And we both know that cup of coffee isn’t gonna cut it. I have found that best way to get the blood pumping is with a Strait injection. No matter what your flavor is, we’re on it. Start with this in-depth profile of King George by John Spong (whose brand-new baby boy missed sharing a birthday with Mr. Strait by 90 minutes!). Then get your visual fix with a slideshow of scenes from the Cowboy Rides Away Tour. The best soundtrack to all of this is George Strait’s No. 1’s–all sixty of them. But if you’re into something a bit more tactile, we’ve attempted to approximate that feeling of rifling through the vinyl stacks by compiling all 28 of his records for you to flip through. Looking at those records, you might realize that the one true constant in this life–more constant than the North Star–is George Strait’s style. There truly will never be another like him. 

Speaking of truly unique gentlemen, Skip Hollandsworth brings us another tale only he could find and tell: a story about the family that robs together stays together–in prison

On a more serious note, Bill Martin investigates how veterans in Texas’s large military problem relieve PTSD with marijuana–which is, of course, illegal here. Can a growing band of cannabis advocates can persuade our legislators to change that? 

And rounding out this month’s feature well is a stunning collection of photos from a bloodless bullfight, an event that celebrates “the ballet of life, not the ballet of death.” 

Maybe all this reading has made you thirsty. Might I suggest an “artisanal Hurricane”? Or a glass of treated wastewater? What! Wichita Falls’ civic leaders swear it’s safe. Really, if you want to live dangerously, join the unicycle football league. Or invite Mimi Swartz to your latest play that exacerbates the Texas stereotype.

And despite my best attempts at humor in these dispatches, I know everyone wishes Elynn would use her giant hook from the wings to save us all. Maybe Christopher Hitchens was right, or maybe I was actually born in Fort Worth, America’s unfunniest city. It’s too bad I wasn’t born in one of these zip codes; I could pay someone to be funny for me. 

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