Fabulous fantastical readers, I know Texas gets a bad rap. There’s that whole Dubya thing. Well, man, I don’t know what to tell you. I’ll tell you what I tell everyone else: no, I didn’t vote for him. Ever.
We are the home of Chuck Norris; I used to leave my high school to see crews setting up to film Walker, Texas Ranger. Norris thinks it’s a great idea to secede from the United States. Texas’ governor thinks it’s a good idea too. Perhaps Governor Goodhair and Mr. Norris, master of the roundhouse kick, both missed the U.S. History lesson that covered what exactly happened the last time this state attempted to secede from the Union.
Then there’s that embarrassing school book debacle. In fact, I’m not sure ‘debacle’ is even the best word for it, but I know, I know, we look like a bunch of nuts. It’s crazy-pants, I know.♦
So begins my entreaty to every person who is not a Texas resident: we are not all like this. I promise. There are lots of good, sane people here and there’s lots of lovely things about my state. Dr. Pepper! Shiner Bock! The television show Dallas, in a totally ironic way! Austin’s full of damn hippie liberals, I tell you! The Alamo’s not … lovely, but it’s historic! Bluebonnets! Longhorns! Great food! Awesome music! Molly Ivins, Ann Richards, Tommy Lee Jones! For the love of God, there’s good things about this place, I swears it.
Forgive us for Matthew McConaughey. We love him, but it’s like Julia Sugarbaker said on Designing Women: In the South, we don’t hide our crazy people in the attic, we put ’em on display in the living room. Sorry ’bout that one.
Yeah, I don’t know either. He’s a kook. A lovable kook, but had we known he’d keep making shit like Failure to Launch…
As a concession and a peace offering, I give you something that all Texans – liberal and conservative alike – can agree on and celebrate. It is, truly, something we all love.
Forget McDonald’s; Californians, I’m sorry, but I have no interest in In ‘n’ Out. Whatever to Wendy’s. Arby’s, blech. A few Texans will swear by Sonic, but really, Whataburger is where it’s at for most of us. It is not the best burger ever, but it is really pretty good. It’s comforting. Whataburgers are everywhere here. They’re not hard to spot; look for the A-frame building with orange and white stripes. When you’ve been driving from, say, Austin to Dallas at 2:00 a.m. there is probably no better sight along a stretch of highway than Whataburger.
I am not sure what Whataburger does to the hamburger buns but whatever it is – cocaine, butter, something unknown to the common folks – it’s addictive. All their buns are toasted. The bacon is crispy. The lettuce isn’t all wilty and gross. The food’s made when you order it.
In all my time ordering food at Whataburger, I’ve never had an order screwed up. Ever! No kidding. You’d think a plain and dry hamburger wouldn’t be a hard order to fill, but everyone else routinely screws it up. Not Whataburger.
If you ever spend time here in this lovely state, I can guarantee you’ll probably see the following commercials: Truck ads (bonus points if it’s “Texas Truck Month!” or some variation thereof), conservative attack ads and Whataburger ads.
I promise, the fries are good, too!
Whataburger’s spread out of Texas into most of the South, but if you’re ever here in Texas and the conservative, NRA type stuff overwhelms you, give peace a chance and stop in at Whataburger, order a bacon cheeseburger meal with a Dr. Pepper (that’s another post). After you’re done, go to a bar and have a Shiner Bock. (That’s another post, too.) It’ll zen you out, I promise. Hell, us folks that pride ourselves on normalcy, civility and not being completely insane – well, that’s how we do it.
♦It should be noted that there are a lot of sane, normal conservatives that live in Texas. My beef (pardon the pun) is usually with the extremely far-right conservatives that employ an eliminationist style rhetoric and fear-monger. I would wager most Texas conservatives do not buy into these shenanigans (I can’t attest, since I’m an ultra-liberal hippie), but these guys do every conservative in this state a disservice when they’re profiled on television and in print. Unfortunately, they get the most face-time it seems. So Republicans and/or conservatives, I’m not hating on you – just acknowledging that the far-right, extremist points of view exist in the state, are tiresome and baffling to most people with common sense. FYI.