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  • Robert Farago

3 Things You Need to Be A Texan

Excluding being born in Texas

“You may all go to Hell,” Davy Crockett told a Congress critter. “I will go to Texas.” Hey Davey! Texas is Hell. It’s hotter than a honeymoon hotel. Hotter than a two-dollar pistol. But it’s also…

A piece of Heaven. No state income tax, minimal snowfall, maximum tequila and more live music and beautiful women than you can shake a stick at – should you be so equipped and inclined.

Not to mention the fact that Texas is a Constitutional Carry state; you don’t need a government permission slip to exercise your Constitutionally-protected right to keep and bear arms.

A state of affairs that warms the cockles of my heart. We’ll get to that. (The guns, not my cockles.)

Texas is a LARGE piece of Heaven. Iceland would fit inside Texas with room to spare. (If only!) If you drive from Austin to Los Angeles, when you’re halfway there, you’re still in Texas.

If Texas was a country – a right it reserved when it joined the United States – it would boast (and how) the world’s ninth-largest economy, just behind Brazil and Italy.

How many top ten countries have a $32.7 billion government surplus like Texas? None. Just sayin’.

Although there’s a big difference between the friendliness factor of people inside the Texas Triangle (Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin) and folks living everywhere else in the state, Texans are a well-mannered, welcoming lot.

I know what you’re thinking: that man’s lost his vertical hold! Well…

Texas’ favorite son may not be singing “Texas loves you anyway” to the millions of migrants who forgot to bring their passport when they crossed the border, but I’ve never heard a Texan insult a Californian implant for relocating here.

Why would they? Who wouldn’t want to move to Texas? Am I right, or Amarillo? Once here, there are few requirements to qualify as a “proper” Texan.

You need to know the six flags that’ve flown over Texas (everyone forgets the Confederate flag, for some reason), an instinctive ability to know when a female transitions from “young lady” to “M’am” and the following three accoutrements:

Cowboy Hat

The cowboy hat dates back to the 1860’s. Based on the Mexican sombrero, it has a wider brim (to provide better sun and rain protection), and a high, stiff crown (for increased ventilation).

Hollywood Westerns made the cowboy hat an iconic symbol of the Americans’ independent spirit. The hat’s worn by Texas cowboys, ranchers, investment bankers, Red Rose strippers and surviving members of the Ewing clan.

Wearing a cowboy hat is transformative; it forges a personal, visceral connection to the Texans who helped win the West.

A cowboy hat makes you look and feel taller. Equally important, wearing one gives you free license to say “bless your heart” when you want to insult someone in the nicest possible way.

A cowboy hat is also public theater.

A slight nod to acknowledge a stranger. A finger to the brim and a short salute to agree to an instruction or bid someone a fond farewell.

You don’t know what a coquette is until you see a beautiful Texan playing hide-and-seek under a cowboy hat.

No matter your race, gender or politics, whether you’re rich enough to eat your laying hens or as poor as a lizard-eating cat, wearing a cowboy hat in Texas is a sign that you belong.

Cowboy Boots

It’s a bit bizarre that cowboy boots are a mucho macho Texan’s favorite footwear. When you get right down to it, we’re talking about high heels for men.

While there isn’t a man alive who doesn’t appreciate a couple of extra inches – even if they are underfoot – the cowboy boot thing is all about how a pair makes you walk (so to speak).

The main effect: they slow you down, pace and speech. That’s an anathema to fast-talking, fast-walking Yankees, but a way of life in Texas.

Just so you know, a boot-clad Texan must master the fine art of the...

Sashay – A sexy gait characterized by a pronounced sway of the hips

Strut – Long, confident strides, emphasizing heel strikes

Stomp – Like it sounds, especially popular for line dancing.

Shuffle – Small steps used on slippery or uneven surfaces, or when a Texan’s headed to Buffalo

Four major slow-walking styles linger within the Venn diagram of slow-walking cowboy boot techniques. They’re based on the boot-wearer’s intentions/state of mind.

Amble – No real hurry to get where you’re going

Meander – No real hurry to get where you’re going, maintaining the option to stop along the way

Mosey – No real hurry to get where you’re going, keeping an eye open for danger on the way

Lope – No real hurry to get where you’re going, and don’t care who knows it

Don a cowboy hat and boots and the Texas vibe becomes second nature. One more to seal the deal…

A Gun

“An armed society is a polite society,” sci fi scribe Robert Heinlein opined. “Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life. For me, politeness is a sine qua non of civilization."

Sine qua non. Without this nothing. Something of an exaggeration when it comes to Texas, but not by much. A gun is the ultimate expression of the “don’t mess with Texas” mindset.

The idea of carrying a gun in public makes some imported Texans as nervous as a fly in a glue pot. But there’s a reason “hot” burglaries and retail theft are notable by their absence: Texas is the only State where you can use lethal force to stop someone stealing your stuff.

Now don’t go loading the wrong wagon. You’re a lot less likely to engage in a confrontation when you’re strapped. Someone might get hurt! As the old lottery commercial pointed out, it could be you!

Texan as All Git-Out

That completes the Texas trifecta, for those who want to adopt the Lone Star State’s sartorial gestalt (as they say in Fredricksberg). And if that ain’t a fact, God’s a possum.

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