The Cowboy
The Cowboy
Danny Hellman

A Field Guide to Dallas Wildlife

The Cowboy

Appearance: Cowboy hat, NASCAR cap, pearl-snap shirt, slim-cut jeans, shit-kicker boots.

Behavior: Strays from watering hole only to attend rodeos and NASCAR events. Spits brown liquid into empty plastic Dr Pepper bottle held in place by opposable thumbs.



Subspecies: The Rancher, The Redneck, The Urban Cowboy.

Habitat: The Urban Cowboy isn't afraid to head to the big city for line dancing and cold beer at Adair's Saloon, a Deep Ellum honky-tonk. The Rancher knows that the backyard bar at Fred's Texas Cafe has the stiffest horseshoes and washers competition in Fort Worth, and the burger ain't bad either. The Double Wide bar isn't the only Deep Ellum habitat where The Redneck drinks, but it's the only bar where Redneck is celebrated.

The Superfan

Appearance: Favorite team jersey, matching face paint, Adidas track pants, NFL team cap with official sticker.

Behavior: Superfans can be observed staring motionless before big-screen TVs until the sports teams of their choice make a good play, play like crap or get hosed by the ref. At these times, Superfans are known to howl at the moon or exhibit gestures of celebration that include the high five, the fist bump, the chest bump, and in extreme cases, the head butt. They are befuddled by the Roman numerals that identify each successive Super Bowl game.

Subspecies: The Cheerleader, The Armchair Quarterback, The Maniac, Fantasy Man.

Habitat: Superfans who hang out at National Sports Lounge think of its scantily clad waitresses as cheerleaders. At Champps, there are no worries that there's an extra "P" in the name, as Fantasy Man is more focused on stats than spelling. Ten Sports Grill, named for its 10 large HD plasma TVs encased in the dark cave-like space, has been linked to sports overload in the brain circuitry of The Maniac, thus giving the subspecies its name.

The Hipster

Appearance: Solid color T-shirt, skinny jeans, shiny shoes, lumberjack flannel, grandma glasses, fedora hat.

Behavior: The hipster asserts his dominance by pretending to know more about a given subject than anyone in the room. This primate has a hand-rolled cigarette and a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon (see also The Redneck) in one hand and a stack of obscure vinyl records in the other.

Subspecies: The Scenester, The Biko (aka community gardener), The Hophead (Beer Geek).

Habitat: Scenesters congregate at the Fallout Lounge for dancing, drinking and posing, and can often be caught staring at their own reflection. For the Bikos who inhabit Oak Cliff environs such as the Texas Theatre Bar and Bolsa, two wheels good, four wheels bad and Hummers, well, they're considered natural predators. Hipsters seek refuge in these locales, finding the liquor pours generous and the food offerings seasonal. The Hophead can be found at the Meddlesome Moth, The Common Table or the Ginger Man Pub on a never-ending quest to find the bitterest beer in the world. It's as much the taste as the bitter-beer face that he seeks.

The Punk

Appearance: Tattoo sleeves, Elvis haircut, black clothing, leather duster, various piercings.

Behavior: This is the grab-bag species. The Punk can be found in a chair at a tattoo parlor, getting inked with an offensive design. Some can be seen revving Harley Davidsons near crowded restaurant patios, while others only come out at night after watching The Crow for the 1,000th time. Still others hang out at the mall.

Subspecies: The Biker, The Goth, The Mall Punk.

Habitat: The weekend warrior who thought the Hells Angels were cool on paper but never actually knew one gets to brush up against the real deal at Strokers—only not too hard. There's more leather at The Church Thursday and Sunday nights at the Lizard Lounge than any of Fort Worth's Ranchers could provide. The Prophet Bar is where the Mall Punk goes after Hot Topic closes.

The Ultra Lounger

Appearance: Spiked hair with highlights, popped collar, designer jeans, faded aviators, finely etched beard, Ed Hardy and Affliction apparel.

Behavior: The Ultra Lounger can be seen at only the chicest, trendiest nightclubs, adding the cost of bottle service—$300 for a bottle of premium vodka—to a preexisting pile of credit card debt. Exorbitant payment for bottle service is actually rutting behavior directed at the female of the species. For The Raver subspecies, the twirling of glow sticks produces a state of euphoria that can also be explained as mating ritual.

Subspecies: The $30,000 Millionaire, The Raver, The Douche Bag, The Gold Digger.

Habitat: Ghostbar and PM Nightlife Lounge together create a balanced ecosystem for the $30,000 Millionaire, the Douche Bag and the Gold Digger. None of the three could exist without the other two, or without the neon vodka drinks served at Ghostbar. Each week at the Lizard Lounge, The Raver tries to conjure up his or her first trip to Burning Man by dancing furiously to Fatboy Slim.

The Musician

Appearance: Can look like all of the above.

Behavior: The Musician does three things well—drink, perform and drink. Some worship Dallas-bred blues legend Stevie Ray Vaughan, while others attempt to recreate the golden age of punk, indie rock or country music. The Musician is a crossover species, easily adapting to any habitat in which it chooses to play.

Subspecies: The Indie-Rocker (See also Hipster), The Punk (See The Punk species), The Honky-Tonker (See also The Cowboy), The DJ (See also Ultra Lounger).

Habitat: The Kessler Theater and Granada Theater are two of its most popular habitats. The Musician thrives there, since good music of every genre is played at both. The DJ spins records for the spastic crowds at the Plush Basement Lounge downtown. Fort Worth musicians aspire to take the stage at Lola's Saloon, preparing by spending years listening to Matchbox 20 and Third Eye Blind.


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