With the help of my trusty crew and servers at Brick House Tavern, we engaged in our annual exercise to complete this simple sentence.
You haven't lived in Tampa Bay until you have …
… gone to the Brick House Tavern and had the waitress sit down at the table while taking your order.
… thought about driving to Fort Myers to watch a Bucs home game.
… gone to the annual Governor's Luncheon at the Florida State Fair and watched the Tampa Metro Civitan Club bestow its Citizen Of The Year Award on a worthy and unsuspecting winner.
… sat in a traffic jam on Interstate 275 and thought, "Light rail?"
… thought, "Wow. University of South Florida president Judy Genshaft makes a lot of money."
… seen a politician still get elected after it was revealed his wife got a half-million dollars for a lakefront home from a noted activist.
… congratulated Jefferson High on winning a state football title.
… watched a Pinellas County high school football team lose a playoff game. Yes, 47 years of FHSAA state championships and no titles.
… been awed by the earth swallowing a house — and a big chunk of a landfill.
… taken a tour of one of the Pinellas Technical Education Center campuses.
… seen St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster operate heavy machinery.
… been repulsed by a South Tampa guy wearing bedazzled clothes, v-neck shirts, tribal tattoos and drinking Jaeger bombs. (This came from the servers at Brick House).
… debated where the Rays should build a new stadium.
… spent a night at the Postcard Inn in St. Pete Beach.
… viewed one of the Bloomingdale High lip dubs on YouTube.
… credited Bucs coach Raheem Morris for making the most of his young talent.
… Googled Dick Greco to check his age.
… tried to explain the name 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre to visitors.
… wondered whatever happened to that place call BayWalk.
… witnessed the grandeur of the geodesic dome at the new Dali museum (opens 1/11/11).
… gone by the Hillsborough Democratic Party headquarters and laughed.
… run into Charlie Crist. Bonus points if you run into Charlie and wife, Carole.
… wondered when panhandlers will create a union.
… had the flatbread pizza at Seasons 52.
… tried to put together the human-body puzzle at the Glazer Children's Museum.
… asked yourself, "Exactly what have the slate of candidates running for Tampa mayor accomplished?"
… experienced a Derek Jeter sighting. Try Ocean Prime on Mondays.
… watched a Buccaneers home game on the Internet in Spanish.
… read a novel by Tampa's Michael Connelly.
… realized a lot of politicians have criminal defense attorneys on retainer.
… participated in a sing-along at Tampa Theatre.
… thanked God no oil washed up on our Suncoast beaches. Knock on wood.
… seen a jury mess up a trial by posting comments on the Internet.
… heard a murder defendant use being an a--hole as a defense.
… dined at the new Bella Brava in St. Petersburg.
… seen a Rays player leave to play for the Red Sox. Or the Tigers. Or the Cubs. Or the …
That's all I'm saying.