Photo: Oleg Golovnev/Shutterstock

How to Piss Off Someone From Memphis

by Karla Redditte Apr 20, 2016

Sing “Walking in Memphis” to a Memphian you just met.

Really? I mean, we get what you’re doing, but don’t. Although, if you have a burning desire to belt out a tune that screams “Memphis,” impress us with a stirring rendition of “Who Run It” by Three 6 Mafia. Or Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back.” Maybe try Rufus Thomas’ version of “Walking the Dog.” Now, that would be an introduction. Yet, the best choice is to not sing at all.

Add us to a national “most dangerous cities” list.

Unfortunately, we’ve been on the FBI’s dangerous list several times due to our crime rate. It is an issue, among several issues, the city is working hard to curb. We just don’t like being publicly called out on our shortcomings.

Mention Libertyland.

Libertyland itself does not piss us off. Actually, it does the opposite. When it is brought up, we are reminded of all of the fun times spent at the theme park — riding the water logs, driving the bumper cars, filling up on cotton candy and soft pretzels, and of course, screaming our heads off on the way down the Zippin Pippin. We catch a case of nostalgia, which can bring a tear or two to our eyes. And it’s those unexpected tears, allowing you to see through our hardened Memphis shell, that can possibly raise the level of pissivity.

Utter the name “John Calipari.”

Don’t go there.

Whine “It’s just a little snow/ice, and everything is closed. Why? What’s the big deal?”

The big deal is that A. unlike our northern neighbors, we don’t have enough equipment to clear all of the roads in a record amount of time, and B. since we don’t get this type of weather often, we don’t know how to drive in it. Therefore, until we come up with solutions for both A and B, stay at home, have a Coke and a smile, and shut the f— up.

Assume Graceland is our city’s only attraction.

It is definitely the city’s most popular attraction, but not the only one. Beale Street, the National Civil Rights Museum, Stax, the Pink Palace, Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid, Hattiloo Theatre, the Orpheum Theatre, and Elmwood Cemetery are just samples from a long list of awesome sites that will give you a glimpse into the city’s juicy past, present, and future.

Bash Memphis barbecue.

Don’t even think about fixing your mouth to talk trash about our ‘cue. Ours is the best in the world. Period. We don’t care if you prefer the barbecue styles of other cities. If you want their barbecue, go there. And stay. However, while you’re in Memphis, remember these words of a great unknown, yet on-point philosopher: “Don’t start none, won’t be none.”

Bash Memphis.

Only Memphians are allowed to bash the Bluff City for whatever reason. Now, the title “Memphians” only applies to those who have lived in our fair city for at least 10 years. If you haven’t been here but for a minute, heed the words of the great philosopher quoted above.

Refuse to at least try coleslaw on your barbecue sandwich.

It may not sound or look appealing, but when the combination of creamy coleslaw and tangy meat hits your lips, you will be singing its praises for the rest of your life. Go on. Take a bite.

Say: “You don’t sound like you’re from Memphis.”

How exactly are Memphians supposed to sound? If your answer is “DJay” from the movie Hustle & Flow or almost any character in The Client, then you need to hush. There is no denying that we have accents. However, they are usually not as “drawly” or “Hee Haw-ish” as portrayed onscreen through some actors’ exaggerated Southern voices.

Complain about the “slowness” of our city.

A Southern lifestyle is a relaxed lifestyle. We prefer a peaceful pace, as to not break a sweat, especially on the days when the heat and humidity are unbearable. So, gripe as much as you want. Nothing you say will make us do anything any faster.

Drive below 70 mph on I-240 (or any other road in the city).

Our slow pace picks up when it comes to the roads. Sure, the posted speed limit may be 65 (and then will abruptly drop to 55 in some spots), but we believe in driving with the flow of traffic. So, if the flow is 80, 80 and above we shall go. If you can’t keep up, get in the “slow” lane. Or better yet, take the bus, so that we can drive around it and cut it off.

Don’t wave when we graciously let you into our traffic lane.

Now, this is a no-no. Sure, we are speed demons. In fact, we’ve been ranked the worst drivers in the state. Yet, as part of the Bible Belt, we still maintain our Christian values and Southern hospitality by occasionally allowing drivers to jump in front of us. We’ll flash our lights — our way of saying “come on over, friend.” However, if you get in front of us without holding up the Southern hand of “thanks,” values and hospitality be damned. We will proceed to put the pedal to the metal, drive alongside you, give you a stare that will make you rethink your life, and then cut you off. So, basically, you will end up back at square one.

Compare Memphis to Nashville.

Both cities are musical cities, and that’s pretty much it. Memphians will always believe there is no competition. Because the big M-town is just better.

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