Jul 16, 2014

Oh Yes. I'm Messing With Texas

Whenever I hear people from Texas getting all high and mighty about their state and utter the famous saying "Don't Mess With Texas" I'm always reminded of what it actually means. One of my 7th grade teachers, who was from the Lone Star State filled us in on the origins of the phrase.


It was an anti-littering campaign from the 80's. Most people from California, like me that hadn't been to or hadn't known people from Texas probably thought it is some Texas pride thing emanating from a sports team or state historical event.  But it was created by an advertising agency to be a catchy way for people to stop throwing trash on the ground.  Akin to "Click it or ticket" for seatbelt use reminders it's no more than some shit to remind people of shit they should just do anyway.

nothing to do with litter. unless
 you're talking about white trash
Oh the irony of some redneck tweaker in Abilene throwing beer cans and cigarette buts out of the car window with a DON'T MESS WITH TEXAS bumper sticker. Completely missing the point.  Texas isn't awful, I've been there, I saw the Alamo, I went to the mall next door.  But I just think it's funny that the people who embrace the phrase might not even know it's origins.  Or that it's a copyrighted trademark of the Texas Department of Transportation.

Maybe it is totally understood in Texas. Maybe  people there have had it drilled down their throats since 86. From an outsider, hearing people misuse the phrase makes the eternal pessimist in me angry. I just assume everyone from the South are stupid mouth breathers who could care less about the origins of a phrase they're using, missing the point and carelessly throwing garbage on the ground on a regular basis.

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