A Taste of Texas Without The Fries

August 15, 2018 9:11pm Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 13 Comments

Abstract photo of fast food retail

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy On A Wednesday!

Why Texas?  

Many people ask me what it is about this state that keeps me coming back and I’ve never been able to put my finger on exactly what it is. It somehow maintains a frontier spirit, even amidst the corporate faux towns that could be a snapshot of any American city.  It has its own kind of heat that is oppressive and unyielding; if you can live here you’re tough enough to stay. It feels independent. It breathes attitude. It smells like freedom. The sky calls you to keep travelling into its vastness and hours later, you’re still in Texas.  When the sun goes down the humidity rages along with the rattling insects and mysterious chirps as life fights on.  

But most of all, it’s the Dalek.

Williams Tower Houston

People here call this a tower but I call him the Houston Dalek – He who protects inhabitants from evil whilst they slumber.  

I Clearly Need Saving From Myself

And then there are the old-fashioned southern manners that take me back to an old Western movie.  Being respected and treated like a lady wherever I go has turned me into an old-school western heroine that needs saving and protecting. Doors held open, lift doors braced as you leave or enter, always allowed to go first, collected from vehicles, standing up when you excuse yourself  from a situation and being spoken to like a queen. I love it. It encourages me to embrace my sexuality and feel like a proper woman. I want to wear my high heels more and my girlie lipstick.  I want to brush my hair, wear pretty dresses and smile sweetly.  

I cannot fathom why any woman abhors this kind of behaviour from a red-blooded male. 

It makes me sick when I go home and it stops. I stand at doors sulking like a petulant narcissist.  

The only problem is I have now lost all upper body strength and if I had to open the emergency door to a plane I’m not the person you wanna be relying on.  

I went to the gym in my apartment complex the other day and couldn’t move the chest press.  Three times I moved the weight down. Nada. 

It must be broken. 

I eventually moved it to the lowest weight which I believe was “5” ounces and broke out in a sweat after two pushes. Total embarrassment. 

I even failed to open the door to the bar! A valet had to rush and help me as I railed against it to get to my lemon drop martini. 

“There you go, ma’am,” he said as he opened the door easily with just a forefinger.

Don’t bat your eyes at anyone when you’re wearing roller lash super curling and lifting mascara.  It makes your eyes stick together. 

Talking of Eyes Forward…

Once I got inside the bar, just underneath the Dalek, I sat watching how well people interacted with each other. 

Male at bar looking at phone

Not. 

Everybody bar me and a chap to my left sat staring at their phones blissfully unaware of what was going on around them.  I find it infuriating. It makes me want to do something obnoxious to see if anyone notices. Which is so unlike me. 

The only virtually addicted people I would like to meet are the ones on my Wi-Fi list below. 

Anyway, the chap next to me asked for a drink in an English accent which distracted me. It’s so easily noticeable over here because it sounds really odd and stuck up. 

“What are you doing in Texas?”  I asked a little fiercely like the state belonged to me.

“It speaks to my spiritual soul.” 

There’s always one smart arse that can sum up what you want to say in one sentence and you can bet your life it’s going to be English.  But hey, that’s not the way I party with words.

Talking of Rock and Roll…

I got taken out. Yes, believe it or not, people are brave enough to do this over here. I like this hardcore spirit.  I was asked if I’d like to watch a country and western singer out in a place called Crockett. Music to my ears in more ways than one because I love visiting these little old Texan towns. I feel like I’ve stepped back in time. 

Crockett, Texas music hall

It took two hours to get to this awesome place. That’s four hours travelling. I could be in the furthest Greek island from England in that time.  It totally blows me away how far Americans are prepared to travel to go out and why they need great big growling trucks to do so.

On the way back I was asked if I wanted a Sonic.  

My normal reaction is to say yes to everything but I’ve learnt that Americans can have a mean streak.

Example:

“Jules, you ever had catfish?”

“No.”

“Here, try this. You’ll love it!”

“Ok!”

“Why has it got a big bone in the middle? That’s not a fish bone.”

“Because it’s a toads leg! BWAHAHAHAHA!”

“Your card is marked, pal.”

Not knowing what a Sonic was, I refused. It could have been a hedgehog.

“But you have to! It’s an American tradition!”

“Yeah, so is eating grits. Nuff said.”

Turns out that it’s a fast food joint so I said to get me whatever the tradition was expecting a burger like normal people would eat.

No.

Fries and a chocolate milkshake.

“You have to dip your fries in the milkshake.”

“Do I look stupid?”

*crickets*

“It’s tradition.”

“No, It’s mental.”

I tried it. Never again.  Whatever possessed someone to make this a tradition or delicacy is beyond me.  A country full of the finest of foods where starving is impossible and you dip your fries in a milkshake? 

Talking of Mission Impossible…

Drive in movie sign

I went to my first Drive-In Movie. This has been on my American bucket list for ages. I was so excited and felt like I should dress up like Olivia Newton-John or something.

Drive in movie screen

However, skin-tight trousers might prove difficult if you want to nip to the loo.  Did they even have loos?  Who knows?  Maybe you have to pee in the field like you do at deer hunting camp? 

“What time does it start?” I asked.

“Dusk.” 

What is this, ranch speak? 

I can only describe the experience as like going camping but with a big telly.

There are people with chairs and blankets and cool boxes.  There are burgers and candy floss and popcorn.  There’s beer in my handbag.  

My only criticism is that you can’t keep the air con on so I was sweating more than Tom Cruise mid mad stunt. Other than that, I absolutely loved it and want to go again!  Naked. 

Talking of Raw Meat…

The best place I’ve had it is at “The Taste of Texas”  

I had to be taken out back where they cunningly had a little butchers shop (first one I’ve ever seen in America) to pick my meat.

“How do you like your meat, Ma’am?”

“Full blooded, firm and mouth wateringly orgasmic.”

“Would you like to feel this package?”

“Oh yes, don’t mind if I do.”

“I think the veins running through this are lean and strong. Would you like me to mark it as yours?”

steak in American restaurant

“Have it unwrapped and bring it to my table, sir!”

“Yes, Ma’am!” 

Steak on a plate in texas

Now that’s what I’m talkin’ bout, Merrica!  I’ve steaked my claim! 

A British Gal Once Went To Texas…

August 3, 2018 2:12am Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 20 Comments

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy On A Wednesday On A Thursday! 

A British gal once went to Texas

They said, “I hope she don’t Hex us!’

Cos her ways are quite strange,

Keep her well out of range,

Cos these Limeys are somewhat infectious!” 

Boom Boom!

I’m sorry, the insane heat is getting to me. I thought I’d acclimatised, especially when a cold front of 95 degrees came in for a day and I had to put my cardigan on cos it was a bit chilly.  What? I think my brain has actually fried. 

Mamma Mia – Here I Go Again

Cinema chairs at iPic

I went to the cinema. I say cinema but it’s more like a night at The Ritz with a big telly.  

Girl Relaxing at iPic

As you can see, I got a booth of two leather chairs, reclining ones no less,  a blanket, cushions and a table to host my cocktail and nibbles. Yeah, you also get a butler.  I could get used to this malarkey.  

Silver Wings And Other Things

Car park outside the honky tonk

After which, what with all the Abba singing, it was decided that I should visit my favourite haunt known as The Wild West Honky Tonk. I bloody love it here.  Seriously, I feel like I’ve walked into a movie.  It has that all American old school feel about it. Guys will ask you to dance in such a proper nice way without any agenda whatsoever. It’s like fairytale land. 

Shiner beer sign

“Ma’am, would you like to dance?”

“LOL!  I love it when you all say that!  I feel like a proper princess! Ha! “

This response with an accent instills major fear into Texan males.  But, being the gallant type, they stand strong and offer out a hand.

“Look, I can’t remember this two-step business so you probs won’t wanna dance with me cos it’ll be like a lesson in hard work.”

“That’s no problem, ma’am, I can show you.”

See what I mean?  “Your call, cowboy.”

And so it goes.  And then you are delivered back to your seat with a thank you and a smile. 

Southern manners are now my benchmark.  If you can’t talk to me like that, don’t talk to me. My standard has been raised to Royal status. 

And then I met Mr. 747, as I like to call him. 

“I live in a plane,” he said. 

“Right you are. I’ll have whatever he’s drinking,” I said to the passing Daisy Duke lookalike waitress. 

“No, I do. I have restored a 747 into a dream pad and it’s in the middle of a field on the outskirts of Houston.”

“What’s up with a standard issue home?  Don’t you like stairs?”

“It was a dream of mine since a child when I watched ‘The Magician,’” he declared. 

*Hmmm….slightly psychopathic, I mused. Maintain situational awareness and stop drinking Margarita,* my inner nouse said. 

“Here, take a look.”  He passed over his mobile phone.

Lo and behold there he was all famously over Google and Global National Tabloids as ‘The Man Who Lives In A Plane.’

“Would you like to dance?” he asked.

“Do I get free wine, a selection of movies and a chicken curry before we land?”  

Whoosh – like a 747 over the Atlantic ocean. 

“I’d like to show you underneath my cockpit if you ever come out to see my home,” he said whilst I was trying to master the art of Polka dancing. 

“That’s what they all say, pal.  Ain’t nothing under your cockpit I ain’t seen before, laddo.”  

“Oh no, I don’t mean like that! I have a place underneath called ‘The library’. I think, as a writer, you’d like it.

“I think as a person who wants to stay alive and not end up in a modern day twist of Psycho is winning this battle, but thanks and all.”

Anyway, feel free to read all about Mr. Joe Axline and look at his Fly-Rise.  If you play Pokemon Go there’s stuff to be had here, so I’m told…

Planes, Lames, And Automobiles

On a visit to a little Texan Town, stopping off at Buccy’s which is just awesome, I found myself a horse.  There it was just standing by the shop front without an owner and I figured it would be good for me to get back in the saddle and master my giddy-up.  Hours I sat there. 

Nuffin’

Girl on a horse

In the end, the restaurant told me to get off and let the other kids have a turn.  

More horsepower in a car anyway. Bovvered. 

I then went Pick- Up truck shopping since I wasn’t having much joy with ‘osses. 

Here is my new pick-up.  It’s a little on the small side but coming from England I decided that it would be prudent to keep it simple.  Size isn’t everything.  Although Texans would vehemently disagree.

Talking of Disagreements…

I always change the SIM card in my phone when I get to America so I can have a local number and not get ripped off to the tune of thousands by my overseas contract.  I learnt that sucker the hard way.  I get this from T-Mobile and nine times out of ten it goes without a hiccup.

Hello Karma!  Well, it’s been a while, hasn’t it…

They swiped my bank card several times, stuck a SIM card in my phone and wished me a good day as is the norm.  Ah, but, that wasn’t quite the end.  Apparently, my card didn’t work so I ended up paying cash and silently cursing my bank for being over cautious when I’d told them I was coming to The States. 

A few days later I had a notification that the card had indeed worked and I’d paid three times.  Off to T-Mobile I went asking for a refund.  Despite the fact that I had receipts, bank evidence and the shop staff were in total agreement of this, they wouldn’t refund me.  

ERRR, I’M SORRY, BUT WHAT? COME AGAIN? WHAT KIND OF SKULDUGGERY IS THIS?

It is somehow beyond their capabilities to refund money despite their error and they asked me to take it up with my bank even though, I clearly pointed out,  it wasn’t my bank’s fault. 

Not used to this level of ineptitude I refused to accept this utter rubbish and repeatedly asked them to justify their illogical logic and pay up. 

I then got hauled out of the shop by my friend before I got arrested. 

Arrested! 

Ha!  What?  For free speech against muppets?  

This was followed swiftly by The Comcast Rep visit.  I’d already missed one visit due to the guy rolling up, not ringing me, and buggering off five seconds after he got here.  Let me tell you that ten days without internet and TV has resulted in me having to entertain myself and the realisation that I’m way weirder than I first thought. 

Anyway, I waited ready to pounce on the next guy in the lobby so he couldn’t get away so easily. 

“Blah, blah, blah,” he said.

“What?”

“Blah berg dee bing dong blurb”

So.Help.Me.God.  Why me?

Turns out the Comcast guy was from Nigeria and I couldn’t understand a bloody word he said.  

Hours, it took.  And then he went and told me I was only booked for internet and no TV.  It took eight years off my life trying to work out that sentence but when I did, T-Mobile paled into insignificance. 

I marched to the front door and double locked it. “Listen up, errr, whatever your name is, you ain’t leaving this pad until I’ve got at least 85 channels of rolling commercials so I suggest you get onto the powers that be and get it sorted.”

Listening to the conversation between the Comcast rep and his Head Office was like listening to The Clangers on an Acid trip. 

However, all ended well and  I have got a remote control that I can talk to which is giving me cause for frustrating entertainment because I don’t remember the names of your channels.  

And in-between that endless joy, I try and decipher the random text messages I receive from outer space.

What?

 

Who is Mrs. Mullet?  Nobody cares.

Talking of Entertainment…

I find that most people in shops, restaurants, and businesses in America are very kind and giving.  I have already acquired many things for nothing just by asking if I can have them.  I don’t even have to put my Emergency Clown Nose on.

Here are two of my favourites:

Sunflower pen

The Sunflower pen. 

I was given this at a Mexican restaurant.  I find it amusing to sign things with this floral biro and only wished it squirted water.  I got another nice pen from a girl called Kitty who has an obsession with stationery just like me and kindly let me have her latest, pastel green, gel Papermate. I nearly cried.

But my favourite is this…

Spilled drink in mug

Oh no!  You spilled a drink!

Haha!  Not really. Total wizardry trickery!

I managed to talk my way into getting this and I love it!  Hours of entertainment making a mug out of people with this one. Hours…

Y’all Can Go To Hell And I Will Go To Texas

July 25, 2018 9:39pm Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 25 Comments

Texas

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy On A Wednesday!

As you can see from the title, that’s kind of how it went. Last Friday I took a last minute flight back to Houston, Texas and kept it all very top secret. If I tell you why I’ll have to kill you and I don’t want to be having to do that to my friends now do I?

And, people I know in America who I haven’t told:  you might have noticed random phone calls from a Texas number that you think is a robot call.  Ha!  It’s not, it’s far worse. It’s me.  So answer because I’m not leaving a message.

Leaving The Heatwave For Hotter Than Hell

British heatwave tabloid cover

Great Britain is still experiencing a continuous heatwave. I have forgotten what rain looks and feels like.  Me.  An English bird. It’s just not right but I ain’t complaining.  However, there’s hot and there’s insanity ~ AKA coming to Texas in the height of summer.  

I’m told by the locals that Texas has 4 seasons:

Hot

Hotter

Hottest

Get the **** outta here

I can only describe it as like opening the dishwasher when it’s just finished and it knocks you off your feet with scalding steam (You won’t understand this, Masher, what with your aversion to dishwashers and all )

Someone Call Security

I got off the plane to a blanket of fire. At evening time. I was then shepherded into the never-ending weaving line of people at security.  They make it look like you’re only five rows deep in the cunning way that they snake it around until you realise there are seventeen million people in front of you. To further taunt you, they only open two stations out of twenty so that it takes a full two hours to get to the end. Obviously a ten hour flight isn’t long enough.  Trapped within the sweaty, aeroplane smelling, fractious hot bodies of your fellow passengers with sleep deprivation and near heat stroke is not funny. I very nearly kicked off. I was bordering between hysteria, crying my head off and an atrocious outburst. Having been dragged through customs police checks before because I’m ‘oh-so-nefarious’ helped me keep some sense of composure. 

And then, eventually, before somebody dies,  you get to the man with the power and have to try and think.

Name?

Huh? Forgot. Been standing here so long all the blood has pooled to my aeroplane swollen ankles.

Why are you here?

Beginning to ask myself the same question, pal.  I could have driven to Timbuktu and back in a Rickshaw in less than the time this has taken.

Where are you going while here?

Actually, it’s whilst but I don’t want to get into a pedantic competition. I’m probably going to book myself straight into the nearest mental institution.  And then find ways to improve international airport security. 

When were you last here?

Hard to tell. I think I met myself coming back.

How long are you staying for?

Depends how long I’m going to be stood here. I might have run out of visa in about ten seconds.

Are you carrying any vegetables? (What kind of a question is this?  It begs to be answered with the same stupidity)

My brain.

How much money are you carrying?

Shall we have a gander and see if it’s enough to bribe you to let me out of here?

What is your interest in The United States of America?

I’m here to study the beneficial health aspects of Velveeta.

This is everything I WANT to say but don’t.  

I eventually made it out the other end where I was collected and taken straight for a Grey Goose Lemon Drop Martini.  I have to say that it was the best cocktail I have ever downed in my life. 

Sometimes in life, you just have to step down and take it.

Step Down sign on table

It was written on my table at the restaurant so I’m taking that as a sign.

coffee mug at Denny's 

And there’s always hope at the end. 

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