Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Things I don't understand #52

…How Birmingham (yes the one in Alabama) became known as “The Magic City”.

Oh yeah. Hi, how’s it going? Yes, I’m sorry. It’s been a while. But I have good reasons...well, reasons anyway. I’ve been away. I’ll run to the bathroom while you guess where... ... ... ...uh, yeah. Alabama. Very near if not completely in Birmingham. It’s lovely here. Almost magical. Yes, it is really called that. Google it or something. I actually didn’t discover this fair burgh’s moniker until my first flight out of here when I happened upon a table full of t-shirts making such a proclamation in a gift shop near my gate. I stared at the table and then took a quick glance around to make sure there weren’t any hidden cameras to catch my reaction. There weren’t.

But here I am, in Birmingham, blogging for you...because I love you that much. Like the good book says:
“...but Jason showed his own love for us in that while we were yet lazy, Jason blogged for us.”

Admittedly, I’m using a very loose paraphrase.

So I’ve been here about a month and I’ve learned some things about Birmingham that might or might not involve magic. It’s not as big as they think it is. Travel time from the airport to my office near downtown is about 8 minutes...from rental lot to parking lot...even taking side streets and never getting on the freeway. As far as traffic goes, they have some, but that’s mainly because if it’s not an interstate it’s probably just two lanes...and all the traffic lights require you to wait 2-5 minutes whether there’s a chance of a car crossing the intersection or not(this will make you scream certain words while in your car). Also, they are not the most adept at merging. I learned after almost inserting my rental car into the trunk of the preceding vehicle twice the first week to assume they will stop inches from the highway (because they will) looking for the all clear before proceeding. Other fun facts...Birmingham has one of, if not the highest murder rates in the country. Random watching of the local news has confirmed this. Let’s see...the choice of restaurants seems limited, and if you do find one, hurry, it’s probably about to close. I found this one I wanted to try, unfortunately I got there at 8:05. It closed at 8. I had another place turn off the lights as I sat in the drive-thru at 8:55. Not exactly a town of night owls, apparently.

So, despite the fact that my search for the magical part of Birmingham is limited and thus inconclusive, I going to actually suggest that some other nicknames might be more apt. Here are some of my suggestions:
Birmingham, the city that sleeps.
Birmingham, not the one in England.
Birmingham, death awaits you.
Birmingham, Bull Connor was probably wrong, our bad.

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