Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Texas Is The Reason

I was in discussion today with The Special Lady Friend about the relative merits of my home state and the joy with which natives of said state tell of its greatness. The state of which I speak is Texas. (Just so you know, I had to resist the urge to type "Texas" like this: TEXAS.) Now, any self-respecting Texan would realize at this point in the post that I have written enough to render all counter arguments moot and void by their silliness. I mean really, typing TEXAS should be enough, but I will humor my non-Texan readership and continue in delineating my infallible logic in an effort to educate and persuade those of you not fortunate enough to count yourselves among the blessed.

I know some of you are rolling your eyes now and thinking to yourselves, "Oh, God, here it comes - another Holier Than Thou Texan waxing poetic about his state and how its so big and so badass." Let me first enumerate my credentials:

1.) I was born overseas to two native Texans in a beautiful and unassailable country who CHOSE to move back to Texas over all other choices.

2.) I have traveled substantially - and from a very young age - and have been taught to value and appreciate multiculturalism and the beauty of foreign cultures.

3.) I do not drive a pick-up truck, nor do I own a gun.

4.) I did not vote for Bush, nor would I ever even if paper cut over my entire body and dipped in a vat of fresh lemon juice.

As I was explaining to the Russian first-named Special Lady Friend, Texas is the greatest state in the United States. Whereas a Virginian or Californian traveling overseas will introduce themselves as being from the United States, a Texan will introduce themselves as being from Texas. This is not arrogance. This is a simple and honest admission of the fact that they are better than you, but no disrespect is intended. You are more than welcome to move and adopt the state as your own. As Lyle Lovett so elegantly stated, "That's right, you're not from Texas...Texas wants you anyway." It's not that everything in Texas is the best the world over; far from it. It is, as I was explaining, that everything in Texas is inherently better than its equal outside of the borders of the Lone Star State. Confused? Here's an example:

Texas has mountains. Yes, I know, those of you from Colorado are scoffing at the mere suggestion of it, but it's true. In the far western reaches of our impossibly well-proportioned state, there exists a small and humble "mountain range" whose tallest peak towers a rather underwhelming 8,749 feet. Alaska's Denali juts majestically past the 20,000 foot barrier and presents a formidable challenge to seasoned mountaineers the world over. However, and here's where my infallible logic takes over, Denali, or any other peak outside of Texas, cannot be the "best" mountain in the world by virtue of the fact that it does not lie within the borders of our aforementioned impossibly well-proportioned state. Conversely, Texas's underwhelming 8,749 foot Guadalupe Peak can never be the "worst" mountain in the world because it DOES lie within those same impossibly well-proportioned borders. It's not me talking here, it's God. Who am I to argue with God (aside from the fact that I'm from Texas)?

Also, and I almost hesitate to present this argument but it seems necessary considering that there will be some people who read this and are confused by my previous argument, Texas is the only state that looks good as a tattoo. Seriously, would another state be as recognizable or as aesthetically pleasing as Texas? "Hey, check out my new tattoo. I know it looks like a rectangle, but it's Wyoming." Or, "No, that's not a birth mark, it's my sweet new tattoo of Idaho."

I'm not sure I convinced the Special Lady Friend of the greatness that is Texas, but she's from Indiana and they're still hung up on the whole basketball thing. Plus, she admitted to me that as a child she wanted to move to Texas because it seemed alluring in an indefinable way. Which brings me to my third argument: How many Texas school children do you think want to move to Indiana? I rest my case.


Airam said...

Wow ... that's quite the argument you've got there!

I've never been to Texas and I have to apologize for this but it's not the first state I'd visit. So if I do visit it are you saying I will fall in love with it or do I need to be a Texan to truly appreciate it?

Pancho said...

Hmmmm...I can't make any promises, but it's kind of like when you try a really obscure beer from a microbrewery and you hate it and then are told that it's not the beer that's bad, it's your unrefined beer-tasting palate.

Katharine said...

You are more than welcome to move and adopt the state as your own.

Richard did so and -- even being from what he still claims is the greatest country on earth -- he now lays claim to being Texan first and English second. I'm so proud of him!

I've also made it abundantly clear to him that, being an eighth-generation Texan myself, he's out of his mind if he thinks that our kids are going to be born outside the borders of this state. We can live elsewhere afterwards, but by God, they're going to be Texans first and foremeost.

Airam said...

Ha!! Nice insult!

You were so eloquent about it I almost missed it ...

Pancho said...

Katie- God bless the Fiancee for coming around.

Airam - I actually wasn't going for the insult at all. I once tried Arrogant Bastard Ale and hated it and was then told, with a straight face, that it was probably my fault and not that of the beer. I needed a good analogy because Texas really isn't for everyone...but it should be!

hogan!!! said...

Oddly enough, two of the smartest people I have had the honor of knowing were exported FROM Texas, TO Indiana.
Plus, While IU may have the largest school of music in the country, the most important cultural export seems to be John Cougar Mellencamp (who did not attend said school). While Texas, on the other hand, has the afore-mentioned Lyle Lovett, Willie, Spoon, etc.
Oh, and Me. (natch.)

Airam said...

My dad's been to Texas ... I remember him saying that it's really hot!

That's all he said about it. I'm sure I'll make my way down one of these days.

Pancho said...

Ahh, Hogan. Sweet, sweet Hogan. Did you open up a can of worms with The Special Lady Friend. Not only did she inform me that Indiana ranks above Texas in "Smartest State" rankings, but also that Johnny Cougar is by far the least important culturally relevant Hoosier. A short list: Michael Jackson, Axl Rose, Shannon Hoon, and Kurt Vonnegut. We may have been trumped...

hogan!!! said...

Not to be a complete dick (but maybe...), but,

Michael Jackson - Nothing else need be said. Yes, he graced us with Billie Jean, but you have seen him recently, right? Right?

Axl Rose - While one of the greatest rock stars, perhaps ever, I am still waiting on "Chinese Democracy" and he is a white guy who is 40 pounds overweight and sporting cornrows.

Shannon Hoon - Dead.

Kurt Vonnegut - Also dead. But I consent defeat on this one. He was a badass.

My suggestions? Still alive. Still no cornrows. And as far as we know, Willie has never given the glad-hand to a 10 year old. I rest my case.

Rachel said...

OK, time to weigh in, and I'll start with the beer because one has to have priorities-- Arrogant Bastard *is* foul, it's not your unrefined palate. Their whole brewery is a sophomoric joke on beer snobs.

I'm surprised that you haven't mentioned our state's incredible regenerative powers. It can secede at any time and divide itself into five separate states within the NATION of TEXAS, which to me is along the lines of lizards regrowing their tails and other such natural miracles.

Also, our state has its own ethos and fashion. Cowboy boots, and the whole cowboy aesthetic I think could reasonably be claimed by Texas, though I realize cowboys went clear up to Montana. (Can I just say, as a side note, that walked all around San Francisco last weekend, miles and miles, in cowboy boots and they were incredibly comfortable. Nary a blister.)

Also, there are frontage roads in Texas, and nice highways. You appreciate road texture when you venture into New Mexico, and you especially appreciate clearly marked road signs and frontage roads when you come to California, which offers neither. Here you get off the highway and that's it-- oh, you changed your mind? It was the next exit you needed? Fuck you. You're headed in the complete opposite cardinal direction on a one way road with no turn-arounds.

Lastly, Texas has a commercial port , highlands, lowlands, hill country, mountains (ahem, embarrassing ones), forests, swamps, world-class metro areas, THE BIGGEST UNIVERSITY IN THE COUNTRY, AND a rowdy and downright dangerous foreign border.



Kristin said...

While Texas does make a great tattoo (I know this from experience, you can't get a half sleeve like you can with California.

Pancho said...

Wait, wait, wait....This begs a couple of questions. 1) In saying you know from experience, are you saying you have a Texas tattoo? Or a California tattoo? And 2) Yes, if one were so inclined, one could get a full sleeve California tattoo. But why would one be so inclined? I mean, it's California?!

Frances Scott said...

That blog is just total cuteness. I, a wanna-be-Texan, agree with you. Carolina beaches have provided me with a serious draw, but if I could pick any place to live (and I will someday get that choice, it would be Texas.

You're a good Texan, my friend.