Friday, March 16, 2007

I went to Texas A&M. I guess everyone must know that by now. I even stayed around to get two degrees and actually teach there (the greatest job I ever had). While not going into all of the things that make A&M one of the most unique college experiences ever – let’s just say – I made the right choice. Every day I think ‘man I really did go to the best school”.

Of course anybody could say that about the infinite fine institutions around this land. And that’s just fine to. But mine is colored maroon. My favorite color.

Having said that I have never been one to advertise my college. Many Aggies have stickers and flags and dress up. I never had. I feel it best to be an underground Aggie. In Texas its pretty much painted on your face. Out here in LA I like to keep it close to the vest.

Yes, I do fly the flag from the house during football season but in reality on one knows what it is. And I don’t regularly parade around in in A&M hats or t-shirts because basically people will want to track you down and talk shit – either good or bad – and I don’t need that.

Years ago Deborah and I went to the Farmers Market on Fairfax and Third right in the heart of LA which is usually filled with old Jewish folks and yuppies and there was this guys with A&M hat, t-shirt and shorts. We had to approach him and he told us he was a lawyer who just moved to the city. That’s great I thought – but man you look like a NASCAR vehicle. Keep it down a notch. You might let on to people that we’re uppity about ourselves.

I don’t really represent well in the area because frankly if you do you attract attention. I wore an A&M hat after a softball game once and this guy in a bar just wanted to know too much about me. Another time I was in a biker bar in Sunset Beach with an A&M hat on and in strode this guy all in back leather with Texas Longhorn insignias on it. After a few cautious moments we both agreed that our rivalry was in reality one of the most friendliest of all time (thank god for that).

Well as of this writing Texas A&M has reviatalized its basketpball program (back to where it was when I was a student) and we are smack dab in the tournament with a Saturday tilt agains Louisville which unfortunately is in their backyard in Lexington, Kentucky (very near to my in-state birthplace).

So on Friday I decided to wear an IZOD type shirt that is maroon and has “Texas A&M” embroidered” on the left breast – don’t get excited now – I’m just painting a picture. After work I go to my neighborhood grocery store to buy provisions for the weekend.

At the deli counter this woman goes :

“I like that shirt!”
“Why – because it says Texas?”
“Yeah – I had a guy come up to me one time who had a t-shirt that said ‘Don’t Mess with Texas’ and I said I like that – and you know what? He took it off and gave it to me and I said No No No – but he said ‘No you like Texas and I’m from Texas and so here”.

I was quite surprised to hear this soliloquy just because I had a fairly benign golf shirt that had Texas A&M in small letters on my breast – but that’s what you get at the deli counter.

Later in the produce section as I am evaluating the difference between Roma and Red Vine tomatoes, some guy asks me in passing:

“Are you an alumnus of Texas A&M?”
“Yes I am” I said with my chest thrust forward.
“You guys just won a big game the other day”
“Well we beat Penn – the big game is Louisville in Lexington and if we can get past that we have the regionals in San Antonio where we will rule”

Later he asked me if we hated Oklahoma or not – he actually came back to me in the meat department to ask me since his sister was from there. I said no – it was those evil Longhorn people who hated Oklahoma. Ags don’t give a shit about Indian Territory.

I’d like to tell you that the checkout girl said something but she was just clueless – but a guy outside the supermarket asked me for change so he must have thought if you were an AG you had a ton of money on you.

I gave him a buck – and told him to watch on Saturday.

1 comment:

wordgirl said...

It was a NAIL BITER!!! I Tivo'd it for the middle son who was playing in a high school baseball tournament and watched it to the bitter end. We were flying the Aggie flag (something we do more often since our oldest will join the A&M Class of 2012 in August) and screaming like crazy people. BTW...with Greyson represents the first of the 3rd Generation Aggies in our family. Don't think my dad didn't have a heart attack out of pride when Greyson called to say his acceptance had come in the mail. One of the players's moms was wearing a shirt that said "TEXAS A&M...Putting the Hoop back into Whoop!" Awesome.