The Corner


Half of Impromptus today is devoted to Texas, where I have been doing some gallivanting. Texas is a very colorful state, and any writing about it is bound to provoke some very colorful mail. My inbox is teeming with it today — and I appreciate it.


Let me give you some quickies:

Dear Mr. Nordlinger,


Years ago, whilst driving from Dallas to Waco [I love “whilst”!], I saw three billboards in the following order:


Who is the father? DNA Testing (followed by a phone number)


Vasectomy Reversals! (followed by a phone number)


And then the one that truly underscored the fact that I was in Texas:


Chainsaw Sculptures, Next Exit

Midland and Odessa, together, may be the home of high-school football in America — or the Mecca of it. Friday Night Lights and all that. Reader writes,

Hi, Jay,


Gotta give you my Midland experience. It was October of ’82 and I was working Texas, long week, hard day, and I couldn’t get home Friday night. Well, not so bad because the Cardinals and Brewers World Series game was on, right? Nope — no dish, no cable. But there was high-school football on television.

I mention in Impromptus that Midland is quite flat. Reader writes,

Your comment reminded me of a friend who grew up in a flat, treeless neighborhood between Midland and Odessa. He told me that, when they played hide and seek, whoever was “it” had to count to 500. That way, you’d have time to run till you were hidden by the curvature of the earth.

One more on Midland:



I’m in the “oil bidness,” and used to live in Midland. The big joke about the area goes something like this:


A Midlander picks up his cousin from back East at the airport. The cousin looks around and says, “Wow, sure is flat out here!”


Midlander replies, “Yup, pretty flat.”


Cousin says, “And it sure is brown!”


“Yup, pretty brown.”


“You must not get much rain here.”


“Well, ’bout ten inches a year.”


“Wow! That’s not much rain!”


“Oh, yeah? Well, you oughta be here on the day it falls.”

Be back with more in a bit.