Thou shalt attend to the Bass Pro Shop for all hunting and fishing needs.

Though there are only three Bass Pro Shops in Alabama, they represent the definition of Southern living. If you need outdoor equipment, you’ll find it here. But why stop there? Set up a wedding registry, or just host the entire ceremony here. It’s been done.

Thou shalt attend the original Mardi Gras, not that New Orleans rip-off.

Mardi Gras in Mobile is the original Mardi Gras. It was around before the French got uppity and founded New Orleans. We did it first, and it’s still a big deal in February. So jump on I-65 south and drive until it ends. The moon pies are calling.

Thou shalt hold but two places sacred: the church and the end zone.

On any given Sunday, you’ll find most of us crammed into a church pew or watching the game for big hits and big wins. Until recently, these schedules conflicted, but several churches now offer early-morning services. So it’s church at 8:00 and the pregame at 11:30. Kick off’s at 1:00.

Thou shalt acknowledge (but mostly ignore) storm warnings.

The Gulf Coast gets hurricanes. Montgomery and Birmingham get thunderstorms and tornadoes. But the government is a little trigger happy with the warning sirens. Tune into the local news, and step out on the back deck to take a look around. In the event of a hurricane: set up the generator and strap in. You’re probably going to be fine.

Thou shalt direct tourists via the I-65 corridor.

Interstate 65 runs north-south across the entire state, from Mobile, through Montgomery, Birmingham, and alongside Huntsville. It’s the fastest way to travel by car and the one road that can take you almost anywhere in the state. There are other thoroughfares, but all roads eventually lead to I-65.

Thou shalt vote Republican or keep thine mouth shut.

Sure, there are Democrats around here (somewhere), but Alabama is the reddest of the red states and has been by a large margin since 1980. That’s not likely to change anytime soon. For better or worse, Alabama votes Republican as sure as the sun rises.

Thou shalt share excess venison with the neighbors or deep freeze it for a midsummer barbecue.

Hunting might well be Alabama’s favorite pastime – football doesn’t count, as that’s a religion. But most hunters aren’t just interested in the kill. They’ll clean a deer and keep the meat on ice for that July 4th cookout. And if the freezer’s full? Share and share alike!

Thou shalt retire to the Gulf Coast for Spring and Summer break.

Yeah, some traitors head over to the PCB or out to Destin and Panama City, but most Alabamians head to Gulf Shores for white sand beaches and summer fun.

Thou shalt panic at the very thought of snow.

Hurricanes don’t scare us. Even inland Alabama has seen its fair share of deteriorating tropical storms and hurricanes. But snow? That’s different. We’re not equipped for that. At all. If even a low-chance prediction of snow is in the weather forecast, you’d better hurry to the grocery store — because the bread, milk, and eggs will fly off the shelves.

And the Golden Rule of Alabama…

Thou shalt Roll Tide or War Eagle

Alabama or Auburn? Roll Tide or War Eagle? You will be asked, and your answer will determine your place in society, either as a brother in arms or the scum of the earth. But the one thing you must never do, regardless of who wins the Iron Bowl, is switch sides. Not for friends or family. Not even for marriage.

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