Vanessa Foster, fellow blogger and author of the extraordinary book More Than Everything, asked me recently what I’ve got against Texas. For the record, it’s not that I have something specifically against Texas, it’s just not my kind of place. For a vegetarian, there’s way too much BBQ and too many cattle who will soon be steak. And for my sensibilities, too many guns and cowboy boots and a little too much country music and line dancing. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, just sayin’
I had tried to block out the memory, but Vanessa’s question reminded of my first trip to Dallas; a trip that quite possibly combined everything I hate the most all into one evening. I was there for a conference over a long weekend. It was really hot outside, which is true here in DC in the summer too but then again I don’t go outdoors in the summer here. The big social activity for the weekend was, you guessed it, a BBQ. And not just any BBQ! It was to be held at South Fork, fictional home of the Ewings from the infamous 80s TV show, Dallas. Buses pulled up to the hotel to transport us to The Ranch.
Have I mentioned how much I hate buses? Have I mentioned my predisposition to motion sickness? Have I mentioned that the combination of hot sun and riding in a bus is the worst of all worlds? So I was already a little green around the gills when we pulled up at J.R.’s place.
I figured I’d feel better when I got inside to the air-conditioning, but, they weren’t taking us inside just yet. Nope, first we were going to tour the grounds. After 30 minutes of schlepping around in the heat all I had seen were mosquitos, smelly cows, and even smellier cow patties.
Of course eventually they finally took us inside, where we toured more of the Dallas museum. The gun that shot J.R.! Wow! I was so excited I could barely stand it. Really. My enthusiasm was immeasurable. Then finally, finally, we all went in to dinner. Dinner was a lot of pulled meat with a side of meat and extra helpings of meat. The green beans were dotted with ham. Everything had some kind of beef or pork product in it. I finally asked about vegetarian fare and after giving me the once over, twice, I was told that there were indeed vegetarian items on the menu. Potato salad, cole slaw, and sweet tea. I was feelin’ the love.
Of course the entertainment was a country music band with line dancing. I was dangerously close to going back for the gun in the museum so I could put myself out of my misery, when out of the corner of my eye…could it be? Yes! A gift shop! And it was open. It was nice and cool and quiet and didn’t smell like meat and had cute little things to buy. I came out of my suicidal stupor just in time to ride the bus back to the hotel.
Just so you know, if I ever commit a crime and you really want to punish me…don’t send me to prison. Just send me to Dallas to relive that evening over and over again, in perpetuity. And by the way, I spent a whole summer of my life worrying about who in the hell shot J.R., and you know what? Now I don’t even remember who shot him. And I don’t remember why I cared. Now Dynasty, that was a show…