Gone are the days when you could just slap a chain-letter list of quirky geographic characteristics at the top of your webpage and call it humor. So I'm prefacing the list of quirky geographic characteristics I just received via e-mail and which I'm now reprinting below with this paragraph. I know, this isn't much better. But much to my dismay, I'm guilty as charged. And to my further dismay, this isn't an overwhelmingly inaccurate description of my impressions of New Jersey. Don't ask me to clarify; some of them still leave me in the dark. But the very fact that I've received this message at all really says something, I think. Anyway, without further ado...
You're a genuine New Jersey resident if you can relate to at least 10 of these...
1. You've been seriously injured at ActionPark.
2. You know that the only people who call it "Joisey" are from New York (usually The Bronx) or Texas.
3. You don't think of citrus when people mention "The Oranges."
4. You know that it's called "Great Adventure," not "Six Flags."
5. You've ordered a hard roll with butter for breakfast.
6. You've known the way to Seaside Heights since you were seven.
7. You've eaten at a diner, when you were stoned or drunk, at 3 A.M.
8. Whenever you park, there's a Camaro within three spots of you.
9. You remember that the "Two Guys" were from Harrison.
10. You know that the state isn't one big oil refinery.
11. At least three people in your family still love Bruce Springsteen, and you know what town Jon Bon Jovi is from.
12. You know what a "jug handle" is.
13. You know that a WaWa is a convenience store.
14. You know that the state isn't all farmland.
15. You know that there are no "beaches" in New Jersey - there's "The Shore," and you know that the road to the shore is "The Parkway" not "The Garden State Highway."
16. You know that "Piney" doesn't refer to a tree.
17. Even your school cafeteria made good Italian subs, and, you call it a "sub" not a "submarine sandwich" or worse yet, a "hoagie" or a "hero."
18. You remember the song from the Palisades Park commercials.
19. You know how to properly negotiate a Circle.
20. You knew that the last question had to do with driving.
21. You know that "Acme" is an actual store, not just a Warner Bros. creation.
22. You know that this is the only "New..." state that doesn't require "New" to identify it (like, try -Mexico, -York, -Hampshire ... doesn't work, does it??)
23. You know how to translate this conversation: "Jeet yet?" "No, Jew?"
24. You only go to New York City for day trips, and you only call it "The City."
25. You know that a "White Castle" is the name of BOTH a fast food chain AND a fast food sandwich.
26. You consider a corned beef sandwich with lettuce and mayo a sacrilege.
27. In the 80's you wore your hair REALLY high.
28. You don't think "What exit" (as in, ... do you live near?) is very funny.
29. You know that the real first "strip shopping center" in the country is Route 22.
30. You know that people from the 609 area code are "a little different."
31. You know that no respectable New Jersey resident goes to Princeton -- that's for out-of-staters.
32. The Jets-Giants game has started fights at your school or local bar.
33. You live within 20 minutes of at least three different malls.
34. You can see the Manhattan skyline from some part of your town.
35. You refer to all highways and interstates by their numbers.
36. Every year, you had at least one kid in your class named Tony.
37. You know where every clip shown in the Sopranos opening credits is.
38. You've gotten on the wrong highway trying to get out of Willowbrook Mall.
39. You've eaten a Boardwalk cheesesteak with vinegar fries.
40. You have a favorite Atlantic City casino.
41. You start planning for Memorial Day weekend in February.
42. You've never pumped your own gas. And why would you want to, really?