Hampton Roads is a funny place. Interstate 64 East goes south — and then west. Things aren't said the way they're spelled: Gloucester, Norfolk, Portsmouth. A rain-snow mix is enough to throw the area into chaos.
There's a funny email that has circulated around Hampton Roads for the past few years, sort of a take of on "You know you're a redneck if ..." The joke starts, "You know you live in 'The 757' when ..."
After publishing some of them, we heard from someone who says he originated the idea. Ben Kennedy, first compiled the jokes with help from his friends on his band's website several years ago. Shortly after that, he wrote it up with a friend for a cover piece in the Virginian-Pilot. Here are some of those jokes, and others suggested by area readers:
You know you live in "The 757" when:
1. You are amazed whenever any city within 50 miles of your house is mentioned in a textbook, national news, etc.
2. You know Mount Trashmore is a real place.
3. Any eastbound trip you've ever made involves at least one tunnel.
4. You know every joke that University of Virginia grads tell about Virginia Tech grads.
5. You know every joke that Virginia Tech grads tell about University of Virginia grads, too.
6. You don't stop and look skyward when military aircraft fly over.
7. You don't slow down in the tunnel.
8. You can say "Norfolk" without sounding obscene or incorrect.
9. You can leave town for years and return to find the same roads still under construction.
10. An inch of snow closes everything down. Three inches is a blizzard.
11. You know Newport News is not the name of a newspaper.
12. It's not a peninsula; it's the Peninsula — with a capital P.
13. It's not Portsmouth; it's P-town.
14. It's Hampton, not the Hamptons.
15. You've seen Pat Robertson in a Farm Fresh.
16. Someone mentions Jon Stewart from "The Daily Show," and you reply, "Oh, you mean that guy who used to play soccer at William and Mary?"
17. You know that it all started here.
18. You know you'll get five different directions from five different people on how to get to downtown Norfolk.
19. You mark the Bay Days Festival in Hampton on your calendar before the summer even hits.
20. You have experienced all four seasons within a 24-hour period.
21. You know how to get to the Monitor-Merrimac if the HRBT westbound is backed up.
22. You know where Gen. Douglas MacArthur is buried.
23. You remember when Mercury Boulevard had service lanes that were separate from the rest of Mercury.
24. You know that the Great Dismal Swamp isn't all that dismal.
25. You can tell when a Navy ship comes home by how crowded the stores are.
26. As a kid, you knew field trips involved traveling to Jamestown, Williamsburg or the Virginia Air & Space Center.
27. You don't just know Interstate 64 – you also know 264, 664 and for good measure, the Route 164 Western Freeway.
28. You look forward to the Hampton Coliseum putting on its "holiday" lights.
29. When everyone in the South says "y'all" and you say "all y'all.
30. You know the Power Plant is a shopping center in Hampton, not a facility for the generation of power.
31. You know all the lyrics to "Switzerland" by The Last Bison.
32. You know your Tappahannock from your Rappahannock.
33. You're not surprised that George Washington Memorial Highway, J. Clyde Morris Boulevard and Route 17 are all the same road.
34. You not only know where all the drawbridges are, but you know which ones open horizontally and which ones open vertically.
35. The Civil War and Revolutionary War both passed through your front yard or backyard.