If you’ve ever visited metro Atlanta or been around someone from the area you may have heard them talk about ITP and OTP.  Quite often it’s thrown out in conversation and you’re not sure whether they’re using text shorthand or if its a “southern thang”.  From an ITP’er it may come out sounding something like…

Well you can’t blame him for his ignorance, he lives OTP.

From an OTP’er it may sound something like…

Check out that dude’s skinny jeans and plaid shirt.  He’s either a worship leader or he lives ITP.

I’m here today to clear up the confusion.

  • ITP = Inside the Perimeter
  • OTP = Outside the Perimeter

Oh, and there’s also

  • WOTP = Way Outside the Perimeter (where I live)

What is the Perimeter you ask?  The Perimeter is I-285.  An interstate that runs a 50+ mile loop around the city of Atlanta.

Interesting isn’t it? A city that consistently ranks as having one of the worst commutes in the nation uses a single road to divide and label people…I digress.

So what is an ITP’er an OTP’er or even an WOTP’er?

ITP’ers are hip, their hipness is legendary.  They purchase the latest gadgets, download the newest songs, watch the edgiest shows, and wear the latest fashions.  ITP’ers are a blend of urban, hipster, bohemian, artist, metrosexual and socialite.  They are single or young marrieds, or Elton John.  They listen to iPods.  They get their news from Huffpo, CNN & NPR, and they’re usually democrats.

OTP’ers are a mashup in every way.  At times they combine the fashion sense of the ITP’ers with the drink chioce of the WOTP’ers.  At other times they drive their pickup trucks to the High Museum of Art.  They are generally married with kids and usually drive ITP to get to work.  They listen to the local FM morning show of choice and get their news from a combination of Fox News, CNN & the local nightly news.

WOTP’ers are fond of Jeff Foxworthy and the Blue Collar Comedy Tour.  They generally drink beer from a can, drive pick up trucks or SUV’s, and did not vote for Obama.  They are married and often live in the same town they grew up in.  They listen to talk radio and get their news from Fox News & The Drudge Report.

I know, I know this post is blatantly stereotypical and depending on the area of town you live in you may be thoroughly offended.  Most of my friends who live WOTP with me are reading this and thinking “That’s not me” and their right, it’s not them, or me, but it is how the ITP’ers see the WOTP’ers and how the WOTP’ers see the ITP’ers isn’t it?  Anyways, I’m just having some fun here, but I would venture to say that those of you reading this in other parts of the country can define areas of your town in the exact same way.  You may not use the same names, but there are ITP’ers, OTP’ers and WOTP’ers in every town, right?

So there you have it, you have been edjumacated in the language of metro Atlanta.  Our next lesson will be on the amazing food brands that have come from Atlanta; namely Chick-fil-A, Coke & Waffle House.

SIDE NOTE: All of the joking aside, one of the things I love most about my church is that we have campuses ITP, OTP & WOTP.  Three locations, three people groups but the same message.  Sure we do ministry slightly different in the individual campuses and we have different “issues” to deal with, but the message never changes and the stories of life change are always the same.