Flattland - "Don't Mess With Texas!"

Is Texas wondering if it's OK to secede? Too late now...Trav Flatt is there to stay. .NET's humorist shares his first views of the Lone Star State (not to mention some long-held opinions on the Dallas Cowboys!)

There isn’t a whole lot I have to say at this point but, “Whew”. Between moving, job scouting, band member seeking, apartment browsing, and getting myself lost in town due to the conspicuous absence of visible mountains by which to orient myself, I haven’t had a lot of mental process or time left to devote to writing. While I will concede that this column does not generally require a great deal of mental process, it does still require time.

There’s a stark difference in general civility when moving from Albuquerque to West Central Texas. One of the most surprising aspects of this has been in the area of Highway Etiquette. Say you’re coming up fast on a slower-moving vehicle. In Texas, they… Stay with me, here… Pull onto the shoulder and LET YOU PASS.

In all my years of driving in New Mexico, I’ve never seen anything quite like this. Standard South Valley Albuquerque procedure in the same circumstances would be to stay put in said lane, possibly slowing down. In the event that someone tries to pass a SVA driver, that driver would occasionally speed up to attempt to get the passing driver into a head-on collision with oncoming traffic. Also, expletives and occasionally gunfire are traditionally exchanged.

Despite the fact that I’ve been quite frequently getting lost, I haven’t had any problem whatsoever finding wherever I need to go. You can walk right up to any random Texan and ask for directions and they will… This one’s hard to swallow… actually GIVE YOU DIRECTIONS. In most instances they’ve gone a step farther and asked greater detail as to where I was going in order to give me even more informed directions. An offshoot of this is that the directions given are ACCURATE! Not only THAT, but the people are NICE about it! It is a complete and utter culture shock.

There aren’t even any meth lab explosions in the neighborhood. It’s almost surreal.

There is a down side to all of this, though. It seems I’d gotten into a bit of a groove in my former writing method. Basically, I would sit at work being incessantly hounded by pop-in co-workers and boss-type persons. I’d tap out a paragraph or two whilst working, answering the phone, yelling at vendors, scouring the news headlines, and so on and so forth until a column magically appeared.

Lately, the most stressful thing I’ve had to do was sitting on the screen porch sipping on a Lone Star plunking away on my six string while Circe (Chike) the Cat watched browsing deer in the backyard with a highly alarmed expression. No doubt things will pick up, though, and I’ll soon be back to my hyperactivity task-laden comfort zone.

I would’ve originally thought that moving from a city of half a million people to a town of just under one hundred thousand would’ve resulted in a pretty steep drop in the Local Sports Scene.

Quite the opposite is true.

There’s a CBL Baseball team, standard collegiate sports, an Intense Football League indoor football team, and a hockey team I’ve been made aware of so far. Apparently the locals here aren’t nearly as lazy nor on as many chemical substances, so they’re busily burning off their excess energy through the local sports scene. More significantly, there has been a dramatic increase in the sightings of Leggy Blonde Texan Women, though this writer will most certainly have to investigate the matter further in the interest of diligent reporting.

Another down side more relevant to the Seattle Seahawks (Whom I think I have mentioned at least once or twice in my Seattle Seahawks column) is that there are, predictably, a HUGE number of Cowboys fans. I am probably risking life and limb by refusing to jump on that bandwagon. If I do decide to adopt a Texas team, it will most certainly be the Houston Texans. For one thing, expansion teams have that underdog appeal built right into the franchise upon inception. For another, they’re not in direct Conference competition with the Seahawks. For a third, they’re not the damn Cowboys.

Additionally, my affinity for the Rangers has increased a good deal. I was already liking the Rangers, though, because they’ve been doing JUST FINE without A-Clod. Hahahahaha!

Far as football goes, we’re still stuck in the vast wasteland of the off-season. Lucky for ME, I have the San Angelo Stampede playing at home this Saturday. While ya’ll are sitting around waiting for some tidbit of information regarding someone’s rookie contract to come squeaking through, -I- will be watching the 8-2 league-leading San Angelo Stampede whup up on Austin! (I think!)

So, without further ado (Latin for “Inane Blather”):

Some Actual Recent Football News Not Including Ferrets

Jeremiah Trotter, after a surprisingly long stint as a Free Agent, signed with the Philadelphia Eagles for a shockingly cheap one-year contract. I wouldn’t have minded the ‘Hawks taking a gamble on Trotter at that low of a price, though to be honest I’m not sure who I’d be willing to bump from the roster for him, cap numbers aside. In any case, I’m still looking forward to jumping up and down in the living room trying to loudly pronounce, “Koutouvides”.

NFL Political Figures suffered a jarring blow on Wednesday when former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka announced that he will NOT be running for Senate. I am not overly let down by this development, considering that it diminishes the chances that the ‘Ricky Williams in a Wedding Gown’ photo will not be brought back out for political mudslinging. Also of Important Note in the same story, this reporter has been reminded that Jeri Ryan is available.

In what could possibly become a weekly installment, we bring you: Raiders on Steroids. Chris Cooper and Barret Robbins have been fined three game checks and have been placed on “Reasonable Cause Checks” for the rest of their careers. Presumably this is not because they are Oakland Raiders but that would be good enough for this writer. Also in the article was the following quote which forced this writer to spew forth iced tea through this writer’s nasal passages: “Bill Romanowski was not identified by name.” Except, I presume, for that whole ‘Bill Romanowski’ part.

Fire off your scintillating insights, inquiries, and Good Texan Microbrew recommendations to trav@spinn.net

Trav Flatt


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