Sunday, July 5, 2009

Tall Tales or Truth

I thought I was done with the feelings of shame I associate with some of the accepted things our country does, and feeling like the sentiments in the South are not only against my beliefs but completely inhumane in the way treat outsiders or anyone not like them, but apparently, I’m not done with that.

Let me run this story by you and you tell me what you think and if you think it’s true.

Arms tells stories, and whether they’re true or not, I’ve yet to figure out. I have no way of knowing if his college wildness is blown out of proportion, or if his antics at previous jobs are at all accurate, but he told me something last week that is haunting me, not because I think he lied, but because he might be telling the truth.

Arms is a frat boy, through and through: muscle and brawn, beer and bullying, total frat boy kind of guy. In fact, he still goes away on weekend benders back to his old university, to party with his old fraternity, even though he graduated three years ago. He’s steeped in the lifestyle, which I thought people grew out of once they realized that the real world doesn’t work that way, but he makes it possible, and I don’t disrespect the feat that is. It’s hard, I’m sure, to work, pay your bills, be a responsible adult, and then drive hours and hours away on a Friday night to spend two solid days in a drunken stupor, barely clothed, roof-diving into a pool, and then drive back Sunday night to return to responsible living. If his liver doesn’t go first, his heart is just going to give out on him, I’m sure.

Once, a group of fellas from their fraternity in a Texas college came to visit.

Arms: These boys were from SOUTH Texas, you know.

Me: Uh-huh.

Arms: And they were huge! They make me look like a little girl.

Me: *eyeroll* Yeah, right.

Arms: Seriously. They were enormous. And they showed up and walked right into the house like they owned it, wanting to know where the party was. I just got out of the way and let them do whatever they wanted.

Me: *smirking*

Arms: Like I said, they were from SOUTHERN Texas.

This should have been some indication about where he was going, but I still didn’t get it.

Me: Uh-huh.

Arms: They’ve been shooting guns since before they could walk. And they live on these ranches that just go on and on. Anything goes, down there.

So far I’m unimpressed with how he is painting these guys. He hasn’t said “redneck”, but he’s on the cusp.

Arms: And they told us, totally seriously, that they sit around sometimes and just shoot ‘em dead whenever they get onto their property.

My mind was racing. Shooting what dead? Were they shooting coyotes? Because if they’re shooting coyotes, I’m about to get really mad at Arms for telling me this story. Nobody better tell me about shooting coyotes dead just for sport. What else could it be, right?

He was looking at me with that can-you-believe-that face, and I wasn’t sure what he was asking me to believe.

Me: What were they shooting?

Arms: Illegals! Border-hoppers!


Arms: Really!

Me: NO!

Arms: Yeah, there’s no law against it down there. They see someone crossing the border, they can shoot them dead. Especially if it’s their property. No one tells them they’re wrong.

I felt my head getting hot, like I was about to either start screaming or throw up.

Of course, right then a patron walked up and I had to help her, so Arms walked away giving me that look like he meant what he said.

I know things are different in Texas because of the border situation, and I know that Mexico, being a third world country and all, has to make some people a little nervous when you’re neighbors, but to shoot people dead because they crossed over, that can’t be real. It can’t be.

Someone help me. Someone tell me this isn’t true and it was either Arms’ imagination or the drunken boasting of some guys from the South pulling everyone’s legs.

Someone?! Please.


Travelin' Tracy said...

It's not real. People may be racist, but don't forget there are many Texans of Mexican decent that would be in an outrage. Unless possibly these were KKK members too, but not everyone on a ranch is like that. So I definitely don't believe it.

GeekChic said...

About the only truth in Arms' statement is the fact that in Texas it is legal to use lethal force in defense of your property (as well as in defense of your life).

So shooting trespassers is slightly more common than one might see elsewhere - but only if said trespassers are threatening or are trying to enter your house or other building on your property.

I lived in deep South Texas (5 minute walk from the border) for almost 10 years and there are far more Hispanics than Anglos in the area.

Megan said...

I hope he - and the frat brothers - were full of crap. Right? Because to think of people being so blase about shooting other human beings is just stomach-churning.

(And on a side note: I'm glad I found your blog again!)

Anonymous said...

This scared the shit out of me: a segment from Cruel and inhuman treatment of illegal immigrants in Texas produced by Christopher Hitchens
Maybe Arms is telling the truth and we should all be a little sick.

Happy Villain said...

Yeah, that's kind of what I pictured. Not exactly your suit-wearing, college-educated, showering type. No, those people are the ones paving the way for these folks to be the new uncivil militia. What the HELL can we do? How do we stop the stupid assholes more concerned about their fences than a human life? What do you do with an entire region of people who have seceded from the human race?

Anonymous said...

The region hasn't seceded from the human race since they are 'real' human and immigrants are considered, by the haters,to be subhuman, not like us at all. There's always a book though and I'm reading "Denied, Detained, Deported: Stories from the Dark Side of American Immigration" by Ann Bausum. It's a kids book but the poem by Naomi Shihab Nye, "Statue of Liberty Dreams of Emma Lazarus, Awakens with Tears on Her Cheeks" made me cry.