Visitor’s Guide To Birmingham, Alabama

First, you must learn to pronounce the city name. It’s ‘Bur/min/ham’.

Driving Information: Burmin’ham has its own version of traffic rules…

1. The truck with the loudest exhaust goes next at a 4-way stop. The truck with the biggest tires goes after that. (Note: Blue haired ladies driving anything have right-of-way anytime.

2. 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 is 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 dumber than we are ..

3. The morning rush hour is from 6:00 to 10:00 AM. The evening rush hour is from 3:00 to 7:00 PM. Friday’s rush hour starts T hursday morning a runs thru Saturday Noon. If the term ‘merging delays’ is ever used b y the person reporting the traffic, even in passing, call in to work and tell them that you will be at least 30 minutes late regardless of where you are in your commute.

4. 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.

5. You must know that ‘I-459’, ‘ I-59’, ‘I-20’, and ‘I-65’ are the same road they just loop around the city. We think this was a ploy to confuse outsiders and discourage visitors after the War of Northern Aggression.

6. Always, always, always, find out if it is a race weekend before you get on any of these ‘roads’ to travel somewhere. If it is a race weekend, stay home or go to the races. You won’t be going anywher e else

7. Construction is a permanent fixture in Burmin’ham. The barrels are moved around in the middle of the night to make the next day’s driving bit more exciting.

8. Watch very carefully for road hazards such as deer, skunks, dogs, barrels, cones, cows, horses, potholes, cats, armadillos, pieces of other cars, opossum, truck tires, raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, and crows or vultu res feeding on any of these items.

9. If someone actually has their turn signal on, wave them to the shoulder immediately to let them know it has been ‘accidentally activated’…

10. The minimum acceptable speed on ‘I-65’ (see item 5 above) is 85 mph. Anything less is considered downright sissy. This is Alabama ‘s State Highway sponsored version of NASCAR, especially during rush hour (see item 3 above) when it’s 85 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 treated accordingly…

11. Do not gawk at the woman in the car beside you in tra f fic who is applying make up, talkin g on a cell phone, 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 Burmin’ham, she might be packing. If she coming from South of Burmin’ham, she IS packing and is not afraid to use it.

Weather Information:

1. If it’s 110 degrees, Thanksgiving must be next weekend

2. If its 10-20 degrees and sleeting/snowing, then watch out, Burmin’ham residents consider this ‘demolition derby’ day and will be all over the roads (front ways, back ways, etc). Please proceed with caution, as you could be their next target.

Seasonal Information:

1. If you stick to the seats in your vehicle, it is Spring.

2. If you need to let the car ‘get some air’ by 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.

3. If you are sweating even with the windows down, driving 55 mph, it is Fall.

4. If you finally turn the AC off and roll your windows up, it is Winter.

General Information: (and this is very important)

1. Do not ever speak to anyone during the song ‘ Sweet Home Alabama unless it is to sing along with the lyrics. This is like the State Song 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.

2. Yes, we know that Vulcan is mooning the entire city. It’s not that funny to us anymore.

3. I f you ask someone for a ‘coke’, they will immediately ask you what kind’? This is not a trick question. Tell them what you want: Sprite, Dr.Pepper, Root Beer, etc….it’s all ‘coke’.

4. All tea is sweet. If it’s not sweet, you have crossed the Mason Dixon Line and are in the North.

Y’all come back now, ya hear! !!

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