1. Ask what a “grit” is.
First of all, it’s “grits.” You can’t order a single grit. And second, grits are just dried kernels of corn with the hull removed. You’ll want them seasoned, too. Some people like adding a little butter and salt. Most people like throwing in a handful of cheese and shrimp.
2. Plan a special event on a Saturday in the fall.
This is a great idea if you don’t want anyone to show up. Having your wedding or another big event on a Saturday in September, October, or November means you’ll be competing directly with Alabama and Auburn football. Spoiler alert: college football will always win.
3. Ask for unsweet tea to drink.
We don’t serve that here.
4. Drive in snow and ice.
In the rare event of winter precipitation, our roads quickly become slicker than snot on a doorknob. We have no snow plows and only large municipalities are capable of salting the roadways. And even if you feel seasoned enough to give it a try, the roads probably won’t be your biggest threat — it’ll be the other drivers who have no idea what they’re doing. Just take my advice and stay home. We’re going to shut everything down anyway.
5. Refuse “seconds”.
If someone invites you into their home for dinner and you clean your plate (Trust me, you will. Our food is delicious.), you better not turn down a second helping when it’s offered. To a traditional Southerner, especially grandmothers, this is a downright insult.
6. Believe you can buy alcohol anywhere or anytime.
There are still many places in Alabama where it’s illegal to sell alcohol, and in the cities and counties where it is legal, there are certain restrictions regarding on what day it can be sold. Just be sure to check with a local before you walk up to the register holding a six-pack. If it’s a Sunday, that beer ain’t leaving the store.
7 . Fail to wave at the driver that let you cut in front of them.
If you find yourself stuck in traffic on one of our busy interstates, you’ll probably need to merge lanes at some point. And without fail, some kind-hearted Alabamian is going to slow down and let you pull out in front of them. You should give them a quick wave of acknowledgment. It’s our simple way of saying “thank you.” This isn’t a law in Alabama, but it should be.
8. Tell someone those aren’t the lyrics to “Sweet Home Alabama” or “Dixieland Delight”.
If you’re in a large crowd of Alabama Crimson Tide fans and either of these songs begins to play, prepare to hear a different version of the chorus. Feel free to join in with them. Or you could just tell them you’re an Auburn fan at your own peril.
9. Assume we’re all a bunch of dirt road driving, trailer park residing, rednecks.
You’d be more accurate calling us rocket scientists and brain surgeons. NASA’s largest center is located in Huntsville and is where the astronauts train for their time in space and where we build the rockets that will send them there. The University of Alabama in Birmingham ranks nationally in virtually every field of medicine, including neurosurgery. People travel from across the country to be treated at UAB’s Kirklin Clinic in downtown Birmingham. There’s a lot more to Alabama than you may think.