You Are So Louisville If …

LEO readers weigh in on what makes this city tick

We weren’t sure what to expect when we asked you to finish the sentence “You are so Louisville if …” Would you bother responding? If so, would you have anything original to say about this town’s foibles, quirks and idiosyncrasies? Shame on us for doubting you, dear readers — you did not disappoint.

A committee of experts in the ways of wit (read: LEO staffers not sly enough to shirk judging detail) sorted through hundreds of submissions. After weeding out the usual suspects about our obsession with high school alma maters and defunct landmarks like the old St. Matthews Sears building, we were left with an impressive batch of entries that range from nostalgic and earnest to snarky, sarcastic and hilariously cynical. There were even a few utterly weird ones that were too funny not to include, even though they left us scratching our heads (like the one about riding a dog backwards after a night at Jim Porter’s — we don’t get it, but we love it).

So thanks for sharing these wonderful, weird, humorous gems — they are all so very Louisville. —Sarah Kelley


Your kid spends more time on a bus than in a classroom. —Lonnie Turner


You’re thinking about getting another fleur-de-lis tattoo. —Heyward Boyce


You kinda like the way horse shit at the track smells. —Mike Brown


You had to move out of town to move up in your career, then sit around figuring out how to move back to Louisville. —Aaron Walther

You don’t understand the concept of six degrees of separation. Because it’s two here. Really. —Leah Pezzarossi

Your mustache is longer then your beard. —Nick Beach

You laugh at the idea of local celebrities, even though … oh my god, is that Dawne Gee? Dawne! DAWNE! —Heyward Boyce

Your highest priority each day is voting for Louisville in a meaningless “Best Southern Food” poll and harassing your friends with “VOTE!!! We’re so close!!!” each day. —Jessica Durbin


You think it is perfectly normal to have tornadoes and snow in the same day. —Audrey Roebuck

You obsessively fill out LEO Questionnaires. 😉 —Joey Arena

You think it’s a crime to suggest that everything in Louisville may not be perfect just the way it is. —Michael Young

You have City Scoot in your Favorites. And know the drivers on a first name basis. —John Pasikowski

You think that the name Brown is a big deal. —Dara Harper

Somebody says that Louisville ISN’T the center of the Universe you punch them in the face — twice. —Sean A. Garrison

Being a native Hoosier, I don’t know, but I’m sure it has something to do with high school. —Bill Zink

Your Heine Bros. coffee mug is used to drink whisky or beer in public more often than it is for coffee. Compass Hernandez

Your idea of a romantic night out involves tickets to a U of L football or basketball game. —Sharon Deadwyler

You have ever held a job at LEO. —Julie Marie Trotter

“It’s by the old Showcase Cinemas.” —Christina Piatt

You think Fourth Street Live is only for tourists. —Fannie Grubbs

You live in southwest Louisville and are excited because you will finally have fine dining when the Cracker Barrel opens. —Jerry Giancola

You get drunk and smack a racehorse with a baseball bat after Louisville gets beat by Kentucky, and then you go jump off a bridge when your child gets lost on a school bus. —Steve Schlicher

You’ve just been hired for the night shift at UPS. —Heyward Boyce

You’ve just quit the night shift at UPS. —Heyward Boyce

You think Pitino is a brand name. —Heyward Boyce

You like KFC’s fattening cheesy bowls, crave Papa John’s ho-hum bland pizzas, stare at a vacant ear X-tacy storefront. —Barry Newman

You think Terry Meiners is funny! —Julie Hardin

You can remember scaring your family by driving across the K & I Bridge. —Donald L. Butts

More than 10 servers address you by your first name. —Heyward Boyce

You worry about being too nice. —Heyward Boyce

You’ve ever asked a McDonald’s if they’re “farm to table.” —Heyward Boyce

Your car really DOES run on vegetable oil. —Heyward Boyce

You refuse to remove your “ear X-tacy” bumper sticker. —Heyward Boyce

You talk about “the volleyball scene.” —Heyward Boyce

You keep Louisville weird by drinking Heine Bros. while co-existing with nice marmots who listen to music from ear X-tacy. —Heyward Boyce

You talk about how good the bourbon is, even though you never drink it. —Heyward Boyce

You make jokes about how crappy all the local spots are, yet will passionately defend them against any critic: “Ramsi’s fo LIFE, man, fo LIFE!” —Heyward Boyce

You think that tap water is good for you. —Heyward Boyce

Larry Bisig has introduced himself to you at least three times. —Heyward Boyce

You submit an entry to this contest that says “how everyone asks what school you went to! LOL.” —Heyward Boyce

You’ve been to Chicago more times than Indiana. —Heyward Boyce

You feel wronged and outraged when a dusting of snow does not result in the cancellation of school/work. —Carrie Neumayer

You have had sex with Anna Nicole Smith. —Heyward Boyce

You live in St. Matthews and you have never been west of Bardstown Road. —Jerry Giancola

You say you appreciate Kentucky bourbon and then mix it with Coca-Cola. —Dave Johnson

You turn your back on a local band because you think they are getting “popular.” —Dave Johnson

You have ever packed a Benedictine sandwich in your child’s school lunch. —Woody Miller

You think that WFPK is a cool, hip radio station. —Wally Kasper

Ron Whitehead has written a poem about you! —Jen “Ratchet” Mitchell

You’ve taken the time to finish this sentence. —Karl Keeling

You have a mustache tattoo on your finger AND you have a mustache. —Sarah Wilburn

You talk about how Louisville is better then Austin, Texas, or Portland, Ore. —Sarah Wilburn

Most of your possessions have a fleur-de-lis on them. —Franny Powers

You crawl out of bed on Saturday morning to get one of Ivor’s catfish omelets. —Chris Skees

You know that Old Shep isn’t a person. —Jeff Dwellen

You can say “NuLu” without giggling. —Jonathan Meador

You say hell ye’ll. —Jerome Wilson

Every personal story you tell must be qualified by the complete obscure local band history of each of its characters. —Erin Fitzgerald

You know who Little John is without any prompting. —Bridgette Dearing

You know how to order the “Walt” at BBC. —Brad Luttrell

You’ve heard of Owensboro, but you’ve never been there. —Melinda Strehl

You have ever taken part in a debate over who would be the last man standing in a four-way battle royale between Terry Meiners, Darryl Isaacs, John Schnatter and Eric Flack. —Zack Sauer

You use the word “tump,” which means something tipped over. The rest of the world thinks it isn’t a word. —Teresa Gamble

You know Butchertown is an amazing place for dinner, not so much for a walk. It definitely earns its name. —Brad Luttrell

You have ever asked Terry Meiners for his autograph. —Kevin Gibson

You think adding something to bourbon ruins it. —Eric Fow

Nancy’s Bagel Grounds on a Sunday morning gets you over that Saturday-night-at-the-Nachbar hangover. —Andy Cook

You think the only way fish is or can be prepared is fried with tartar sauce on rye bread. —Dan Thomas

You passed up the best deal you have ever seen on Craigslist for a desperately needed bedroom set because it was on the other side of the bridge. —Tami Evans

You want to befriend John Calipari just so you can get close enough to dropkick him in the throat. —Afton Fairchild

You think our airport is truly international. —Mike Steltenpohl

You go to a minor league baseball game three hours before and leave before first pitch because beer prices go up. —Mark Best

You will pay a cover charge to get into a club where there is no live band playing. —Kevin Gibson

Your skinny jeans are tight, your beer is local, and your beard is glorious. —Amy Wathen

A standard topic of discussion among your friends is what sinus medication you are on. —Gary Drehmel

You long for the Louisville Times. —Troy Jackson

In high school, your idea of creative writing involved a pair of scissors and a pile of bumper stickers from a popular (recently defunct) record store. —Gary Drehmel

You wake up to Shermageddon on Monday and still vote for the Swine-lot on Tuesday! —Thomas Clay Jr.

Seersucker is high fashion. —Megan Malone

You were born with a Louisville Stoneware spoon in your mouth. —Jaki Watson

Jerry Abramson has been your mayor for more than 10 years of your life. —Sean Cooper

You really think U of L will ever win a national championship with Pitino! —Brian Applegate

You’re OK with mediocrity. —Brennan Clark

At least once you have looked at the mayor and wondered, “Is he actually a robot?” —Lucas Adams

You know that Cherokee Park is the fastest way through the Highlands, and you can drive it without getting lost. —Chris Simms

You shop local, dine at Louisville Originals Restaurants, buy at farmers markets, enjoy both Actors and Bunbury theaters, cheer for U of L, consider Bardstown Road and Frankfort Avenue the best places to hang out, and read the LEO at Carmichael’s while wearing your “Keep Louisville Weird” T-shirt. —Gloria Kemper-O’Neil

You know where the Back Door is and drink there. —Joe Green

You start a punk band and break it up after selling more than 1,000 vinyl singles because you don’t want to “sell-out.” —Jerome Gray


Your methods for sneaking contraband past security guards are myriad — and terrifyingly successful — because of the years of practice on Derby. —Kate Stites

You think all racehorses are treated “well” because the winner of the Kentucky Derby is. —Dave Johnson

You don’t understand why other counties go to school on Oaks day. —Lee Mayfield

You go out of town for Derby! —Sue Hankla

You had to quit a job so you had off the first Saturday in May! —Ken Blackthorn

You used to walk up and down Central Avenue on Derby eve pushing a shopping cart with a keg in it and getting a big smile from everyone … even the cops! —Michelle Bensing

You start drinking heavily in March in order to have a higher tolerance by Derby. —Joy Lanham Buchenberger

You brag about the mint julep but have trouble choking it down yourself. —Megan Malone

You chime in to random conversations upon hearing the words “big” and “fireworks” in the same sentence. —Kenneth Tyler

You think the day before derby is a national holiday. —Dan Vonderheide

You’ve ever stuffed bags of bourbon into your bra to sneak them into the infield. —Amy Hazle

You take the entire week of Derby off from work but don’t actually go to the Derby. —Barb Kern

You only feel Southern on Derby! —Mia Coleman


You don’t use turn signals when driving. —Rebecca Stutsman

You give a big friendly wave to the victim(s) right after you commit a traffic error that almost causes a catastrophe. —Tim Shull

You don’t know why car makers keep cluttering the car’s interior with metal sticks that can be used to signal to other drivers and pedestrians when and where you may be intending to go in the very near future WHILE the car is moving. —J.R. Bauer

Every time someone makes a lousy driving move you shout, “Damn Indiana drivers,” before you even look at their license plate. —Jessy Haywood

You think a red light means you only have three seconds before you apply your brakes. —Mike Tinker


You can ride a dog backwards after visiting Jim Porter’s for a nite on the town!!! —Phyllis Janes

Chill is on your agenda! —Jay Cox

Dub step is your ring tone. —Heyward Boyce

You say “we’re staying in” instead of “we’re eating out,” ’cause that’s just REDUNDANT. —Heyward Boyce

You ever said that the Masonic Homes property is “pretty legit.” —Heyward Boyce

You like exposed brick. —Carl Bowman

U LIKE IT LOCO. —Lia Harlamert

Thanks to the Forecastle Festival and WHY Louisville for providing prizes for the winners.