Ask John Neely Bryan: How the Yankees Conquered Dallas

What hath air-conditioning wrought?

John Neely Bryan, Our Founder
John Neely Bryan, Our Founder
Photography by Matthew Shelley

I am truly humbled — (Ed.: You mean “honored” (I damn well know what I mean — JNB)) — to see the response elicited by my first foray into the dispensing of well-earned opinions, advisories, and judgments onto the World Wide Web. Most of you magnificently performed your duty of piling missives into the inbox at [email protected], and I shall endeavor to address your queries with all the timeliness of a bow-legged bobcat returning to its native soil during the first moon after the spring equinox to suffer the slow death it deserves for being such an abomination before God.

Some of you, I’m sorry to say, didn’t take my invitation seriously enough. “Boxers or briefs?” What sort of community icon, such that I am, would dare degrade himself by answering such impertinence? And what man in full possession of his faculties wears anything other than boxer-briefs these days?

Onward to more significant inquiries.

 

Question: Since you go by your first, middle and last name and you don’t smile, are you a serial killer? — Greg B.

Having a triple moniker was never my intention. It’s something that was thrust upon me due to my grand importance upon the stage of history — much like Martin Luther King, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald, Lyndon Baines Johnson, and Larry “Bud” Melman. During my corporeal days, I signed documents as “John N. Bryan.” Neely was Mother’s maiden name. As for your assumption that I don’t smile, presumably based upon the image that accompanies this column, I’d like to have seen you smile for a portrait back in my time. If memory serves, it required roughly eight hours of sitting entirely still for the photographic exposure to be completed. It was an all-day affair requiring enormous stamina and strength of character — plus a hearty breakfast of oats, bacon, and eggs — to endure. For this particular picture, I even tucked an assortment of nuts between my gum and lower lip to sustain me as I remained motionless for the duration of the ordeal. I’d like to see you try it.

 

Question: Does Dallas hate Northerners? — Ashley M.

“Northerners?” You must be a Yankee yourself, to use such a polite term for the scoundrels from the wrong side of the Mason and Dixon’s line. Since I fought for the Confederacy during the War of Northern Aggression, I can’t help but harbor some measure of ill will. However, even for me such attitudes have proven difficult to sustain. For Dallas has been transformed, my friends, and we might as well get used to it. In the city, more than 7.5 percent of residents hail from the old Union territory, and another 25 percent weren’t even born in the United States. Anyone who hoped to keep Dallas exclusive to natives lost that battle the moment air-conditioning arrived.

Used to be there was one means of slogging through the days from June to September: You found yourself an inviting spot in the shade beneath the canopy of a particularly imposing tree and sat on your ass until sundown. But that’s when Dallas was populated by real, sweatier men. Now you all can live in your igloos year-round and elect Ronald Reagan and his acolytes president.

 

Question: Do you still live in that crappy little cabin that keeps getting moved around the Old Red Courthouse? — Johnyalamo

Dude, I’m not Jacob from Lost.

 

Your faithful servant,

John-Neely-Bryan-signature

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