A Very Longhorn New YearSo, everyone. Last month, you took my hand and let me lead you through a 'Very Longhorn Christmas'…and as a result you cheered the UT Longhorns to their Rosebowl victory over USC, like the good little blog-buddies you are.
Thanks. And to my USC readers: sorry.
Now, in a companion blog entry (which means I promise not to do any more Longhorn-themed columns after this) we'll go deeper into our exploration of what makes Texas so very special; so very…Longhorn.
First of all, there's the "Texas Exes" thing. I'm sure everyone knows the song, "All My Exes Live in Texas", right? It's about a guy who's on the run from his ex-wives and girlfriends. I bring this up because everywhere you go in Austin, you see t-shirts and car stickers reading "Texas Ex" or "Lifetime Member: Texas Exes Club". Now I ask you--am I to be blamed for thinking this meant the wearer or the bearer was divorced, flaunting his or her newly single status in a brave and amusing way? When I moved here, I found myself impressed by Texans' upbeat, in-your-face attitude about what must be an extremely high divorce rate.
Have you guessed the punchline yet? No, I didn't think you would. You see, "Texas Exes" is the alumni association of the University of Texas. Texas is teeming with this kind of "in" joke.
And here's another "in" joke. Have you heard the one about me, my car, and a couple of guys with a radar gun? For starters, let me explain that back in Massachusetts, you could do anything, and I do mean anything in your car and get away with it. In downtown Boston, I once saw a car go the wrong way down a one-way street and then run a red light, without provoking the officer in the cruiser next to me to do anything more than look bored and shake his head. Very occasionally I would get stopped by a nice uniformed upholder of the peace for a friendly chat about something I'd done wrong on the road, but it never resulted in any actual, well, you know--consequences.
Fast forward to Austin. I'm driving back from morning kiddie drop-off, really needing to use the loo in a pronto-pronto way, and suddenly I come round a curve and two guys with motorcycles and a smoking radar gun pull me over.
Fine, I thought. A nice chat, and on to the loo. The nice chat did take place; it was a very long, informative and interesting one, full of references to the local deer population, the demographic of the women they'd pulled over so far that a.m. (all white females, all born in the same year, and no, I'm not telling you which one), what time of day your house was most vulnerable to break-ins, and how to go about paying for my speeding ticket. Wait a minute. Speeding ticket?
Yes, my friends. I just got to Texas, and I just got my first ever speeding ticket. I admit, it was kind of a thrill going to the police station later and getting a paper emblazoned with the big boldface words: "THE STATE OF TEXAS vs. BRIDGET STUART", but the rest of it was kind of a downer.
And here's where I need to pose a burning question for you, my blog-buddies. Do you think they would have ticketed me if I had a Longhorn hood ornament and a "Texas Ex" sticker on my car? ...or for that matter, a current registration?