Texas has a legendary place in American culture – its qualities have largely been made up. Home to the expressions “bigger than Texas”, “less boring than Texas” and “not as redneck as Texas”, Texas is the most popular US tourist destination for other Texans. Most foreigners who visit Texas list their reason for entering the state as “business” or “accidental”.
Texas is a wonderful place to visit all year round. From the red hills littering its desert landscape, to the rednecks littering its trailer parks and legislative assemblies, Texas is a place of great natural beauty and unnatural brutality.
Texas plays an important role in American history. After agreeing to become a member of the Union, Texas found it didn’t like the laws that treated blacks as second-class citizens. They wanted them to be third-class, or even fourth-class citizens. And so, nobly clutching this high ideal in their hands, they tried to secede, thus triggering the American Civil War.
Nowadays, most Texans grudgingly accept that the Civil War has ended and are prepared to accept their membership of the Union, especially since the rest of the States now routinely treat blacks as third-class and fourth-class citizens.
Texans are simple people who share wholesome Christian values such as “an eye for an eye” and “casting the first stone.”
They love guns and gun-related paraphernalia. Their favorite activities include hunting and hunting-related activities, and their favorite colors are Blood Red, and various other shades of blood.
A prosperous state, Texas is home to most of the United States’ oil reserves. This has underpinned an amazingly rich cultural output, specifically the 1980s drama “Dallas” and the Dixie Chicks.
Texans have bred more Presidents of the United States of America than any other state, a remarkable feat for a state where literacy tends generally to be regarded as a barrier to achievement. At the same time, it also has bred more crazed, anti Government militias than any other state. This may seem strange to outsiders, but ordinary Texans take it in their stride. After all, Texan Presidents on the whole share the same sensibilities as the crazed militia leaders anyway.
When to Go
The best time of year to go to Texas is when the President is back at home on his ranch. This happens seasonally in summer, winter, fall and spring. If possible, try to get yourself invited to the President’s ranch where you can hang out with the most important man in the world and “chew the fat” on the important issues in the press, such as whether Cathy will ever get a boyfriend, and whether Bristow will ever do any work.
If you’re lucky, the President may also invite you to come hunting, fishing or playing golf. If this happens, bear in mind that as with all diplomatic dealings with American Presidents, it is customary to lose.
Duels are still legal in some parts of Texas, so be careful if you find yourself in a pub brawl, or love triangle. Texans have been brought up with guns all their life, so unless you a trained marksman, you are unlikely to win. If, however, you find yourself in a duel, remember these tips:
- Take the safety latch off the gun. Fumbling around with the safety in the middle of a duel is a sure way to end up on a morgue bed with a bullet through your head!
- Shoot to kill. Both parties are allowed one shot, so if you shoot to maim you may find yourself in the invidious position of giving your opponent a chance to take aim in his own time.
- Make sure she’s worth it. If the duel is over a woman (it usually is), make sure that she is willing to spend a decent amount of time with you after you win. Many tourists have found themselves ripped off by unscrupulous locals who profess true love… until it comes time to put out.
The only requirement to stage a duel is that both parties are registered blood donors who are over the age of five.
Texas is packed with lively and enjoyable bars and restaurants. If you’re looking for a steak, you’ll be in luck, because it is the only food available.
Texas is also famous for its wide variety of snacks, including Beef Jerky, Hot Beef Jerky and Hot Beef Jerky with Mustard. Vegetarians may find it difficult to secure a non-meat based form of nutrition, though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently reclassified some brands of Beef Jerky as being non-meat based after it was unable to determine what the substance was.
Drinking under the age of 21 is strictly prohibited in Texas. Texas is a highly conservative, Christian state. There is strict enforcement of laws related to underage drinking unless you’re the daughter of the head of the executive arm of the Federal Government.
Unlike underage drinking, Texas is one of the few states to offer the ultimate justice to underage criminals – no matter how young – and it’s fast becoming one of the state’s most popular tourist attractions. Many towns now offer tours of the teenagers on death row (or Death Row Fresh as it has been dubbed) in their local prisons, and while the squeamish tourist may think it a bit macabre, remember that these are local customs and should be treated with tolerance. Those who enjoy merchandise and trinkets will love the array of special execution memorabilia available, including copies of the actual dolls that some of the younger criminals cuddle at night to get to sleep.