Steve Brooks

I’ve discovered a wonderful new philosophy that has raised my consciousness as well as my cholesterol. It’s called Tex-Mexistentialism.

It all started with the philosopher Juan-Paul Salsa, who wrote, “To Bean, or Nacho to Bean, that is the Queso.”

He was followed by his great disciple, Descarta Blanca, who said, “I Pinto, therefore, Cayenne.”

Some trace it to ancient Grease, where the great thinker Aristortilla wrote the book Plata’s RePulpo.

Meanwhile, over in ancient India, they believed in Chili con Karma – that what Casa round, Carne’s around.

And back in the Holy Land, The prophet Masa brought The Ten Comidas. Here are some of them:

  • “Thou Salt not Tequila.”
  • “Honor Tamale and thy Papaya.”
  • “Blessed are the Migas, for they shall Ranchero the Burps.”
  • “Give a man an Enchilada, he’ll Taco Mole.”
  • “Arroz is Arroz by Flameada name.”
  • “In the Picante, Guisada Cerveza’d the Hongas and the Verde. And he saw that it was Food.”

I’d like to close by reciting The Lard’s Prayer:
“Our Fajita, who art in Huevos, Pollo’d be Muy Bueno. Thy Corona come, thy Chili be Con, on Cuervo it is El Jefe. Forgive us our Tres Amigos, as we forgive those who Seis Salsas against us. Lettuce not into Tomatillo, but Nuevo us from Fritos. For thine is the Gringo, the Agua and the Chorizo. In the name of the Flauta, and of the Flan, and of the Frijole ghost. A-Menudo.”

Thank you so much, Steve Brooks of Austin Texas! He has even more of his wit and wisdom on his website, including songs so visit him today!

About Texas

When you’re from Texas, people who you meet ask you questions like, “Do you have any cows?” It’s nice to be able to say yes.

They ask you, “Do you have horses?”


Bet you got a bunch of guns, eh?

Of course.

They all want to know if you’ve been to Southfork. They watched Dallas. Have you ever looked at a map of the world? Why sure you have. Look at Texas for me just for a second. That picture, with the Panhandle and the Gulf Coast, and the Red River and the Rio Grande is as much a part of you as anything ever will be. As soon as anyone anywhere in the world looks at it, they know what it is. It’s Texas. Pick any kid off the street in Japan and draw him a picture of Texas in the dirt, and he’ll know what it is. What happens if I show you a picture of any other state? You’ll get it maybe after a second, but who else would? Even if you do, does it ever stir any feelings in you?

In every man, woman and child on this little rock the Good Lord put us on, there is somewhere in them a person who wishes just once he could be a real live Texan and get up on a horse or ride in a pickup. Did you ever hear anyone in a restaurant go, “Wow… so you’re from Ok-la-homa. Cool. Tell me about it”? There is some bit of Texas in everyone. Do you know why? Because Texas is Texas.

Texas is the Alamo. Texas is 183 men standing in a church, facing thousands of Mexican soldiers, fighting for freedom, who had the chance to walk out and save themselves but stayed. We send our kids to schools named William B. Travis and Bowie, and do you know why? Because those men saw a line in the sand, and they decided to be heroes. John Wayne paid to do the movie himself. That is Texas.

Texas is Sam Houston capturing Santa Ana at San Jacinto. Texas is Texas Independence Day and Juneteenth. Texas is huge forests of piney woods like the Davy Crockett National Forest. Texas is breathtaking mountains in Big Bend. Texas is shiny skyscrapers in Houston and Dallas. Texas is oak and
cedar trees, cactus, Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrush in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. Texas is world record bass from places like Lake Fork. Texas is Mexican food like nowhere in the world, even Mexico. Texas is larger-than-life legends like Earl Campbell and Nolan Ryan, Denton Cooley and Michael DeBakey, Lyndon Johnson, George Bush, and George W. Bush, Willie Nelson and Buddy Holly. Texas is great companies like Dell Computer and Compaq. Texas is huge herds of cattle and miles of crops. Texas is skies blackened with doves and leases full of deer. Texas is the best Bar-b-que anywhere. Texas is a place where cities shut down for the Cowboys on Monday Night Football and the streets are deserted during church.

Texas is beaches, deserts, lakes and rivers, mountains and prairies.

By federal law, Texas is the only state in the U.S. that can fly its flag at the same height as the U.S. flag. Think about that for a second. You fly the Stars and Stripes at 20 feet in Maryland, or California, or Maine, and your state flag goes at 17. You fly the Stars and Stripes in front of Pine Tree High in Longview, Texas, at 20 feet, and the Lone Star flies at 20 feet. Our capitol is the only one in the country that is taller than the capitol building in D.C. We signed those in as part of the deal when we came on. Texas was its own country. The Republic of Texas. Every time I think of all these things I tear up. All of them make you proud to be a Texan.

Visitor’s Guide to Dallas, Texas

  • First you must learn to pronounce the city name. It’s DAL-LUS.
  • Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. Dallas has its own version of traffic rules… Hold on and pray.
  • All directions start with, “Go down to Beltline”…which has no beginning and no end.
  • The Chamber of Commerce calls getting through traffic a “scenic drive”.
  • The morning rush hour is from 6:00 to 10:00. The evening rush hour is from 3:00 to 7:00. Friday’s rush hour starts Thursday morning.
  • If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will get rear ended.
  • Major roads mysteriously change names and direction at intersections.
  • Intense construction on the highway system is a way of life, and a permanent form of entertainment.
  • All unexplained sights are explained by the phrase, “Oh, we were in Fort Worth!!”
  • If someone actually has their turn signal on, it is probably a factory defect.
  • All old ladies with blue hair in Cadillacs have the right of way, especially in the vicinity of Neiman Marcus.
  • If asking directions east of downtown, you must have a working knowledge of Spanish.
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport has four terminal buildings connected by one tram that never works.
  • A trip across town will take a minimum of four hours. Pack a lunch.
  • Don’t carry money, jewelry, family, etc., on Martin Luther King Freeway. And keep all doors locked at all times.
  • The wrought iron on windows near Oak Cliff is not ornamental.
  • Never stare at the driver of the car with the bumper sticker that says, “Keep honking. I’m reloading.”
  • If you are in the left lane, and only going 70… people are not waving when they go by.
  • The North Dallas Tollway is our daily version of the NASCAR circuit.
  • Any section of Dallas above IH-635 is considered too far and too close to Oklahoma to be driving.
  • Plano and Flower Mound are not real cities, they were produced and brought to you by the nice people at Disney for the pure entertainment of housewives.

Facts About Texas

  • Armadillos sleep in the middle of the road with their feet in the air.
  • Roadrunners don’t say “Beep Beep.”
  • There are 5,000 types of snakes, and 4,998 live in Texas.
  • There are 10,000 types of spiders, and 10,001 live in Texas.
  • Armadillos love to dig holes under tomato plants.
  • Racoons will test your crop of melons and let you know when they are ripe.
  • If it grows, it sticks; if it crawls, it bites.
  • Nothing will kill a mesquite tree.
  • There are valid reasons for some people to put concertina wire around their house.
  • You cannot find a country road without a curve from corner to corner.
  • A tractor is NOT an all-terrain vehicle. They do get stuck.
  • Texas has 5 seasons: Spring – Feb 16 to April 15 Summer – April 16 to July 15 (temp 90 to 98 degrees) Super Summer – July 16 to Sept 10 (temp 100 to 115 degrees) Summer – Sept. 11 to Oct 1 (temp 90 to 98 degrees) Fall – Oct 2 to Dec. 1 Winter – Dec. 2 to Feb 15
  • The wind blows at 90 MPH from Oct. 2 until July 15, then it stops totally.
  • “Onced” and “Twiced” are words.
  • It is not a shopping cart, it is a buggy.
  • Fire ants consider your flesh as a picnic.
  • Graduating 1st in your class means you left in the 8th grade.
  • “Coldbeer” is one word.
  • People actually grow and eat okra.
  • Texans really don’t have an accent.
  • When the world ends, only cockroaches and mesquite trees will survive.
  • Green grass DOES burn.
  • When you live in the country, you don’t have to buy a dog. City people drop them off at your gate in the middle of the night.
  • The sound of coyotes howling at night only sounds good for the first couple of weeks.
  • When a buzzard sits on the fence and stares at you, it’s time to go to the doctor.
  • “Fixinto” is one word.
  • A tank is a dirt hole in the ground that holds drinkin’ water for your cows.
  • “Backards” and “Forards” means I know everything about you.
  • You don’t have to wear a watch because it doesn’t matter what time it is.
  • You work until you’re done or it’s too dark to see.
  • Texans will laugh harder at this than anyone else because we all KNOW these facts are true!!!

Survivor, Texas Style

Due to the popularity of the Survivor shows, Texas is planning to do its own, entitled Survivor – Texas Style. The contestants will start in Dallas, travel to Waco, Austin, San Antonio, over to Houston and down to Brownsville. They will then proceed up to Del Rio, on to El Paso, then to Midland, Odessa, Lubbock and Amarillo. From there, they’ll proceed to Abilene, Ft. Worth and finally back to Dallas.

Each will be driving a pink Volvo with bumper stickers that read, “I’m gay”, “I’m a vegetarian”, “I voted for Al Gore”, “George Strait Sucks”, “Hillary in 2016”, “What’s the Alamo?”, and “I’m here to confiscate your guns!” The first one to make it back to Dallas alive wins.

Texans in Heaven

Gabriel came to the Lord and said, “I have to talk to you. We have some Texans up here in Heaven who are causing problems. They’re swinging on the pearly gates, my horn is missing, barbecue sauce is all over their robes, their dogs are riding in the chariots, and they’re wearing baseball caps and cowboy hats instead of their halos. They refuse to keep the stairway to Heaven clean. There are watermelon seeds and pig feet bones all over the place. Some of them are walking around with just one wing.”

The Lord said, “I made them special, Gabriel. Heaven is Home to all my children. If you really want to know about real problems, let’s call the Devil.”

The Devil answered the phone, “Hello? Damn, hold on a minute.” The Devil returned to the phone, “Okay, I’m back. What can I do for you?”

The Lord replied, “I just want to know what kind of problems you’re having down there.”

The Devil said, “Hold on again. I need to check on something.” After about 5 minutes the Devil returned to the phone and said, “I’m back. Now what was the question?”

The Lord said, “What kind of problems are you having down there?”

The Devil said, “Man, I don’t believe this….Hold on, Lord.” This time the Devil was gone 15 minutes. The Devil returned and said, “I’m sorry Lord, I can’t talk right now. Them damn Texans done put out the fire and are trying to install air conditioning.”

The Code of the West

A Cowboy’s Guide to Life by Texas Bix Bender
  • A body can pretend to care, but they can’t pretend to be there.
  • A lot of good luck is undeserved, but then so is a lot of bad luck.
  • A man with an edgy smile is like a dog with a waggin’ tail: he’s not happy, he’s nervous.
  • A smart ass just don’t fit in a saddle.
  • After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him. The moral: when you’re full of bull, keep your mouth shut.
  • After weeks of beans and taters, even a change to taters and beans is good.
  • Always drink upstream from the herd.
  • Always take a good look at what you’re about to eat. It’s not so important to know what it is, but it’s critical to know what it was.
  • Any time a large herd moves through a civilized area there’s a lot of shit to clean up.
  • Ask no more and give no less than honesty, courage, loyalty, generosity, and fairness.
  • Control your generosity when you’re dealin’ with a chronic borrower.
  • Don’t get mad at somebody who knows more ‘n you do. It ain’t their fault.
  • Don’t interfere with something that ain’t botherin’ you none.
  • Don’t let so much reality into your life that there’s no room left for dreamin’.
  • Don’t never interfere with something that ain’t botherin’ you none.
  • Don’t squat with yer spurs on!
  • Don’t worry about bitin’ off more than you can chew. Your mouth is probably a whole lot bigger’n you think.
  • Generally, you ain’t learnin’ nothing when your mouth’s a-jawin’.
  • Generally speaking, fancy titles and nightshirts are a waste of time.
  • Go after life as if it’s something that’s got to be roped in a hurry before it gets away.
  • Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
  • If it don’t seem like it’s worth the effort, it probably ain’t.
  • If you find yourself in a hole the first thing to do is stop diggin’.
  • If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around.
  • If you want to forget all your troubles, take a little walk in a brand-new pair of high-heeled ridin’ boots.
  • If you’re gonna go, go like hell. If your mind’s not made up, don’t use your spurs.
  • If you’re ridin’ ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still there.
  • If you’re sittin’ at a counter eatin’, leave your hat on. If you’re sittin’ at a table take it off.
  • It don’t matter so much how long a ride you have, as how well you ride it.
  • It don’t take a genius to spot a goat in a flock of sheep.
  • Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier ‘n puttin’ it back.
  • Makin’ it in life is kinda like bustin’ broncs: you’re gonna get thrown a lot. The simple secret is to keep gettin’ back on.
  • Never ask a barber if you need a haircut.
  • Never ask a man the size of his spread.
  • Never drop your gun to hug a grizzly.
  • Never get up before breakfast. If you have to get up before breakfast, eat breakfast first.
  • Never follow good whiskey with water, unless you’re out of good whiskey.
  • Never grumble. It makes you about as welcome as a sidewinder in a cow camp.
  • Never joke with mules of cooks as they have no sense of humor.
  • Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.
  • Never miss a chance to rest your horse.
  • Never miss a good chance to shut up.
  • Never smack a man who’s chewin’ tobacco.
  • Never take another man’s bet. He wouldn’t offer it if he didn’t know somethin’ you don’t.
  • Never take to sawin’ on the branch that’s supportin’ you, unless you’re bein’ hung from it.
  • No matter who says what, don’t believe it if it don’t make sense.
  • Only a buzzard feeds on his friends
  • Speak your mind, but ride a fast horse.
  • Talk low, talk slow, and don’t say too much.
  • Tellin’ a man to git lost and makin’ him do it are two entirely different propositions.
  • The best way to have a quiche for dinner is to make it up and put it in the oven to bake at 325 degrees. Meanwhile, get out a large T-bone, grill it, and when it’s done, eat it. As for the quiche, continue to let it bake, but otherwise ignore it.
  • The best way to cook any part of a rangy ol’ longhorn is to toss it in a pot with a horseshoe, and when the horseshoe is soft and tender, you can eat the beef.
  • The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with watches you shave his face in the mirror every morning.
  • The easiest way to eat crow is while it’s still warm. The colder it gets, the harder it is to swaller.
  • The first thing to do when you get up in the morning is put on your Stetson.
  • The length of the converstaion don’t tell nothin’ about the size of the intellect.
  • The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back into your pocket.
  • The wildest critters live in the city!
  • There’s more ways to skin a cat than stickin’ his head in a boot jack and jerkin’ on his tail.
  • Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.
  • Too much debt doubles the weight on your horse and puts another in control of the reins.
  • Trust everybody in the game, but always cut the cards.
  • Wet dogs are never welcome
  • When dealin’ with a slick son of a b… start off by pinnin’ him down and changin’ his oil.
  • When you give a lesson in meanness to a critter or a person, don’t be suprised if they learn their lesson.
  • When you give a personal lesson in meanness to a critter or to a person, don’t be surprised if they learn their lesson.
  • When you’re pickin’ a workin’ horse, look for one named Screwtail, Stump Sucker, Pat’s Ass, Pearly Gates, Liver Pill, or Darlin’ Jill. Leave the Champions and Silvers for the show ring.
  • When you’re throwin’ your weight around, be ready to have it thrown around by somebody else.
  • When you’re tryin’ something new, the fewer people who know about it, the better.
  • Write it in your heart. Stand by the code, and it will stand by you.
  • You don’t need decorated words to make your meanin’ clear. Say it plain and save some breath for breathin’.

Ode to Texas

The devil wanted a place on earth
Sort of a summer home
A place to spend his vacation
Whenever he wanted to roam.
So he picked out Texas
A place both wretched and rough
Where the climate was to his liking
And the cowboys hardened and tough.

He dried up the streams in the canyons
And ordered no rain to fall
He dried up the lakes in the valleys
Then baked and scorched it all.

Then over his barren country
He transplanted shrubs from hell.
The cactus, thistle and prickly pear
The climate suited them well.

Now the home was much to his liking
But animal life, he had none.
So he created crawling creatures
That all mankind would shun.

First he made the rattlesnake
With it’s forked poisonous tongue.
Taught it to strike and rattle
And how to swallow it’s young.

Then he made scorpions and lizards
And the ugly old horned toad.
He placed spiders of every description
Under rocks by the side of the road.

Then he ordered the sun to shine hotter,
Hotter and hotter still.
Until even the cactus wilted
And the old horned lizard took ill.

Then he gazed on his earthly kingdom
As any creator would
He chuckled a little up his sleeve
And admitted that it was good.

‘Twas summer now and Satan lay
By a prickly pear to rest.
The sweat rolled off his swarthy brow
So he took off his coat and vest.

“By Golly,” he finally panted,
“I did my job too well,
I’m going back to where I came from,
Texas is hotter than Hell.”

Mild Chili

Notes from an inexperienced chili taster named Frank, who was visiting Texas from the East Coast: “Recently I was honored to be selected as an outstanding famous celebrity in Texas, to be a judge at a chili cook-off, because no one else wanted to do it. Also the original person called in sick at the last moment, and I happened to be standing there at the judge’s table asking directions to the beer wagon when the call came. I was assured by the other two judges (Native Texans) that the chili wouldn’t be all that spicy, and besides they told me I could have free beer during the tasting, so I accepted. Here are the scorecards from the event:

  • Chili #1: Mike’s Maniac Mobster Monster Chili
    JUDGE ONE: A little too heavy on tomato. Amusing kick.
    JUDGE TWO: Nice, smooth tomato flavor. Very mild.
    FRANK: Holy shit, what the hell is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway with it. Took me two beers to put the flames out. Hope that’s the worst one. These Texans are crazy.
  • Chili #2: Arthur’s Afterburner Chili
    JUDGE ONE: Smoky, with a hint of pork. Slight Jalapeno tang.
    JUDGE TWO: Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.
    FRANK: Keep this out of reach of children! I’m not sure what I am supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver. They had to walkie-talkie in 3 extra beers when they saw the look on my face.
  • Chili #3: Fred’s Famous Burn Down the Barn Chili
    JUDGE ONE: Excellent firehouse chili! Great kick. Needs more beans.
    JUDGE TWO: A beanless chili, a bit salty, good use of red peppers.
    FRANK: Call the EPA, I’ve located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drano. Everyone knows the routine by now. Barmaid pounded me on the back; now my backbone is in the front part of my chest. I’m getting shit-Faced.
  • Chili #4: Bubba’s Black Magic
    JUDGE ONE: Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing.
    JUDGE TWO: Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not much of a chili.
    FRANK: I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Sally, the bar maid, was standing behind me with fresh refills, that 300 lb. bitch is starting to look HOT, just like this nuclear-waste I’m eating.
  • Chili #5: Linda’s Legal Lip Remover
    JUDGE ONE: Meaty, strong chili. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive.
    JUDGE TWO: Chili using shredded beef; could use more tomato. Must admit the cayenne peppers make a strong statement.
    FRANK: My ears are ringing, and I can no longer focus my eyes. I farted and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage. Sally saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from a pitcher. It really pisses me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming. Fuck those rednecks!
  • Chili #6: Vera’s Very Vegetarian Variety
    JUDGE ONE: Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spice and peppers.
    JUDGE TWO: The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, and garlic. Superb.
    FRANK: My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulfuric flames. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that slut Sally. I need to wipe my ass with a snow cone!
  • Chili #7: Susan’s Screaming Sensation Chili
    JUDGE ONE: A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers.
    JUDGE TWO: Ho Hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last moment. I should note that I am worried about Judge Number 3. He appears to be in a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably.
    FRANK: You could put a fucking grenade in my mouth, pull the fucking pin, and I wouldn’t feel a damn thing. I’ve lost the sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with chili which slid unnoticed out of my fucking mouth. My pants are full of lava-like shit to match my goddamn shirt. At least during the autopsy they’ll know what killed me. I’ve decided to stop breathing, it’s too painful. Fuck it, I’m not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air, I’ll just suck it in through the fucking 4-inch hole in my stomach.
  • Chili #8: Helen’s Mount Saint Chili
    JUDGE ONE: A perfect ending, this is a nice blend chili, safe for all, not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence.
    JUDGE TWO: This final entry is a good, balanced chili, neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge Number 3 passed out, fell and pulled the chili pot on top of himself. Not sure if he’s going to make it. Poor Yank.