1. Give a shit about oranges.
Oranges are a dietary form of white noise for Floridians, and really for most people in general until they come to Florida and say, “I should eat some oranges while I’m here! I bet they’re better than what we get in Wisconsin!”
2. Order unsweet tea.
3. Notice the prevalence of big-ass pickup trucks.
‘Work trucks’ — often with 22-inch rims, spotless paint jobs, and pristine beds used for hauling other people who can’t afford them — are driven for style and social standing in Florida so much that they blend in like Subarus in Oregon.
4. Laugh at the brass ball-sacks dangling from trailer hitches.
Unless you’re a middle-aged Southern dude like my dad, a high-school hick, or anyone who drives a truck like the one outlined in the section above, these are only worth a vague, halfhearted laugh at best.
5. Laugh at the word ‘cooter’ on a menu.
If you don’t know what that is, you’re probably not from Florida. Or at least not the redneck-y parts that have restaurants that sell seafood-sexual-innuendo t-shirts.
6. Consider it strange that people wear sunglasses on their necks.
Like, the back of their necks, as if their upper vertebrae are getting sun-squint headaches. What else are you going to do with your Costas when you sit down to order some cooter?
7. Collectively refer to Hispanics as ‘Mexicans.’
Actually, scratch that. My high-school class song was almost “Walmart Parking Lot,” a horrifying modern country song about exactly what it sounds like. Point being, this state is hickish enough for you to demonstrate this level of ignorance and fit right in.
8. Attempt to surf the Gulf Coast.
In truth there are waves a few days out of the year, but you won’t be here then.
9. Wear flip-flops in public but fail to possess a flip-flop tan.
10. Pronounce it KISSimmee.
It’s KisSIMmee — at least in my neck of the woods.
11. Go anywhere near Kissimmee.
Excepting Medieval Times (there’s a special, shameless place in my heart for that), there’s nowhere in the state more depressing than Kissimmee. Except, maybe, Jacksonville.
12. Wear any form of Disney memorabilia.
Excepting 1990s-era vintage child-size t-shirts or Disney princess dresses.
13. Wear sunscreen somewhere that isn’t a beach.
14. Do absolutely anything on I-Drive.
I’ll admit there are a couple little spots tucked away on I-Drive fit for a local, but otherwise this is a black hole of flashy lights and run-down tourist traps.
15. Talk about how hot it is.
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