Edward Southerland's This & That
By Edward Southerland
Aug 13, 2019
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More Sho’ ‘Nuff Official Stuff

Here is some more Sho' 'Nuff Official State Stuff. And, to borrow from Robert Earl Keene, "...the road goes on forever, and the party never ends."

Bird: Mockingbird: Known to its friends as Minus Polyglotttos, the official state bird may actually be a wolf in sheep’s clothing or a Yankee bird in Rebel gray. If that’s not mixed metaphor I challenge one and all to come up with one. The feathered warbler’s real name is the “Northern” Mockingbird. It is also serves as the official bird of Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi and Tennessee. Could the fact that the official bird of five good Southern states is from the North be an example of the Yankees giving us the bird?

Flower: Bluebonnet: This roadside beauty has been the state flower since 1901 but the lads and lasses in Austin just won’t let well enough alone. They also have designated a Flower Song “Bluebonnets”  by Julia Booth and Lora Crockett, and a Bluebonnet City, Festival and Trail—Ennis, The Chappell Hill Bluebonnet Festival –Ennis, again. Reckon the representative from Ennis was holding some incriminating Polaroids of somebody who got to vote.

Dance: Square Dance: Wonder if the Cotton Eye-Joe or the Texas Two Step got any votes? Those seem more specific to the Lone Star State. Do si do.

Dish: Chili: This is a pretty good choice, providing the legislative resolution made it clear that no beans were allowed in the chili pot. On the other hand, there’s about as many varieties of a bowl of red as there are chili heads brewing up a batch. For that reason I would have voted for chicken fried steak.

Fiber/Fabric: Cotton: Cotton Bowl, Maid of Cotton, Cotton Spier (He was a Longhorn wide receiver for Darrell Royal.) I guess cotton makes sense, but if the health nuts (see below) had been picking, bran flakes would have carried the day.

Gemstone Cut: Lone star Cut: This is cutting the concept pretty thin, although judging from the picture on the Web, the lone star cut is right nice looking.

Health Nut: Pecan: Rumor has it that Jack LaLane was the first choice here, but he lives in California.

Large Mammal: Longhorn: The Aggies didn’t think much of this choice, but Reveille just couldn’t make the weight.

Small Mammal: Armadillo: I’m surprised folks admit anything is Texas is small.

Flying Mammal: Mexican Free-tailed Bat: This looks like a sand bagged category. I meant how many kinds of flying mammals are there? Would a Southwest Airline Flight Attendant qualify? After that thought, you can make up your own jokes.

Musical Instrument: Guitar: No argument here, boys. Never once did Gene Autry ride the range strumming a zither.

Native Pepper: Chiltepin: This choice was pushed through to appease those opposed to undocumented peppers that slip across the big river and take the seasoning duties of the native species.

Plays: “The Lone Star,”  “Texas,” “Beyond Sundown,”  “Fandangle:” Personally I would have voted for Dicky Magle’s TD dash in the 1954 Cotton Bowl game against Alabama or Drew Pearson’s catch in the Minnesota end zone, but I gather that was not in line with the committee’s thinking.

Shrub: Crape Myrtle: Sherman’s own Texas Nursery was once the crepe myrtle capital of the solar system and points south.

Tartan: Texas Bluebonnet: There they go with the bluebonnet business again. The tartan was designed by a bonny lass named Julia McRoberts. She got the idea at a gathering of the clans at Stone Mountain in Georgia and decided that if the Crackers had a tartan, the Lone Star ought to have one too.

Vegetable: Sweet Onion : A “Sweet” onion is an oxymoron. Onions aren’t sweet. Chocolate cake is sweet. Some onions may be less biting and acid and sharp than other onions, but sweet they ain’t. My vote goes for corn, especially when it’s fresh cut off the cob and sautéed in bacon fat with a pinch of sugar like my grandmother used to do, or big red tomatoes, sliced thick, or okra sliced, rolled in cornmeal and fried up with potatoes.

The following items are proposed but not yet official.

Molecule: Texaphyrin: A class of compounds that was specifically designed to capture in molecular form the size and spirit of Texas. The texaphyrins are bigger versions of porphyrins (natural blood pigments) and have special properties that make them attractive for the diagnosis and treatment of both neoplastic and cardiovascular disease. I kid you not.

Soil: Houston Black: Seems like every state has a state dirt, but Texas” is still unofficial. Go figure, if any outfit can dig the dirt and sling the mud you’d think it would be the Austin crowd.