[Thumbs up] Big Tex is 55 feet tall and made of steel and silicone, but even he’s not a big enough dummy to spurn a mask during the pandemic. The iconic animatronic statue that greets visitors at Dallas’ Fair Park is sporting the protective gear this year — emblazoned with his “howdy folks!” catchphrase, of course — to spread the word on the importance of face coverings. “All Texans are being asked to do the same and he is standing in solidarity with all of us,” State Fair of Texas spokeswoman Karissa Condoianis said in a statement. Unsurprisingly, some conservative activists are decrying the move as “virtue signaling,” “stupid” and they’re shaming Big Texas for his “face diaper,” according to the Dallas Morning News. This vocal minority, which equates life-saving face masks with communist tyranny, is precisely why we need a wiser, more evolved Texan to step in.
[Thumbs up] Speaking of 55-feet high Texas icons, Willie Nelson did indeed smoke weed on the White House roof, according to President Jimmy Carter, who recently confirmed the singer’s claims from his 1998 autobiography. Speaking in the new documentary “Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President,” the former POTUS did Willie one better and revealed the identity of the red-headed stranger’s pot-smoking compadre as Chip Carter, one of the president’s sons. With all the D.C. malfeasance, even back in 1980, Willie and Chip’s stoner adventure seems quaint. It’s sad, though, that we’ve gone from a world where the president’s son hangs out with a gifted American songwriter and music legend to one where Don Jr. pals around with, well, Kid Rock. Ain’t it funny how time slips away?
[Thumbs twiddled] Willie was years ahead in his weedy ways, but the Texas Legislature may soon be catching up. Several Democratic candidates we spoke with recently mentioned legalizing pot as a possible revenue generator to shore up the state’s budget shortfall, a big jump from Texas’ restrictive existing medical marijuana program. But it’s not just Democrats who are rethinking pot. After touring an Austin-area grow facility, Republican Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said he was all for expanded medicinal use. “If it’ll help somebody, I’m for it. Whatever it is. I mean, a toothache, I don’t care,” he said. Granted, Democrats could do better than the scandal-prone commissioner who once inspired the Chronicle editorial “How long will Texans have to tolerate Sid Miller?” but you have to start your bipartisan support rolling somewhere. Meet you at the top of the Capitol dome, Sid. We’ll leave the lantern on.
[Thumbs up] On to a different kind of smoking, as Texas Monthly reports that an Austin-based company is working on a lab-grown brisket. Hold on, before we grab the pitchforks let’s hear them out. Apparently, BioBQ founders Katie Kam and Janet Zoldan respect the complexity of a good brisket and set a high bar on purpose. “It seemed like a great, challenging meat to demonstrate this technology working,” Kam said, adding that if you can design brisket