Texas Hold ‘Em? First You Gotta Catch ‘Em.

What do you give the Texan who has everything? It’s a trick question since they already have it. More. George W. wasn’t talking first person when he said he didn’t do nuance. He snatched that line straight out of the state’s Constitution.

Forget going to church once a week. Texans go to church three days out of the week- high school football Fridays, college football Saturdays and NFL Sundays. Steaks are served up on surfboard sized platters. Women don’t wear jewelry in Texas, it wears them. You’ll find belt buckles the size of hubcaps and hubcaps the size of satellite dishes. When applying for a zoning permit to build an in-ground pool, Texans face the double barreled prospect of going before both their local zoning board and the U.S. Department of the Interior. Mowing the lawn usually requires reservations at a Holiday Inn and a AAA card.

Now the Texas House is talking up an 85 mph speed limit. Shocking really, since I thought they’d shoot for an even 100.

Texas and Utah have the two highest posted speed limits in the nation. I can understand Utah going with higher speed limits. When a guy has three or four wives, commutes are less a matter of public safety than family values. But where Utah does speed for Big Love, Texas is all about the Big Money return.

See, California has been the car chase capitol ever since the OJ parade back in ’94. The only revenue that state brings in is the result of car chases now that Will Ferrell’s career has leveled a bit.  Don’t kid yourself, car chases are a big business.

Car chases equal television ratings. Nothing cures a slow news day like a good car chase. And the trickle down economics of the car chase exists in perpetuity. There are hour long reality shows devoted entirely to the genre. Movie directors churn out speed flicks left and right thanks to the fuel injected inspiration. Beer trucks are mobile billboards. The soda wars are won and lost based on whose ride gets shuttled across the 405 by a runaway driver.

It’s as American as football strikes, Sara Lee and Ken Burns- who no doubt would’ve produced a classic documentary on the subject if it wasn’t such a modern day standard.

Texas is gunning for the car chase title since they have as many cults, prisons and delinquent daddies as the Golden State has. And they have one thing California doesn’t have . . . plenty of open roads with which to keep that eye in the sky flapping its wings.

An 85 mph speed limit will transform Texas highways into a Nascar reality series. What with the reckless outlaw jockeying for position with everybody else on the road.

Hell, they’re probably going to create a league just for car chases.

It’ll never go on strike.


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