TWENTY-FIVE Mullet Flaming Years

Let’s just go ahead and say it: 85,863. That’s how many votes were submitted in this year’s Best of Jax readers’ poll. Seriously.

As Folio Weekly Magazine rolls into our 25th year of tallying up readers’ opinions of the best — and some of the worst — Northeast Florida has to offer, here’s a rundown of 25 things we’ve learned in two-and-a-half decades.

  1. Y’all are hilarious in ballot form.
  2. Some questions solicit more amusing answers than others. Actual votes for Best Fishing Spot include: “ain’t sayin,” “I’LL NEVER TELL,” “NOT TELLING” and two “It’s a secret.”
  3. Batman lives. The caped crusader received votes for Best Local Athlete (not really local, but seems fair), Best Fishing Spot (umm …), Best Local Radio Show (Melissa Ross — you have a rival), Best Concert of 2016 (we didn’t know Batman sang), and so much more.
  4. To win Best Pizza, one must master The Art of War. Piemakers are cutthroat. Must be all that marinara. What, you didn’t know tomatoes were the devil’s fruit? Or is it the devil’s vegetable? Maybe we should do a reader’s poll.
  5. Most people are better at spelling than we thought.
  6. A few people are worse at spelling than we ever imagined. (Psst: There’s no ‘f’ in sheep.)
  7. It takes a very, very, very long time to count 85,863 votes. We could do it electronically but see No. 6.
  8. We Will Never Go Back To Paper Ballots. See No. 6 and add penmanship. Sorry (not sorry).
  9. Telling someone that they won Best Of is the highlight of our year. Every year.
  10. Telling someone that they didn’t win is like breaking up with a really great guy — heart-wrenching.
  11. Every vote counts! At least half the categories come down to a handful of votes between winner and finalist.
  12. It takes a really, really, really long time to recount 42,931 votes.
  13. People who work in publishing are better with numbers than they let on.
  14. Angela Corey and Corrine Brown must occupy the same memory space because they routinely get mixed up, i.e., Congresswoman Angela Corey, State Attorney Corrine Brown. Wait, now we’re confused. Which is it? Oh, well, guess it doesn’t matter any more.
  15. You would be amazed how seriously we take Best of Jax. There may have been bloodshed in the newsroom.
  16. To win Best Of, you better bring your A game — unlike college, C’s don’t get degrees here.
  17. Our readers are better informed about what’s hot and what’s not than any other readers.
  18. You like us, you really like us! FWM staffers old and new racked up a surprising number of votes. It is a compliment to get votes for Local Zero, right? (We’re kidding — or are we?)
  19. Our readers never fail to surprise us. Justin Bieber. That is all.
  20. Shuttered businesses get way more votes than you’d think — even ones that have been gone for years. We miss the Milk Bar, too, y’all. (But not its urinal.)
  21. Local means different things to different people. To some, staying the night at the Gator Lodge 30 years ago qualifies.
  22. You love/hate the weather as much as we do.
  23. 85,863 votes and not one single cuss word. What the #*%@?
  24. As surprising as our readers can be — Pokémon Go? WTF — you also make our hearts glad with your votes. (We love the river, too!)
  25. Others can imitate, but there’s only one Folio Weekly Magazine Best of Jax.