Gut Rumbles

April 21, 2008

Cultural things

Originally published October 31, 2002

The Right Wing Texan waxed philosophical the other day and said, "I have always been interested in the cultural, political, and attitudinal differences in Texas compared to other parts of the country - particularly either coast. Believe me, the differences in general are huge."

I agree. I have visited Texas several times (my first ex-wife was from Fort Worth) and I've appreciated the unique Texas culture. Texas grows more pretty women than Pennsylvania grows mushrooms. I won't say the women all are 10s, but I damned sure saw a LOT of 9.5s sashaying around everywhere I looked.

Everyone I dealt with was friendly and polite, even the hairy, tattooed guy, laid back on his Harley and drinking an 8-pack of Miller ponies in a 7-11 parking lot when I got lost trying to find a golf course where I had a tee time. The Iranian dude behind the counter inside didn't speakee English very well, so I asked the biker if he knew where the course was. He said yes, and started to give me directions, then said, "Fuck it, man. It's easier to TAKE you there. Just follow me." I did, and he led me right to the place. He pointed to the entrance, gave me a thumbs up and thundered on down the road.

That's the kind of thing I am accustomed to, living down South. But Texas is NOT a Southern state. Texas is just too... TEXAS to be really Southern. We true Southerners have a LOT in common with our Texan cousins, but there are significant differences.

The obvious one is barbecue. Southerners barbecue pig. If you mention barbecue in Jawja, EVERYBODY knows you're talking about the other white meat. In Texas, they barbecue BEEF. I got my first lesson in that difference one day when I had a craving for some ribs. My first ex-wife was going to the grocery store, so I said, "Honey, why don't you buy some ribs and I'll barbecue them for supper tonight." She returned with beef ribs, and was SHOCKED when I asked, "Why did you buy beef ribs? I wanted to barbecue!"

The other difference is hats. Southern men like their hats, but they usually wear caps with a logo on the FRONT, because no true Southerner turns the goddam thing around and wears it with the bill pointing assward unless he's in a bassboat burning a 200 Mercury full-blast across a lake. Southerners turn the hat around then to keep it from blowing off, but as soon as the boat slows down, we turn the bill to the front again to keep the sun out of our eyes while we fish. My favorite hat right now is a camoflage number with "United Rentals" on the FRONT. Texans, on the other hand, like their cowboy hats, even if they've never been closer to an actual cow than the milk cooler at Krogers. I really have no problem with that, but it IS a cultural difference.

I won't even mention the boot thing. I'll just repeat an old joke: What do you get if you kick the shit out of a Texan? An empty pair of cowboy boots.

I don't mean to be anti-Texas, because I am NOT. I love the state, and I have more blog-buddies from Texas than I do from Georgia (Okay, RWT, I'll beat you to it--- that's probably because more people can READ AND WRITE in Texas).

Besides, we share an appreciation for pickup trucks, guns, football, the Great Outdoors, fishing, campfires, fiddle music, food cooked on an open fire and prolific alcohol consumption. Texas may not be Southern, but it's the next best thing.

And that's high praise from Acidman. If you've read this blog for long, you know what I think about yankees and left-coast lunatics.

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