David Courtney'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, regularly the magazine’s most-read feature.

In 2017, the University of Texas Press published The Texanist: Fine Advice on Living in Texas and in 2019 Fox Entertainment optioned the column with plans to develop a television show based on it. As the Texanist and as himself, Courtney has contributed his talents to such endeavors as the annual Bum Steer Awards, the quinquennial review of the fifty best barbecue joints in Texas, “The 50 Greatest Hamburgers in Texas,” “The 40 Best Small-Town Cafes,” and “Snap Judgment,” a compilation of the ten greatest plays in Texas college football, as well as “The Beachcomber,” for which he walked the entire 65-mile length of the Padre Island National Seashore, and “Water, Water Everywhere,” for which he swam buck naked in Lake Travis, outside of Austin.

The Texanist |
October 14, 2013

The Texanist

How do a husband and wife resolve backyard barbecuing duties? Illustration by Jack UnruhQ: 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 now

Arts & Entertainment |
August 15, 2013

On Sports and Sportsmanship

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

The Texanist |
August 15, 2013

On the Great Outdoors

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

The Texanist |
August 15, 2013

On the Home and Lawn

Q: Will hiring a lawn service to do my mowing make me soft?Preston CulbersonNacogdochesSeptember 2009A: 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 numbers hit? Ol’ Aunt

The Texanist |
August 15, 2013

On Child-Rearing

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

The Texanist |
August 14, 2013

On Dipping and Spitting

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-mailSeptember 2007A: Though

The Texanist |
August 14, 2013

On Romance

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 2011A: Ah, the oyster. The most delectable and voluptuous of

The Texanist |
August 14, 2013

On Relieving Oneself

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

The Texanist |
August 14, 2013

On Guns and Weaponry

Q: How old need a boy be to receive the gift of a first gun? ChristopherAustinJanuary 2009A: 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 in his hands, age

The Culture |
August 14, 2013

On Sartorial Matters

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

The Texanist |
May 13, 2013

The Texanist

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 |
January 20, 2013

The Texanist

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 |
January 20, 2013

The Texanist

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 |
January 20, 2013

The Texanist

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.

The Texanist |
January 20, 2013

The Texanist

Is it legal to be buried on my own property? Illustration by Jack UnruhQ: 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 the

The Texanist |
January 20, 2013

Offering fine advice since 2007

Dance hall guilt, faded accents, SUVs with “Truck” plates, and the ancient initiation ceremony at which a young Texan male is presented with his first firearm.

The Texanist |
January 1, 2013

The Texanist

Is the secret to good healthy actually “Crazy Water”? Illustration by Jack UnruhQ: 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 health

The Texanist |
December 1, 2012

The Texanist

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 UnruhQ: Our family dog is getting on in age, and my husband and I have begun to

The Culture |
October 31, 2012

The Texanist

What’s the etiquette of political yard signs? Illustration by Jack UnruhQ: 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 yard