The forecast was sleet, so we stayed longer in Canyon Lake. The next day the weather was perfect. We drove, grilled some beef with Allison and Bret, and for the first time saw “The Big Lebowski”. You remember the lines – Walter (John Goodman) says, over and over ‘Shut * * up, Donny.’ Or in league play he calls a bowling foot-fault: ‘Smokey, you were over the line. This is not ‘Nam; this is bowling. There are rules.’ Good stuff, really good stuff. Writing comedy is hard – just try it sometime. I wrote one good joke in my life; how about you?
Between Buda and Kerrville we drove up and down some wriggly if not giggly roads. In Walnut Springs we blew past one of the world’s best subdivision monuments (that’s developer talk for entry signage) in the form of a rusted steel and polished chrome longhorn steer. I used to be in land development, and I have long thought that good outdoor art, something thought-provoking that costs under $50,000, would make a big statement about a big project. And I just saw it: vindicated!
Radio becomes scarce in the less populated parts of Texas. We had good reception until we were halfway to Fort Stockton from Kerrville. There were times when the SCAN button just rolled and rolled the station numbers. When we got good reception, we’d listen in just to hear something to break the boredom. We heard a talk show whose topic was pending local legislation that would ban concealed firearms in bars. The comment of note was “I can’t imagine anything that goes together better than guns and alcohol. That ban’s a real dumb idea.” And later the Texas Secretary of State, who is in charge of voting regulations, informed us that a picture ID is required to vote in any Texas election … “you must present a valid passport, Texas driver’s license, or concealed carry permit.” Just as I was wondering how I survived living in Texas those six years, this news came on. The state banned spanking, paddling, and belting in public schools 40 or so years ago. Today the ACLU and several parents sued the state to go a step further. They want to ban the use of tasers and pepper spray on students. I couldn’t believe my ears, so I Googled it. Lord have mercy! It’s true. Lots of schools here have police patrolling the hallways, and one of them tasered a kid who collapsed and whacked his head on the floor. The kid was in a coma for seven weeks. The Texas Municipal Police Association responded to the taser/spray ban movement by suggesting the request is “misguided and naïve”.
Kat lived in Texas six years, and what did she say about that? “If somebody tasers or pepper sprays my kid, I’d track ‘em down, and kick their ass!
Hank Hill couldn’t say it better.