Thursday, November 09, 2006

That's Right. You're Not from Texas.

Dear [Name Withheld]:

A few days ago, while speaking before a mostly friendly group of colleagues, I uttered the sentence, "Texas was readmitted to the Union in 1870, and we haven't caused any trouble since."

I expected that sentence to elicit a chuckle, which it did . . . but what surprised me were the boos and hisses.

Wounded, I put a hand to my chest and asked, "Whatever can you be thinking of?"

But of course I knew. They were thinking of you.

Frankly, this has gone on long enough. So I'm asking you to come clean.

When you're born in Connecticut . . . go to prep school in Massachusetts . . . become a cheerleader at Yale . . . attend business school at Harvard . . . and currently live in Washington, D.C. --

Well, I don't think you get to call yourself a Texan. And I certainly don't think Texas should have to suffer the boos and hisses resulting from your behavior.

Oh, sure, you've taken some long vacations here (such as when you were Governor). But if that were enough to qualify you as "Texan," then we'd have to include every retired Minnesotan who owns an RV . . . as well as half the Saudi royal family.

Besides, every true Texan knows that brush-cutting is not a recreational activity. Real ranching ain't playtime, son.

Barbecue. Beer. That's what Texans do for fun.

But I wouldn't expect a Yale cheerleader to know that.

Sincerely yours,

Bradley Denton
Manchaca, Texas

P.S. Yes, I was born in Kansas. But I've lived in the Lone Star State for the past eighteen years. And I'll be happy to whip out my Texas credentials and compare them to yours any day of the week, Bubba.

P.P.S. Two words: Ann Richards. SHE was a TEXAN.


Steven Gould said...

Molly Ivins recounts:

At a long-ago political do at Scholz Garten in Austin, everybody who was anybody was there meetin’ and greetin’ at a furious pace. A group of us got the tired feet and went to lean our butts against a table at the back wall of the bar. Perched like birds in a row were Bob Bullock, then state comptroller; moi; Charles Miles, the head of Bullock’s personnel department; and Ms. Ann Richards. Bullock, 20 years in Texas politics, knew every sorry, no good sumbitch in the entire state. Some old racist judge from East Texas came up to him: “Bob, my boy, how are you?”

Bullock said, “Judge, I’d like you to meet my friends: This is Molly Ivins with the Texas Observer.”

The judge peered up at me and said, “How yew, little lady?”

Bullock, “And this is Charles Miles, the head of my personnel department.” Miles, who is black, stuck out his hand, and the judge got an expression on his face as though he had just stepped into a fresh cowpie. He reached out and touched Charlie’s palm with one finger, while turning eagerly to the pretty, blond, blue-eyed Ann Richards. “And who is this lovely lady?”

Ann beamed and replied, “I am Mrs. Miles.”

Steven Gould said...

And Ann Richards during her 1988 Democratic National Convention keynote address:

"I am delighted to be here with you this evening, because after listening to George Bush all these years, I figured you needed to know what a real Texas accent sounds like."

Steven Gould said...

God. Once I get started on Ann Richards it's hard to stop. Her entire speech that night.

Rory Harper said...

I'm a native Texan, who has lived all over the state.

The media saying that he's got a Texas accent has always puzzled me. I've never heard anything like it from anyhone else, ever. Why would anyone with even a small clue think that's a Texas accent?

He doesn't sound Texan at all. More like somebody with rocks in his mouth.

Or in his brain.