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What makes Texans so crazy? What kind of bizarro culture makes them so obsessed with their own statehood? What's up with those fucking hats?

Well, my friends, I am risking having my passport revoked to share with you six things about Texas that you don't know. (Unless you're from Texas, then you'll know it.) Strap in and get ready to experience Lone Star State up close and in your face! If you get scared, just take a deep breath and think about New Jersey.



#1. The True Origins of "Don't Mess With Texas."

Everyone thinks this is some kind of jingoistic crazy Texan shotgun-rack-on-the-pickup-truck-type slogan. The funny thing about it is that it's really an anti-litter campaign. Yup. During the '80s, they had all these commercials meant to compete with the crying Native American dude commercial. They would show someone throwing a beer can out of a truck onto some roadside flowers and then say, "Don't Mess With Texas." Like literally, don't mess it up, asshole. The rest of the world misinterpreted it so now it's some kind of de facto rallying cry, but don't be fooled. Litter.


#2. Religious Education = "Super Makeout Party."

Texas is notorious for being deeply weirdo religious. Which don't get me wrong, in many adult cases it is. What nobody realizes, though, is that even Republicans aren't total losers. All teenagers, regardless of creed, want a chance to get away from their parents, drink cheap booze, and get to third base. Enter religion.

Between ski trips, lock-ins, sleep away bible camp, and a nauseating phenomenon called "Young Life," they found the perfect ruse. Since those things were always ostensibly Bible (or Torah)-focused, the parental supervision was sparse and lax. They're the "good kids" who voluntarily submit to indoctrination! Certainly none of them would be interested in filling their water bottles with vodka painstakingly filched from three different parents' liquor cabinets or giving head under the blankets in the back of the bus!

And because adults were all convinced that these "alternative activities" keeps kids out of trouble, every single sect of every single church, no matter how laid-back elsewhere, has these intense youth programs. Even Unitarians. Looking back, I have to assume that our parents knew what went on, to some extent, and just figured that you had to learn to finger a girl sometime. Oh what a friend we have in Jesus.


#3. There's a Baroque Hierarchy of Organizations Required to Properly Boost Football.

So everyone's heard about how Texans are these fanatical high school football fans a la "Varsity Blues," what with the shaving cream bikinis and the "I don't want your life." What people don't realize is that all of the football satellite organizations are equally fanatical. You don't have to be a concussed hillbilly with an overactive pituitary gland to get involved.

To wit, every football game my school plays requires a minimum of 24 school buses. You need your three hundred member band (7 buses + 18-wheeler full of instruments), your dance team (1 bus), drill team (2 buses), pep squad (4 buses), color guard plus twirlers (1 bus), varsity cheerleaders (1 bus), J.V. and Freshman cheerleaders (1 bus), J.V. and Freshman football teams, just in case (4 buses), R.O.T.C., to "guard" the band and assorted cheering and pep engineers (1 bus), the student council, to "greet" the other school's student council, which consisted of shaking hands and exchanging candy (1 bus), plus the actual football team itself (2 buses).

The mascot has to drive him/her self there because that privilege rotated every week. So at least half the school is required to participate in every single game. If you are not from Texas, you simply cannot conceive of the pageantry. There's a reason the Texas public school system is forced to make do with Apple IIGSes built out of rocks and mud: the uniforming alone is like the entire school's budget. Of course, who needs computers to learn anyway? Twirling is the kind of thing you can really build a career on.


#4. Here, Private School is for Kids Who Can't Hack it at Normal School.

Well that's just public school, though, right? Where the dumb and poor kids go? Surely there are high-powered prep schools for rich, smart children who wish to attend an Ivy someday. Hah! You liberal Northern fool.

There are exactly two colleges worth attending: The University of Texas and Texas A&M. Anything you can't learn there is most likely some form of homosexual mind control. So private schools come in exactly two flavors: military and special needs. Are you a discipline problem? Are the radically underpaid teachers in public school scared of you/tired of disciplining you? Welp, off to military school with you. Complete with uniforms, drill lessons, inspections, push-ups, and scary grown-ups screaming at you.

And don't worry, moms and dads, military school isn't just for surly teens. If the Ritalin isn't doing its job, there are military school opportunities for kiddies as young as pre-K! If your problems are more in the cognitive arena, you can go to a special needs school. Small classroom sizes provide the extra help and instruction you require. And don't worry, all the kids on your block know you go there. You don't have to go to school with them for them to beat the crap out of you. Have fun in that pigeonhole for the rest of your life, you retard.


#5. The Civil War is Not Our Racially Insensitive War of Choice.

This may surprise a lot of people but Texans aren't really that big into the Civil War. I mean, sure, there are lots of Confederate flags lying around and stuff, but really you've got to go to Alabama and Georgia to get really quality "War of Northern Aggression" talk. Our most favorite war is the Texas War of Independence, otherwise known as "That One With the Alamo." That's the one where, in a "brilliant military tactic," we slaughtered thousands of Mexican soldiers in their sleep. And took back the land that was rightfully ours. 'Cause, uh, we said so.


#6. We Have Bizarre College Mascot Rituals.

We in Texas love a good joke. When overt racism went out of style, many funny jokes were threatened with extinction just because they implied that white people were smarter than some other race of people. Fortunately, a way was found to salvage these jokes. Colleges!

Every Texan child, at birth, is determined to be either a University of Texas Longhorn or a Texas A&M Aggie. There is a ritual involved that I won't get into. Suffice it to say that if you are Longhorn, you think Aggies are dumb and vice-versa. It was discovered you could just plug in Longhorn and Aggie for Jew and Catholic or whatever, and voila! Instant joke fodder! It doesn't stop there, though.

If you are lucky enough to actually attend the school you have inexplicably been rooting for your entire life, you must cheer on your team's mascot at the football games. UT's mascot is, unsurprisingly, a Longhorn steer named Bevo. Like the majority of the school's students, Bevo spends most of his life in a drugged-up stupor. They plunk the poor thing down on the sideline during games to incite pep, but that's about all he does.

Texas A&M, being a little more war-like and well, nutty, has a collie named Reveille that they treat like some kind of god. There is a special unit of the "Corps," which is Aggiespeak for crazy weird R.O.T.C., assigned to care for it. They trot this dog around campus, and if it barks during class, well, that class is dismissed. For real. Corps members must salute it. When one dies, they bury it under the goal post.

Kids tease each other based on their choice of school and mascot. This is usually pretty puerile, to the tune of "you suck/no you suck". Any Longhorn kid lucky enough to be exposed to the song "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" through music class is golden, though, because of the line "He's in the army now, he's blowing Reveille, he's the Boogie Woogie bugle boy from company B." Hours of entertainment. It's almost enough to make one miss race-based humor.

So that's it. That's what you outlanders have been missing. It should shed some light on the whole "Republic of Texas" phenomenon. Now you can wink knowingly at your ex-pat friends from Texas. You've got their number. Don't Mess with Texas indeed. And remember, hook 'em, horns!


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