I like to share with you a very humorous and insightful post from Southside Girl on Craigslist for Jacksonville. It kind of reflects the Rules of Engagement I try to observe every time I drive down Heckscher Driver into Jax. Enjoy
1. You must learn to say the city name correctly. It is usually referred to as “Jax”.
2. You must be a Jaguars fan. It is a requirement for citizenship. Also, you are either a Gator or a Nole. You have no choice. If you abstain, you will be assigned a team. There are no other schools. It’s better to learn that sooner than later.
3. Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. No one pays attention to them here. Merging, turning, and right-of-way are completely foreign terms. ‚Ä®[No turn signals in cars, either]
4. To find anything in Jax it is required that you know where Regency Square is. It is the Alpha and the Omega: the beginning and the end.
5. Directions to anywhere may, and usually do, make a reference to “the old Pic and Save”.
6. The morning rush hour is from 6am to 10am. The evening rush hour is from 3pm to 7pm. Friday’s rush hour starts Thursday morning.
7. If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rear-ended, cussed out, and possibly shot.
8. East Rd. meets West Rd. on Beach Blvd, but they both run North and South.
9. Normandy Boulevard, State Road 228, Cecil Field Road, Maxville Road, and Post Street are all the same road.
10. On the southeast side of town, Hartley Road, Shad Road, and Hood Road are all the same road. Hartley Road is the western part of the road, and Shad Road is the eastern part of the road. Now don’t be confused about this Hood Road. This is the West-East part that is in between Hartley and Shad, not the North-South part that starts out as Old Kings Road South, changes into Hood Road South, and ends at Losco Road. Got it? [Guess this explains how I always end up on Hood Road when I turned off Phillips Hwy (South) onto Old St. Augustine Road, heading East to San Jose? I can never tell because it’s always dark by the time I get to Mandarin.
11. Construction is a permanent fixture in Jax. The barrels are moved around in the middle of the night to make the next day’s driving a bit more exciting.
12. Watch very carefully for road hazards such as deer, skunks, dogs, barrels, cones, cows, horses, pot holes, cats, pieces of other cars, single shoes, opossums, truck tires, raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, crows or vultures feeding on any of these items.
13. The minimum acceptable speed on J Turner Butler Blvd is 75 mph. Anything less is considered downright sissy. This is Jacksonville’s version of NASCAR.
14. Never honk at anyone. Ever. Seriously.
15. If you are in the left lane, and only going 70 in a 55 zone, you are considered a road hazard and will be “flipped off” accordingly.
16. Ground clearance of at least 12 inches is recommended for city driving.
17. If it’s 100 degrees, Thanksgiving must be next weekend.
18. There are really only two seasons here: Summer and January.
19. There is actually a Westside high school that has a confederate battle flag as its school flag, an image of a slave plantation owner as its mascot, and Dixie as its school song. Just accept it. Please don’t make a fuss about it, for your own safety.
20. Ponte Vedra and Amelia Island are to Middleburg as oceanfront is to double-wide.
21. If you choose to live in Orange Park, or, God forbid, Middleburg, plan to leave for work at 4am and return home around 11pm. Otherwise you may get caught in what can only be described as “the world’s longest left-turn lane”.
22. Don’t get here late and expect something to eat. After 9pm, your choices are Famous Amos, Village Inn and Krystals.
23. You can buy a million-dollar condo downtown on the river, but you have to drive 10 miles for a loaf of bread, and never after dark.
24. The Landing is an interesting place. Every time you visit, there will be a whole new set of restaurants, fewer stores, and less parking. Hooters, however, is a permanent fixture.
25. All city council decisions must be signed off on by First Baptist Church.
26. You can’t drink alcohol and see topless girls at the same time. But, if you agree to drink Diet Coke, you can see them fully nude.
27. North Phillips highway. Don’t go there. Ever. Unless, of course, you are looking for motels that charge by the hour.
28. Learn all of the lyrics to every Lynyrd Skynyrd song. Trust me on this one.
29. If you like southern-style barbecue, you’ve come to the right place. There’s a restaurant on every corner. But, they all close at 9pm.
30. Convenience stores are literally EVERYWHERE, unless you live in a million-dollar condo downtown.
31. No matter where you want to go, you can’t get there from where you are…in other words, you can’t get there from here.
Editor’s Note: Southside Girl you can write for me anytime