Leaving California for Texas is such a conformist thing to do these days, but I did for a short vacation to America. In Houston, I went into an H.E.B. and was talking about California to someone who was giving away free samples of beef – having conversations with random people is a huge difference from LA – and I had to reassure the guy I was going home. He seemed relieved. I’ve been coming to Texas intermittently for about 30 years, and it’s never seemed more crowded. The place is packed – the roads, the stores, the airport. Back home in LA, it’s empty and depressing as the pols elected by the brigades of frigid Santa Monica wine moms who seem to run everything panic ever-harder over a disease that appears to be less virulent than the regular flu.
Here in Texas, people are happy, chipper, and armed.
Let’s explore the migration from the Golden State to the Lone Star State by comparing and contrasting Texas vs. California.
Politically, I live in a congressional district where my congressman is Ted Lieu. Ted Lieu is really dumb. Here, the congressman is Dan Crenshaw. Look, Crenshaw’s softer than I’d prefer – everyone is softer than I prefer – but this exchange is like a chick dating Brad Pitt after breaking up with Brian Stelter, who is a potato. Bumper sticker-wise, in California you get a lot of people demanding that you COEXIST, or else, presumably. There are also a fair number of people with Biden stickers still on their Priuses. I’m pretty sure it’s not done ironically. In Texas, there are not so many political bumper stickers, but lots of people with flags and Jesus-related stickers. In the end, Texas voted for Trump; California is full of liberal idiots who turned a beautiful state into an open hobo sewer.
Maxine Waters, Gavin Newsom and Nancy Pelosi come from California. But the Bushes came from Texas.
Advantage: A pox on both your houses.
In terms of gun freedom, you can pack in Texas without a permit. This is the land of no sudden moves. Maybe this contributes to the general vibe of politeness. And you do not see hordes of criminals rushing into stores to loot. But in California, a guy who commanded over 1000 troops with real assault rifles on the streets of Southern California – while carrying his own – still has to ask permission from some bureaucrat to do it legally. And you do see hordes of criminals rushing into stores to loot. Hopefully, the Supreme Court will soon sort this anti-gun tyranny nonsense out. In the meantime, the winner is clear.
People are nice in Texas. They will strike up a conversation with you and chat away for a while. In California, they won’t. Californians do not talk to you and prefer you not talk to them. It’s not that Californians are nasty. They just don’t pretend to care.
Advantage: I often find other people annoying, so this one is a wash.
The traffic is terrible in Houston. This is partly because the freeways are laid out randomly and the signage is a jumble of confusing misinformation. Also, they have access roads that run alongside freeways for some reason. LA’s freeways layout is straightforward and simple. Also, the traffic is better in LA party because Cali is less crowed – everything is always packed in Houston – but because Californians know how to drive in traffic. They are fantastic drivers. Texans are terrible drivers. Maybe they are nice in person because they can let their ids run free behind the wheel. They tailgate, cut you off, and take it personally if you want to slide into their lane. Californians are chill. Unless it rains. Then they forget how to drive.
In Texas, you can get a palace for $800,000. In California, you can get a shack for $800,000. If you can find one for sale. And it would be in Bakersfield.
In California you have to wear masks in most places and, in some, show your vaxx papers. In Texas, no. They have no truck with that fascist nonsense. Maybe 20% of people mask up in regular stores, though it’s 50% in Whole Foods. Stereotypes are true!
Beers. Texas has Shiner Bock. California has undrinkable bespoke IPAs brewed by hipster doofuses who no one will ever love.
The burger question is perhaps the most fraught question of them all. In Texas, they have Whataburger, which I naturally visited. A nice man with an elf hat sold me my cheeseburger. It is a straight-forward burger, with a bit of mustard for spice. It’s also bigger than other burgers, as would be expected from Texas. In California, we have In-N-Out. The cheeseburger is smaller, and it should be customized animal style. These are both sound burger options. To pick between them is like forcing Joe Biden to choose between a rerun of Murder, She Wrote or Matlock. But a choice must be made.
There you have it. Since I am a blue state lawyer and California is run for my benefit, I’ll hang there for a while. But everyone else ought to flee.
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