Texas, federal gov-guys get together

By Bob Buckel | Published Saturday, February 16, 2013

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It was one of those sunny winter days that make everyone wish they lived in Texas. I was in Austin when my old pal from Washington, D.C. – the I’m-from-the-government-and-I’m-here-to-help-you guy – bumped into his Texas counterpart.

“S’cuse me, sir! I was looking down and didn’t even see you comin’. Are you alright?”

“Sure. No problem. I was probably looking down, too. Those are some interesting cowboy boots.”

Bob Buckel

Bob Buckel

“Aw, these? These ain’t cowboy – these are my city boots. What’re those things on your feet?”


“Hmmm. The white socks are an interestin’ touch.”

“Thanks. So, you’re from Texas?”

“Yep. We’re in session now, and I’m here to get my new marchin’ orders, go out and see what I can do for folks.”

“Good luck with that! I’ve got the same job in Washington, and lately I can’t do anything, for anybody.”

“Aw, now – don’t get yer dobber down. You feds are doing lots of stuff. Most of it’s bad, but it’s still stuff.”

“Well, getting ‘marching orders’ is a real challenge when nobody can agree on a direction. Mostly I just go around and look at people, shrug my shoulders and ask them if they’d like to return any grant money.”

“How’s that workin’?”

“A guy pulled a gun on me last week. At first I thought he wanted to turn it in. I was wrong. So very, very wrong … Anyway, what do you do for people in Texas? Do you tell them, ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help you?'”

“Aw, heck no. They’d pull guns on me, too. Mostly I just encourage ’em. We’re all about self-reliance – not dependin’ on the government. Like, I go around and tell folks to exercise and eat healthy so they don’t need medical care, and encourage ’em to save their money and buy plenty of ammo. ‘Cause, you know, you never know.”

“Fascinating! So you’re getting people away from government help?”

“Oh, yeah. Last year I was recruitin’ volunteers to mow the state parks and paint stripes on the farm-to-market roads.”

“So what do they call you?”

“Mostly, I’d rather not say. But some of the school folks call me the ‘I’m-from-Texas-and-you-need-to-take-this-test’ guy.”

“Wow! That doesn’t sound very self-reliant.”

“Sure it is! We’re all about teachin’ self-reliance to our schools. The last two years, I think the PTAs have put more money into education than the state! And that’s a good thing. We tell ’em not to depend on government, and then we show ’em you can’t depend on government.

“I’m even proposin’ a new state motto: Talk’s cheap, but Texas is cheaper!”

“That’s an interesting approach. I guess if your governor had gotten to be the president, he would have brought that same ‘won’t-do’ attitude to Washington.”

“Oh, yeah. Goodness, we were all hopin’ for that! If only we’d had a budget for some cue cards, he’d probably be up in Canada right now, tryin’ to get businesses to move down here.”

“Hey, you want to go get a cappucino or something?”


“You know, an espresso. A latte. Coffee.”

“Oh! Sure, I’ll drink a cuppa coffee with you.”

“Only problem, I’m out of cash. I think there are holes in the pockets of everything I’ve got to wear. Is there an ATM around here?”

“Hey, why don’t you just let me get it? I’m loaded.”

“Really? But I thought…”

“Oh, I’ve got it. I just don’t spend it. But I’ll be happy to buy you a cup of coffee, and maybe we can have a little talk about you boys’ health care plan.”

“But I’d really like to pay my way. Oh, look! There’s one of those payday loan places! I’ve got my car title right here – give me a minute and I’ll just run over there and borrow as much money as I can.”

“Mister, c’mon! Coffee’s only a buck. I’ve got it.”

“But I want to borrow! I haven’t had a loan since … yesterday!”

“There’s yer trouble. You guys borrow too much. You need to be more conservative, like us Texans.”

“I don’t mean to sound defensive, but maybe you guys should be a little more generous – a little compassionate and caring, like us.”

“You may have a point. I guess the best way to go would be a little bit of both. Maybe the kids’ll figure it out when they take over.

“First, they’re gonna have to pass a few tests.”

Bob Buckel is executive editor of the Wise County Messenger.

One Response to “Texas, federal gov-guys get together”

  1. Rusty White says:

    Excellent, feel good story! “”BUT””

    We can always hope, may be one day we will get politicians that think more of “ALL” the people in our County, State and Country “”BEFORE”” their self serving beliefs and agendas!:)

    As long as we continue to have “dynasties” and party controlled “career” politicians, the odds are slim. Hate, selfishness, elitism and bigotry as well as self proclaiming to be the “only chosen ones” , are “taught” traits no one is born with these evils!

    I for one believe this country is changing, some good and some bad. Every generation has had to face change, from music, hair etc… yet we always seem to make it! Sadly this change is so different in today’s world we got those “”on both sides” claiming their agendas and beliefs are the only “right” one, which goes against the very fabric this country was built on which is “Individual Freedom”! The right to not be forced to have your children or you family bow to “either sides” beliefs in what is the “right” way to live or believe!

    Maybe it is our destiny to follow in the failed foot steps of those great civilizations before us, like the Mayan, Egypt and the Roman Empire? Strange how each of these failed empires had a class of people that believed they were more righteous, deserving and “better” than all others, until the “others” had enough!!!

    “”IF”” our country is going to survive (IMHO) we must get back to the teaching of our past. You know when people were “”ONLY”” held accountable for their actions that harmed others, where “every” citizen as well as a man’s home was his castle “neither” were to be violated, no matter how well meaning! Where the whole community looked down upon “those” that couldn’t mind their own business, when real faith wasn’t used as a weapon against ones neighbor nor a self serving agenda and it did not need “special” recognition!



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