the proper response is not “bless you.”
Polaroid Stories gets a review
And, a plug for Eric’s show:
SLOW NIGHT AT MCLAUGHLIN’S
Marshall Ryan Maresca wrote and directed this play, which depicts a languid evening
at the Irish bar owned by the McLaughlins in Norville, New York, whose
quiet is disrupted by an unexpected visitor. Robert Berry, Eric
Peterson, and Jesse Wiles star as three estranged brothers who
struggle to calm the sea of tensions between them. Sep 16-Oct
9, Thu-Sat, 8pm, John Henry Faulk Living Theatre, 207 E.
Fourth. $12. 454-TIXS.
You can’t see it if you don’t live in Austin. Most of you don’t live in Austin. Well, maybe about fifty or so of you do, but the rest of you don’t. You don’t know what it’s like. You haven’t lived here, you don’t know. You can’t know. You just can’t.
You’ve never been in a grocery store in line behind a woman carrying a frozen pig’s head under her arm. It’s face is pushed against the cellophane staring at you as she is shouting at the cashier that she has a coupon for the head somewhere.
You haven’t. You don’t live in Austin. You don’t live in Texas.
Sunday I went swimming. Yesterday it rained, and I was chilly in my jeans and long sleeve shirt. Yesterday afternoon I drove home with the air conditioner on, wiping the sweat from my neck. Today I am wearing a sweater. I’m in Texas. You aren’t.
You don’t know what it’s like.
You’ve never had to spell out the word “P-I-N” because when you asked for one five different people brought you a ball point pen. Those are two different words where you come from. It’s not Texas.
The same goes for “Fer,” “Choo,” and “‘Em.” Those are not noises made by the sick. Those are words. If you don’t know what they mean, you don’t live in Texas.
Maybe you’ve stopped by. It doesn’t count. You have to live here to know what it’s truly like.
You’ve never seen a woman wear hot pink nail polish to a dinner date. You’ve never seen a man wear a bolo to a prom. You’ve never seen a Skoal can used to hold jewelry.
Because you don’t live in Texas.
You don’t see men wear belt buckles the size of appetizer plates that are engraved with words like “Bodacious.” When you ask if the man with the platter surfs he barks at you that Bodacious is a bull. This does not happen to you because you don’t live here.
I do. Not you.
And, okay, maybe you live in Mississippi or Louisiana or something and what you go through is close, maybe even some of the same things happen, but you know deep down that it’s not really the same. Because the people that live in your state don’t act like a sovereign nation. You don’ t have people in your state trying to become their own country.
The same place that holds our hockey team holds our rodeo, auto shows, monster truck races, and this year’s Hoop It Up competition. They melt the ice and bring in sand or concrete or mud or whatever else you wanna see. That’s Austin.
When Paul Simon and Bob Dylan leave our concert hall tomorrow, Tom Petty comes in for an evening and then it’s back to WWF as usual.
You don’t know what it’s like.
People would rather walk around here than go in a car or home without air conditioning.
Do you know how long the time expectancy is when someone is “fixing to” do something? Do you know how long to wait? Do you know how much time you have left? Do you?
Have you ever listened to two people argue about whether or not menudo is good? Do you know what menudo is? Did you answer a boy band with Ricky Martin? Then you live so far away from Texas you must be in Maine. Go ahead. Find out. If you dare. That’ll make you think twice about moving to Texas, won’t it?
I’m only mentioning this because we get 100 people moving into Austin every day. I think some of them are coming without doing any research. You’ve got to know what you’re getting into and you’ve got to decide that you love it. You’ve got to want your martini bar next to a country line dance place. You’ve got to like it when people wear flip flops to the opera or the theatre. You’ve got to embrace people slaughtering the Spanish language. You’ve got to realize that street names will have three different names and people will get mad if you don’t know that 183 is both Research Boulevard and Ed Bluestein road. Manchaca is pronounced “MAN-check” and Manor is pronounced “MAIN-er.” Loop One is called MoPac even though there are no signs that say MoPac and the road doesn’t go in a loop.
When people ask “How y’all doing?” the proper response is “WOOOOOOOO!”
This answer can also be used when someone makes the statement, “God, I love Austin.”