Pink camouflage, Floridian “friends,” a bedtime dilemma, and whether or not it’s acceptable to mock Chileans for their flag’s similarity to ours.
The Texanist dishes up a heaping helping of fine advice.
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Q. I am an avid South Texas hunter. A while back, I was en route to Concan and stopped to get gas when I saw a group of grown men shamelessly flaunting their pink camouflage hats and shirts. In almost three decades of hunting I have never seen a pink tree. Please tell me why this is happening.
David Travis, South Padre Island
A: Several explanations come to mind. As an avid enthusiast of the outdoors, you know well that when a person (like, for example, Harry Whittington) wishes to ensure that he will remain visible at all times to his fellow hunters (like, for example, Dick Cheney), he will accent his camouflage with a splash of blaze-orange. And if that person (again, Whittington) feels that circumstances call for him to take an extra step for safety’s sake, he might easily conclude that head-to-toe pink camo would not only get him noticed but possibly so confuse and dismay his companions as to cause them to lay down their firearms entirely and just sit on a stump feeling funny. Then again, based on your description, the Texanist wonders if you might have crossed paths with the elusive creature known as the Fabulous Ol’ Boy. If so, congratulations. This is a rare and thrilling encounter for any outdoorsman. The Fabulous Ol’ Boy—not to be confused with his less colorful cousin, the Good Ol’ Boy—is identifiable by his habit of vivid self-expression, eschewing the gender-specific color palettes prescribed by his upbringing while still clinging tightly to his gun and truck. Theories abound as to where the Fabulous Ol’ Boy comes from, but seeing one is always a treat. As for the existence of pink trees, the Texanist recalls once finding himself taking cover in a grove of pulsating pink foliage while waiting out a disturbance brought on by the ingestion of a hallucinogenic mushroom tea that was surreptitiously served to him at an otherwise pleasant afternoon yard party outside Blanco. In trying to go unnoticed by fellow partygoers and the frighteningly grotesque creatures that tormented him that day, an outfit of pink camouflage would have suited him just fine.
Q: I live in Florida, but I am a native of Dallas. I come from a family of hardworking Hispanic Texans, and I am proud of that. I listen to country music, own Western wear, read the Dallas Morning News, have an accent, and say “y’all” a lot. Did I mention my “God Bless Texas” bumper sticker? Here’s my problem: All my friends think I’m too country. They all say that I should forget about Texas now that I’m in Florida. What do I do?
Mary Schulten, Formerly of Dallas
A: Forget about Texas? Tell these featherbrained Floridians you call friends that they can forget about that. The Texanist is certain that you are familiar with the old saw “You can take the girl out of Texas, but you can’t take Texas out of the girl.” Perhaps you need to be reminded of the less familiar but no less true saw “You can lead a girl to Florida, but you can’t make her drink the Kool-Aid.” What would your sandy associates have you do, develop an affinity for tacky dance clubs, Jimmy Buffett, thongs, swamps, and alligators? That is not who Mary Schulten is. Keep your country music, Western ways, hometown news, and “God Bless Texas” bumper sticker. If your “friends” persist with their wrongheaded recommendations, tell them to stick it where, even in the Sunshine State, the sun don’t shine.
Q: A nighttime dilemma: My lovely Texas wife of sixteen years has become an expert at the “blanket tuck ’n’ roll,” where she tucks the covers under her arm and rolls up tighter than a flauta. As a former upper-Midwest Yankee, I abhor the cold. A second blanket doesn’t help. She seems to get hold of that one too. The problem is that when I attempt to get some blanket, she accuses me of attempting to get something else. I only want to be warm again. Help.
Timothy Yasger, San Antonio
A: The Texanist thinks he hears you loud and clear about the need to “get some blanket.” Over sixteen years, the ambient temperature of the marital bedroom can go from hot to frosty, with the missus encasing herself nightly in an impenetrable barricade of sheet, quilt, and comforter. Remember back about fifteen years ago when the nascent Yasger marriage was kept all warm and cozy by the passionate fires of youthful love? When the marital bed coverings that Mrs. Yasger now hogs were often cast aside altogether in favor of a vinyl shower curtain and an extra-large bottle of warming Kama Sutra massage oil? When hot nights were spent cocooned in a balmy cuddle? Without proper tending, the flames of romance will fade to embers, and the embers will cool and eventually die out, and the marital bed will come to resemble a cold pit of ashes. A posthaste rekindling is in order. You are advised to think seriously about a speedy return to those early days of wine and roses, which, as you know, are referred to as such because they are generally filled with wine and roses. And syrupy poems. And boxes of chocolate. And the sweet, sweet warmness of the “blanket.”
Q: Which came first, Texas’s flag or the nation of Chile’s? Can I continue to mock Chileans for ripping us off?
Charlie Hess, Washington, D.C.
A: The Lone Star banner and that of the Republic of Chile are indeed strikingly similar, but to answer your first question, it was theirs by a number of years. As for your second question, the Texanist is sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but he’ll now point you to the answer to your first question. Now, a few questions for you. To begin with, who is it, exactly, that makes a sport of jeering unsuspecting Chileans about the design of their national flag? Wait, that would be Charlie Hess. Secondly, what makes Charlie Hess feel more ashamed, the fact that the answer to the previous question is Charlie Hess or the fact that Charlie Hess now realizes that his out-of-line ribbings were totally unwarranted? That’s right, either response would leave a man feeling plenty shamefaced. It’s not always the Texanist’s way to mock those who come to him for counsel, but he saw here an opportunity for a lesson that needed presenting and he took it. He would suggest laying off the Chileans indefinitely and maybe taking a little time for some quiet introspection.