A Vermonter’s ode to Texas

By Brady Crain

I won’t go so far as to say you get a bad rap, Texas.  You are the purveyor and exporter of so many things that I neither care about nor need. Football, exceptionalism to excess (exceptionalism that is exceptional even for American Exceptionalism). For example, there is a myth that Texas is the only independent republic to join the union (they aren’t, Vermont was the first) but try setting the record straight while taking a tour of the Alamo, and see what happens! The list goes on… oil, guns, war, ignorance politicians, the gun-toting mentally ill, and gun-toting ignorant politicians.

Texas, all politics aside, is unreasonably attractive. Breathlessly so.

Texas is good at some things too. Mexican food is one of the primary things, but let’s be real, that’s because of the Mexicans, and because Texas is the part of Mexico that we annexed in the 19th century.

There is one thing though. There is one thing that Texas does better than any other place in the world, and it is huge for me. It is Brokeback Mountain, “Ah cain’t quit yew Texas” big. It is bigger than being the wellspring of unreasonable (if fake) hotness. Hell, it is bigger than Texas itself.

Texas, you have my heart. And the biggest reason is simple. Ruby Red Grapefruit.

Your grapefruits are as plump and firm, they are juicy and sweet, and I would gladly eat them every day — I actually do eat grapefruit every day, but it is a sad substitute for Texas grapefruit. Florida, South Africa, Israel, California, your grapefruits are sad misshapen refugee grapefruits that, though they are in the ruby red bin, rarely are red at all.

Yes, Texas like Vermont, has a clause in the constitution that allows Texas to secede from the union at any time. During his travels with Charlie, John Steinbeck was so sick of hearing Texans brag about this particular constitutional clause, that he started a group called “Americans for Secession of Texas.”  I have often trumpeted my support for this cause, but after going to Texas and being forcibly reminded of the quality of grapefruit (Texas gets the best ones, they send the mutants north to the Yanks), I have to say, that if Texas secedes from the union, I will hang onto its leg, dragging, screaming like a 5-year-old, begging them not to go. Begging them not to take their delicious large, red, firm, juicy, grapefruit. I will put up with just about anything to accomplish this; I will tolerate guns, oil, football, and ridiculous hats.

Don’t go, Texas, you have the heart of my stomach.

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