When I began teaching I noticed that the endless stream of textbook promotional materials always referenced "Texas Editions." Seriously, everything came in standard or Texas versions. I had not the slightest idea what this meant. I assumed that Texas Edition meant it was the re-written with fewer polysyllabic words and more pictures. Perhaps they would replace the chapter on political parties with a picture of Ronald Reagan and partial transcriptions of the Chuck Norris film Missing in Action. I am somewhat ashamed to admit this, but it is true.
In reality, of course, they're regular textbooks with an extra chapter to cover a bunch of Texas state government stuff mandated by the state legislature. Texas textbooks are about to get even dumber, but don't be too concerned about the Texas Board of Curriculum's unique version of reality. Texas will continue to get special textbooks and the rest of us will get books that have, like, history and stuff in them.
This is just the latest incarnation of an old American tradition of naming big, stupid things after Texas. People in Texas are proud of how big and stupid they are, which makes it even funnier for the rest of us. With their extra-giant Texas trucks and Texas Whoppers and planet-sized Jumbotrons and crippling obesity epidemic, Texas is like the dopey fat kid in every low brow 80s comedy.
Share with me your favorite experiences having to do with Texas or Texans. Let's leave the last President out of this in an effort to be something other than depressed. The only funny story I have involves being in El Paso. And in El Paso, the joke is on everyone.