I don’t like reruns, on TV or in my own column. But fate and some friends conspired to share several similar items with me in a short period of time. So here is my updated “You’re from California’s Central Coast if .”, including lines borrowed from Missouri to San Francisco, Idaho to New Hampshire, and my own 2003 version based on Jeff Foxworthy’s “You’re from” lists, plus some new ideas.
Just call me an aggregator. On second thought, please don’t.
If you grew up in a small North Coast town, live here or wish you did, these will be familiar. If you’re a visitor, this is what it’s like to grow up here and live here.
It’s OK to be jealous.
Any impromptu conversation is held in the middle of the street.
As a kid, if you said the “F” word, your parents knew within the hour. Busted!
You measure distance in time plus degrees. “It’s about 20 minutes to Morro Bay, but it’s 30 minutes and 40 degrees to Paso.”
In high school, you couldn’t help but date a friend’s ex.
You sleep at night without hearing a siren.
You get a wrong-number phone call and talk to the caller for 15 minutes, asking about her son who just graduated from high school. As I did last week “Hi, Berta! How’s Alex?”
You remember when Main Street Grill was Calamity Jane’s, or better yet, when it was an A&W drive-in with a huge pothole that ate tires for breakfast, and the root-beer-float mugs were stored in the freezer.
A dirty car is considered a drought badge of honor.
The best times at Cambria’s Pinedorado, the Mid-State Fair or Costco are when you run into a dozen friends you haven’t seen for years, even though they only live a mile or so away. And it’s as if you were together just yesterday.
When giving visitors directions to your house, you warn them to watch out for the turkeys, and you don’t mean the party couple next door.
You know how to properly pronounce (and spell) Cayucos, Cuyama, Cholame, Paso Robles, Atascadero, Pfieffer Big Sur and, last but certainly not least, San Luis Obispo.
You can talk about towns like Buttonwillow and Shafter without getting the giggles. Plus, you know where they are.
You spend 10 minutes at the farmers market buying fruit and veggies, and 90 minutes talking to other shoppers.
When you walk for exercise, at least five people pull over to ask if you need a ride. You know them all, and your heart rate drops because you talk to each one for five minutes or more.
Getting minimum wage is considered a raise.
You own at least one piece of 49ers clothing. Or wouldn’t be caught dead in one.
As a teen, you could never buy cigarettes or beer because all the store clerks knew how old you were, and besides, they’d have told your folks.
It makes you crazy to see a sprinkler system watering the gutter, someone using a hose to wash their driveway, or water running while someone is washing their hands in the restroom sink. Even in Seattle or Hawaii.
A bad traffic jam involves two cars staring each other down at the four-way stop, each determined to be the most polite and let the other go first.
The summer counterpoint? All four cars at the four-way try to beat the others at the same time.
On 55 mph, two-lane Highway 1, at least 10 frustrated drivers are antsy to pass that motor home or tractor doing 30 at the front of the line.
You can name everybody in your graduating class, and still pal around with some of them.
A big weekend is going to San Luis AND Paso.
You wave at all oncoming traffic and anybody who’s walking a dog.
When somebody says, “Hello! How are you?” they really want to know, and what’s more, they listen to your answer.
You can see the constellations at night, unless the fog’s in.
You’ve removed skunk smell or pine tar from a pet, vehicle, relative, sleeping bag or body part.
You know how lucky you are. You live in the most beautiful place in the world, the Central California coast (even when it’s foggy).
- You can identify at 100 yards if the whale is a gray, humpback, orca or wishful thinking. And you know if it’s an otter or kelp bobbing on that wave.