Question: I just read on the AM radio that the Fedral Gumint is going to invade and annex Texas and make it a State. Now I don’t have any real prolem with that, but the name of this invasion is “Jade Helm,” and that was a stripper that broke my heart years ago. What’s going on here? —Luke “Possum” Hogbreath
Ah, yes, Jade Helm. I encountered that tall drink of water myself during my own salad days. She taught me a thing or two about a thing or two, I tell you what. As to the federal military operation that’s borrowed her moniker and is under way for the next two months in the Southwest and Texas, the loyalty oath I swore following my own involvement in a skirmish with forces sent by Washington to conquer Texas precludes me from commenting much further. But between you and me, the current occupant of the governor’s mansion in Austin is either a cynical panderer or a nut. Come to think of it, he’s a politician, so it’s most likely both. From where I sit, the way the womanly Jade Helm had of wrapping her feminine assets around a fella posed a greater threat to the men of Texas — both existentially and physically.
Question: What’s the proper way to abbreviate barbecue? Is it “BBQ,” “Bar-B-Que,” or “Bar-B-Q”? —Ricky F.
At last, we get to the heart of the matter. No more tiptoeing around, wasting precious hours on questions of marginal import. Now is the long-overdue moment that I extend my hand for you to grasp and leap forward alongside me as I guide you through the rough and dangerous territory of a dispute that has befuddled Western scholarship for decades.
I’m not Jewish myself, but it is my understanding that there are several Talmudic commentaries centered upon this very issue — as well as a debate over the legitimacy of a recently discovered scroll purporting to contain Moses’ own favored preparation for brisket. And there are rumors that the ancient fight between Israelis and Palestinians — whatever its proximate causes — ultimately traces back to a bitter exchange over whether to sauce a rack of lamb at an interdenominational prayer service. None of this has much at all to do with Dallas, so the details are unimportant.
What should be of vital significance to all right-thinking Dallasites is lording over the remainder of the world our status as the preeminent purveyor of smoked meats and interestingly structured word usements. Thus we have no choice but — united as a people — to take a bold stand as to the most proper means of shortening this term.
That, as they say, would appear to be that. Sorting through the mess has proven far easier than I had originally envisioned, but since the cheapskates at D Magazine pay me by the word, perhaps I should prattle on for a bit more. Better yet, this leaves me time to get in extra practice throws before my bocce ball tournament this eve.
Talk amongst yourselves,
John Neely Bryan is founder of the city of Dallas and an expert on all matters. For advice, to have a dispute adjudicated, or seeking wisdom on any of a myriad of topics, [email protected].