Author's Profile Photo

A Temple native, David Courtney is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. He joined Texas Monthly in October 2005 and in July 2007 debuted his wildly popular advice column, the Texanist. In January 2010 the Texanist was promoted to the back page where it is regularly the magazine’s most read feature. Courtney, as both “the Texanist” and himself, has contributed his talents to such features as the annual Bum Steer Awards, the quinquennial review of the fifty best barbecue joints in Texas, “The Great Terquasquicentennial Road Trip,” “The 50 Greatest Hamburgers in Texas,” “The 40 Best Small-Town Cafes,” as well as “Snap Judgment” and “The Texanist’s Parenting Quiz,” among others, like “Water, Water Everywhere,” for which he swam buck-naked in Lake Travis, west of Austin. He will be the recipient of many accolades, honors, and awards.

Articles by David Courtney

The Texanist

Apr 8, 2014 By David Courtney

Our estimable advice columnist on euphemisms involving the word "hay," A&M's unaptly named yearbook, and meat preparation preferences.

The Texanist

Feb 11, 2014 By David Courtney

Our estimable advice columnist on how to talk to kids about edible pets, whether Plano is pretentious, what constitutes a “major” city, and more.

The Texanist

Jan 22, 2014 By David Courtney

Our estimable advice columnist on the best way to endure the cedar allergy season, the safety of mutton busting, how to impress your valentine this month, and more.

The Texanist

Dec 10, 2013 By David Courtney

Our estimable advice columnist on when teenagers should be allowed to go on unchaperoned coed camping trips, whether Coloradans hate Texans, and more.

texanist barbecue
The Texanist

Oct 14, 2013 By David Courtney

How do a husband and wife resolve backyard barbecuing duties? Illustration by Jack Unruh Q: My wife has recently taken a keen interest in my backyard barbecuing duties. In fact, last weekend she asked me if I wanted her to start cooking the beans from…

On Sports and Sportsmanship

Aug 15, 2013 By Texas Monthly and David Courtney

Q: I’ve had a tailgate party in the same spot for just about every Aggie home game since R. C. Slocum’s last season, in 2002. This year I’d like to make the move to a different spot, on the other side of the stadium, but it’s between two established tailgates, and I…

On the Great Outdoors

Aug 15, 2013 By Texas Monthly and David Courtney

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…

On the Home and Lawn

Aug 15, 2013 By Texas Monthly and David Courtney

Q: Will hiring a lawn service to do my mowing make me soft?Preston CulbersonNacogdochesSeptember 2009 A: Well, boy hidy, Mr. Deep Pockets, seems somebody has suddenly found himself standing in some mighty high cotton. And, at the same time, in some increasingly tall grass. Did your…

On Child-Rearing

Aug 15, 2013 By Texas Monthly and David Courtney

Q: My twelve-year-old daughter is a complete and unashamed tomboy. She hunts with me, fishes with me, and throws the football with me. Wouldn’t be caught dead in a dress. I love every second of it, but her mother thinks it’s come time for her to drop some of these boyish…

On Dipping and Spitting

Aug 14, 2013 By Texas Monthly and David Courtney

Q: I work for a technology company in a nice office in Austin—despite what you have heard, we are required to wear shoes. Anyway, I have a co-worker who dips Copenhagen and spits into a Styrofoam cup. Is this acceptable in an office environment? Mike Via e-mail…

On Romance

Aug 14, 2013 By Texas Monthly and David Courtney

Q: How many Gulf oysters does it take for a person to see results from the aphrodisiac qualities that they are said to possess? My wife and I were recently visiting Galveston and shared three dozen to no avail.Name WithheldFebruary 2011 A: Ah, the oyster. The most delectable…

On Relieving Oneself

Aug 14, 2013 By Texas Monthly and David Courtney

Q: If one makes a genuine effort not to be seen while peeing outdoors, can that still be considered urinating in public?Frank AllenRicardoMarch 2009 A: Yes and no. The need to shake the dew off one’s lily away from modern facilities is one of life’s many inevitabilities…

On Driving and the Rules of the Road

Aug 14, 2013 By Texas Monthly and David Courtney

Q: I live in Arkansas but recently visited Port Aransas with my family for our summer vacation. We had never been to the Texas coast and were really looking forward to the trip, but it turned out that what could have been four beautiful days on the beach were marred by…

On Guns and Weaponry

Aug 14, 2013 By Texas Monthly and David Courtney

Q: How old need a boy be to receive the gift of a first gun? ChristopherAustinJanuary 2009 A: Assuming that we are not speaking of some wild-assed hellion who will bury his relatives in a torrent of tiny steel balls the first time a firearm is laid…

On Sartorial Matters

Aug 14, 2013 By Texas Monthly and David Courtney

Q: I was born and raised in Texas and have resided in New York City for the past couple of years. On a recent trip back home, I visited a friend on his ranch in West Texas and was mocked unmercifully for wearing skinny jeans. I will admit that the jeans…

texasnist fences
The Texanist

May 13, 2013 By David Courtney

On why good neighbors mend good fences, drinkin' while dog walkin', and the proper way to dispose of bacon grease (hint: in your belly).

The Texanist

Jan 20, 2013 By David Courtney

A fond look back at Temple, a.k.a. Ratsville and/or Tanglefoot, that fair burg wherein your dedicated advice columnist learned the location of the thin line between right and wrong.

The Texanist

Jan 20, 2013 By David Courtney

Vegetarian offspring, a barroom dispute, maintaining the “Texas identity,” and whether anything can be done to cure a marriage-threatening case of snoring.

The Texanist

Jan 20, 2013 By David Courtney

The trouble with black beans, an unnatural attachment to Texas license plates, the perils of striking up a conversation in the restroom, and the discomfort of two men riding together on the same Harley.

texanist burial
The Texanist

Jan 20, 2013 By David Courtney

Is it legal to be buried on my own property? Illustration by Jack Unruh Q: My wife and I are working toward finally buying some property in Washington County to retire on and have a place for the kids and grandkids to come and enjoy…

texanist crazy water
The Texanist

Jan 1, 2013 By David Courtney

Is the secret to good healthy actually “Crazy Water”? Illustration by Jack Unruh Q: I am a Texan of advanced age who is hearing all the clamor surrounding health care. I grew up in Mineral Wells, drinking the famed water they merchandise, and I enjoy great…

texanist taxidermy
The Texanist

Dec 1, 2012 By David Courtney

My husband wants to taxidermy our dog when he goes to that big yard in the sky. I don’t. Can I convince him this is wrong? Illustration by Jack Unruh Q: Our family dog is getting on in age, and my husband and I have begun…

The Texanist

Oct 31, 2012 By David Courtney

What’s the etiquette of political yard signs? Illustration by Jack Unruh Q: My housemate and I have very different political leanings, but we’ve never let this get in the way of our friendship. We have an agree-to-disagree policy. Then, without any discussion, she put a…