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How to Piss Off a Texan

by Genevieve Northup Sep 26, 2016

Call yourself a cowboy.

Unless you spend your days rising before dawn to herd cattle or care for other livestock, you haven’t earned this coveted title. Most of us aren’t worthy of the title either.

Expect us to be on horseback, wearing snakeskin boots, Wranglers and ridiculous 10-gallon hats.

Texas has not one, not two, but six cities with more than 600,000 residents. Sure, some of us showed Brahman cattle in 4-H, ride trails on the weekends, or own ranches, but more of us work corporate jobs and have never stepped foot on a farm.

Plan a Texas road trip that doesn’t include Austin.

We know you go to San Antonio for the Alamo and River Walk, and we get that Dallas and Houston have the best airports and tons of urban attractions. But Austin is the capital and a hugely popular place to live — seriously, it continues to be the fastest-growing city in America. Austin is also home to fabulous food, the University of Texas, unique small businesses, the largest urban bat colony in the U.S., Lake Travis and natural swimming holes, and 6th Street (although there are better spots to barhop now).

Say you don’t know how anyone “can stand to live in Texas.”

Sorry, but you don’t get to judge our state based on a weekend trip to Wichita Falls for your cousin’s outdoor redneck wedding last August.

Claim you’ve had better barbecue elsewhere.

The origin of this cooking style has not been confirmed, but Texans are pretty damn sure it started here. Brisket is the preferred meat, a cut of beef massaged with spices and smoked for upwards of 10 hours that is so flavorful that you don’t need barbecue sauce. Every region has its own variations on barbecue, try some at the mom-and-pop smokehouses across our fine state.

Leave your trash anywhere other than a garbage can or recycle bin.

Don’t mess with Texas.

Hang out in the left lane or strictly obey the speed limit on the interstate.

I-45 is the Lone Star State’s autobahn, where the speed limits are just suggestions. And the left lane is for passing drivers who have nothing better to do than drive 75 miles per hour, so get ahead and get over.

Add beans to a pot of chili.

A true bowl ’o red has lots of peppers and some ground chuck. Don’t dilute your hearty meat soup with legumes.

Point out that we lost the siege at the Alamo.

Two hundred men defended the Spanish fort for 13 days before the much larger Mexican army claimed victory. The fearless, stubborn spirits of Texas forces became an important reminder of the right to be free. We may have lost the battle, but we won our independence from Mexico.

Bitch about how “it’s so hot outside.”

It’s Texas, so what did you expect? From June to October, temperatures range from the 80s to the 100s. Humidity is damn near 100 percent in the coastal region but much lower out west. Everyone has a swimming pool or lives near one. Everywhere — except El Paso, where swamp coolers are a thing — has air conditioning.

Schedule anything during game time that doesn’t involve watching football.

All day Saturday is spent cheering for various Texas college teams. After church and Sunday brunch, we drink Shiner and watch the pros.

Mention Blue Bell’s listeria outbreak.

That was a dark time in recent history, and we are trying to recover. Our freezers and stomachs were empty without Southern Peach Cobbler, Cookies ’n Cream and Homemade Vanilla half-gallon tubs from our beloved Brenham-based creamery.

Visit repeatedly and remark that you still hate Texas.

We don’t want to hear it — we pledged our allegiance to the Texas flag, and we meant it.

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