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The Official Shoobie Guide
The Official

Shoobie Guide

And applies for Locals too

Written by Robert B. Drass

The purpose of this guide is to help the average tourist from looking like or acting like a shoobie and to help keep the locals from going insane during the yearly flood of shoobies.

Before we begin, we really need to examine what the term Shoobie means. From history’s point of view, the term “shoobie” became popular in the 1930’s. It is believed to have originally meant a tourist who usually came from Philadelphia by train, to spend the day at the New Jersey shore. These day trippers also were known for spending little to no money while visiting, remember it was the depression era. They tended to bring their swim outfit and lunch in a box or a shoe box. It is not really known why the spelling is “shoobie” instead of “shoebie” but it is speculated that the local people really didn’t want these people here and wish they would just “shoo” away and someone just incorporated that into the spelling of the term. Over the years, the term has kept its basic terminology, but now usually applies to ALL visitors to South Jersey. The term “Shoobie”, can be viewed as derogatory, but a lot less so than it has been in the past. It has really become more of a tongue in cheek type of term. Locals may call tourists “shoobies” and, at times, wish they would just go away and never return. The truth is that without them most of the Jersey Shore towns would shrivel up and die. Tourists, or rather Shoobies, are what keep the towns alive and drives our economies and every local is keenly aware of that. It seems that calling tourists by nicknames is common in New Jersey. While we have “Shoobies”, North and Central Jersey shore have a similar term, but are called “Bennies”.

Driving do’s and don’ts (that is not a contraction for donuts either)

Traffic Circles. I know most states do not have traffic circles. Here are some things to remember. The people already in the circle have the right of way. Remember most, if not all, traffic circles have a Yield for all traffic entering a circle. Do not squeeze in at full speed thinking the person on the circle will give you room, they won’t. If you miss your exit on the circle, for the love of God, DO NOT STOP, just keep going and eventually it will come around again. One last thing to remember; ALL traffic circles in New Jersey go COUNTER-CLOCKWISE. If you go clockwise you will either kill someone else or kill yourself. The state of New Jersey has listened to its visitors and is in the process of removing a lot of them since shoobies couldn’t figure them out. They do not want any shoobies dead because it means one less tourist to fill its coffers.

The Yield Sign. This is the most misunderstood sign. Both shoobies and locals tend to have different definitions. To most shoobies it means come to a complete stop and wait until a light is put in. To most locals, it means go as fast as possible and cut off anyone in your way. According to New Jersey laws, a Yield means that a driver must slow to a reasonable speed and to stop if necessary until it is safe to merge into traffic.

The Left Lane. This is one of my biggest pet peeves and is probably the cause of most of the road rage in New Jersey. DO NOT STAY IN THE LEFT LANE. The left lane is only for passing in New Jersey. Occasionally there are even signs on some roads that remind you of this. I do not know if in Pennsylvania or some other states allow you to drive in the left lane, but it is NOT ok here. If you use the left lane, please keep with or ahead of the flow of traffic and if you want to do 10 mph in a 65 zone, do it in RIGHT lane so we can get around you.

Driving Slow. Yes, I had to add this. People in South Jersey are usually busy people. They understand that you want to have fun, party, shop, sight see and do what ever else a shoobie does, but the locals have to get to work or do daily activities. When you drive like a snail, you are holding us up. If you do not know where you are going, research it online at, get a GPS device or look at a map before hand. All I ask is that you do near the speed limit. I am almost bald now from all the hair I have pulled out from slow poke drivers.

Directions. This is really a two part section. Not knowing where you are driving to and then those who ask every single person in the area how to get to some location. As I said, locals are busy people that need to get from point A to point B and if you don’t know where you are going, you are holding us up. Likewise, if we are at the local Wawa getting coffee, we do not really want to be stuck there answering how to get to Atlantic City so you can lose all your money. Plan out your trip ahead of time. Get a map and plot it out, go to Google or Yahoo and print out a turn by turn map, better yet, get a GPS device and follow its instructions. If you ask me how to get to Atlantic City or some other shore town, I will just say keep driving east until you hit the water. Then head north or south until you find your desired location. If you keep pestering me, I will tell you where I really think you should go.

Parking. Please use ONLY one space. Too many people use 2, 3, 4 or more spaces for ONE car. I don’t care if you have a Hummer or Escalade and don’t want anyone parking near your car. The more spaces you take, the more likely you are to have one or more flat tires when you come back. If the space says “Compact Car Only”, that does not mean that you can cram your Hummer into it. If you have to parallel park, respect the person in front of you and behind you. Make sure you give them enough room to get out. One of the most annoying things is when you find that some Shoobie has double parked you in and is probably playing Mini Golf while you are trying to get your car out. Don’t give into that temptation, keep driving around. The further west you go, the more likely you will find a space. You may have to walk an extra 2-5 blocks, but you won't find your car towed away either. Do not forget to feed the meter either. The shore towns employ a lot of summer time help just to hunt down and ticket any illegally parked cars or people who have expired meters. Remember tourists keep the towns alive, parking tickets and meter collections are a big part of that.

Beach and Boardwalk Do’s and Don’ts

Beach tags. Most beaches in South Jersey are not free. The cities want to drain every penny they can get out of the tourists and locals. They came up with beach tags and it does its job pretty well. Since it is a major source of revenue, they have people who will hunt you down if you do not have one. The tag inspectors wander the beaches and stand at the entrance to most beaches. Buy your tag ahead of time to avoid the embarrassment of not having one and from holding me up while trying to get on the beach. Usually the chamber of commerce or their website will have information on where you can buy them.

Trash on the Beach. Remember to take your trash with you when you leave. One of the reasons why the beach tags cost so much is because they have to pay people to clean the beaches after all the shoobies leave every day. There is nothing worse than putting out your blanket, digging your feet in the sand and sticking your big toe into a used dirty diaper. It could happen to you so think of the people that will come after you. I don’t want to find your trash, and people after me won’t find my trash because I take it with me when I leave.

Speedo. This one is simple. Just say NO to Speedos.

Shorts with Socks. Another faux pas. Just don’t do it. You WILL look like every picture of a typical Shoobie that I have ever seen. Save yourself from embarrassment (and us from having to laugh at you) by removing your socks.

Feeding Seagulls or Pigeons. It may be fun to do, but when you spend five dollars on a hot dog and a seagull flies down and steals it from you, I don’t want to hear you complain. One of my favorite boardwalk activities is to watch the shoobies who feed the seagulls or pigeons and get pooped on by the same birds. But seriously, pigeon and seagull poop is a big problem at the shore. It can carry a lot of diseases so don’t encourage it by feeding them. You want to be healthy and so do I.

· Posted by Shoobie on June 02 2010 30981 Reads · Print · PDF

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Shoobie Definition

Shoobie - A general term to describe visitors to the southern New Jersey coast. The term was created by local residents to describe people who came from the Philadelphia area for a day at the beach and who brought a lunch and a change of clothes in a shoebox.



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