NPF: TEXAS EDITION

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.

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50 Responses to “NPF: TEXAS EDITION”

  1. Rose Says:

    My favorite part is when I lived there for 4 years and it wasn't the shitty backwater that everyone else in the country makes it out to be. I'm not a 'real' Texan but it still annoys me when people paint the entire state with one broad brush. Every state has their shitholes and their dumbasses and questionable state legislature decisions. (Not that I'm excusing or in any way agree with the recent textbook decision. It's stupid). Your description of Texas is how the rest of the world sees the entire United States, and while there may be a kernel of truth in that description I'm sure you would be/are annoyed by being lumped in with such a gross generalization.

  2. Matthew Says:

    My Uncle used to be the commander of a naval base in a buttfuck part of Texas called Kingsville. While there for less than a week, my family was attacked by spiders, snakes, and about 80 bajillion fire ants. While the ants were no bigger than ants I was used to seeing, their bites hurt like eight bitches on a bitch-boat. On the other hand, the spiders were bigger than my twelve year old face and the snake was longer than I was tall. In response to all of that, let me just say a great big "fuck you" to Texas.

  3. Matthew Says:

    Also Rose, being offended when someone says "Texas is shit" because you lived there for FOUR FUCKING is pretty dumb. But you're probably right to point it out, because Ed's sweeping dismissal was undoubtedly all-inclusive. While he doesn't say it outright, I can read between the lines where he says, "Everyone who has ever lived in Texas (any part of it), driven through Texas, or even thought about Texas in a half-affectionate way is exactly the same as the worst slack-jawed, gap-toothed, big belt-buckled yokel."

    Yeah, Texas is big. That means that not every part of it is as shitty as every other part. That also means you don't have to say that without reasonably intelligent people assuming that it is the case. On average, Texas sucks donkey balls. And based on your post, you're probably not bringing that average up as much as you think you are.

  4. FMguru Says:

    Only been to Texas once, a visit to Houston, and I was amazed at what an amazing shithole it was. I lived in L.A. at the time, and thought I knew a little something about ugly sprawl, but nothing could have prepared me for zoning-law-less Houston. I'd never seen so many seedy porn stores and titty bars with neon highlights crammed cheek-to-jowl against schools and churches and apartment blocks. Drove down to the Johnson NASA center to take the tour (which was very cool) and was stunned to see the shimmering rainbow clouds of aerosol petrochemicals over the shipping channel, and the crappy tumble-down houses right next to refineries. Took another day trip to College Station and was similarly impressed with how ugly the state was and how awful the college town was. I'd visited Ithaca NY beforehand, so it was a perfect contrast to the pretty green gorges and ivy-covered architecture found there.

    Texas is a rathole state, and everyone in the other, better 49 states has to supress their giggle reflex whenever one of you hick inbreds goes into their "Don't Mess With/Everything's Bigger In/Deep In The Heart Of" routine.

  5. daphne Says:

    isn't particularly funny, but I vividly remember a huge January snowstorm bringing the interstate to a halt. seems it's not supposed to snow there – and we're not talking anti-global warming propaganda. this was in the 70s.

  6. Susanne Says:

    I remember having a conversation with a Texan around the time when the Texas governor was talking about seceding from the union. The Texan seemed to truly, sincerely believe that this was a viable option. I was like, don't you think the Texas-based oil companies might have something to say about that? Given that oil is valued in US dollars and these companies know they have the might of the US military at their back? It seemed that hadn't occurred to him. Even though at the time he was in the military, and his US Navy ship was patrolling in waters far from America. (Perhaps to keep shipping lanes safe for oil?)
    But I found this http://www.texassecede.com so maybe I shouldn't be too hard on him. I guess he's got company.

  7. Jon Says:

    "And based on your post, you're probably not bringing that average up as much as you think you are."

    Wisecracks take practice, I know, but while you're still learning the ropes it's best to avoid looking like an asshole.

  8. cschack Says:

    All the Texans I've met have been wonderful, smart, fun people. Of course, I didn't meet them in Texas, because they'd all left.

  9. j Says:

    Best thing about Texas: Lone Star Beer. Second best: Lone Star Light.

  10. Pan Sapiens Says:

    I toured the Alamo and checked out the basement.

  11. Brandon Says:

    My favorite story happens repeatedly. It's when know-it-all pricks come down here and think they are superior because they are from forward-thinking utopias like Illinois and Pennsylvania.

    I'm a native Texan. I live here because I love the place. Yes, Houston is a chemically-choked shithole with fat asses (though it does seem a bit disingenuous when another American has the nerve to bag on a city for being fat) but I solve that problem by not living there. Yes, Rick Perry is a douche bag of the HIGHEST order and the Board of Education is an embarrassment to reason, but we hardly have a monopoly on douche bags and stupidity in this country.

    Oh, and to Matthew… you say that it is stupid that Rose would be offended after only living here for four years (as if that's not enough time) but you make your judgements based on being in one small part of the state for a week. Genius.

    Honestly, I wish more people would take the view of the state that Ed and others here have. For it to be such a shithole, there sure are a lot of you moving here. Please work harder to spread your stories of Houston and Kingsville to the rest of the enlightened world.

  12. Hobbes Says:

    I will defend Austin, even though I've never been there. I have several friends who have moved there from Wisconsin (so I definitely can't rail on Texas for being a fat state) and assure me that it's got the culture of Madison but with less of that cold white stuff. I could definitely get behind that if I weren't so heat-averse.

    The rest of the state, I'll just leave alone.

  13. Pan Sapiens Says:

    I also remember the time when I was invited to judge a chili cook-off. I found a human tooth in my bowl, which the contestant insisted was a peppercorn. I let it slide because it was really, really, good-tasting chili.

  14. Patti Says:

    In college, I roomed with a girl from Sam Houston State at a convention, and on the last day, she asked the question, "Did y'all leave y'alls luggage in y'alls room?" I did not know that the possessive form of y'all was y'alls, being inclined to use "your" in these cases.

    Off topic, but has anyone actually come up with the consequence of messing with Texas? I have heard that we are not supposed to, but I don't know why we shouldn't. Besides Mississippi, I can't think of a state that would benefit more from being messed with than Texas.

  15. Brandon Says:

    I've basically only been to Austin, which I really enjoyed, and some of the surrounding areas. Took a drive down to San Antonio and did the tourist stuff for a day, but obviously wasn't there long enough to sense whether it was a nice place to live. I'm kind of curious to know why El Paso has such a bad reputation. I've never been there, so I'm genuinely interested. I know it's incredibly remote, but the one person I've met from there was telling me that because of its remoteness, many people from El Paso consider themselves apart from the rest of the state. It's got a low crime rate and is ethnically diverse, and I'm sure many of the people in Juarez across the border would love to switch sides right about now.

    I don't know, I think Texas is a pretty interesting place to watch right now. For all the Bible-thumpers and militant "patriots" in the suburbs and small towns, the state is undergoing a pretty radical demographic change. Dallas County voted for Obama in '04, Houston elected an openly lesbian mayor, and if current trends persist (increased Latino population, college grads moving from colder climates to Houston and Austin, etc.) I think the state could become more hospitable to Democrats, maybe not in 5 years, but certainly in the next couple of decades.

  16. Shane Says:

    I spent much of my youth in Texas in various stints, including a few years in high school and college. You couldn't pay me enough to move back there. Austin is the one exception but even then you are still surrounded by the ocean that is the rest of Texas.

    The thing that always amazed me most was how many people, even friends that I adored, were completely content to never leave their own county. They had no curiosity, intellectual or otherwise, that made them want to see even the rest of the country, not to mention the world. "We have Sonic, tex-mex, a huge Baptist megaplex, and Wal-mart, why would we ever want to leave?"

  17. Kulkuri Says:

    "Off topic, but has anyone actually come up with the consequence of messing with Texas?"
    It's a fine for littering. "Don't Mess With Texas" was their anti-littering campaign back in the 90s or so. Right under the "Don't Mess With Texas" sign was a sign saying what the fine for littering was.

  18. Barbed Wire Says:

    …have been following the State Board of Education curriculum meetings, using those terms loosely of course, and by turns finding them hilarious, disgusting and disappointing. I think I mentioned previously – what strikes me is the creation-evolution dust-up, especially as out here in W Tx 90% of the educated-white-collar class work in the oil bidness and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the freakin' earth ain't just 6000 yrs. old… but they don't seem to care or notice the religious-based swill spouted and adopted by the SBOE.

    All I can think – not having the benefit of Ed's tutoring – is that they are such die-hard republicans they believe the ends justify the means?

    I cain't make apologies for the endless insanity nor the personalities…I just take a little comfort that there are a few enlightened minds – Molly Ivins, Jim Hightower, Lyle Lovett.

  19. Hazy Davy Says:

    http://www.small.to/search.php?query=texas&keyType=phrase&datestart=&dateend=&topic=0&type=all&author=13&results=10&mode=search

    My favorite experience with Texans was when the VP from Austin announced they were shutting down out division in the Bay Area of Northern California. He flew out, and told us our jobs were moving to Austin, and then began the sales pitch. Houses are cheaper, there. Austin has a lot of cultural attractions. If any of us have kids that will go to college, we'll definitely want to move, because they have two world-class universities close to Austin, and if we stayed in the Bay Area, our kids would have to move out of the area.

    That's the Texas way: "we're the great state of Texas. Everything's better here, and we'll ignore the facts if they get in the way of that delusion."

  20. Brandon Says:

    Barbed Wire, good point, but I think you underestimate the ability of people to believe mutually contradictory things. Working in or benefiting from the oil industry doesn't necessarily require a sound working knowledge of geology. I've met people with PhD's in astrophysics who reconcile their literal reading of the Bible with all available evidence by insisting that God created the universe such that light only "appears" to be coming from billions of light years away! Similarly, if you're in the oil extraction business, you obviously need some engineering knowledge, but you might not have to worry about where all that oil came from.

  21. Pan Sapiens Says:

    Okay, one last story since all of yours are so fucking lame.

    I helped out some local Satanists in central TX who had run out of liquid inflammables. Never saw that coming! Anyway, I always keep a 55 gallon drum of white gas in the back of the pickup for just such a contingency.

    They set up a cozy little night time ritual around a RV they'd been chasing all day and finally got the pentagram of fire burning properly. Wouldn't you know it, but that blonde bitch from M*A*S*H, some hysterical brunette skank, Sgt Hulka, and that Easy Rider dude were inside? Small world!

  22. Brandon Says:

    "My favorite experience with Texans was when the VP from Austin announced they were shutting down out division in the Bay Area of Northern California. He flew out, and told us our jobs were moving to Austin, and then began the sales pitch. Houses are cheaper, there. Austin has a lot of cultural attractions. If any of us have kids that will go to college, we'll definitely want to move, because they have two world-class universities close to Austin, and if we stayed in the Bay Area, our kids would have to move out of the area.

    That's the Texas way: "we're the great state of Texas. Everything's better here, and we'll ignore the facts if they get in the way of that delusion.""

    That must be it. I'm sure it had nothing to do with him wanting to make people who were either going to uproot their families or lose their jobs feel better about their situation.

  23. ChicagoJo Says:

    I've spent plenty of time in Texas. They have just as many dumbasses as everywere else I've also lived. However, the food is awesome, the people are friendly, the lack of winter rules, and the cost of living makes me consider going back.

    Really, think about other states: The only part of Illinois that isn't bullsh!t is Chicago. Similarly, Wisconsin has only Madison. Arizona is intolerably hot in the summer, and it is intolerably taken over by old folks in the nice months. California will tax you to death, and you can't afford a house if you want to live anywhere pretty. On and on and on.

  24. Crazy for Urban Planning Says:

    I find myself repeating several earlier comments: Austin's Planning Department is awesome. (http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/planning/) These Rick Perry and other dumb shits aren't going to last long due to the demographic changes that will make soon leave them extinct. And like ChicagoJo says – every rural place is conservative! Anyone ever been to the state of Washington? Anywhere East of the Cascades is a backwater! I live in Missoula, Montana – I can generically say that anywhere else in my state is dominated by a bunch of neanderthals who are addicted to their cars and don't want to build a trail through the city. I say its frustrating having progressive ideals in the U.S.

  25. Andrew Says:

    Yeah, most of the stories posted aren't really stories, they are "Texans are stupid!" That's not a story. I'm pretty sure they were written from a local coffee shop too.
    I did some work on a wind farm in North Texas for a couple weeks, so I only have limited experience. Yeah, the people weren't very "book learned" but they were nice as hell and had a great sense of humor and fun. I'm from LA and can dress a little effeminate (compared to TX), so I had to be a little careful what I wore in public. Didn't have any problems, but I can see how it would happen. But then again, dress like a red neck and walk into a hip LA bar and see how that goes.

  26. Susan of Texas Says:

    Texas has changed a lot in the past thirty years. The big recession of the early 80s saw a lot of Midwesterners come down here when their auto plants closed down. Texas was forced to diversify and not depend entirely on the oil business. Many, many foreigners moved here–Southeast Asians after Vietnam ended, (East) Indians going to the cheaper schools, and of course a constant stream of people from the south. The cowboy cultured died out with the concentration of food production and suburbs took over ranches. The small towns are less isolated than they used to be, the Texas accent is less common.

    Air conditioning shaped the form of the landscape. To escape the heat-which is so bad it physically presses on you, everyone goes from air-conditioned house to car to building. And you still sweat constantly from May to November. Spring is three weeks in March. (It is absolutely gorgeous outside right now.) Because you must have a car, the cities sprawl, the streets are eerily empty, and the pace of life is slower than colder climates. Most old buildings were torn down and replaced with modern ones that are designed around air conditioning. There are large, ugly stretches of empty land between oasis of destinations–the city centers, the shopping malls, the airports. (There are multiple city centers instead of one large, vibrant downtown.)

    In my experience, New Yorkers brag more, North Carolinians are more insular, Californians are worse about paying taxes, Arizona is uglier, and Florida is more ignorant. Although most of Houston is very ugly, there are still sections with good schools, beautiful trees, parks, museums, and historic buildings. (Relatively speaking.) The people here are racist and not racist, educated and ignorant, kind and cruel–just like everywhere else. We stay because of the jobs, we raise our families, and just try to survive like everyone else.

    Texas has land and water. That will be extraordinarily important in the future, much more so than regional preferences.

  27. Sarah Says:

    High School Football Zombie Team novel set in "Killington, TX"
    http://books.simonandschuster.com/Play-Dead/Ryan-Brown/9781439171615

    Also, one of the only things I miss about drinking is Shiner Beer. And, I have had good times in both Galveston and Austin. But people in Galveston had a disturbing love of those PT Cruiser things. I saw more of those cars in 5 days on Galveston Island than I had seen collectively in my life up to that point. I even needed to rent a car at one point on the Island and that was the only kind of vehicle available.

  28. moonbat Says:

    Texas is a country unto itself, and a state of mind, which I sometimes enjoy and sometimes can't wait to get the hell out of. It is just like the United States, only more so (in mostly the negative dimensions, as I see it). There is an immense sense of space and freedom, and look what the natives have done with it…for better and for worse. It produced Molly Ivins, after all.

  29. Technogeek Says:

    I will share a story told to me by my father about why he cannot go to Texas.

    After completing his official tour of duty in the US Navy, he spent several years in the Reserve. As part of this, he had to spend a weekend each month drilling and two weeks each year on active duty. It was during one of those two-week periods when he met the subject of this story.

    The man (whose name I forget, but I'll go with 'Frank' because it's easy to remember) had a tendency to tell jokes about Polish people — which my father happens to be. Every time he heard or thought up a new one, he would shout to a friend of his, in the most stereotypical Southern accident known to man, "Hey, Skeet, got another one 'fer ya!"

    After a week of this, my father was understandably fed up with Frank. So, he went over, and spoke to him.

    "Hey, you seem like a smart man. I'll bet you can read and write Polish just fine."

    "Nope," said Frank. "'Fraid not."

    "Hmm. Well, you can at least speak the language, I'm sure."

    "Nope," said Frank again. "Never lairned it."

    "You never 'lairned' it," my father replied. "But you can at least understand when someone is speaking it to you, right?"

    "Nope," said Frank a third time.

    "So, tell me," my father said to Frank. "How does it feel to be dumber than a Polack?"

    At this, Frank turned at least ten different shades of red and purple, walked off, and never shared another Polish joke for the remainder of the two weeks.

    Here's where the Texas part comes in. Near the end of the duty period, the reservists got to talking about where they were heading back to. It turns out Frank was the sheriff of a county in Texas, though my father never learned which county.

    So, technically, there's only one county in Texas he can't go to, but he doesn't know which one. And given that said sheriff almost certainly still has a bullet with my father's name on it, he decided to just stay out of the entire state.

  30. Hazy Davy Says:

    "That must be it. I'm sure it had nothing to do with him wanting to make people who were either going to uproot their families or lose their jobs feel better about their situation."

    Uh, Brandon? Did you read the story? Do you understand the problem inherent in: "If any of us have kids that will go to college, we'll definitely want to move, because they have two world-class universities close to Austin, and if we stayed in the Bay Area, our kids would have to move out of the area."

    The man insisted we should move to Austin so we could be near UT Austin and, what, Rice?

    And move out of the area with Cal, Stanford, St. Mary's, Santa Clara, UC Davis, USF, …
    I mean, sure, I rib Stanford a lot, too. But it's an ok school.

  31. Hazy Davy Says:

    Oh, an I'm sure Austin's cultural attractions are more significant than SF's. And that Lake Austin kick's Lake Tahoe's and the Pacific Ocean's butt.

    (IIRC, 1 person out of ~50 agreed to move, and they decided to keep the Bay Area division open, after all.)

  32. waldo Says:

    Seeing Roy Edroso is moving there, Texas can't be all bad but it's compared to what, right? The last time I over-nighted in Manila (Phillippines) it seemed like hell on earth but then I remembered other places (backwoods Afghanistan, Pakistan) that made Manila seemed civilised.

    So it's probably the attitude of the folks that makes the atmosphere convivial or not and even with the local loonies there's usually enough nice locals (even in Manila, and let's not forget Michelle Malkin's family's origins) that make a place bearable.

    So apart from the Texas Board of Curriculum and all the dumbasses connected to it and the schools ruled by it, and the home schoolers, the seccessionists, the ultra pro-gun lobby, the religionistas, cults and the 1254 mile Texas/Mexico border drug trafficking wars aaaaand….

    49th in per capita tax revenue raised;
    50th in per capita state spending;
    47th in average SAT scores;
    50th in percentage of population over 25 with high school diploma;
    1st in percentage of uninsured children;
    1st in percentage of population without health insurance;
    49th in percentage of women who vote;
    1st in air pollution emissions;
    1st in toxic chemicals released into water;
    1st in cancer-causing carcinogens released into air;
    44th in home ownership rate;
    50th in electric bill affordability;
    1st in number of executions;
    1st in number of gun shows
    16.3% poverty rate
    52 (known) militia groups
    $10 billion a year narcotics trade in El Paso
    Henderson, Paris, Dallas,Texarkana, Houston and Waco
    118 prisons

    Oh, and did I mention racism? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjs3ZLlefqY

    ….let's hear it for Texas!

  33. Susan of Texas Says:

    Then you'll be happy to move the refineries to your back yard so you can have gasoline? Great! I hate having them here but oddly, nobody listens to me because they're too busy feeding their families. Refinery pay well. You'll need our ship channel and port, however. That's why the pollution is here and not elsewhere.

    And maybe you'll want to live next to a failed nation, who pours good and hard-working but penniless people into your state. The people without insurance or education. You know, all those brown people that they round up and harass in towns up north? The ones they ghettoize to work in dangerous industries so the superior northerners don't have to?

    Our racism is worse than others' racism, of course. A relative from New York refused to step into a grocery store here because there were too many brown people, and up north they stay on the other side of the tracks where they belong. Here "minorities" are everywhere, and if you're racist you usually keep your mouth shut.

    I don't like Texas (I'm from California originally) but there are reasons it's so bad. It's the south, until oil was found it was poor, and until the 70s it was very insular. When the superior parts of the country can't support their superior citiizens, they come to Texas to find work. Just don't send us any more of your low-taxes-Jeebus-loving nuts like Rod Dreher. We already have enough idiots.

  34. A. Mendoza Says:

    Here, here, Susan of Texas!

    I am a Texas-born Mexican-American and currently reside in the Houston area. I'm as progressive and educated as they come . . . however, discussions like this raise my hackles quite a bit.

    Susan is right. Texas and Mexico serve as straws that deliver cocaine to the rest of America. Some of the biggest cokeheads I've ever seen are in NYC AND I vividly recall many, many news stories about the horrible treatment that migrant workers get from the residents of the shithole towns in New York state. Don't get me started on Conneticut . . .

    I do electrical work on pipelines and large projects and thus have been to pretty much every region of the US (including Alaska) and I firmly believe that people in Texas are just plain nicer than anywhere else.

    Yes, many rednecks here are racist, but co-exist just fine with even the brownest and most illegal of people – I see it first-hand every day on job sites, grocery stores, etc. The wretched and disgusting racism in places like Arizona and New York far exceed what you'll find here.

    So I think I'll drink a bottle of Elissa or Lawnmower beer from the local St. Arnold's brewery in the bar at my local Pappasitos and ponder how much better you all are because you live in "superior" places like Minnesota, Washington, and meth-addled Oregon.

  35. Robert Says:

    Well, I'm here in Oakland CA, in a quite nice house in a decent neighborhood that my husband (to whom I am legally married, by California law) and our two adopted sons (who are our legally adopted children, again by California law) live in peace and familial happiness. We belong to the PTA at the middle school, all our neighbors are friendly to us, and I'm a member at my local Masonic lodge.

    Could I be living this life anywhere in Texas – even Austin? I know that there are many places here in California where it would be significantly more difficult, but do be honest.

    On the other hand, my husband's best friend from high school is living in Houston, and appears to find it entirely agreeable.

  36. Susan of Texas Says:

    I don't know–maybe you should ask the two sets of lesbian parents in my daughter's girl scouts troop.

  37. jazzbumpa Says:

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but Molly Ivins died three years ago.

    Lo siento,
    JzB

  38. George Says:

    Texas is actually a pretty mixed bag. I mean yeah, on one hand there's probably more pickup trucks per capita than anywhere else on the planet but there's also a pretty big trotskyist community in Houston. Texas defies all attempts at classification.

  39. Ursula Says:

    They have two world-class universities close to Austin, and if we stayed in the Bay Area, our kids would have to move out of the area.`

    This is supposed to be a positive thing about Austin, but I don't really know why. Sure, when one's 18 year old son or daughter moves out to begin life on their own, it might be more stressful if the person is in another state or even country, but no one ever said that raising a competent adult was an easy thing to do.

    The human species has a remarkable habit. Once the young humans mature to adulthood, they will leave their parents and move around the world looking for resources. These movements do not have a predictable independent pattern, but human adults tend to spend time with their parents and communicate with them rather well, depending on whether or not each one is appropriately occupied.

  40. Bitter Scribe Says:

    I have relatives who have lived in the Houston area for years. When one of my cousins got his learner's permit, he was out for a drive/lesson with his mother in the passenger seat. A cop pulled them over for something or other.

    My cousin is of Greek descent, like me, with black hair and swarthy skin. The cop examined my cousin's and aunt's papers, then told my aunt that because her son "looked Mexican," she should teach him to always keep his hands on the wheel when he gets pulled over, because otherwise he might get shot.

    What struck my aunt was the matter-of-fact way the cop told her this. Like it was the most natural thing in the world that Latino people in Texas should have to take their lives in their hands every time they have any kind of encounter with the police.

  41. Tom Says:

    oh gin&tacos, i had a feeling you were a bigot deep down. me and your site, and no doubt many other people i know, and your site = done.

  42. Ed Says:

    I'll live.

  43. rdale Says:

    Virtually all of my family was born in Texas; I'm the only one that wasn't (New Mexico, of which I am inordinately proud). They're all nice people save my redneck brother, but I blame his right-winginess on a career in the military, and he now lives in California. I've been to Texas off and on and lived there when I was a kid and still have more cousins than I can count there. But it's not someplace I go willingly; only for family weddings or when someone paid me to fly to Austin and give a talk. A year or two ago when gas was really expensive, we drove from Utah to Dallas for a family wedding, at 60 mph all the way across the state. We had a great time and the people were unfailingly friendly. But I'm surprised that no one on this thread has compared it to Utah, where I live, which is just as bad if not worse for self-righteous rednecks. Utah has better scenery and better skiing, which is why most non-Mormon people live here.

    One story I just thought of: in 2000 we happened to be in San Antonio, on a family visit. Outside the Alamo–where my 13 year old daughter asked the tour guide "where is the monument for the Mexican soldiers who were killed at the battle," to which he replied "that's a very good question!"–was a big crowd chanting that Bush should be made president; this was before the Supreme Court decision. Then suddenly, like Moses parting the waters, this big black woman came striding through the crowd shouting that Al Gore had won the election and "y'all should just shut up!!" And that's what they did. After that we left and went to the Salt Lick for BBQ and it was great.

  44. Susan of Texas Says:

    That's just silly, Tom.

  45. Lauren O Says:

    They have two world-class universities close to Austin, and if we stayed in the Bay Area, our kids would have to move out of the area.

    I lived my whole life in the Bay Area. I graduated from college last year. Super-high unemployment rate, super-high tax rate, super-high cost of living, economy on the verge of collapse. I couldn't find a job, and I couldn't afford to live in the Bay Area without a job for any amount of time. Guess where I moved.

  46. Hazy Davy Says:

    I really miss Lauren O.
    (Her reading comprehension, combined with a Bay Area college degree, suggests that *either* my assumptions about Cal and Stanford were wrong…or that she went to a school that would be considered great, in Texas.)

  47. cerb Says:

    I'm late to the party but here's my take:

    I lived in Houston for several years on and off. I hope Houston is firebombed and the remaining soil thoroughly salted but I have my reasons. I'll skip the obvious "no one in Texas knows how to drive" or "everyone drives a huge truck" or "no one knows how to properly tie down shit in their trucks." I think I have an interesting perspective because I had the privilege of working in oil and chemical refineries. My first job in the oil refinery was when I was a sophomore in high school. I vividly remember my two virulently racist coworkers listening to David Allan Coe. I was lucky enough to have to listen to 'Nigger Fucker' by him.

    My job in the chemical refinery started with a coworker coming up to me and saying, I swear to God, "I thought you were a faggot, but you just Yankee."

    Fuck Texas, give it back to Mexico.

  48. Wisakedjak Says:

    I found this article through mysterious ways and thought it was hilariously applicable to the subject at hand:

    http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2010/03/texas_boe_removes_jefferson_fr.php

  49. Wisakedjak Says:

    Whoops, forgot to include this teaser:

    "They actually removed Thomas Jefferson and the Enlightenment from the history standards. Seriously."

  50. tailender Says:

    I remember a sign on a bar in Austin TX. "No weapons are allowed in the bar". Below it was a sign saying "The management does not enforce this law". I guess when a patron offers to buy you a shot, you are supposed to start running.