Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Roast beef and race horses

Beta, bless her very much, has a pot roast in the oven already at this early hour, and rather than lie on the floor in from of the stove and drool, I thought I'd stop by here and blow off some steam. Besides, I can still smell it. Dog-drool doesn't jam the keyboard anyway. (Side note for humans: pizza sauce very effectively glues keys together. I had to do without my "g" key for a couple of days until Alpha realized what had happened and cleaned up after himself.)

Back to road-musings (and yes, Bob, you're welcome to join us at Lenny's anytime):

As you roll south out of Oklahoma and on into Don't Mess with Texas on Interstate 35, you travel some beautiful territory: steep enough grades to slow the eighteen-wheelers down, limestone outcroppings - some amazing habitat for things a dog just loves to chase. Oh, the human imprint is there, too, or there wouldn't be any I-35 to let us sail through: we'd have to actually slow down enough to filter through all the glorious smells.

Actually crossing the border raises a question for me, though, because before you come to the official Texas Travel Information Center" north of Gainesville, before you come to the first H.E.B., before you even get to the first business with "Lone Star" in its name or the first church or school, the first real-estate agent or pawn shop, you see right there on the west side of the interstate, DW's Adult Video "store." I should have made Alpha stop and take a picture, because words don't easily do it justice. Standing on the Oklahoma side of the border, anyone could snap a shot of DW's semi-trailer with the hand-painted sign, the wooden steps up out of the gravel parking lot into the trailer, and the handful of cars and trucks parked there anytime, day or night.

It just strikes me as odd that a state that has forty-six dry counties (entire counties where you can't even buy a bowl of beer, for those of you unfamiliar with the term), a state otherwise so staunchly Bible-Belt, would have a porn shop right on the border. It is, of course, Laissez-Faire Capitalism at its very best.

Closer to home, though, wide open ranch country begins to appear, and with it a number of horses, mostly quarterhorses.

Now I happen to think they're pretty critters, but they do get a bit full of themselves sometimes. Case in point:

Three of them were standing in the barn, chewing oats and chatting, just generally staying out of the midday heat. The first said, "You know, of seventeen races, I've won twelve."

The second, feeling his oats, insisted he had won eighteen of twenty-four. And the third, securely superior, insisted that she had won twenty-six of thirty-two.

The greyhound who shared the barn with the horses, somewhat tired of the attitudes, piped up, "Hmph! Brag all you want. I've won forty-five of the forty-seven races I've been entered in."

The horses looked at each other for a second before the middle one exclaimed, "I'll be darned. A talking dog!"

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