Rick's List - Don't Mess with Texas edition

Because of the Confederate flag controversy, it seems that the great North/South cultural divide has gotten a lot of attention lately. This comes to mind because, here in our small town, I'm often considered the token Texan/Southerner.

For purposes of clarification (and for what my opinion is worth), I consider Dallas and Fort Worth the line of demarcation. East of Dallas is "South" and Fort Worth is the start of the "Golden West." I also think most Texans don't deign to think about such distinctions because being "Texan" trumps "Southern" or "Western" or even, in many cases, "American."

And so, to get the flag question out of the way, yes, it's long past time to take it down. I can't say it any more eloquently than Patterson Hood. Hood is leader of Drive-By Truckers, arguably the best Southern Rock band ever (and that opinion is probably sufficiently inflammatory to start a musical Civil War with plenty of Allman Brothers and Skynyrd fans coming for me with pitchforks and torches). But: Hood writes wonderfully about the Rebel flag and Southern heritage in a New York Times piece.

On a lighter note, I will say that Sailfest is here and I will happily eat at least one of every food option possible. It's gonna be good. Having said that, I'd like to modestly suggest that most great carnival food trends originate in the South — and many start at the State Fair of Texas, which is, yes, the greatest cultural event in the history of the world.

Here is a quick quiz for y'all Northern folks. Which of the following food items are (or have recently been) available at the State Fair of Texas?

A. Deep Fried Jambalaya

B. Deep Fried Sweet Tea

C. Fried Chocolate Maple Bacon Amazeballz

D. Deep Fried Milk and Cookies on a Stick

E. Texas Fried Chicken in a Waffle Cone

F. Texas Redneck Nachos (fresh-baked pork rinds ladled with gourmet cheese, chili, pico de gallo and jalapenos)

G. Deep Fried Confederate Flag

H. Fried Bubblegum

Why, except for G — and that could change this year — ALL of them. Sometimes I'm really proud of my home state. Meanwhile, it's pretty great up here, too. Happy Sailfest!

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