Texas, the Big Caricature

A friend told me that Texans are caricatures of themselves, and they don’t even know it. We keep saying that over and over here. It’s brilliant.

Thelma, you know how I feel about Texas! We're not going that way!

What does this caricature look like? Texans:

  • don’t wave. Not even when their arm is resting on the truck door as they’re passing you slowly down a narrow dirt road. No waving. Just looking. Are you supposed to be here? Let me stare at you real hard to see. (Where is your American flag?)
  • fence things in. Everything has a fence around it here, even the ancient travel trailer in a dirt lot in nowhere rural Texas where some poor guy lives between shifts on the road crew. Don’t even think about stealing his TV.
  • drive fast. So the road has no deceleration lanes or acceleration lanes and plenty of small turns-off. Make the speed limit 75 mph; people have a right to die on the highway if they want to.
  • put up a lot of warning signs, but no welcome signs. No alcohol in the campground. No trespassing. Don’t even try to come back in after 10 pm or your tires will be punctured. No dumping. No firearms (in some places; in others, no problem). But also, no welcome. We were born here. You were not. Enough said.

I get the impression in Texas you’re pretty much on your own. Safety? Your call. You want to be friendly? Get your own damned friends. Don’t look to Texas to do anything for you. That there’s socialism.

I freely admit I haven’t been anywhere in Texas but three campgrounds and a few state parks for hiking, plus groceries. No cities, no cultural spots. I’m sure there is goodness here. I will find it next time we come.

And I apologize to my very good friend Karen, who calls Texas home now, and to everyone else who’s seen more than I have. Heck, I’m a Texan now. *mind blown*

On another note …

Hiking among the Pines

We had a lovely hike today out in the pines of Big Thicket National Preserve. We took a five-mile walk and saw something like twenty of these Golden Orb Weaver spiders, many with their webs directly across the hiking path, trying to catch Tracy.

They made it difficult for us to look out for feral pigs. Yep. We saw evidence of them having dug into the sandy dirt near a creek, and once off in the distance we saw maybe eight of them running surprisingly fast.

The preserve managers try to trap them and allow their hunting, but they’re breeding faster than they can be contained.

Also seen: a barred owl, a giant woodpecker (couldn’t tell what kind but it sounded like a pileated), more giant mushrooms, and herds of deer.

Big. It was all big. All Texas.

RVers on Social Media

I think I’ve mentioned that when we were just dreaming of and planning this retirement, we followed several channels on YouTube produced by people who live on the road. RVers are big on social media. with #vanlife being the trending topic right now,

This guy is parked on our row here in Livingston; his name is Eric, his cat’s name is Jax, his channel’s called NomadicFanadic, and he has 218,000 followers. He’s just a dude making videos as he travels around. Seriously. That many followers.

We used to watch the channel of this charming family who lived in an Airstream (until they had a second kid, then they needed a bigger RV); their channel is Less Junk, More Journey. We also liked two other couples who used to live full time in Airstreams but don’t anymore (crowded campgrounds, they say), plus this pleasant guy in England with his cute dog, who still has his Airstream but also now an apartment. You get the drift here.

But Nomadic Fanatic is still at it, and apparently heavy marketing is helping him. He has a sandwich board in front of his site with his logo on it, plus neon lights in his hot tub each night. When he left today on his motorcycle, he put the skeleton in his chair in front of his new TV projector screen, pointing and laughing. You could just tell it was laughing.

Yes, he has a giant projector screen. I was describing this to my friend Susan while we were talking on the phone one night (I walk around the campground while I talk on the phone), and she made me introduce myself to him. (It’s your fault, Susan.)

He said that he’s in charge of the video at some RV meetup that I should have known about by the way he dropped the name. So he’s testing out the screen.

By playing a movie late into the night while he watches it from his hot tub.

Now get this: there’s a pop-up trailer parked right next to him tonight, with canvas sides and mesh windows. That means they have to watch whatever TV show he has blaring into their windows. And what is he watching?

The Shining.

I don’t know if this guy is from Texas, but that there is a Texas move. You don’t want to have a horror movie projected into your tiny home while you try to sleep? Don’t be such a whimp!

Okay you guys, stay safe, and please do vote.

6 thoughts to “Texas, the Big Caricature”

  1. I was hunting dove with my brother near Pilot Point, Texas back in the 80’s and had several encounters with the orb spiders. I wore a couple on my chest as I kept walking into their webs. Yeesh! Feral hogs are all over down there, my brother sends me trail cam photos and there are always hogs around.

    1. I’ve always been comfortable in the woods, but constantly being on the lookout for spiders and sometimes unexpectedly feeling the webs on my arms or face, and simultaneously scanning the distance for hogs … it made me jumpy! Do orb spiders bite people? Did you get bitten?

      1. Nope. No bites, just creeped out. I’m not sure if they bite. I also encountered a similar spider when I would hike on Guam.