1. You must learn to pronounce the city name. It is "mehmfus."
2. Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. Memphis has its own version of traffic rules...the truck with the loudest exhaust goes next at a 4-way stop. The truck with the biggest tires goes after that. (Note: Blue haired ladies driving anything have right of way anytime.)
3. If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rear ended, cussed out and possibly shot.
4. Construction is a permanent fixture in Memphis. The barrels are moved around in the middle of the night to make the next days driving a bit more exciting.
5. Watch very carefully for road hazards such as deer, skunks, dogs, barrels, cones, cows, horses, pot holes, cats, pieces of other cars, oppossum, truck tires, raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, and crows or vultures feeding on any of these items.
6. If someone actually has their turn signal on, wave them to the shoulder immediately to let them know it has been "accidentally activated".
7. Never honk at anyone. Ever. Seriously.
8. Ground clearance of at least 12 inches is recommended for city driving.
9. You must know that "I-240" and "I-40" are the same road.
10. To find anything in Memphis it is required that you know where "malfunction junction" is... which is the Alpha and Omega. The beginning and the end.
The current bottleneck is five lanes of traffic which have to merge into two throughway lanes and two exit lanes.
11. The "I-240/I-40 intersections" are considered one of the city's most exciting amusement attractions. Beware though...it is not for the faint of heart!
Generating traffic jams and rush hour adventures, twenty-one lanes of interstate highway move through the point where Interstate 40 meets the Memphis Bypass (I-240). Some pathways through this maze are low-speed "cloverleaf" connections. In addition, as Interstate-40 brings in five lanes of traffic from Nashville, the roadway squeezes drivers into a dwindling number of lanes.
During morning rush hour, these highway limitations become painfully clear, as east side traffic jams build for miles along the bypass and the road from Nashville. In afternoon rush hour, everything backs up again, but in the opposite directions. At most times, motorists who know the area feel relief after navigating through it.
12. The morning rush hour is from 6:00 to 10:00. The evening rush hour is from 3:00 to 7:00. Friday's rush hour starts Thursday morning.
13. The minimum acceptable speed on I-240 is 85 mph. Anything less is considered downright sissy. This is the Memphis version of NASCAR. If considered sissy on I-240, do not even consider driving on Bill Morris Parkway/Nonconnah Parkway/385, which all happen to be the same road.
14. If you are in the left lane, and only going 70 in a 55-65 zone.....you are considered a road hazard, and will be "flipped off" accordingly.
15. Poplar Avenue and Germantown Road convert to parking lots during all holidays and weekends. Please enter these streets cautiously, find the nearest parking space and walk to the mall for the quickest access.
16. If it's 10-20 degrees and sleeting/snowing, then watch out - Memphis residents consider this "demolition derby" day and will be all over the roads (sideways, backward, etc). Please proceed with caution as you could be their next target. Also note that the mere possibility of ice on the road will shut down all schools and most businesses until the crisis passes. Heck, they'll shut down if it's even humid.
17. If it's 110 degrees, Thanksgiving must be next weekend.
Downtown: If you are here, you can go to Arkansas, Missouri, and all points West. If you want to get to the Pyramid (The Tomb of Doom), snail mail me one dollar and a SASE
...and I will send you a prayer card!