Across State Lines – “Brass Balls & Shopping Malls”










The United States easily could be separated in to 57 states – give me a permanent marker and I will scratch up some revised state-lines. Splitting up Texas in to a collection of smaller states and, shit, we’ll have not just one but handfuls of states sporting F-150s with a brass scrotum dangling from the hitch.

To keep in mind:
The brass-ball market is not yet saturated and I suggest investing in this emerging market.



Having spent six consecutive days in Texas (Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin – running the loop), I’m confused as to why there exists an intense state-pride. Texas is big, although what connects a family in Lubbock, regarding state-pride, to someone who lives opposite, in east Texas?

Please, give me an answer that does not pertain to Texas’ conservative politics.

Having entered Texas from the west, exiting on the east, I’ve seen the middle-ground. I’ve met people across the board – a majority of which have never visited the whole state. How could one stand behind a state they have not seen in full? I would never approach my employer and vouch for someone whom I do not know, in essence – what is the ‘idea’ of Texas that Texans stand behind?

So let’s get back to that permanent marker – chop it up, draw some lines, call the Feds and let them know that I’ve decided to change the state-lines. Hell, I’ll be walking across the lines all day. What unites this state; its size, pride, ego? If there is no definite unifying factor then make ’em smaller states and then we can categorize them back in to the United States.

Miles and miles down the road, we pass the vast fields of wind-farms. Conversation starts in the car – ‘did we spend more fossil fuels to build these power generators than the windmills are actually producing’, but arguments becomes secondary and conversation then quickly halted.

We all have to piss.

We pull off the highway straight into a shopping mall. Like a children running back after hearing the recess bell, we make a break for the bathroom. Four sweaty, greasy, smelly, rock’n’rollers walk in to the mall, and of course, we walk in to the most expensive department stores. Better yet, we’re in the luxury fragrance section (probably the most appropriate section provided our ‘scent’). Whatever, you know? They surely have best water-closets.


I walk to the second floor guard rail, looking down on the first floor of the mall. Sarah stands in the wishing well, having her photograph taken. I laughed and walked for the stairs to meet the crew on the first floor. Coming around the bend, Sarah is still working her photo-poses.

No-one tells us to stop because no-one will tell us to stop.

I’ve realized and accepted I don’t have the time or ability to understand Texas in a week.
Here’s my settlement in a small chart:



“NO SHIRT, NO COWBOY-BOOTS, NO SERVICE.” Felt all too real, a ‘city-slicker’ with New York plates.– Not a good look at a Texas road-stop.
“A BREEZY, NICE DRIVE” You likely will end up wishing you had a misting fan – the one you saved from the state-fair,
but used the batteries to use television remote.
“LONE-STAR TASTES GREAT AND IS EXTREMELY UNIQUE IN FLAVOR” Same hangover, different aluminum can

I lost track of time in Texas. I found we crossed state-lines when I woke up at a Louisiana gas-station. My band didn’t call me “Michael, Michael, REM-cycle” for nothing.

And yes, I did find some small stuff – landscaping work, mostly.