Raining Stars

Texas is a fascinating place

Today has been a very rainy day in the Great State of Texas. At least, in my little corner of Texas. I’ve learned that you can’t generalize with this state: it’s so large that it baffles all efforts to put it in a box.

Fun fact about Texas: due to how horrendously large it is, they seem unable to calculate the average rainfall for the entire state. They can give you the average for all different parts of the state—El Paso averages 9.7, Dallas gets just north of 37, and the dubiously named Chickenfeather gets around 15—but apparently no one managed to average the averages and have one number for all 696,241 kilometers of the state.

Even Wikipedia doesn’t know. I’m kind of shocked, really. I struggle to think of another occasion that the collective “we” of Wikipedia has let me down in such a big way. I may have to go find a cat video or two to console myself.

In any case, one thing is certain: the small corner of Texas that I currently inhabit is a very soggy place. And another thing is certain: no one is happy about it.

Soggy Gainesville

And aching bones

I can see why they don’t like the rain, I suppose. It has has invaded their roads, filled their drains, and flooded their yards. People are most likely catching colds, taking in soaked laundry, and complaining about aching bones. If I had soaked laundry or achy bones I probably wouldn’t like it either.

However as a person blessed with good bones and dry laundry, I rather enjoy the rainfall. It gives me a good opportunity to go to a coffee shop, drink a ridiculous amount of coffee (free refills FTW), and ponder the great philosophical questions of our age.

Speaking of philosophy, this place has made me wonder: why would a state like Texas, such a large and diverse place, confine themselves to a single star? They call themselves the “Lone Star State”, and I wonder which star they’re referring to? I find it particularly odd whenever I drive around town; I see stars everywhere. There are stars on license plates, stars on doorways, stars on roadsigns and bridges. I’ve never seen a place so burdened with an overabundance of stars. If I ever do run across this “Lone Star” that they speak of, I’m sure I won’t even notice, because they all start to look the same after a while. Did they do this on purpose? Is the secret of the Lone Star only given to Texans, and purposefully obscured to us outsiders?

I’m not sure if I’ll ever know the answer to that question. I’ve asked a handful of Texans about it, and all they do is chuckle nervously and say that they’ve never noticed all the stars about. A likely story. That’s like saying a fish doesn’t notice the water that it’s swimming in.

In all likelihood it’s probably just a game they play with the rest of the world. Maybe they have a special informational card that you get after five years of citizenship, and to be a full citizen you have to memorize and eat it. I’ve heard of crazier things, larger conspiracies.

Although I’m not so sure, come to think of it. I mean, how organized can they really be? They can’t even calculate their own average rainfall.

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