Demerits to timid Texans

Staff Writer
Glen Rose Reporter
Dr. Don Newbury The Idle American

Concern shouldn’t rise to the level of secession from the union, but adopted Texan Tony Romo — as well as home grown luminaries Willie Nelson and Matt McConaughey – failed us miserably. The trio squandered opportunities to shore up Old West images on Jimmy Kimmel’s TV show aired nationally for an entire week from Austin during its South by Southwest Festival.

I mean there were “slam dunk” chances for these guys – and others – to “slather up” all things Texan. In retrospect, it was mostly Kimmel and his crew leading the “up whooping” at the movie/music/technology SXSW event that brought beaucoup visitors to Austin.

Kimmel, warmly received nightly by audiences at the packed-out Long Center, may have the quickest draw in the West — and the other three directions, too – with his witty and colorful repartee. Yet, he made hard-to-keep promises. “This week, we’ll leave no brisket unsmoked, no queso undipped and no horns unhooked,” he bragged...


Maybe most blame for failure to typify Texans in the manner others have learned to expect from blustery braggarts should rest on McConaughey. Had he worn boots, chaps, a bandanna and western hat, our image would have been upheld. He thought himself to be “all right, all right, all right.” Dressed like a ready-for-the-ball yankee Lincoln driver instead of a western figure, however, Matt was “all wrong, all wrong, all wrong.”

Yep, he, too, left it up to the California TV people – most of whose gab dripped with brisket and queso mentions several times in every sentence, even the incomplete ones.

Kimmel, offered sparkling and plain water at a restaurant, stayed “on script,” choosing a “glass of queso” instead...


Sadly, pork barbecue aficionados made great strides, and without saying a word. So “neon-ed up” was Kimmel’s set that turbines on the wind farm were in overdrive to supply enough electricity. “Lit up” to a fare-thee-well, it was ostensibly garish to promote Texas in general and Austin in particular.

And herein lies a faux pas that languished — uncorrected — during all five nights of the show.

Texas barbeque lovers believe beef — not pork — deserves to be called “BBQ.” And guess what Kimmel’s set featured right above the red-splashed “BARBQUE” sign? It was a huge neon outline of – it’s hard for me to write it — a hog. Viewers in Memphis and other Deep South locales no doubt were snickering. And it was displayed dead center — right behind the seated Kimmel — for crying out loud. If Kimmel makes a third visit to Austin next year, surely someone will set him straight on preferred BBQ in Texas. And should Romo be among the guests, maybe he’d consider wearing jeans, a western shirt, bandanna and cowboy boots, saving his snappy business casual and loafers for another day...


Story time: Years ago, a Texan headed for Memphis, dead set on straightening them out on beef being the meat of choice for ‘cuing.

Soon after settling into his hotel, though, he decided to abort his mission. “The movie channel was running Babe non-stop,” he said, “So what kind of chance did I have?”

He put away his notes about goat not pork – being Texans’ choice if there’s no beef around...


A current vignette provides fresh perspective on the futility of some arguments. A young lady who no doubt considers herself “with it” technologically was unable to reach Malia Newell on the phone. Her job is to confirm appointments with physicians. Despite repeated efforts to reach Mrs. Newell, she was unable to do so.

Finally reaching her on her seventh or eighth try, she began, “I must let you know there’s something wrong with your phone. I’ve been trying to reach you all morning, and until now, all I’ve been getting are unending beeps in a rapid succession.”

Malia, who’d used the phone successfully throughout the morning, quickly realized the problem. She has a land line, an old-fashioned arrangement without voice mail and call waiting. “The noise you heard was called a busy signal back in the day, and I suppose still is,” she explained. (Aside to AT&T: Thank you for maintaining busy signals for those of us who want them. If they ever are discontinued, could you assure us there’ll always be an app for that?)...


Dr. Newbury is a speaker in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Inquiries/emails to: Phone: 817-447-3872. Web site: Archived: