the Comus and Rex courts.
John Guignard

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.
Barbara Polikoff

But ...

You really were in Tulane Stadium during the Saints first game when John Gilliam ran the opening kickoff back for a touchdown.
Vernon Coy

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.)
Chuck Taggart

You know that "Tipitina" is not a gratuity for a waitress named Tina.
Lawrence Fletcher

You have to buy a new house because you ran out of wall space for Jazz Fest posters.
Bruce Michel

You like your rice and politics dirty and dislike clean living.
Amos Fogleman

People tell you that they have known you since you were knee high to a duck.
Dorothy Luquet

You still wear your high school band jacket.
Dereyck Moore

You worry about deceased family members returning in spring floods.
C. Gonzalez

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.
Toni Tournillon

You know that Morgus the Magnificent was a horror movie host, a Mac Rebennack song and a sno-ball flavor.
Robert LaCour Greenberg

Party on, Earl

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).
Kate Butler

You go to sleep Friday evening before you go out Friday night.
H.L. Tubre

Someone mentions the Democratic party and you ask, "Where, what time and is it B.Y.O.L.?"
Ralph Grimaldi

You consider a Bloody Mary a light breakfast.
Kate Butler

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor hail will keep you from the Jazz Fest.
Charlotte Popovich

You have a monogrammed go-cup.
Marlow McGraw

You use your Gambit as your social calendar.
Mary LeBlanc

You like your crawfish so hot, you can't distinguish between sweat, snot and crawfish juice.
Michael Turre

Your 'do is high enough to catch stray crawfish juice and able to stand 100 percent humidity and temperatures above 90 degrees.
Vanessa Breaux

Your butt burns when you go to the bathroom.
Kenny Marino

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Chuck Taggart   (e-mail chuck)