Every once in a while I’ll write something that proves so wildly popular that it leaves me in this quandary: “What in the hell can I do to top it?”
Yes, the uncompromising brilliance of my Highway of Time piece gobsmacked so many people that it was shared 120 times on Facebook, which is a new record for me. That I reached 120 is especially impressive when you consider that I don’t actually have many friends.
So a hearty thanks to all of you for the kind words. It isn’t feasible, but if I could, I’d give you all a can of Underwood’s Deviled Ham as a reward.
Nice as it is, however, the unbridled adulation puts me in a bit of a bind. I sense that my vast and growing audience will expect the same magnificence with each and every post. The price of failure is too dear; I’m under a lot of pressure to succeed.
- Something about gnomes, perhaps? That is this site’s hallmark, after all, but the truth is there haven’t been any gnome sightings around here for several weeks. I don’t know where they’ve gone, but until they turn up again and actually do something (and I’m sure they will eventually), I’ll have a hard time writing about them.
- Something about food? No, we haven’t been to the grocery store for a few days, and I’m not feeling inspired to cook anything more complicated than a weenie for lunch. We’re still gnawing on last week’s brisket, so that’s out.
- Something about family that will tug at the heartstrings? No, caterwauling about old times and deceased relatives loses its appeal if you do it too frequently. The best pathos is generated when the reader gets slapped with something sad right after reading a string of happy stories. Sadness has the most shock-and-awe when the reader is expecting a story about butterflies or ponies, then you stick him in the guts with a story about your dead brother.
Facebook to the rescue! It seems one of our old neighbors from Texas is getting married this weekend, and she’s in upstate New York with her family for the big event. Of course I wish them well. Aimee was just a little girl when we headed north from coastal Texas, and I’ve never met her intended, Brett, who seems like a nice guy.
The thing is, however, there’s been a bit of good-hearted fun on my social-media circle concerning Texans vs. Yankees, and who’s in a better position to offer commentary on the differences than I?
I’m a Native Texan (note proper capitalization) now living among the Yankees, so when I saw my old neighbor commenting on Facebook that her hosts had been very nice and accommodating, I wasn’t surprised. Indeed, in the nearly 20 years I’ve lived up here, I’ve found 2-3 people like that myself.
Considering differences, accents remain a bit of a problem.
Truth is, when I first moved here, I found a lot of the accents quite grating. For their part, the Yankees seemed disappointed that I don’t have a strong Texas accent. I had to explain to them that Texas is so big that its various regions have different accents, and that people like me who hail from Central Texas generally don’t have much twang.
Nowadays, I’ve been up here so long that I don’t even notice Yankee accents much anymore, and it’s only the occasional word that will set my teeth on edge, and only two I can think of that actually bring on my bloodlust: radiator and pecan.
The biggest difference is probably the cuisine, but I’ve found there are good things about both places. Texas has better barbecue and Mexican food, but can’t hold a candle to the pizza or submarine sandwiches found in the northeast. Yankees don’t know much about black-eyed peas or ‘tater salad, but then Texans know next to nothing about ziti.
Texas has those wide-open spaces, but Yankees have the picturesque villages with beautiful and changeable seasonal scenery.
It seems to me that Yankees are better baseball fans. It also seems to me that Texans are better football fans.
I know more Texans who have traveled to Yankeeland than Yankees who have visited Texas.
Yankees and Texans both generalize too much about the other, and that includes people who generalize about baseball, football and people’s travel habits.
The truth is, both regions could benefit from a regular cultural-exchange program.
So to return to the festivities a bit to the north of where I pen these words, y’all listen up. While y’all are puttin’ on yer weddin’ duds and fixin’ to get hitched, I just want to advise little Sami to put that rope back in yer saddlebags and try to enjoy whatever Yankee hot sauce is being served. Today, we all remember that variety is the spice of life, and that on a wedding day there are no Texans or Yankees, just one big, loving family.
Good wishes to all!