Scott Hardie | June 21, 2002
I've visited Tampa briefly maybe fifteen years ago, so living here is my first real exposure to the city. So far, not bad. It's a big city so I can get whatever I want, and there are lots of major roads. People drive like maniacs, but that seems to be a statewide thing. Weird observations include...

- We've visited two Pizza Huts and looked in the windows of a third, and all three had counter service only. You order your pizza and drinks, get plastic cups, fill them at a fountain, sit down, and eat your pizza when they bring it to you. No waiters. Help yourself. I don't like this policy.

- Everything runs on ATM cards around here, which is helpful. We've gotten Steak & Shake on it twice already, and the two 24-hour McDonald's also take it. I've used it at KFC, and seen signs for it at Dunkin' Donuts and Burger King. I wouldn't expect any of these places to have that in Illinois.

- The signs on Dale Mabry Highway (the biggest street near us) are odd. One says "Free Pagers! $2.99" in big print. Another is for Just Brakes, but some of the light bulbs are out, so it says "Just Brak" at night. There are also really obnoxious billboards in several places advertising a radio DJ named Schnitt, with the slogan "Schnitt Happens" in giant letters. I've seen a few others but have forgotten them; I'll mention them here when I recall them.

- There are lots of strip clubs and sex shops, sometimes covering both sides of the street at once. I have yet to see one with the phrase "couples welcome," so they're not bashful about appealing to men only. One has a space theme, right down to a giant UFO on the top of the building that can be rented out for a private party. Next to the pet store where we bought our cat stuff is a sex shop with a variety of brassieres in the window, and it looks like they're the same store at first glance.

- Did I mention the people here drive like crazy? Sixty miles an hour down city streets, riding your ass and flashing their brights if you block them (even if there are two other lanes wide open), not signaling when they change lanes, running red lights like motherfuckers. Sarasota's the same way, but that's because the people there are, well, old. Here they're just assholes.

I'll be bitching about this city some more in the future, I think. For now, I need sleep.

K. R. | June 21, 2002
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Scott Hardie | June 21, 2002
Yup, that Brak.

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