Sunday, October 2, 2022 Oct 2, 2022
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Commentary

Riis Christensen: The Californication of Texas

The Lone Star State is in serious danger, and you don’t have to hack Hillary’s home-brew server to uncover the plot. It’s flappin’ in the breeze for all to see in Joe Mathews’ opinion column, where he states that the departure of Californians and California companies are “a colonization of Texas and the rest of the country.”
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Riis Christensen
Riis Christensen

The Lone Star State is in serious danger, and you don’t have to hack Hillary’s home-brew server to uncover the plot. It’s flappin’ in the breeze for all to see in Joe Mathews’ opinion column, where he states that the departure of Californians and California companies are “a colonization of Texas and the rest of the country.”

Fittingly, Gov. Abbot has raised the Texas National Guard readiness level to DEFCON 1. And the article has understandably fueled fiery passion and rhetoric amongst prideful Texans.

Apparently, Joe visited North Texas to check out the hubbub surrounding the mass exodus of people and jobs from California. He ogled the new Toyota headquarters project underway in Plano (where up to 3,000 current Californians will soon work).

In his column, he boasted about flying here on Virgin America (Burlingame), driving on a Tollway maintained by Jacobs Engineering (Pasadena) on a full tank of gas from Chevron (San Ramon). He’d pulled his iPhone (Cupertino) out of his Gap (San Francisco) jeans, and Googled (Mountain View) food options. There was a new Trader Joe’s (Monrovia) and a couple of In-N-Out Burger joints (Irvine) minutes away, plus a few Del Tacos (Lake Forest) sprinkled around the region.

He postulated that “if California and Texas are in some sort of contest for cultural and economic supremacy, why do so many people labor under the delusion that Texas is winning?” He then pontificated that “there is also reason for pride in our reach, our appeal, and the way we are remaking them in our own image.”

After the dry heaves subsided and my blood pressure went below 500 over 250, two words came immediately to mind that roughly translate into “equine excrement” (The Stockyards, Fort Worth). Many Texans feel that those statements are serrrs (“serious” in Texanspeak) and that them is fightin’ words.

You see, Joe, except for deficits and political correctness run amok, everything’s bigger in Texas—including the sense of outrage felt by many after reading your piece. Personally, I felt like someone had attacked my mother’s virtue in front of my 7th grade gym class. Texans are already drawing a line in the sand on our western front from Lajitas to El Paso to Dumas. And it ain’t an Obama/Assad/Syria wimpy, spineless, ever-shifting line. No sir, this is a Col. William Travis/Jim Bowie/Davie Crockett/Juan Seguin Alamo line. So I suggest that you quickly pick up some historical perspective below before getting your musket balls in a bind:

1. Airlines. Southwest (Dallas), American (Fort Worth) and Envoy (Irving) fly us to thousands of destinations daily, and we Texans don’t demand Virgin’s mood lighting and heavy booze rations when we travel that close to each other.

2. Your Road Supervision. Our massive road projects like I-635, I-35 and the DFW Connector were built by Texas contractors Zachary (San Antonio), Kiewit (Fort Worth) and Mario Sinacola & Sons (Frisco), to name a few. The last thing most Texans want here is a California company turning our super highways into smog-belching parking lots and charging us $20 to drive two hours to Love Field.

3. Chevron. The full tank of gas in your little hybrid rental car typically wouldn’t have been possible without oil produced in Texas by Texas companies such as ExxonMobil (Irving), Denbury Resources (Plano) and Valero (San Antonio). We aren’t too environmentally wigged out to pump it out of the ground and squirt it over to you, even though rabid California environmentalists protest by chanting “no fracking way.”

4. The iPhone. Joe, you couldn’t have whipped anything out of your pants except a WWII-era giant 100+ lb. backpack-sized Army field radio without Jack Kilby’s 1958 invention of the integrated circuit (Texas Instruments, Dallas) for which he received a Nobel Prize (Sweden).

5. Your Jeans. I’m guessing those jeans wouldn’t have covered a postage stamp piece of your Pacific posterior without the Lone Star State’s, No. 1 in the U-S-of-A cotton production filling your “Gap.” We prefer Wranglers here, anyway.

6. Where’s the Beef? The ground beef in those In-N-Out double doubles you eat in California was made possible by Texans driving cattle from Texas out to you greenhorns in the early 1850s. Without that beef, you Golden Staters’d still be eating sushi, kale, sprouts, and sea weed. (Oh, wait; you still are.)

And instead of being thankful for our continuing beefy Texas contributions, the L.A. City Council made a proclamation declaring “Meatless Mondays.” Oh yes they did! (A moment of briskety BBQ silence is being observed tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. in honor of Pecan Lodge, Lockhart’s, Sammy’s, Dickey’s, Babb Brothers, and Bodacious. Tens of thousands of folks all over Tejas are joining together for a three-meat plate solidarity lunch).

7. In-N-Out. I like that the owners and their grown kids put Scripture on all the burger bags. But Kirby’s Pig Stand (Dallas) was the first drive-in/thru restaurant in the country in 1921. And besides, we already got Snuffer’s (Dallas), Jake’s (Dallas), Chili’s (Dallas), Whataburger (Corpus Christi), and Hopdoddy (Austin). ’Nuff said.

8. Grocery Stores. We have Whole Foods (Austin) and HEB (San Antonio), plus Texas-born giants Tom Thumb, Central Market, and Fiesta. And nobody around here looks emaciated to me.

In order to avoid unnecessary skirmishes and to keep the peace between our states, I propose that we agree to the following: you Left Coasters keep coagulating soy milk curd, PETA, “whatever sex you feel like today” restroom ordinances, and we’ll hang on to Friday night lights, Austin City Limits, the Hotter-n-Hell Hundred, Fletcher’s Corny Dogs, and “under God” in our Pledge of Allegiance. You keep sparkling fu-fu water and we’ll keep Dr Pepper (Dublin). You keep Jerry Brown, the Kardashians, and the Jenners, and we’ll keep Willie, Nolan Ryan, and Chuck Norris. You keep Charlie Sheen, Miley, and Marilyn Manson, and we’ll keep Dubya and Mathew McConaughey.

We’ll keep real Tex-Mex and you keep that Sonoran mountains of lettuce stuff that you guys pass off for the real deal. You keep Facebook (Menlo Park) and its 58 gender classifications, and we’ll stick with two: male and female (Genesis). You keep your oppressive business regulations, personal income taxes, and men wearing hair buns and yoga pants. We’ll keep Blue Bell (even with listeria), SXSW, Justin boots, Shiner beer, ZZ Top, school prayer, and open carry.

Just to be clear Joe, I don’t think that Californication will go over real well here. A bunch of Texans already have their backs pointed toward the Sabine and are lookin’ west for any signs of infiltration. We’ll gladly welcome expats and companies looking for a better life and friendlier business climate in Texas, but if you want to remake something, export your image to Iran or North Korea. Whatever you do, DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS! We like it just the way it is.

Riis Christensen enjoys good-natured ribbing and friendly discussions with family, friends, and colleagues from California about bidness, politics, and theology. When not puffed up with prideful pulp about state rivalries, he represents tenants in office lease negotiations. Contact him at [email protected]

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