When the State Fair of Texas transformed a kitschy 50-foot Santa Claus into an cadaverous, hollow-eyed cowpoke six decades ago, we did nothing. When Big Tex was resurrected last year following his grisly self-immolation, creepy grin and all, we did nothing still. But there comes a time when civic duty must trump nostalgia and apathy. There comes a time when circumstances force all Dallasites of good conscience to rouse themselves from nostalgic apathy, stand up and say enough is enough.
That time is now.
The Dallas Morning News brings us the unsettling news this morning that Big Tex has been endowed with the power of movement. It's not just the head shake or hand wave of old, which had all the grace of a toy robot. He now boasts a whole range of movements -- including the ability to gaze down and wink at the tiny humans below -- which imbue the giant cowboy with a new level of creepiness.
See also: The Big Question: Is Big Tex Mexican?
His full repertoire includes:
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His head nods up and down His eyes move left and right He can wink with either eye He can blink both eyes together His torso rotates left and right His right shoulder moves back and forward His right elbow extends and contracts His hand points
If The Simpsons has taught us anything, it's that a freak storm can instantly vivify any giant novelty statue in its path and send it on a destructive rampage. Prophetically, "Treehouse of Horror VI" even includes a rampaging cowboy. Does the State Fair really need to enable Big Tex by giving him everything but the power to physically walk off his podium? And how do we know they haven't already done that?
The State Fair is playing with fire here. This time, though, Big Tex might not be the only one who goes down in flames.
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.