Before going to the parade in New Orleans, I had a bit of a sore throat. As mentioned, I decided the best treatment for this was screaming for beads for four hours. The result is that I arrive in Texas barely able to talk. I’ve also just generally come down with the cold (was this caused by licking all my beads? We’ll never know). Basically just a pre-apology to Texas that I didn’t get a lot out of you. But we persevere:
It’s Superbowl Sunday as I arrive on the outskirts of Austin and even in my newly weakened state I have to commemorate the occasion with something Americanish: dead cow and beer. I get a slab of steak roughly the size of my first car with a mound of fries (I’m making an exception and calling them fries, America, because this is your high holy day). The restaurant is very proud of its free-range, nature-loved bovine and to that extent they’ve brought me a bowl of nature to look at. I arrange some of the green things around the steak to provide a pastoral scene when a passing waiter informs me that it is, in fact, a sah-lid. Ah yes, my old nemesis. It has returned to strike me again when I am weak.
I return to the motel with a stuffed stomach and a stuffed nose to collapse on the bed and watch the Superbowl with one more American mainstay: NyQuil. Cold medication with alcohol. This might be America’s best contribution to the world and unfortunately they keep it to themselves.
I watch approximately three minutes of sports and five days worth of adverts, but I’ve been warned that for the non-sport inclined, the adverts are what make the Superbowl. Having watched the ads: aim higher, America. Aim higher. For instance, when I returned to the UK, one of the first adverts I saw was this masterpiece:
Although it was a little too real and intense for some.
The next morning I drive out to Hamilton Pool Preserve which is… a… preserved pool? It looks like this:
And that, sadly, is the end of my time in Texas. I had intended to investigate Austin properly, as there was a lot on offer, but I feel rank and miserable and driving relaxes me. My apologises to the Lonestar State. I promise to return sometime and poke you properly. But not in a way that might get you pregnant. God knows you don’t want any part of that mess. I ramble northwards and get a stench of sulphur somewhere near Texarkana, possibly due to springs of sulphur water around the area (including a place delightfully called Sulphur Springs. Pack my bags).
I will leave Texas with one thought however, something that has struck me across Tennessee, Kentucky, the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and now Texas: there are crosses everywhere. Crosses on hills, crosses by roads, crosses in towns, crosses welded to buildings. It seems to me a very clear message: this is God’s country, and we know how to deal with Him if He wants it back.
P.S. Here’s Bertie with a Texas Ranger. I don’t remember taking this: