You may not be aware of it, because it came as yet another announcement in an increasingly silly race for Agriculture Commissioner, but October is "Get the Hog Outta Texas" month.
It's all about killing off as many dangerous feral hogs as possible, says incumbent Todd Staples. (His opponent, Hank Gilbert, calls the pronouncement "a stunt" because key funding deadlines to battle the problem have already passed.)
Anyway, the sharp-eyed guys at Gawker, that big-city website up in Nooo York, put up an item on the program.
"Sure it's mean to kill these pigs, but someone's got to think of the golf courses and perfectly manicured lawns of Texas," they wrote.
Gawker commenters are as snarky (and funny) as they come, so we braced ourselves for the hick jokes. Instead, there was a surprising amount of agreement that feral hogs are a real problem.
This is not about golf courses and lawns; golf courses and lawns don't even exist in most of Texas, which is much bigger than Dallas, Austin and Houston. Feral hogs are dangerous. They can kill people and be quite aggressive when they feel threatened.
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feral hogs are an invasive species and it's not just about manicured lawns and golf courses. they're a real nuisance and believe it or not, they're very intelligent and dangerous animals. they have a very detrimental effect on the local ecosystem and are known to kill livestock, household pets, and will attack people.
Also, you did see that it was the "Department of Agriculture", right? Not the "Department of Pretty Lawns and Golf Courses". Drive through the state. There's a shit-ton of farms out here, and overpopulated hogs rooting up those farms and attacking livestock (and people) is not a good thing.
Of course, there was this:
Wow I'm shocked that there's a bunch of people here who would defend Texas. I've been to Texas, saw three Phish shows there years ago and drove all around Dallas, Houston and Austin. My impression, there's not much to be impressed by.
Texans yearn to be taken seriously, but it's so hard to do. When I was there I found a provincial hub filled with misplaced pride at institutions that were mostly poor or mediocre. The only exceptional thing about that state is how silly the locals look when they take themselves so seriously.