Featured photo: A meme by the @shoppes_at_friendly_lover Instagram page.

Mark William Calaway, aka the professional wrestler known as the Undertaker, emerges from the pristine, white, satin-lined coffin and sits up, a bright, violet-tinted spotlight shining down on him. The words “Cookout on Battleground” are splayed across his body in bold font.

A new meme has dropped.

Anyone who drives down that stretch of South Battleground Avenue with any regularity has been watching with passing interest as the longstanding Cook Out, which burned down in October 2023, was quickly rebuilt and reopened by late December.

But it’s the way that the seemingly mundane event has been made into a goofy meme that makes the Greensboro meme page on Instagram, @shoppes_at_friendly_lover, so hilarious.

The page, managed by a longtime Greensboro native who preferred to remain anonymous for funsies, posted its first meme back in 2022. The inciting reason was pretty simple: “I just wanted to make my wife laugh,” the creator of the account told Triad City Beat. “There’s just stuff we were noticing about the city, and we started making jokes about it. I had no idea that the account would get popular outside of my wife and our small group of friends.”

As of the writing on this piece, the account has more than 6,700 followers and it’s growing. In just the last month, 300 new followers have flocked to the page.

And as a Greensborian… Greensborite… Greensboroan?? It’s not hard to see why.

The account makes jabs at everything from the Lawndale Shopping Center (“People really like the Lawndale Target.”) to the insane weather to, of course, its namesake, Friendly Center.

According to the account’s creator, Friendly Center, which has been a staple of the city’s shopping scene since it opened in 1957, is kind of a microcosm of Greensboro itself.

“Half of the joke is that Friendly is such a ridiculous place, but we all go there,” the creator says. “If you grew up in Greensboro, you spent time in your teens just going to Friendly without a plan.”

And like the rest of the city, which the creator wishes was more walkable, the shopping center is kind of a shitshow when it comes to parking and accessibility. Sure, it’s an outdoor mall, but you kind of need to drive from store to store because everything is so spread out, like Greensboro itself.

“Friendly Center is a perfect microcosm of that,” they say.

As someone who grew up in the city, the creator says it’s fun to poke fun at Greensboro because it’s got some good aspects — think more affordable cost-of-living than the Triangle or Charlotte, good schools, good parks — but it’s also kind of bland. Trends make it here a decade after everywhere else. And then we have things like “uptown” and “midtown” that the city tries to make happen, but no one who lives here buys in. It’s not quite a love-hate relationship, more like a lukewarm, I settled here because it makes sense, kind of thing.

“I do like [Greensboro] with my heart, but it’s a decision you make with your brain,” the creator says. “That’s the point of the account; it’s not talking about all the stuff we love about Greensboro. It’s half laughing at the city, a loving laughter about its quirks and flaws.”

Case in point? That meme format of Jason Momoa sneaking up on Henry Cavill on the red carpet but Momoa is Krazy Kevin Powell and Cavill is me, enjoying the radio.

And as goofy as the memes are, that’s the whole point, the creator says.

“One of things I want to keep about this page is, it is what it is,” they say. “It’s just an outlet and a way to make my friends laugh; I’m never going to make it more than that.”

But fret not Greensboro lovers. Because there’s plenty of memes that make fun of High Point and Charlotte, too.

And that’s part of the mission of just keeping the account really light and not serious at all.

“I don’t work hard on them at all,” the creator says. “I come up with them in a minute and make them in about five minutes and then post them; I don’t really think about it in terms of hits or misses.”

Honestly, kind of perfect for a page about Greensboro.

Follow the account on Instagram here. Care for some Winston-Salem memes? Check ‘em out here.

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