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R U so South Tampa?

You could argue that South Tampa isn't really a place. It doesn't show up on maps, it doesn't have its own ZIP code and it doesn't have set boundaries.

But it's certainly a state of mind.

Just how "South Tampa-ish" you are depends on how long you've lived here, your experience and your background.

Ask yourself:

Do you eat at Bern's at least once a year?

Do you know what S.O.G. stands for?

Do you have to cross a bridge to get to your house?

Answer yes to all and you're on your way to being a true "South Tampanian." According to some people, at least.

The questions appear on a test posted on www.quizie.com, a Web site devoted to oddball quizzes created by people from across the country. Tests run the gamut of subjects, from "R U Funny?" to "How North East Are You?"

Several hit on Tampa and its pseudo-neighborhoods, such as South Tampa and New Tampa. Obviously, most of the quizzes come from college and high school kids looking for fun on the Internet.

There's a bunch of questions about shopping and fashion: "The day that International Mall opened was one of the best days of your life?" "You wear flip-flops 24/7, year-round?"

Others center on lineage and status: "Is your family involved in Gasparilla?" "Can you see the Tampa skyline from your house?"

Some even beg for explanation. "Do you have a lei in your car?" "Have you walked home from Ybor?"

Scary.

Still, the quizzes shed light on what South Tampa is, or at least how it is perceived. A couple mention Kennedy Boulevard and living south of it. And unlike the North Tampa quizzes, there's no talk of getting stuck in traffic on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard or shopping at University Square Mall.

Quizie.com belongs to IntegraClick, an Internet marketing company in Sarasota that runs a few hundred sites. The president, John Lemp, 23, used to live in Brandon.

Lemp makes money off popup ads and banners from credit card companies, travel promoters and businesses that trace your genealogy. No porn, he assures. Just good, clean fun.

The quizzes are free and require no user info. Individual scores are tallied, and takers can rate each test on a scale of good to bad. Quiz takers create a sign-on name but otherwise can stay anonymous.

A few thousand people have taken the South Tampa quizzes over the past several months. Ones by YUPYUP and THE813 are the favorites.

I scored 27 percent on the "How South Tampa Are You?" test. Yes, I belong to a gym and I enjoy going to Ybor. But no, my parents didn't grow up in South Tampa and I don't drive a SUV.

That's fine with me. At least I know that S.O.G. means South of Gandy.

THE LAST DROP: The Mayor's Beautification Program didn't have to go far to find a fabulous park to highlight the program's accomplishments over the past 15 years. Kate Jackson Park on Rome Avenue starred in a video shown Wednesday at the Annual Mayor's Breakfast. It's no surprise that the park, with its fancy fountain and lush landscaping, is the envy of the entire city.

_ Times researcher Cathy Wos contributed to this report. Susan Thurston can be reached at 226-3394 or thurstonsptimes.com.

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