“How y’all doin’ today?”

I can’t properly spell the sound of disgust I make when people refer to me as “y’all”. I think it would most closely resemble “blech”, but is a bit more throaty.

After spending the weekend finishing up the home office project (blog on that coming later, but as a teaser: blood was shed), Monday morning I found myself at 8am not sitting comfortably at home, enjoying the fruits of my labor, but rather beginning a rather arduous journey to Dallas for work. I won’t launch into another rant about airlines, however I will mention that we were informed they overbooked the plane by 40 people. That’s forty, for anyone who thinks I may have made a typo. Having been in this situation before, I defended my ticket throughout all of the delays and managed to successfully arrive in Texas.

In summary, Texas sucks. While unsurprised, I’m still mildly annoyed at the fact that every radio station is country. Half of the streets are named after ways to cook and serve cattle. And my little piece of shit I rented is the only non-pickup truck on the road.

After spending two and a half hours four inches away from the reclined seat back of the pretentious blond in front of me, I figured I’d have a drink at dinner to calm my nerves. The waitress offered me a margarita when she took my drink order. Rather, she offered me and my three invisible companions margaritas, having referred to “y’all” when making the suggestion. Blech. I declined and opted for a beer instead.

Of course, that’d be too easy. I get carded, which as much as I hate to admit, is a compliment and helps to reassure me that I’m not that old. By comparison, I find I grow angry when I don’t get carded. I present my New Jersey license with an inconspicuous pride, trying to not attract the attention of the four red necks at a nearby table whose combined total number of teeth did not reach double digits. Never having seen a New Jersey license (by my estimation I doubt she’s seen a hair brush either), she takes it to look up.

At that time, I wondered if it would play out as it ultimately did. For you non-NJ readers, NJ moved to new licenses as of May 2004. I can be pretty sure of that accuracy, since my license was issued on April 27th, 2004, which was about a month before the new licenses entered circulation. I’m told I don’t have to have mine replaced, I can simply get a new one when this one expires in 2008. Hell, part of me enjoys the nostalgia of the old school laminated cardboard look.

While still a legal drivers license, the old school version has found its way out of the bar handbooks. As such, I might as well have handed this chick a sheet of paper that read “I is 21 years old.” Apparently, Texas is very strict on drinking. Apparently, I wasn’t getting my beer afterall.

The saving grace behind this trip to the land that time forgot is that I get to teach a training course. I ultimately see me moving on from development to teaching, so being able to break up my normal daily coding routine with training is a pretty sweet set up. Now I just have to learn the material I have to teach tomorrow and I’ll be set 😉


  1. Texas hu? Enjoy that… Out in the middle of nowhere Texas has a day speed limit and a night one. I can’t remember if Dallas is like that… only been there once and man, was once enough (sorry Jon’s family…).

    Still coming to Tysons Corner? Jon said I could a) meet you for lunch if you have time, b) take you to my gym if you feel the need to get out of the hotel gym, and c) have you to dinner with both of us.

  2. Lemme translate for those viewers out there…whine, whine, whine, y’all, whine 😉 As far as the new NJ licenses go, I found the new and improved DMV to be a fairly quick and painless procedure. I think I was in there no more than maybe 15 mins, with several documents to prove who I was, with the added annoyance of having to get my marriage license (FYI- the paper from the church is NOT a legal document), not to mention being pleasantly surprised when they ASKED me if I liked my picture and would I like to do it over! (I must say, it’s my favorite recent photo!) So take the plunge and get a new one, they’re pretty to look at :)

  3. Gonna reach far back on this one… back at NAIMUN (in all likelihood only Jay will know what that is…) in ’99 I remember my uh… group is a good word for it, had a discussion during break about accents across America. They all said I sounded like I was from Jersey, despite the fact that a mere 1.5 years later until today, no one else says that. As long as I’m down this dirt path of a tangent, I really hate how the Long Island way of saying Jersey (aka Joisey) seems to have creeped into Americana as the Jersey accent. We are a cultured, dignified people who currently have two types of drivers licences.

    Getting back to my original point, one of the people in my group, being from the South, instructed all of us on the usage of “y’all”. Apparantly “y’all” is the singular form of their word, and I use that term loosely. The plural, to everyone’s surprise, is “all y’all”.

    With all that said, it’s utter bullshit that you didn’t get the beer. Let’s this about this logically, which may be a rare skill south of the Mason-Dixon line (no offense, Jon, Heather). If we assume you had a fake ID, why would you go so far reaching as to say you are as old as you are? Wouldn’t a date of birth making you 21 or 22 be more reasonable? I simply hope you didn’t leave her a tip.

    And as long as I’m typing, I also don’t like the DMV. What’s with all the documents that I have to provide every time I need to renew a driver’s license? Birth certificate, passport, social security card, promisory note for first born… it’s a damn driver’s licence.

  4. So in effect, your classic new jersey license (the one us Pennsylvanians have been snickering about for years after watching all y’all –thank you JJ– produce all sorts of backup identification to zealous bouncers) was perfectly fine for getting you on some stupid airplane to fly to stupid Texas, only to get turned down for a beer that you are certainly entitled to have.

    Maybe they should put Texas waitresses in charge of airport security. I’m with JJ I hope you didn’t leave a tip!

  5. Here is my rant on the DMV –

    I lived in Jersey for over 2 years before I got my license changed (wanted to make sure I didn’t get one of those crap NJ old licenses that we all used to make fun of, oh yeah and there is the fact that the law recently changed and I no longer had to take the written test). All that aside, I went one day all documents in hand to become an official drive in the wonderful state of New Jersey. I came out of their having paid the stupid DMV for not only my new license but also a learners permit. Yes, a learners permit that I held (I use that term losely as I never actually touched the stupid thing) for 10 minutes while they did the silly eye test and processed my real license. Completely stupid process if you ask me.

    Anyways Jay maybe next time you should up the Jersey accent and maybe you’d have gotten served.

  6. Since everyone seems to be concerned about my drinking habits, I am happy to report that I got served last night at dinner. Suffice it to say, I will be trying again tonight; it’s not so much the alcohol as it is the principle of the matter at this point.

    Heather: I’ll let you know when it gets closer, I’ve actually forgotten the date.

    Nancy: Welcome back, I hope the pod people who were previously blogging under your name left your house in good order. Oh, and all that shit while I was complaining about weddings and you can’t even keep track of your marriage license. Some role model you turned out to be.
    JJ: Referencing NAIMUN made me laugh out loud. Great impression on the student next to me, since I’m the teacher. Also remember how our friends from Canada said you and I have really thick accents, not that I really think Canada is all that much more respectable than Texas.

    Chris: Dude, I didn’t even think of the fact that I got on the plane with the old school license. That’s a damn good point. This weekend at Brownies should be interesting to see if the asshole bouncers who think bouncing is a cool job (credit to Ron White for that quote) let me in with my old license. Hell, I’m wearing a wedding ring, so even if I’m underage, I’d argue that I’ve earned a damn drink at that point, right?

    Meg: If I up the Jersey accent, I have a strong feeling I’m going to get a beating. I’ll make fun of these rednecks in the comfort of my own web site, but in reality anyone who can wrestle a bull scares me. Actually, let me rephrase that: anyone who would even think of wrestling a bull in the first place scares me.

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