The Most Annoying Question if you Grew up on Cape Cod..

Whether you went away to college, are on vacation or just strike up a conversation with a person who isn’t from the area..whenever someone asks where you’re from and you respond with “Cape Cod”, they almost always have an idiotic answer. It usually falls somewhere between “ grew up there? Like even went to school there and stuff?” or “no, I mean like where you’re originally, not where you summered”. But hands down, the question I always for some reason get incredibly annoyed with is,

What the hell did you do in the winter?

You mean outside of making babies and/or forming drug problems? Or things outside of celebrating the fact that there’s no more traffic, not having to wait in line for a beer or pay a cover to get into a bar that normally offers us money to go there in the winter?

We do this.

But seriously, we do the same shit we do in the summer, just in more layers. I did all kinds of great things in the winter on Cape Cod. For starters, we spend just as much time on the beach, it just happens to be in sweatshirts around a fire and usually illegally because you can’t drink or have fires on public beaches. Actually, we do that in the summer too but in the winter we have to seek out private establishments that were only inhibited in the summer so we could get a solid 3-4 hours of drinking in before the Cops came. Here’s a picture of Hippie and Insane Tony getting ready for a bonfire party this past winter:


If there wasn’t a bonfire to attend at a random private beach behind a rich persons home, then we of course got in our cars and *P-5’d around town. P-5ing was one of my favorite things to do because I had a Chevy Blazer with a pretty decent system (and by ‘decent system’ I mean a hatch back that I would 100% drive with open and a tape player) that I would bump to the sounds of my sweet mix tape containing the hottest tracks from Ice Cube and Britney Spears.

*If you don’t know what a P-5 is, then you’re clearly not from Cape Cod, which means you probs won’t find any of this relevant, but I’m okay with sharing the wealth that is Cape Cod Winter Knowledge. A Portuguese-500, or P-5 as we call it, is when you get in your car and drive in some sort of circle with no other purpose other than to see who else is driving around said circle. I’m from Falmouth, so our P-5 typically consisted of starting somewhere around the Christmas Tree Shop/Dairy Queen area, continuing uptown to see if the fast and the furious were at Dunkin Donuts (even though you would never stop, ew, you just wanted to see) driving down main street, around the village green, back down main street, and then..well, you’re done I guess. Sometimes I’d take a detour down to the Harbor until I almost got arrested once and then I only went there at night with summer hockey kids. Wooops. Also – some people thought a real P-5 was starting on Hyannis Main St and going all the way to Falmouth Village Green but seriously, who has time for that? That’s like a P-5,000.

No word of a lie I met a kid once whose response when I said I grew up on Cape Cod was, “I heard you guys drive around in circles for fun in the winter.” Say it like it’s a bad thing but I had a fucking blast waving at people and bumping my sweet jams while housing my Dairy Queen cone. Dick.

Football games were always a huge thing in High School. Not so much attending the games to watch, but meeting up at an after party at someone’s parents house or Friendly’s to not buy anything but rather see how long it takes you to get kicked out when you order 1 milkshake for a table of 7 because you were too poor to buy anything else. It’s fucking winter, we didn’t work, and why the fuck are fribbles so expensive? Anyways..

All of this might sound boring for some of you city folk, but one thing I feel as though you get as a result of a Cape Cod upbringing is the most grounded, real and best group of friends anyone can have. Sure, there were different “groups” in high school but we all came together at some point in our childhood or adult life because there wasn’t anything else to fucking do! You might have rolled in different circles but that shit went out the window when the party started and the beers started flowing. You spend years in school with the same people and know their stories whether you want to or not. I have met some amazing people I’m proud to call my friends but none like my Cape friends.

They’re the ones you spent all day, every day with when there was nothing to do but steal shit from Cherry and Webb or freeze your ass off around a bonfire at Trunk River. They’ll eat bologna sandwiches for lunch instead of waiting in line at the food shack at the beach because they know you’d rather spend the $8.50 on two beers that night. They always have a beach chair in their trunk and would rather die than wear heels out on Cape Cod. They’re your best friends, they’re home.

Facebook: The Real Cape
Twitter: Hippie - Insane Tony

Comments 35

  1. That was fantastic and absolutely 100% true. I was literally laughing out loud and getting weird looks from people walking by my office…especially at the Friendly’s part. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Great memories! I did many a P-5’s back in the 80’s. Heck to this day when I go “home” to visit I’ll still do a P-5 to see what’s changed.

  2. Absolutely 100% true…loved this! Laughed out loud at all of it, especially Cherry & Webb because that is just oooold! And never heard of one ANYWHERE else! Kind of like Foxmoor & Chess King…

  3. Holy shit ! You nailed this !!! Down to the p-5 route and everything ! Clearly nothing changes on the cape and I hope it never does ! I loved my childhood, and no one can say your not from Falmouth and didn’t enjoy yours ! Thank you for sharing I was crackinggggg the EFFFF up the whole time !

  4. I think the most annoying question when people hear you are from the Cape, “Oh, do you know my friend soandso?” Um….no what part is he from? Brewster? wtf? We don’t all go to the same friggin school!
    and why are Fribbles so expensive? lol Remember when you could smoke in Friendlys?

    1. OH GODS YES! The most obnoxious question ever!
      “So you’re from the Cape? Do you know so and so?”

      Yes, 60 square miles is not that large of a foot print but there are multiple school systems.

      I lived in Hyannis and Mashpee and went to high school at Cape Tech and in my 30s. How the fuck would I know a kid that’s barely 21 right now that lives in Falmouth?

  5. haha, so true, I totally did the same P-5 route as I am from Falmouth too. It was all about getting that dairy queen and cruising down the P-5. Football games were totally about the after party. Thanks for sharing, gave me a good laugh.

  6. Born and raised here! Best place to raise your child..literally where everyone knows your name!!!! Family friends and best cooking around! We praise when the tourests leave!!!!

  7. We used to eat mushrooms and do the Falmouth 500, maybe i’m older and we didnt call it the p500. Anyhoo, we’d eat mushrooms, drive through the mall, grab a shopping cart, smash it into the Photomat, pull up to the drive through at mcd’s and try to order, but would lose our shit and drive away.
    One time, we… Statute of limitations?

  8. Oh the falmouth500, remember it all to well. Been in Kentucky to long. When the look and say you can live there in the winter. Love to tell them yep and we even had cars and houses. Favorite question is what is quahog? Just shake my head and say it is a cape thing sorry your not from there I can’t tell you

  9. I don’t remember anyone asking me what I did in winter. The question I always got was, ‘Oh you’re from the Cape? Have you been the Kennedy Compound?’ *eyeroll*

  10. Moving from Boston to Falmouth at 14 though I did find summers depressingly boring. We did all the things you mentioned too, but I always just missed Boston for the entire winter. Escaping the city heat for the summer was good though.

  11. This article is ridiculous. I’ve lived on the cape my entire life and have never onceheard of P-5. Must be a Falmouth thing only cause everyone commenting that knows what your talking about is referring to Falmouth. So if your going to write an article about cape cod it should probably pertain to the entire cape instead of just Falmouth. And Falmouth is a bitch to get to anyways. Long story short your article sucks balls.

  12. Haha this has me dying. I moved to atl a few years back and the most annoying thing I still get asked is ” how did u grow up on cape cod and u don’t like seafood?” Wtf really so my seafood and shellfish allergies should have known better to come to me because I’m from Cape cod. Lol and the p-5 lol we all did that. Or street raced on shore drive or central ave. And good old bradlees

  13. nope. cape cod sucks. there’s nothing fun about drving around by yourself in your car and wasting gas because you literally have nothing else to do. ps Im from Cape Cod too (not Falmouth) and also never heard of P5. This should be called Falmouth people who love cape cod because they get to drive around their car in circles and think it’s better and more enriched than a sort of life you could have in a city. paahhhh. cape cod sucks!!! no culture, no diversity, nothing to do but get drunk (as shown in first photo), drive around in your care alone, and uhm, yep that’s all.

    1. Know what else sucks? People that have nothing better to do outside of trolling the internet for something to bitch about and suck the fun out of shit other people enjoy and relate to. Byeee

      1. Lmao- I moved here at the ripe age of 10, and was miserable until I suffered through my first few winters as a pre-pubescent. But once I came of age I realized the freedoms and potential the Cape had to offer. So sorry for the ‘trolls’ that didn’t take advantage of their surroundings… I bet they still blame the ghettos for producing drug dealers… So the cape must have only produced fishermen and boat captains? Lmao.
        And p-5 is everywhere. I used to visit my cousins off cape and they’d have an acronym for their town such as the “norton 500” or the “Plymouth road race”.
        Stop being a douche because your childhood sucked. It’s only making your adulthood suck too…

  14. I’m from Yarmouth and I remember getting into it with someone over the definition of a resident or some shit. “Of course I’m a resident; I’m just not here for the Fall or Winter, but I pay taxes”. I almost fell over. All I could do was inform him that you are NOT a resident until you’ve spent a few winters on cape freezing your ass off broke as shit in February when Christmas and New Years credit card payments are catching up to you and you are at best only working part time… haha loved this article though.

  15. “Oh so your from cape cod? Your family must be rich.”

    Ya my family is rich. Climbing 3 story ladders with 60 lb packs of shingles in freezing temperatures in 40mph winds is just a hobby to me. Jackass.

  16. I cringed reading this. I am a Falmouth native and made my way from Mullen Hall through graduation at Falmouth High School without once hearing about the P-5. I live near the Village Green and had I heard you rolling past I would have rolled my eyes then as I am now. Falmouth is so much more than this- rich in history (yes, nautical and farming), agriculture (although less so now that the town cranberry bogs are no more), culturally diverse (the Portuguese are indeed a large part of this), and with some of the most beautiful and scientifically relevant coastline and wetland around (you must be joking- locals never go to Surf Drive Beach. Trunk River? That sounds like my brother’s class of ’93). You are that one embarrassing small part of a community that everyone wishes would go away but is too politically correct to say so- and I guess it wouldn’t be an honest “community” without.

    Gosh, whatever will the kids do these days now that DQ is closed during the winter? Hopefully their parents will help guide them towards better choices so that at 38, they won’t be serving up drinks to the city folk come summer.

  17. I was born and raised on Cape Cod. I lived there my entire life until I went away to college. I’ve never heard of a p-5 either; I grew up in Mashpee and indeed it appears that it may be a part of Falmouth folklore. But I certainly don’t think that this merits saying that the p-5 is a defining characteristic of someone from Cape Cod. In fact, I’d even say, as many above did, that doing this activity sounds kind of pointless even though I can understand why it might be enticing with the right group of friends. With gas being nearly 30 cents a gallon higher on Cape than off though, it seems silly (to me) to waste so much gas arbitrarily driving in circles. I also did not and still do not choose to drink so I find it interesting that a vital part of multiple winter activities you mention here have to do with drinking. Personally, I found the mild winters (I moved to the Midwest for college and it is REALLY cold here) of Cape Cod relaxing; in fact, during the winter, it seemed to me that the community really came together because we all bonded over being year-long residents. I believe, less harshly so than that other replies, that your post doesn’t capture the spirit of the Cape during the winter completely although there are certainly things that people can relate to (like everyone becoming friends with one another because there is nothing else to do). The Cape has a rich history, many deeply caring communities to join and participate in and plenty of services that do not lull for the winter.

  18. I’ve lived on Cape most of my life (moved here when I was 7, I’m 23 now), and I’ve never heard of a P-5. Must be a Falmouth thing..

Comments are closed.