The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Wendel Sloan

You know you're in Texas when...


September 17, 2017

Random thoughts:

I’ve been in Dallas recently helping extended family stretched a bit thin.

After escorting a great-nephew to kindergarten and back several days, I am convinced teachers deserve huge raises. Simply lining the kids up was infinitely more difficult than herding cats.

However, the kids could teach us about interacting. About 50 percent were black, 30 percent Hispanic and 20 percent white — but they seemed oblivious to who they playfully pushed.

After school, I took the kindergartner and his fourth-grade cousins (brother and sister born 11 months apart) to play basketball on school grounds. Two black brothers, about 5 and 4, joined us. It may be humble-bragging, but the brothers and I — with me at center — dominated my three young relatives (of mixed ethnicities).

I had a quadruple double — more than 10 points, assists, rebounds and hard fouls. I proved against competition shorter than 4-foot-6, white men don’t have to jump.

Later, feeling guilty, I took the relatives for self-serve yogurt. They set a world-record for combined weight of their cups. Thanks to gummi worms headlining a massive mixture of morsels, my house is now in foreclosure.

With conspiratorial looks over sky-high toppings flashing dollar signs, the little rascals sent the mischievous message: “Revenge is sweet.”

Driving from Portales, I knew I was in Texas when I pulled into a truck stop near Abilene and was greeted by boxes of 12-gauge shotgun shells stacked near the entrance.

Nearby was a rebel cap and a plaque with a plaster gun and the inspirational words: “Not until you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.”

To blend in, I John-Wayne walked to the register like my inner thighs were chapped from riding horses all day rounding up Mexicans.

In Dallas I bought the Dallas Morning News with a story about a soon-to-be-ex-husband walking into a Cowboys-watching party and shooting eight people to death — including his wife.

Raised in a hunting culture in east Texas, I understand gun ownership. I have even taken a concealed carry class — which stresses safety — and consider most gun owners responsible.

A cop killed the gunman — whom I doubt had a permit.

Although we worry about terrorists, the greatest threat seems to be American men with grudges and inferiority complexes leading to anger issues. Maybe we should mount a campaign that losing your cool and using a weapon is not only uncool and unpatriotic — but unmanly.

Friday night (after my deadline), I planned to attend my hometown’s homecoming football game in Mt. Vernon.

It will bring back memories of being a 123-pound backup tailback who was the stud running back — for the upcoming opponent all week in practice. I’m still emotionally scarred from being cannon fodder for our starting defense while our second-team offensive line — out of self-preservation — dropped to the ground as soon as the ball was snapped.

On Saturday night, my plan was to attend the Greyhounds’ football game against my alma mater, Texas A&M Commerce.

The Greyhounds were underdogs against the three-time defending conference champs, but I assure you I rooted for the Portales team.

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