"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


a steel and concrete soul

PhSquared and 23 approached me with a bit of hopeful gloom in their eyes. "Have you heard from your Aunt Becki yet?" asked PhSquared. "And when's your flight?"

"I've never met your Aunt Becki," added 23, "but I like her a lot."

Sigh. When my Dear, Dear Aunt Becki emailed in August with her usual offer to set me up with fifty-yard line seats for the Red River Shootout, it nearly killed me to have to write back for the second year in a row to tell her that I couldn't go due to the fact that my marrying friends from Up North don't understand that some things are sacred.

Then I managed to (mostly) forget about it, until I stepped off the bus earlier this week and realized that this is the last year I'll have the chance to insult Oklahoma in my lectures (check!) or buy an extra-obnoxious t-shirt from enterprising undergraduates. Nor will I get to enjoy a Fletcher's corn dog, or this year's winning unique fried food entry, or see if the Cotton Bowl's rehab really made a difference. This is it, and Saturday, I won't be anywhere near the State Fair or the 50-yard line.

It's not like I can really complain about going to Vermont for the weekend; it's actually fall there, and few places are more beautiful in early October than the only state in the union that isn't overrun with billboards and big boxes. It's also going to be a bit of a Wedding of the Century atmosphere, with movie stars, Yale professors, diplomats, national security experts, and a former owner of pizza hut among the guests who are trekking out to a farm in Vermont for a weekend extravaganza. (Saturday morning's kickball game with that crowd should be memorable, to put it mildly.)

But, oh, I'm going to miss being in Dallas. (As are the boys, 'cause Aunt Becki hasn't called with extras for them like she sometimes does.) It's going to be a great game; both teams are ranked in the top five, but neither has really been tested yet. I still think the Texas defense is weak, but if Baylor's wunderkind freshman QB could score 17 against OU, then Colt McCoy should be able to do a lot more on his own.

Somebody text me the results.


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