10 Things Arizonans Hate About Snowbirds

With the temperatures around Phoenix dropping from a million degrees to chilly as we're finishing up the Turkey Day leftovers, the snowbirds have completed their annual migration to the Valley of the Sun.

For those of us who live here year-round, this means life now is more of a hassle, thanks to the sudden influx of Canadians, Midwesterners, and New Yorkers (who only drive a car when they're poking along our freeways, in the left freakin' lane).

Here are the 10 worst things about the frosty carpetbaggers:

10.) Restaurants

How can snowbirds possibly clog restaurants when they eat at 4 p.m.? Three hours and five cups of decaf coffee later, the mystery is solved, as you're still waiting to eat at a place that looks like a ghost town in the summer.

9.) Sporting Events

Here's how attendance gets up at Coyotes games — bring a Canadian or Midwestern team to town. Show up to see a game against the Canucks, and there are suddenly dozens of older people in jean jackets and drunk as skunks on a Tuesday. The same goes with Cardinals games, as any visiting team from above the Mason-Dixon line gets to live like a home team around here.

8.) Pharmacies

Here's how a pharmacy works: You bring in the prescription. You come back later. You pay for the pills. That's it. Somehow, this is rocket science to the snowbirds, who are lined up eight deep at Walgreens, and each and every one of them is under the impression that they just won a personal Q&A session with the pharmacist when it's their turn at the register.

7.) Grocery Store

Not only can snowbirds not drive cars, they can't operate grocery carts, either. Do they purposely place the carts in the most inconvenient location imaginable while they're comparing prices on sticks of butter, or are they just that ignorant? Why do they walk down the chips aisle at a rate of three feet per minute? DO YOU NEED CHIPS OR DO YOU NOT NEED CHIPS? FIGURE IT OUT.

6.) Old-People Stories

Just because we're under the age of 50 doesn't mean we're your grandchildren. None of us really care. We're sure the Great Depression was awful, and we're sorry about your brother dying in the WW I. Please find some grandchildren, great-grandchildren and save this for them.

5.) Just Standin' Around

No matter where you go in the winter, there are snowbirds there, just . . . hangin' out. Usually, the best time for them to go looking for something in their purse/fanny pack is in the doorway of a business; you know, where people generally go in and out. You realize if there's ever a serious fire at any business in the Valley, we're all going to be dead, thanks to snowbirds just standin' around.

4.) Saying Anything That Begins With "Back in..."

"You know, back in Minne-so-tah . . ."
"Back in Chi-cah-go . . ."

Nobody cares! There's a reason you're in Arizona right now, and it's because wherever you live is a winter hellhole. The only thing more uninteresting than snowbirds are stories about back home.

3.) Ugly, Obnoxious Dogs

Is there some sort of government program that issues the most hideous dogs in the world to snowbirds? They all have them. They're all disgusting, and they all make the same noise: Yap, yap, yap, yap, yap, yap, yap, yap, yap, yap, yap, yap, yap, yap, yap, yap.

2.) Anything Involving an RV

Anything involving snowbirds and an RV is a disaster. Good luck selling your house in the winter, since your neighbors are hosting their snowbird parents, and they'll gladly park their gigantic Winnebago on/in the street for months at a time. Thanks for the view. They can't drive them, they can't park them. Everything about the pairing is a disaster.


Sweet Jesus! They do 58 miles per hour on the highway — while another snowbird is passing them at 59 mph, while another snowbird passes that car at 59.5 mph. They're very confused about the HOV lane — just because they have a passenger doesn't give them a license to go 45 mph in it during rush hour, as they constantly slam on the brakes 'cause of their extreme fear of things going on in other lanes. Despite four different signs saying the ramp to the U.S. 60 is coming up, they wait until they're about 50 feet from the ramp until they realize that's where they need to go, and will sometimes completely stop on the highway until someone lets them get in before they move over a lane. They have nowhere to go, really, but they always manage to get on a highway at 5 p.m. on the dot. It's rush hour!

Send feedback and tips to the author.
Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley