Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Don't Mess With Texas...I Get It.

So after yesterday's post about chili, I was deluged with comments from people in America's second-largest state about how chili is supposed to be made. In those comments, one could not help but discern that Texans consider themselves to be a breed apart from the rest of us, or "special", if you will.

Well to be fair, I spent a week in Austin once, and I can attest that many of those that I met there were "special" indeed.


OK, stop the hate mail before it gets here. I know that saying Austin is representative of Texas is like saying that Anchorage is what Alaska is really like or that all of Michigan is just like Detroit. Still, how can you not poke fun at Texans every now and again? I mean, you've got a whole state where it's apparently required by law that every citizen must own a cowboy hat. Plus George W. Bush. Just saying...

To be fair, the multiple invites down to the chili cook-off were really nice, and I will definitely have to try that one of these days, although probably without the dogs, since, while Belle rides nicely and just curls up and sleeps, Murphy bounces around the vehicle like a hyperactive pinball, whining and pacing and doing his damnedest to get up in the front seat with me the whole trip. I'd sooner volunteer for an unneeded root canal at the local dental school than make a cross-country drive with him in the car. Plus, he can't really be trusted around food. There have been at least three incidents at neighborhood barbecues and local picnics where Murphy has walked up to people, looked them square in the eye, and taken their hamburgers or hotdogs right out of their hands. And for some reason, no one wants to tell a German Shepherd "no".

But I digress.

Texans got grit, and you have to admire them for that. Seriously, who else would have stood up to Mexico like they did back in 1836, basically telling Santa Ana, commander of the largest army on the continent, to go suck eggs? That was bally, right there. And that stand at the Alamo? Beautiful. I have been to the Alamo and I could only imaging what it must have felt like, trying to hold that place with just a hundred and eighty nine volunteers against the thousands of Mexicans that everyone knew were coming.

Of course when I was there, I just looked around and decided that had it been me in charge, I'd have moved my forces into the US Post Office just across E. Houston Street to the north. That building has a smaller and much more defensible perimeter, the highest rooftop in the area, and air conditioning. Yeah, I'm thinking I'd have made my stand there instead. But hey--that's just me.

Yeah, I do like Texas, and if Texas ever gets around to being the first state to secede from the present-day union like some of them keep hinting at, I'll likely buy me a big cowboy hat and drive down and join them, even if it means a road trip with Murphy. (But if we do this, Sheila Jackson Lee has to go, ok?)

Yeah, Texans are pretty cool. Of course, there are those who might disagree:


And yeah, I'd probably not have dared post that if Texan Ed Rasimus was still around. Not after the ear-blistering I got when I innocently asked him how to do an aileron roll in a Cessna 172. I got the feeling after that short and mostly one-sided "discussion" that old R. Lee Ermey would have had himself some competition.

15 comments:

  1. I'm with you on the Sheila Jackson thing

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  2. Wasn't Texas originally called Baja Oklahoma?

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    1. Dick, you may be on to something. 30-something years ago, when I was sent out to Oklahoma by my company, I was warned that there would be pressure upon me to purchase a cowboy hat. Sure enough, the manager of the local operation in Muskogee took me to a store in Okmulgee where I was outfitted with, inter alia, a Stetson, which I still have today.

      The Texas cowboy hat statute was apparently derived from its days as a vassal state of Oklahoma.


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    2. i think you fellas got your history plumb screwed up. But that's pretty typical of folks from the northern climes. Your brains are frozen. The correct geographical labels are Texas and Ain't Texas.

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  3. Your comment re: Anchorage is spot on. The best that can be said about the city is that it's only an hour from Alaska. :)

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  4. Ditto on the Sheila Jackson thing. Austin is effectively San Francisco East. It's motto is to "Keep Austin Weird". Most of the rest of us follow that with build a wall around it and lock the gates. Some then follow with "Then fill it with water", but that's just not nice.
    Cowboy hats are desired, not required. Boots and a gimme Ball cap on the other hand....

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  5. I've found Texans have a great sense of humor except when it comes to Texas and things Texan specific.

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  6. +1 Juvat - Most Texans don't claim Austin, as it is undoubtedly the liberal bastion of the state. A bumper sticker, seen in the '70s and '80s outside of Austin, and not so common now, was "Steers & Queers - No Place But Austin".

    Historical trivia: As you know, Wm. Barrett Travis famously galvanized the Alamo defenders with his "line in the sand" speech. But that speech almost didn't happen. One of the Texians assigned to the compound was Fergus McFly. As the Mexicans were massing around the walls, Fergus was visited by his great-grandson's great-grandson, who tried, in vain, to convince Col. Travis that the assemblage was simply the horticulture crew arriving to landscape the grounds¹.

    The more you know...

    ¹ A series of documentaries about the McFly family were produced, beginning in 1985.

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    1. Oh, now THAT was funny! Took me a second to get the deeper joke, but THAT was funny.

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  7. There is an explanation for Austin. No Texans live there. All are transplants from Kalifornia.

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  8. Oh another thing. The thing about poking fun at Texas. We do in fact have a sense of humor. When you do it, it gives us an opportunity to return the jest. If in doubt, c'mon on down. Our reputation as the friendliest State around is justified.

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  9. Two friends, one from Texas and one from Alaska.
    The Alaskan says to the Texan: "You know, the government is talking about dividing Alaska into four separate states. If they do that it will make Texas the fifth largest state."
    The Texan, without missing a beat, replies: "That's okay, but you know that if they melted all that ice and snow up there, Alaska would only be the size of Delaware."

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  10. And if they cut that into fourths, Rhode Island wouldn't be the smallest anymore.

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  11. Sorry, but I make the greatest chili in the world and I live in Nevada! My chili is so good you smear some on your forehead and your tongue will beat your brains out trying to get to it. When I try and compete in a cook off word gets out I'm coming, everyone knows they don't stand a chance, cancel their trip and the cook off ends up being cancelled. That's why I don't compete anymore. It's not fair to the young folks.You got to encourage the young folks. I ain't going to live forever and my chili will die with me! For those who know chili, I make 3 dumps and it takes about 2 1/2 hours per batch. Jalapeno corn bread and Bourbon served on the side! ha ha ha ha ha

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    1. You had me at Bourbon!

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