Fort What It’s Worth

October 12, 2016 8:59pm Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 45 Comments


Satirical snapshots bringing you whimsy on a wednesday (still from across the pond)

Limey in the badlands

I made it to Forth Worth where I went to The Stockyards. This place has got my name written all over it: cowboys, boots, horses, steers, Honky Tonks, big trucks, steak ’n’ ribs. Cowgirl heaven.




The unconventional cowgirl



That’s me. I got the hat, the bewwwts, the bags, belts, clothes etc. Just two massive problems : I’m scared of cows and horses. And I’m English. This does not fit the bill. Horses I plan to get round because I like them and wish to ride one out into the dusty plains. However, horses and I have the same scatty, highly strung personalities so we set each other on edge. Then I get edgy and leave.

But cows….

What’s your beef?

Cows have a way of looking at you that that is impossible to read. They look neither happy or sad and stare at you with sinister indifference. Very psychopathic. They freak me out and I am right to be alarmed because 47 people a year are killed by cows. Despite this, I sat on this beast in order to overcome my fear. The fact it was chained to a fence is irrelevant as it could have kicked off at any time. Twenty two hundred pounds of steer between my legs. How brave am I?




Meet Big Tex

I’m now back in Houston where I am renting a tiny little one bed condo, perfectly positioned right opposite The Galleria. It’s one of those places that people call “compact and bijou” because people like to convince you that living in a hamster cage is cool. However, the couch is really comfy so when I stay up late it’s only five steps to my bed rather than a long haul upstairs.

Neighbours – everybody needs good neighbours, right?

In this little old complex here I’ve met a few of the neighbours. There’s Betty from across the way looking out for me and some other guy, who’s name I forget because it’s Iranian, I think, and I keep forgetting it. I’ve asked him three times and can’t ask again without looking rude or stupid. Every time I go out he appears near the pool area with a gusty “Hello Jules!”

“ARRR! Oh! Yes Hi, errr…um….hello!” Palpitations.

But then there’s my next door neighbour whom I met yesterday when she came flying out of the front door as I left for the shops. Betty had already warned me that she was “one to watch” and tapped her nose in a knowing way. Very covert, Betty.

Cause and effect

“Ah, so you’re the girl next door!” she boomed, giving me the twice over. But I was one step ahead of the game thanks to Betty.

Chess. My forté.

Princess mode full on. Best accent. Glistening eyes and all smiles. “Oh hello, so lovely to meet you! My name is Jules and I’m from the UK (superiority) *JUST KIDDING!* <—- Waits for the American lynching.
I stuck out my hand and she took it. Good start.

“Well my name is Karma, you know, just like Karma.”

I felt myself prickle. Are you flippin’ kidding me? I’m living next door to Karma. Me. You can’t make this shit up. I feel like I’m in one of my own stories where I am writing my own warped reality.

“Yes, I’m fully aware of Karma. We’ve had some battles.”

“Well if you need anything, I’m right here, waiting.”

“How fortuitous.”

“Have you ever been to the Tasting Room, a block away?” Karma asks.

“No. Do tell.”

“It’s a wine tasting place. Do you know about wine?”

Hell fire. She really is Karma. “Err..have we met?”

“I’ll take you there one night and we can go wine tasting. Give me a knock.”

“K.” Queen under massive attack. Pawns falling all around me. King,trapped. Abort game.

So what do I do? Eh? Is it really wise for me to go necking a whole load of luxury reds with Karma herself? That can only end in tears and most likely mine.

Talking of other random conversations.

People in America talk to you in lifts – AKA Elevators. This does not happen in the UK and thus I am not used to it. Sometimes you might get a nod of the head or even an outlandish “Good morning” from a Brit entering lift, and that’s even crossing the boundaries of lift etiquette.
Not in America. People enter lifts here and immediately say random things to you. Yesterday, in The Galleria, I got in and gave a weak smile and huddled in the lift corner.

“CHOO CHOO” said a strong and fearless business woman next to me. She smelt of Dior and dripped designer. I felt like an unkempt oik.

“Err.. Pardon?”

“CHOO CHOO!” she repeated, more fiercely.

I swear something is wrong with my hearing or I’m not good under lift attack.

“C U T E S H O E S” she said more slowly.


How very random. I took the escalators thereafter.

Fortune in other guises (not Karma)

My Fairy Godparents took me out for cocktails and dinner last night at P F Changs. Of course, at the end I got a fortune cookie. Hmmm. One has to take these things seriously. I stared at it for a while willing it to give me fabulous answers to life. Inspired guidance.

My Fairy godmother opened hers. “Ooh! I’m going to go on an expensive trip!”

“Gimme that. I want that one!” I snatched it from her fingers.

My Godfather opened his. “You will bump into a person that will change your life for the better.”

“SWAP! I want that one. I’ll trade you an expensive trip.”

“NO. Jules, open your own!”

He who dares wins……

“Brilliant. So unless I review the Chinese Dynasty or learn to cook Sichuan of note, I’m doomed.”

“Turn it over! The message is on the other side, silly girl.”

Wow. Awesome sauce. I have good news coming. How ambiguous is that? Well of course I have good news coming right along with bad cos that’s life. I can put my one remaining, crispy plastic indestructible fiver on that possibility.

“I want a different one. Ask the waiter for more. I’ll take the best of three.”

“No, Jules. That’s your message.”


The waiter comes along with the bill. “Did y’all enjoy your food?” he dared to ask.

“Yeah, mate. Right up until you put the kibosh on it with the fortune cookie. Fun sponge.”



Keep her indoors

So tonight they’re taking me where I can’t speak. I’m going to iPic. A posh cinema with recliners, blankets, cocktails, food and personal waiters. That’s me going straight to kip in five minutes.
ZZZZZZZ…..until next time.


Leave a reply

I’ll keep my fingers crossed for good news.

I know that you’re going wild in Texas, having all sorts of fun, but some misery works better for a writer, don’t you think? Most people write best from pain and adversity. It’s the grist of most art.

Thanks, Larry.

You know me, wild to the core. I think the other neighbour is called misery. Bound to be. Yes, angst has a way of forging the necessary emotion that cuts your readers from inside out. 🙂

Especially if you get to share the angst behind someone’s back.

If good news is coming your way I am going to buy you a lottery ticket and write your name on it and live in hope!!!

Good call. Do it. Do them all. Hold on….. that wouldn’t be MY good news though would it, since you’d have the winning ticket! Halves and I’m in. You may use my moniker.

It was your destiny to meet Karma, Jules. Maybe she’ll be the instrument of your good news. You’ll discover a talent you never knew you had, liking shooting rattlesnakes. Notice I didn’t say ‘like quaffing red wine’. The Texans will guess you learnt that in the last century. 😉

Mr. Gorilla Banans – I don’t know how I missed your comment so please forgive me.

Yes, meeting Karma face to face was going to happen at some time. She’s not what I expected but what ever is? She already knows I can quaff wine like a Saturday night lush, hence her passive-aggressive comment on the Tasting Room. Yeah – I’m onto her…

I tried to find a rattlesnake church last time because well, insanity and all; but sadly, most of the snakes were victorious and they’ve all shut down

Nah it’s a good film mate, I stayed awake in the relative comfort of the showcase & their comfy recliners, popcorn & M&M’s … xx

Mate, dozed off twice. It’s a one-upmanship on the showcase. BIG chairs – blankets; soft, luxurious blankets. Cocktails, champagne, free popcorn, servants and silk pillows….It’s worth a twenty for a decent nap!

So…what was the movie (film)?

Girl On A Train. Dark. Right up my sinister street. Right up until I went night, night’s.

” I can put my one remaining, crispy plastic indestructible fiver on that possibility.”

I thought you were saving that last one to shoot to pieces.

Obliterate with an AK-47, as it were.

Oh no, Sol. My one for obliteration is put aside for the very purpose of being pummelled with lead. 🙂

* i would get swallowed up in Texas given how skinny i am.
* can you go to the Badlands if you’re a good person?
* i went to a downtown tasting room………..and well you know the rest…
* there are 2 escalators in Wisconsin………… up and one down i assume…
* the best part about PF Chang’s is that majestic magic white horse that guards the entrance. i asked the horse if i could ride him but he responded back, “nay”


Everything could get swallowed up by Texas. Big Tex looks small next to Texas.
No, only bad people can go so they can learn to save the good people.
I can’t believe the horse didn’t sigh, inwardly. I’m disappointed *)

I like this post a lot. Horses, bull riding, trucks, boots, lift etiquette and a brush with karma. You even got in Changs and Big Tex.
Now I’m not saying that Big Tex is sinister, but I’m not saying he isn’t, either.

All for Texas, via England.

LSP, I know, right? What’s not to like? Apart from Karma. I’m highly perturbed by this.

I’m going with Big Tex being more sinister than not. The Texan Trojan Horse.

Texland. 🙂

Going out on a limb here… Is Karma a transplant from California? Probably not, because I think the state of Tejas would have asked her to change her name when she was first issued a drivers license. Similar to how my friend’s Austrian ancestors were forced to change their surname from “Baron d’Urban” to simply Urban when they emigrated in through Ellis Island last century. They were told: “We don’t do that nobility stuff here.” So, Texas might have said: “We don’t do that weird hippy sh$t here, sister. Your new name is Kathy.”

I know, right? Who thinks, “I know. I’m gonna call my kid Karma. That won’t give her a personality crisis. Bound to make tons of friends.” Ridiculous. Having said that, back in Victorian Britain people used to be called the most ridiculous things.
Fortunately, once women get married over here they all get called “Honey” as far as I can work out so it doesn’t really matter.

“We don’t do that weird hippy sh$t here, sister. Your new name is Kathy.” Ha! It should be law.

Uh oh. Gruntessa just got this fortune cookie message by mistake. She thinks it’s for you:

Hahahahahaha! Spat my tea out. That’s brilliant! Yes, tell Gruntessa that’s definitely for me. No more lifts.

Thank you for making me laugh.:)

You’re very welcome, but all we did was pass it along. Not sure how these are getting mixed up, but she got another one:
This is disturbing. We do NOT advocate violence against random hippie chicks! I think the cookie god is merely referring to Karma in the sky? Maybe? General rather than specific?

Haha! Love it, Grunt! I have a good right hook if she starts. I’m in Texas which means I’m fully allowed to protect myself!

Ya know, it’s just a name. But you guys are acting like a whole parade just walked over your grave.
Who knows. She might just bring you the best luck that you’ve ever had. “Karma” doesn’t necessarily
mean bad luck…all it basically means is a reward (a *fitting* reward) for something in your past.
Hell, you must have done something good/nice in the past…so you’re about to get something wonderful
happen to you as a reward. Might as well be positive, you know. It doesn’t cost extra.

You’re right, of course, Sol. I feel bad being mean to poor Karma. And we could use MORE Karma in this World, not less. I’d pay good money to see Karma work over Lois Lerner and Josh Koskinen (from the IRS) with a cricket bat. And Jules deserves some good karma after all the difficulties she had getting settled in ‘Murrica this trip. Rebuke accepted. 🙂

As unconventional cowgirls go, Jules, I think you’re at the top of the game with all your accomplishments. I don’t think Karma stands a chance. Very amusing post.

Well see, I can’t really fail since I’m the only English cowgirl afraid of cows and horses. Kind of narrows it down. I only work in fields where I can be superior. I dunno, Karma can be a crafty madam.
Thank you!

Twenty two hundred pounds of steer between your legs… Now, that’s one way of putting it, Jules. I love that picture of you in action. That outfit sure looks good on you, all right. A wine tasting place? How come I wasn’t invited?

iPic beats my iFrame.

You know me, Blue – I tell it how it is 🙂 If you’re gonna dress like a cowgirl then you gotta spit it out like one. So to speak. Mincing words never got anybody anywhere….except into palaces, high society events and Ascot… but WHO needs that when you have a Tasting Room round the block. How does one go ROUND A BLOCK, come to think of it?

You’re always invited. Squaff and quaff or something like that.

How does one go round the block or round the twist for that matter…. Beats me. But I do know this: Mincing words never got anybody anywhere except when you’re a political correctness fetishest, which you are not not will you ever be. Just tell the masses how it is, cowgirl!

Did I mention you’re the best British cowgirl ever?

Never! I’m tellin’ ’em, cowboy! (No skinny jeans with holes in round here!)

Awww, thank you, Blue. You’re the best! 🙂

Sol….Let me tell you about my past…….

Yeah, I hear ya but…. Let’s take yesterday. I go and empty the bins and get cornered by a lonely neighbour who I talk to for HOURS because I’m nice. I held some random strangers baby whilst she runs indoors because I’m nice. I give a homeless veteran $20 which makes him cry. He even offered me change. I then listen to his story about going to prison for killing someone who tried to attack his family, because I’m nice. I save the environment by walking instead of driving to the shop because I’m nice. I come home and can’t open the packet of food so get a knife. I cut right through half of my thumb. Blood everywhere. Food ruined. Not a plaster (band-aid) or bandage in sight. Did I knock on Karma’s door to see if she had one? Did I hell cos look at my “fitting” reward.

So…there’s a time limit on reward?
I’ll have to keep that in mind.

Isn’t that rather like making deals with God?

What do I know?

Where the hell did that come from?

A random stranger gave you her BABY while she ran indoors??? Did she come back? That’s rather rare. Are you wearing angel wings? Either that or you need to upgrade to a better neighborhood! Sorry to hear about your poor thumb, Jules. Hang in there, though. Like Sol said, God will give you your good reward someday. Perhaps is will look like this?

What, it’s rare for her to come back? I nearly had a baby?!!!

Now believe it or not, I have often on this site referred to myself as a “Strangel” This being part strange and part angel. Now ego and narcissism aside, I do believe I have been put here as an earthly str’angel because I come into contact with so many people needing help in some guise and they seem to be constantly put in my path. I don’t have wings (yet) but I wear angel wings on a bracelet and silver native American feathers on a chain. I call them my lucky feathers. I’m imaginative like that.

I sure hope God is listening to you, Grunt because I rather like the look of that place. (Where is it?) That’ll do! 🙂

Not sure, but looks like Amalfi coast to me.

Yes, I think you’re right. That’ll do for me! 🙂

God listens to everyone, Strangel. Especially those who have trouble accepting.

Something really wonderful is about to happen to you, Princess.
Something that may change your whole life.

Here’s hoping! I went to Cowboy Church yesterday and got blessed with the best day ever. Good start. 🙂

Good! I was going to ask if you had gone…but figured that it would be your next Satirical Snapshot.
Should be interesting. Next time I’m down there, I’ll have to pay them a visit.
Do they object if you carry your gun in church?

So…how were you blessed with the best day ever….
or do we have to wait until Wednesday for the tale?

Yes, saving it for my Wednesday post so y’all have to wait until then! Absolutely you can carry guns at Cowboy Church. They all got ’em!

You didn’t elope with a cowboy, and ride off across he plains, did you? 😉 lol

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