Wednesday, September 16, 2009

God Bless Texas

(Photo Credit: Moose, on her iPhone, Amarillo, TX, 9/16/09)

Moose, as you know, is on the loose, but we caught up with her this evening through the miracle of Roxie Cam (trademark RW Enterprises, LLC) and found her tucking into a nice filet and an ice cold bottle of Lone Star to reward herself for 544 miles on the road today, putting her just 280 easy miles short of her undisclosed destination. Livin' on the road, my friend, is gonna keep you free and clean . . . .

Day 3 finds her relaxed and happy and still sporting her 1969 tee-shirt. She hesitated about wearing it to dinner, thinking it might not go over well with the good old boys of west Texas, especially after she drove by the most spectacularly gynormous roadside cross she had ever seen on the outskirts of town. (Technically, she saw a very similar cross yesterday in Missouri, but they are tied in her mind as the most spectacularly gynormous roadside crosses ever seen.) She knew, however, that she couldn't disappoint me and my legions of loyal fans who are eagerly following the adventures of her and her provocative tee-shirt as they make their way across America, 2009. I mean, hell, she said to herself, what if Julie Powell had just decided to skip the execrable aspics in Mastering the Art of French Cooking? You don't cheat on a blog project, and you don't bail out on your readers!

She wore the shirt to the spectacularly gynormous Texas steak house down the road from the close-to-the-interstate Holiday Inn Express where she is staying. (Unsolicited commercial endorsement: Holiday Inn Express is clean, comfy, and affordable. Free breakfast and a small but well-equipped fitness room for working out those post-drive kinks.) She is pleased to report that she was exceptionally well-treated by everyone she encountered, including the trio of Texas musicians who wandered through the restaurant taking requests and chatting up the patrons. They came to Moose's table and stood right behind her, staring, she imagined, at "The Year of Gay Liberation" on the back of her shirt while doing a commendable "Orange Blossom Special" and "Rocky Top" for the couple from Tennessee seated next to her. Moose bounced her head along in time to the music as she ate her salad, being constitutionally incapable of not doing something in time to music. She wondered if they would stop and talk to her. To her delight, they did. Asked what she would like to hear, she immediately replied, "Some Bob Wills?" hoping it would up her Texas cred. "Sure!" the guitarist said, seemingly impressed. "Anything in particular?" Busted, Moose thought, unable to come up with a title. "You pick," she said, and the band launched into "Take Me Back to Tulsa." Moose sang along on the chorus, between bites of salad. When she confessed to being from Washington in the post-song chat, they jokingly asked if she was a politician. "No, no," she replied, "a teacher." (Which is really just a concise way of saying, "tenured radical and full-time lesbo indoctrinating America's children in the evils of heteropatriarchy," dontcha know.) The bass player asked what she taught. "English," she said, which usually elicits howls of, "Oh, my grammar is terrible!" Happily, though, the bass player said that he had actually minored in English and majored in journalism at the school formerly known as West Texas State. "Wonderful!" Moose replied, as the band moved on to the next table.

Newsflash: People are being nice to a middle-aged woman driving across the country in a shirt that promotes GAY LIBERATION! Does this mean:

a) that people don't read tee-shirts,
b) that people are too polite to say anything but are silently consigning her to hell,
c) that the idea of gay liberation is now wholly unremarkable, or
d) that the large group of motorcyclists in the restaurant wearing odd green caps that made Moose think they were a bunch of extremely butch leprechauns was just vastly more fascinating than one boring old broad in a shirt?

Whaddyathink, kids? We report. You decide. Peace out, and happy trails.


  1. My hunch is that they don't read. But has no one asked you yet "Why 1969?" That seems to me the truly likely question (and I have some experience, as you'll know - cf
    And this is where you'll need a range of answers, depending on your desire to produce a Teachable Moment with - for example - constructors... There's always :"It was a really important year"/"It was a really important year for me"/"Oh, gosh, you probably weren't even alive then!"/or most ambiguously of all - "It was the end of the sixties." Let's hope they all ask - "SO! Is that the year you were born?"

    Safe travels And pun ch the air crossing the next state line xo

  2. 1. If they only read the 1969 they think you're some sort of left-over hippie, which no longer has the power to offend.

    2. "The Year of Gay Liberation" is on the back (so they're not reading it until the door hits you on the way out).

    3. Beneath the slogan it reads "New York Public Library." You're just one of those weirdos from a "liberal" place. And a yankee to boot. They figure you'll just go back where you came from.

    4. Being a middle-aged woman alone trumps being a person with a political t-shirt.

    5. People throughout the lower midwest and the south tend to be polite as a first impulse. I suspect you'd get commentary if you drove through some spots in flyover country that are further north.

    That's all I can come up with. Keep rocking the t-shirt, Moose! And enjoy the road trip!

  3. For the Bob Wills, on your way back ask for "Bubbles in my Beer" or "Can't Shake the Sands of Texas from my Shoes." And don't forget Kimmie's "West Texas Heaven"! All will go GREAT with the Lone Star. And one of the musicians had minored in English at West Texas State, huh? Canyon, Texas--is it north or south of Amarillo, and did you see any signs for Cadillac Ranch? Check it out on Wikipedia, Moose (and all of Roxie's readers). Forgot to remind you to look for it. . . .it'll be there when you head back!

    Rox and I LOVE the pic of that roadhouse, Moose. Ah, God had better bless Texas. . .she has all sorts of reasons to be pissed at my home state, after all.

    And what does it mean that people are being nice to a woman wearing a 1969 shirt with Gay Liberation on the back? Well, Kate and Dr. Crazy have already rendered perspicacious feedback, but I think that if they do read 1969 they simply think you saw the Woodstock films (enhanced old documentary and the new one) this summer and are being nostalgically cool. Gay Liberation? Mmm. . .in West Texas they're probably just politely not talking about it or think you are advocating for more comedy, which West Texas Heaven sure knows this world needs. But hey--did you ever find out what was up with those motorcyclists in little green caps? Was that a coed group?

    We are so happy for your great adventure, Moose, though we do miss you terribly, terribly, terribly. Rox declared that she had to eat a lot of your salmon because it's your fave. Just so you know. . . .

    And she's urging me to send you a report on President Obama in Terpland, which I will shortly do.

    Always yours,

  4. Could it be that they are more focused on the aroma than the words of a 5-day- worn t-shirt? Smiles and Texas hugs as we enjoy your adventure from afar!

  5. it means you are always cool.....


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.