Monday, November 11, 2013

I am a Texan

Not really. I've only been here two weeks and I still haven't decided if I should pronounce it Tex-ez or Tex-ess.

I like Austin. Last week a friend of ours from high school who'd been living in Houston blew through town on his way to a sweet flying job out west in Midland. He mentioned he doesn't like the bad attitude much the rest of Texas has toward hippy-dippy, liberalicious Austin.

Is Austin's liberalism that in-your-face? Yes if you measure it in the number of heavily-tattooed people my age who live here and have earnestly devoted themselves to selling delicious fusion cuisine out of food trucks. But that's probably not an accurate political gauge. The majority of overt political messages I've seen have not been left-wing. Actually, all that comes to mind are bumper stickers with pictures of giant assault rifles that say "Come and take it." Mm, no thanks (wouldn't know how to use it, and all).

On the topic of guns and politics, I had an educational experience last weekend: James and I popped into a dive bar before a concert. The doorman checked my ID, but was engrossed in a book so didn't notice I was carrying a water bottle under my arm.

Bars. Alcohol. America. I'm still getting used to all this, having spent most of my drinking-age life outside the US where everyone is a way less persnickety. Apparently bringing a water bottle into a bar is not cool?

The bartender curtly told me I couldn't have the bottle inside and offered to take it, but I wasn't finished (and I was thirsty!), so I headed back outside.

But then the doorman told me I couldn't leave! Seriously! You can't leave with that! 

I could not leave the premise with a water bottle because it is against the law to take drinks away (or into) a bar. "It's the LAW!" he said, now in a tizzy and having finally pulled his nose out of his stupid book.

I guess at some point between the door and the bar my lame little water bottle transferred ownership, it was no longer mine, it was the bar's. I cursed a little, finished my water in the doorway and we departed, bound for somewhere with better service.

Why have I troubled to relay this anecdote? Because I think it's important for everyone to understand that in the great State of Texas you can bring a concealed firearm into the Capitol building, but you cannot bring a water bottle into a dive bar. Yeeeep.

I know the right to bear arms is a big deal, but how about the right to personal hydration? Juuuust sayin'!

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