So, I was traveling through Texas, doing my job, when, at about six in the evening I found myself loading up on coffee at a truck stop. This was about a week ago, in the scenic hamlet of Midlothian. I was splashing a little milk in my jitter juice when I saw this woman approaching the condiment counter. She was of average height, but probably weighed four bills. I mean, I’m no spindleshanks, but this lady…damn. She was huge. She was Trucker the Hutt. And she was carrying six little snack-sized bags of Cheetos. As I looked on, she systematically opened the bags and filled each about half-way with liquid nacho cheese from the machine. Then she rolled the tops shut and trundled over to the checkout line.
Standing in line behind her, I thought about several things, first among them being to wonder how she planned on eating her vile nosh. Or, more specifically, how she planned on eating her vile nosh while simultaneously piloting a tractor-trailer. And then I thought about how fast she might be going when all that cheese affixed itself around her heart like bath-tub grout and she went screaming across eight lanes of traffic.
In the end, I decided not to waste any more thought on the subject, and headed out to my car. Sometime between when I entered the truck stop and when I exited, the space next to mine had been filled with the obnoxious bulk of a shiny-black Hummer H3. I hadn’t seen one in a while. I mean, I’d been operating under the assumption that penis implants had largely done away with the need to purchase one, but there it was. As I backed out, I was able to get a look at its rear end, where a pair of bumper stickers offered the world the following information:
MY OTHER TWO CARS ARE ALSO GAS GUZZLERS
I’d been keeping up with my reading on the nascent secessionist movement in this country, but these two stickers really drove it home for me: the close to 900,000 Americans (some 115,000 from Texas alone) who have signed secessionist petitions are among the most ignorant—of history and economics, to name but two of the more vital departments of the project—people who have ever slouched about in the spotlight of the American stage. It might sound appealing to take your ball and go home, but the adult world is, oh, a tad more complicated than that.
I wanted to pull back in, wait for the Hummer Head to come out, and engage him in a little furious debate, but resisted the temptation. My only weapons would have been facts, and I suspected (without reason, I know) that presenting facts to someone who believed what this doofus apparently believed would be a little bit like presenting an iPad to an infant—the kid might look at it for a minute, especially if there’s something sparkly on the screen, but will inevitably go back to sucking its toes. So I drove away, but my brain continued to roil, sort of cataloging the array of potentialities the secessionists haven’t assimilated into their sulky political posturing.
Take, for example, the billions of Federal dollars they get fed every year—after Louisiana, Texas gets the second-highest pile of government cheese in the country. All that dough would vanish instantaneously. Or how about the immediate closure of all military bases in the state? There are 15 major bases in Texas, and all those troops (along with their money-spending families) would be reassigned to New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico to guard against any funny business from the Lone Star Nation. And where would they find trading partners? The EU? They have troubles of their own. China? Right. How about Cuba? Texas would be screwed from the get-go and would be left to watch with slack-jawed impotence as their economy collapsed like flour down a chute.
But then… But then, yes, something occurred to me which might make it possible for the citizens of the new nation to keep their heads above the ever-deepening lake of shit they created through their own machinations.
See, while lots of Texans claim a belief in the Christian god, the true religion of the place is football.
Secession would be fucking perfect for football people, and their favorite saint, Jerry Jones. Jerry could own the whole TFL. He could name every team after himself. You’d have the Dallas Jerries, the Houston Jerries, the San Antonio Jerries, and right on down the line. Jerry would also be the general manager and starting quarterback for every team. And he would get quite a workout every February when he played for both teams in the Jerry Bowl.
I know, I know. Pretty Stupid.
And so is the idea of seceding from the Union.
The two people I encountered that night in Midlothian, if you wadded them up together, would coagulate into the perfect secessionist brain: an unhealthy mass of air-inflated, deep-fried, lard blisters swimming in an inorganic orange slurry, and powered by an admixture of delirious paranoia and self-satisfied stupidity.
But if the Texans really want to go, I say this. Let ‘em.
Then in a few years, just for a goof, we can invade and steal their oil.