A native North Texan such as myself could be considered profane for saying good riddance to an iconic mascot such as Big Tex. It’s blasphemous.
But when news spread about Big Tex going up in blazes this morning, my first thought was “it’s about time.” (Note to fire investigators: I have an iron-clad alibi for my whereabouts at the time of the blaze.)
As a kid I used to look up at Big Tex and think, “Damn, that’s ugly.”
He was a big dork. His clothes were ill-fitting. His arms extended haphazardly at off-kilter angles. His body lacked proportion. Chest too big, neck too small. His face was strange and demented, like a poorly carved ventriloquist dummy.
Big Tex talked as if he were suffering from a concussion and maybe even nursing a morphine habit.
At least he said “Howdy.” As a friend said at lunch, “He’s probably the only guy left in Dallas that says howdy. People in Fort Worth still say howdy, but not in Dallas.”
Don’t get me wrong, I liked having a 50-foot cowboy standing at the front gates of the state fair and welcoming visitors. But Big Tex looked idiotic.
He’d become so nostalgic and iconic after 60 years that we weren’t ever going to get rid of him — unless the unthinkable happened.
And now it has.
Hopefully, fair organizers install a Son of Big Tex for 2013. Let’s hope the builders have taken a class or two in sculpture and maybe even glanced at a proportion chart so we don’t have another giant, cheesy looking ventriloquist dummy to put up with for another 60 years.
It might even be politically correct to make the new Big Tex appear Hispanic to represent the fastest growing demographic in our society.
Call him El Tejas Grande.
P.S. –People are already spearheading efforts to raise money for the restoration of Big Tex. Mattress Firm announced it will donate thousands of dollars toward a “restoration.” Don’t restore the old one. Build a new one from scratch. Please.
Viva la El Tejas Grande!