On moving to Texas

Heather Wilhelm:
In a few weeks, my family and I will be moving from the Chicago area to Austin, Texas. I realize this is not terribly original on our part. Apparently, everyone else in the country is moving to Texas, too -- according to the Census Bureau, eight of the 15 fastest-growing cities in the U.S. call the Lone Star State home -- and a sizable chunk of high-profile pilgrims, it seems, are moving to Austin.

In recent months, both Billy Bob Thornton and “Girls” star Lena Dunham have publicly declared their desire to move to Austin in the future. The series finale of “The Office” showed longtime Scranton residents Jim and Pam leaving for the Texas state capital. According to the latest reports, 150-200 people move to Austin each day. It’s gotten so ridiculous that residents who fear the city will lose its signature weirdness have created the following T-shirt: “Welcome to Austin. Please don’t move here. I hear Dallas is great!”

When I tell people in Chicago that I’m moving to Texas, I get a variety of responses. One is pretty simple: “Why?” Another reply is enthusiastic: “That’s great, I’ve heard Austin is amazing!” But by far my favorite response is one that I’ve come to deem The Heather Wilhelm Instant Liberal Detector™:

Me: “So, I’m moving to Texas in a few weeks.”

Suspected Liberal (suspiciously): “Hmmm. … Where in Texas?”

Me: “Austin.”

Suspected Liberal: “Oh, THANK GOD. Austin is TOTALLY different from the rest of Texas. TOTALLY. DIFFERENT.”

What is politely left unsaid by the now Officially Confirmed Liberal™, of course, is that the “rest of Texas” is a vast, nightmarish blur, populated by an army of sweaty Honey Boo Boos who want to (a) serve you fatty foods at their tacky picnic or (b) take you to church or (c) force you to take a slimy catfish off of a dirty hook or (d) make you show your ID before voting.

It is a place, in other words, where no self-respecting, civilized human being with a high tooth-to-finger ratio would dare to tread. As the website Gawker recently put it, “What is it that makes Texas so attractive? Is it the prisons? The racism? The deadly weather? The deadly animals? The deadly political leadership? The costumed sex fetish conventions? The cannibal necromancers?” These were all very good points for New York City-based Gawker to make, of course, because there are certainly no prisons or race hucksters or hurricanes or giant rats or dodgy politicians or sex fetish conventions or crazy people in New York.

Austin remains an attractive city even if it does have too many liberals.  The city is growing to the point it is closing in on being the 10th largest in the US.  They don't even have to waste money on professional sports teams because the have UT there with a history of having some of the most entertaining teams in the country.  As Austin has grown, the liberals who gain control when the 18 year olds were given the right to vote are being overwhelmed by adults now.


  1. That T-short reminds me of a sign on the northbound Interstate at the CA-OR border decades ago. It said, approximately, "Welcome to Oregon. Now turn around and go home!" Californication has overtaken Oregon, so there is little difference these days.

  2. There was a bumper sticker that read, "Welcome to Texas. Now go home!" What I'm afraid of is that the people who move here will ruin this state just like they did their home state.


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