An Apology to Texas

Not long ago I wrote a rather grumpy post about Texas in which I used an impolite word — specifically, about the highway etiquette here — and the commenters came back at me with such kindness that I think it’s time I said a few nice things about Texas.

That’s the main thing. Everyone here is so nice. I love it! I get to be friendly to strangers again. I moved here after ten or so years in southern California, where making eye contact is a sign of weirdness. If you greet a stranger walking down the street, you’ll cause confusion and genuine distress; they just aren’t prepared to cope with that kind of deviant behavior.

And really my complaints since moving to Austin are minor. It’s true, a lot of people here don’t know how to drive. And the deeper you get into the city, the more it’s crawling with smelly hippie filth. And the girls around here wear these incredibly bad running shorts like they’re a government-issued uniform. And a surprising number of the older women dress like whores, although I’m not so much complaining about that because it’s kind of hilarious. And they’re insufferably anti-progress in this town, doing everything they can to block economic development, plus they’ve got the most imbecilic ban on plastic bags (because we can’t fall behind San Francisco in protecting endangered sea turtles!), but there’s an exception for nonprofit orgs, because evidently it’s been decreed that dangerous plastic bags used for a nonprofit motive don’t harm the environment, and it’s all so stupid it makes my teeth itch …

I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I’m writing an apology to Texas, not a rant about Austin. And in fairness to Austin, not a single endangered sea turtle has choked to death on a plastic bag in this town since the ban was enacted. So where was I? Oh yes, nice. Everyone here is just so dang nice and easy to get along with, college hippies excepted, although most of those that I’ve met came in from other states like California. Damn Californians, we’ve finished ruining that state so now we’re flooding out to make a mess of all the other 49, except for Michigan, which is doing a fine job of joining the Third World all by itself.

More nice things about Texas: I love your beer. I have the Lonestar puzzlecap app on my phone, and a Shiner Bock in a frosty mug is about as good it gets with pizza. I like the the football culture. I like the pride Texans feel about their state’s culture, pride which is sometimes a bit misplaced, but it sure beats self-loathing. I like the cowboy paraphernalia and the frontier-style self-reliance, where it remains. And I’ve actually met polite children here! Those are awfully hard to find back in California, which appears to be trying diligently to set a record for raising the stupidest, most entitled generation of obnoxious little snots the world has yet seen, and soon they’ll be everybody’s problem, so get ready for that.

Well. Looks like I’m in a bit of the wrong mood here to write an apology to Texas, because it keeps turning into a rant about other states. But I am sorry, Texas, I am genuinely sorry for saying negative things about you without stressing the good things, which are considerable. We can still be friends and I’ll be happy to keep living here a while longer, as long as you keep making the beer. But we have to agree to disagree about the tragic running shorts you insist on putting on your women.


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