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Confessions of a Guy Who’s Lived In Texas For Three Weeks

By John Gasper

I’m not from here.  I’m from Scranton, Pennsylvania, and yes, let’s get it out of the way, Scranton is in fact the city featured on the popular NBC sitcom “The Office,” and not only is Dunder Mifflin a real company, but I am close personal friends with all of the famous and beloved characters from the show, such as Jim, Pam, Sherman, Michael, Dwight, Gary, and Edgar.  All real. Close personal friends of mine.  Scranton is real. I am from there. Ok? Ok.

So, yes. Texas. Here I am forming opinions, as someone whose entire experience of this state prior to May 30th was a 2-hour layover in the Houston airport on my way to Cancun in 2004, and also “King of the Hill” reruns.  And so I’ve spent my first few weeks as a copywriting intern keeping my first impressions of life in Texas in an organized list. Everybody loves lists.

FIRST: Texans love this state.  I know Texans already have this reputation, to the point where it’s almost a cliché, but it wasn’t until I came here that I realized just how well-deserved that reputation is.  More things here have pictures of Texas on them than don’t, honestly.  I have never seen this in any other state.  Seeing Texas about one thousand times per day has made me realize how appropriate the Lone Star thing is, though, because if you look close, Texas sort of looks like a star.  A star with a weird, rectangular top part, but still.

Pennsylvania doesn’t really have that kind of pride so much.  Maybe part of it is because Pennsylvania is one of the most awkward state names to say.  “Pennsylvania.” Just look at that word.  Also, I think it’s partly because the state itself is weird-looking.  We have the perfectly straight top and bottom parts, then that weird round area that borders Delaware, then it gets all wrinkly on the right side, and then in the top left there’s that chimney thing where Erie is.  I can’t imagine seeing someone with a tattoo of Pennsylvania, is what I’m getting at.  And my overall point is that Texans really do genuinely love this state, which is pretty cool.

SECOND: Austin is pretty much living up to its reputation as a real cool place to live.  Great food, great people, great music, all that stuff.  Though, it’s not cool in a literal sense.  It has been at least 90 degrees here, nonstop, since I arrived.  That’s not cool in any sense of the word.  I know I am a pansy but I mean come on, even if you’re from here, that’s unreasonably hot. What do you mean, “if you’re from here that’s perfectly reasonable, you Pennsylvania baby”?  That’s just mean. Why would you say such a thing? You’ve hurt my feelings. Way to go.

I have not been here long enough to formulate a fully coherent opinion of Austin, not yet.  I’ll be here for at least a few months, and maybe I’ll get to stay here a while longer.  But so far, I like it here.  It’s definitely different from what I’m used to, but a little change every once in a while is a good thing.

THIRD: the only thing that I’ve noticed that is actually bigger in Texas, so far, is grass.  Individual blades of grass.  I don’t know what kind of mutant crazy grass Texas has but it’s giant and it’s almost a little intimidating.  If you tell me not to walk on this grass, I will listen.  Who knows what this giant, probably sentient grass is capable of?  I am not willing to find out.  Seriously, each blade of grass here looks like a steak knife.  I am not trying to tangle with 1000 unnaturally bright green steak knives.  It can only end badly.

The grass here even grows on walls.

Dang. This is longer than I expected.  Guess the blog posts are bigger in Texas too.

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