Photo: Andy

1. The first scene from the movie Office Space always makes you cringe.

You recognized that intersection almost immediately: LBJ and the Tollway. The fact construction on LBJ has finally finished is a miracle twenty years in the making, but that doesn’t stop people from Dallas using traffic as the opener for almost any conversation. Because we’re lacking in extreme weather like hurricanes (though the occasional tornado does come through), the only topic on which every Dallasite can agree involves cars on a freeway. Let’s face it: none of us ride DART.

2. You or someone you know has been asked if they know who shot JFK or JR.

I wonder how long it took for this to become a joke… mid-1980s?

3. You know someone who knows someone who’s seen Walker, Texas Ranger filmed.

You know one of those hundreds of times Chuck Norris roundhouse kicked a thug into a stack of empty cardboard boxes? Totally my dad’s office warehouse. You should be able to quote at least five Chuck Norris facts anyway:

When Chuck Norris does pushups, he doesn’t push himself up; he pushes the Earth down.

4. You don’t have much of an accent.

Every time you hear this, you want Chuck Norris to be there, so he can punch the speaker in the face. Does anyone know how big Texas is? Not many people in major cities like Dallas have the twang Hollywood has sold the world. Granted, this situation only arises when tourists come into the city or you leave, but I doubt people in Houston have to put up with this stuff.

5. Sometimes it takes you a minute to remember what to call everything.

All our major venues have been demolished, moved, or renamed in the last 25 years. The home of the Texas Rangers, Arlington Stadium, became The Ballpark in Arlington. Wet ’n’ Wild stayed the same, but was renamed Six Flags: Hurricane Harbor. Texas Stadium in Irving was destroyed and moved next to everything else in Arlington, now called AT&T Stadium. Reunion Arena may have been poorly designed, but I’m still not entirely used to going to Mavs games in the American Airlines Center. And what kind of city allows a mall like Prestonwood to close?

6. Boots are a perfectly acceptable form of attire.

Cowboy hats, on the other hand, are for costume parties, Texas Rangers, and out-of-towners.

7. You learned snow days were a thing from storybooks.

I can remember — once, maybe twice — in eighteen years that school was canceled because of weather. And it wasn’t because there was this white, powdery stuff covering cars and blocking sidewalks… the streets were icy, and the response time of the few salters was slow.

8. Fair Days are fond memories.

Are we the only city that gets an official school holiday to attend a fair? I believe so. Big Tex burning was certainly a letdown, but the State Fair of Texas continues on.

9. You had at least one birthday at Snuffers.

Those cheddar fries are a rite of passage.

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