Texas Primer: The Texas Brag

Why do we make such outrageous claims for our state? Maybe Yankees just love to hear them.

Some people think that Texans are born braggarts. The honest truth is that most of us have to be coached. We begin with a few simple facts about the proud history of the republic and the conditions under which we allowed the United States to join up with us. From there we graduate to pithy anecdotes and colorful metaphors about bigness, oil, humidity, snakes, money, dust, and so on. By the age of five, we are all pretty skilled boasters. I wouldn’t want to exaggerate, though; some are better than others.

Texans brag about Texas because we have always done it, but also because Easterners demand it. Not that bragging is an unpleasant duty. Still, some people are just never satisfied until they push you into a brag or two when you might prefer to remain quiet and modest. Even then they are not really happy with the usual statements. You have to start lying.

For instance, you might start off by saying that Texas is as big as five ordinary states. They would be impressed but not visibly moved. You could say that the state is so big it takes three days to drive across, and that might set them to thinking. But if you said the swimming pool on your ranch is as big as the Gulf of Mexico and the three-day drive to cross the state doesn’t include the day it takes


More Texas Monthly

Loading, please wait...