1. You don’t settle for bullshit barbecue.
You don’t even need sauces or spices to make it freakin’ delicious — you just need to perfect that slow smoking process. That being said, you’re not going to complain about the dry rub that Memphis-style barbecue is famous for — a mix of garlic, cumin, paprika, and various other spices coating the ribs. If you really want to tantalize your tastebuds, dip your ribs in a tangy, somewhat sweet sauce, and watch the tender meat fall off the bone in a mess of all things that are good. It’s no wonder the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest is hosted by Tennessee. And it’s no wonder you can order barbeque from anywhere in the United States overnight from Memphis. That’s right — overnight shipping for barbeque. It’s that serious here.
2. You’re never really sure if you can buy alcohol.
On Sundays, you can buy beer, but not wine or liquor, after 12 pm. And on any other day, liquor sales stop by 11 pm. That is, unless you live in a county where the bars close earlier than 3 am., which means that beer sales stop when the bars close. And then you’ve got some counties (like the one where Jack Daniels is distilled) that are completely dry. To put it simply, it’s not a rare occurrence to drive over to the next county — or even the bordering state — to buy alcohol. But hey, at least Tennessee just voted to start selling wine in grocery stores! *eye roll*
3. You get a little too excited over Tax Free Weekend.
Every year, the first Friday of August begins a weekend without sales tax on certain items in Tennessee. And since we have one of the highest sales taxes in the country, pardon us for going a little nuts. It’s like The Purge but for clothes and school supplies.
4. You’re still scared of the Bell Witch.
Taking family camping trips wasn’t complete without your crazy uncle trying to scare you shitless with stories of the Bell Witch — the only recorded case in US history of an entity killing a human in Adams, Tennessee. A lot of people believe The Blair Witch Project was based off the Tennessee folklore, which makes it even more terrifying. But then again, there’s also that really terrible Sissy Spacek movie about the Bell Witch that made you kind of laugh before spending an entire night trying to fall asleep with the lights on.
5. You’d rather go to Dollywood than Disney.
You’ve got the tastes and sounds of the Barbecue & Bluegrass festival, the four million holiday lights at Smoky Mountain Christmas, the huge firework displays during the Great American Summer, and Aunt Granny’s All-You-Care-To-Eat Buffet. Given, there’s no Pirates of the Caribbean, but there is the ever looming chance you’ll run into Dolly Parton’s hair while in line for the Tennessee Tornado. Not to mention, it’s about an arm and a leg cheaper.
6. You support the Broncos solely for Peyton Manning.
And before that, you rallied for the Colts. Take credit for the star quarterback all you want Denver and Indianapolis, but we had him first.
7. You claim that Krystal’s is better…even if you’ve never tried White Castle.
Sure, they both have miniature, square burgers with steamed, soggy buns. And sure, they’re both the best drunk food ever thrown in a bag. But as someone who was raised on Krystal’s like any other good Tennessean, White Castle loses by a long shot; even if it’s for no other reason than nostalgia.
8. You have an unhealthy pride for Jack Daniels.
And why shouldn’t you? It’s only the most widely-sold American whiskey in the world.
9. You’ve missed an entire week of school for a questionable snow prediction.
Chance of flurries? It’s a global catastrophe! Groceries stores turn into post apocalyptic wastelands, kitchens are stocked with canned goods and enough bread to make sandwiches for weeks, and salt trucks are revving up to save the day. A week goes by of temperatures in the 40s, and you’re now faced with having to make up a fuckload of school work and no snowball fights? “Well, we were better safe than sorry!”
10. You or someone you know has only been to 8 other states.
And they all border Tennessee.