Tourin Texas Monthly Newsletter
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COMMENTS FROM TOURINTEXAS.COM

by IRA KENNEDY


You never know where you are until you get good and lost.
And somewhere in the middle of lost is where adventures begin.

Lost took on a whole new meaning after we left nowhere.

As anyone who has been relegated to the back seat knows, you may miss out on a little conversation but you have the luxury of irresponsiblity. A mode of behavior I have never been accused of shirking.

You see, we don’t really "plan" a trip. We play hunches, place our bets and then go for broke. Which is why we get lost more than most folk and stumble onto really interesting stuff you won’t find in your guide books.

Sometimes there’s nothing more comforting that a neon beer sign.

It’s not the snake you see that bites you, but the one you don’t see.

Now, don’t go thinking hard thoughts about me. I ain’t no drunk.
But like any real Texan I love a good cold beer on a nice day — which is pretty much any of them.

(How can you have a price war when you’re starting out with chump change?)

Sometimes you have to turn loose the reins and give destiny its head.

Normally, women folk take to maps cause they have no natural sense of direction and it gives them absolute authority. Men on the other hand are disinclined to be seen holding a map cause it makes them look ignorant, lost or both.

I didn’t have a plan so I made one up.

If I couldn’t get something outa that I’d turn to another line of work. Like posthole digging where you know success is only a few feet away.

The legendary outlaws, Bonnie and Clyde, were busy visiting every town in Texas just so folks would have something to talk about years later when all discussion concerning the weather, ailments and the price of beef ran its course.

Having surrendered the driver’s seat and the navigator’s seat to women-folk I expect to be hearing from the Honorary Brotherhood of Bubbas any day now lettin me know I have been stricken from their membership rolls and expected to relinquish my duct tape, baleing wire, kooze, whittlin knife and gimme cap.

The truth be told, I didn’t know where we were at anytime, or where we’d been, or where we were going. If you don’t care where you are you ain’t lost.

If anyone ever tells you to "get lost" don’t get upset. It could be a novel experience. How else are you going to see anything unexpectedly new? And if you can’t get lost just surrender control to someone like Denise the Guide. You can feel lost without actually being there.

"Every time we come up on a fork in the road turn left. That’ll get us back to where we come from." Hey, I had to come up with something. Besides, being a guy and all, I did what we do best on such occasions — ignore the map (which I shoulda done all along) and rely on luck and bravado.

Consider this, the Republicans have a great big elephant renowned for its memory as their symbol. Democrats have a jackass well known for its stupidity. Pile on top of that the Republicans have a motto: "The Grand Ol Party". The Democrats ain’t got squat. Now, it seems the only town in Texas named after a political party [ Democrat ]has gone into hiding.

According to them folks who ponder quantum field theory, if universes are parallel they ain’t supposed to get tangled up. Here’s how it works: You come to a fork in the road. You gotta choose one, but other is out there too acting just like you chose it instead. So if you ever made a really idiot decision, relax. Somewhere in the universe you’re there enjoying the benefits of a right smart move.

"The universe is not like a husband. You can’t nag it to death to make it change its mind."

If you can’t say something nice about someone, give them both barrells. That’s what a feller I knew used to say. Course he didn’t have many friends, and the ones he had ended up wounded in some way.

You oughta know, just in case you haven’t already figured it out by now, that publishers and editors don’t need to know squat about the stories they turn into print. It’s all about punctuation, grammar, column inches and the occasional fact.

Along the way we passed one of those "Guard Rail Damage Ahead" signs. Now I ask you, what fool would think, "I ain’t running into that guardrail. It might not hold and I could have an accident."
Or, "I ain’t running into that guardrail. The poor thing has already suffered enough."

If you ask me — and for some reason no one ever has — they oughta put the birth date right alongside the expiration date so a feller can make an educated decision.

Maybe you’re not familiar with how some folks describe distances. A piece is pretty close by but not as far as yonder. A fur-piece is outchonder, which is about half way to way-outchonder. A stretch beats way-outchonder hands down. But if a feller says, "It’s up the road a mite," he hasn’t the slightest notion where anything is.

If you happen to be on a road trip and are fool enough to get lost, don’t ask around — unless there’s womenfolk traveling with you, in which case you don’t have a choice. If you do ask, and someone starts out with, "First..." you’d best kick back. You’re going to get them directions all wrapped up in a storyline that turns back on itself like a wad of worms, and by the time it’s all said and done you might not even remember what state your in — unless it’s the state of confusion.

Well, one road is as good as the next if you don’t really care where you’re going.

If a feller had a little time on his hands and a roll of duct tape he could fix that.

"If I’d been any more wrong," I said, "I’d have a career with the highway department, hanging signs."

I’ve been told that fools rush in and get the best seats. I’ve tried that. Sometimes you can sit around forever waiting for something to happen.

Now you see the road. Now you don’t. How inconvenient.

Okay, I know zoos are a good thing so our younguns can see how well we protect the critters we nearly wiped out.

Why go somewhere if you already know what you’re going to see, where you’re going to eat and when you’ll return? That’s like hearing every detail of a movie beforehand. Where’s the surprise? Where’s the adventure? Where’s the off-ramp?

Now don’t get me wrong, I have a powerful sympathy for old wore-out, broke-down, nearly useless things. Kinda reminds me of that feller what’s stuck in the bathroom mirror.

Or maybe Young Son sized me up just right knowing I didn’t have deep pockets, just short legs.

So we drove around kinda haphazard like, figuring dumb luck was gonna smile down any moment.

Leave it up to a woman to ask directions not caring in the least that they’re gonna make the male of the species look dumb, lazy or worse.

No matter where you go you’re always somewhere, unless of course you end up lost, it which case you could be anywhere. The exception to the rule is when you get lost in town, which is exactly what happened in Poteet. Then you’re only kinda lost.

Lost is where it’s at. Otherwise you’ll never find anything. If Christopher Columbus had waited till he had a map to guide him, the poor Indians would still be sitting around waiting to hand over the continent to total strangers.

I’ve been saying all along Bonnie and Clyde have done more to assist the bragging rights of small communities in Texas than all the Alamo heroes put together.

You can get really lost in this neck of the woods.
But, if you’re lucky, you have a woman along to ask directions.

Maps aren’t always something to pin your hopes on.

"I reckon we’re lost."

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