Texas is dumb.
How do I know? From 1979 until a few weeks ago, Texas was my home … my dysfunctional home. Sure, we had problems, but they were our problems. I can call Texas dumb because I earned that right. If any outsiders talk trash about my dumb state, I know a few rednecks, hippies, and professional athletes who will join forces and put a boot in their lone star.
Here are my fourteen reasons why the great state of Texas is dumb.
If Texas had an official state word, “Y’all” would be it. To be honest, 31 years of Texas living and I’m still not exactly sure what the word means. An online dictionary tells me it is a fusing of the words “you” and “all,” but I feel like that doesn’t make sense. I do know that when I use the word outside of Texas, people laugh at me the same way they laugh at a child when it says, “pasghettis and meatbulbs.”
2.) Dallas Cowboys Stadium
And you thought the pyramids were an eyesore. Jerry Jones – with the help of taxpayers – built the 1.15 billion dollar stadium for a team that hasn’t been to the Super Bowl since I was young enough to believe in things. The stadium is currently the 4th largest in the NFL and the largest domed stadium in the league. I’m sure engineers advised making the stadium that large because they needed to be sure it was big enough to house all the disappointment the Cowboys would bring to the fans.
3.) The Alamo: What have you done for us lately?
When it comes to shameless promotion, the Alamo has been used to sell more products than P.T. Barnum. Searching the word “Alamo” in the San Antonio Yellow Pages turns up over 1,000 results. Whether you want to rent a car or buy water softeners, the word Alamo is arguably more synonymous with consumerism than it is with the actual historical landmark. Also, the last time I visited the Alamo, I got kicked out. Because of my Anglo-Mexican background, I have mixed emotions about that.
“All hail the mighty state?” That's a verse in the Texas state song. Yeah. Sure Texas, you’re a good state, but there’s no reason for me to hail you. I get that you’re large and in charge, but some might argue you’re no better than Tennessee in a fat suit. What’s odd is people all over Texas praise the majesty of the state, but as soon as they find out you’re from a town with a rival college, they’ve got a hundred reasons why you’d be best to get back where you came from.
5.) "New" Country Music
Just because you’re from Texas and you play the guitar doesn’t mean people want to hear about your job at the gristmill. Long gone are the days when country musicians snuck into Mexico to stock up on ‘wakey pills’, here are the days where musicians believe marriage is a sacred institution. It’s enough to make me want to pack up my truck-nuts and call it a day.
6.) High School Football
High school football is big business in Texas. We’ve all heard of Friday Night Lights, the show about Texans living vicariously through their favorite child. It should be noted that high school football is the only way grown men in rural Texas are allowed to express emotion – which is completely necessary when all those failed dreams keep being passed down from generation to generation.
7.) Dallas: The Television Show
Dallas is an example of ‘Texploitation.’ In the 31 years I lived in Texas, I never met anyone who drove a car with bullhorn hood-ornaments. The only time people talked about oil was during spring break when my bros needed their backs rubbed down. No, I never rode a horse. The only parts of Dallas that were remotely close to my experiences in the “Big D” were the the excessive drinking and believing I was above the law.
8.) The Food
Texas consistently takes up 30 to 40 percent of the top 10 Fattest Cities in American surveys. This infamous accolade happens for one reason – the delicious, vein-clogging food. Deep-fried, bacon-wrapped jalapeños stuffed with strawberry cheesecake and gout? I’ll take ten! The slogan "Everything is bigger in Texas" is arguably the most diplomatic way of saying "more of me to love."
9.) Summer Time Sun!
Davy Crockett has been famously quoted, "you may all go to hell and I will go to Texas." Apparently Dave never spent a summer in Texas. Five solid months of 100-plus degree weather? Droughts? Roadside fires? German water parks? You don't know hell until you've nursed a prickly pear for H2O during the height of Texas summer.
10.) Austin – The Black Sheep
Remember how you felt at that family bar-b-q when your brother – back from his first semester at college – passive-aggressively informed you that meat was murder? That's how the rest of Texas feels about Austin. While most of the state works 40+ hours a week, Austin devotes it’s days to learning how to spin fire while riding a unicycle. Sure, dumpster-diving is good for the environment, but too much overzealous, bleeding-heart proselytizing is enough to make me vote republican.
11.) The Rest of Texas
Remember how you felt at that family bar-b-q when your redneck brother aggressively informed you he wasn’t going to grill your Tofurky? That’s how Austin feels about the rest of Texas. Except for a few rogue art communities sprinkled throughout Texas, much of the populated state is a soulless, corporate playground. Of course, you need the yang to fully appreciate the ying, but all that “you ain’t from around here” talk is enough to make me want to throw my vote away.
12.) The Riverwalk in San Antonio
The Riverwalk is quite beautiful according to the tourist pamphlet. What the pamphlet fails to mention is the quality of the water flowing through that river. Make sure you don’t have open wounds if you plan on being within 10 feet of this fetid Texas tourist trap. I’m sure if one were to fall in, aside from obtaining some weird mutant powers, they’d be up to their neck in lock jaw and Lues disease.
13.) Drive-Thru Liquor Stores
So you forgot your roadie? Just pull into any number of Texas' drive-thru liquor stores, stock up and turn rush hour into a tailgate party. What’s that? You don’t have a ride? Well don’t worry, this isn’t some holier-than-thou fast food joint; you’re not required to have a kickin’ set of wheels to buy booze from drive-thru liquor establishments. All you need is a passable I.D., a thirsty liver and a common law partner who can take the wheel when nature calls.
14.) Padre Island Spring break
Spring break at Padre Island is where it all goes down. Your standards. Your credit score. Your top. Once a year, libido-driven human-locusts flock to this beach to forget their college troubles and engage in flesh-filled adventures that will permanently eliminate their ability to hold public office. I personally don’t have a problem with Padre becoming a make-shift Gomorrah, but I do have a hard time supporting anything that answers the question: what if The Jersey Shore had more handguns?
Widely hailed by critics and colleagues as a defining talent of the Austin stand-up comedy scene, Lucas Molandes has an impressive list of accomplishments that include appearances at the prestigious Montreal Just for Laughs Festival, Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham,” CNN”s “Not Just Another Cable News Show,” and the winner of the 2010 Funniest Person In Austin Contest. For more info, check him out at lucasmolandes.com.
Photo courtesy of jamiesrabbits