Texan in Hell (PG)
A group of Texans are driving down the road, whooping it up, drinking beer and shooting off their guns when they get into an accident with busload of nuns and orphans, killing everyone. The Texans go straight to Hell. When they arrive the Devil is shocked to see that they are not in agony over the heat and he demands an explanation.
"Well, sir, we're from Texas, and we're used to the heat," says one. This infuriates the Devil and he cranks the thermostat up to its highest setting. The lost souls all over hell start wailing. "I'll check on them in the morning and see how they like THIS." He snorts and disappears in a ball of fire.
The next morning, the Devil shows up at the Texans' camp site, and sure enough they are showing some signs of discomfort. They have taken off their 10 Gallon hats and are fanning themselves. One has even rolled up his sleeves. "Well, sir," explains a Texan, "when you have been on a cattle drive in Lubbock during August, this ain't hardly nothing." The Devil is now so angry he is seeing red.
"Those damn Texans seem immune to heat, let 's see what happens when I turn OFF the heat," he says as he heads to the thermostat. "I'll check on them tomorrow."
So in the morning the Devil arrives at the Texans' campsite, and they are all whoopin' and hollerin' and drinkin' the beers from the ice chest in the back of the pick up, now that they have ice to chill them with. The wail of the lost souls is deafening but the Texans are partyin' like there is no tomorrow.
"I don't get it," the Devil says, completely defeated. "I tried to roast you and it had no effect, and then I tried to freeze you and you are partying. You Texans are made of tough stuff. But why are you celebrating?"
A Texan takes a swig from a Bud in a longneck and replies, "Look around! Hell is frozen over. That's just gotta mean there is another Bush in the White House."
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Mundane Journeys through an Amazing World
begins with Interstate 80. Not the most engaging topic, I know, but when you think about it, I-80 runs all the way across the North American continent linking San Francisco and New York. It's not just a ribbon of asphalt, it's a portal to far away, almost magical places.
My visits to major cities like Tokyo, London and Washington DC have been business affairs. I haven't rode a lot of roller coasters or ridden in open air buses, but I have visited with senators, bought yams from the back of a truck and barely escaped complete embarrassment when I was introduced to Matt Wiener in Vegas.
As I wrote the book I realized that over the years exotic, distant places have become more like the mundane places I've called home. But, as it turns out, there really aren't any mundane places, only mundane ways of looking at things.
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