Home with the Armadillo

Really, everything I hoped about America is true. I am free to combine savoury with sweet, as long as the savoury is bacon and the sweet will kill me.

While I'm on in-car experiences (a sentence I never saw myself typing), drive-through banking? What the fuck happened there? I can't even reach the ATM from my car window, and there's no ATM inside for me to calmly use. Instead I must flail at a screen I can't see while a series of angry cars releasing fumes into the atmosphere wonder how I can possibly be taking so long. It's a nightmare of Kafkaesque proportions. I have ended up parking alongside the flippin' thing, getting out of the car and using it like a normal sodding ATM.

A taco made out of one massive Dorito? What sort of waking horror have I stumbled into?

Obviously I would prefer Dallas had much more public transport, but I've grown to accept that the current state of affairs is simply the nature of the beast, live with what we've got and count my lucky stars it's not Arlington.

When I do depart this sunbaked land, I will have campfire tales about my time in Texas that I can pass down through generations of baffled Europeans who will all strive to attain this mysterious "brisket."

For those of you who haven't ventured up into the frozen northern reaches of the metro area (it's like how I imagine life is north of The Wall in Game of Thrones, only with fewer zombies), the residents, in between snow flurries and attacks by hulking wild animals, inform me that there is the odd decent barbecue place to check out.

Let me write a note here for British people who might be confused. The State Fair of Texas is an annual event dedicated to celebrating Texas. That much may seem obvious. How Texans have chosen to celebrate Texas, though, is something more of a leap in logic. While the expected hats, boots, trucks and cowboys abound, much of the State Fair has been dedicated to the glory of deep-fried everything. You can't even begin to imagine the extent of things they've deep-fried. They've taken foods you've never heard of to start with and deep-fried them just for the sake of novelty. How placing battered food into boiling hot oil connects to the heart of Texas' self-identity isn't entirely clear to me.

A seemingly popular drink in Texas, Big Red is much like synthetic bubblegum coloured, for some reason, bright red, and then carbonated. It was horrific, like a car crash of sugar and things that shouldn't be liquified.

The EU banned the sale of Lucky Charms and Mountain Dew when I was a child, leaving a hole in my childhood, albeit distinctly healthier teeth. Now that I live in Texas, not only is nothing off the table, I am free to eat the unhealthiest thing I can possibly imagine.

The Frito pie I am not sure about. I have no idea what was going on. It was like eating a ball of heavily flavoured earth, so I'm guessing by the texture it involved ground beef, only someone had decided to make it taste like crisps. Who had that idea first? Did someone retire off the back of that wheeze?

My vision was slightly blurred, I was having the odd tingly pain and I no longer believed in the Democrats' ability to run this country.

Praise Big Tex, may he live at your right hand forever, and praise the deep-fryer, without which Texas would have nothing to do once every fall. Most of all, thank you Texas, for all the freedom I now have to aggressively kill myself. I kind of like it here. I shall stay as long as either the U.S. government lets me, or as long as my heart keeps beating, which I suspect is not hugely long on either count.

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