Let's talk about how you can tell someone you're from Amarillo.....without telling them you're from Amarillo. There's bound to be some insanely quirky answers that I haven't thought of, so I'll stick with four to begin with.
If you think of a good one, send it our way! Check the bottom of this article to find out how to get in touch.
Let's start this off with a bang.....Hereford, I'm coming for you.
1. “Smells like Hereford.”
Here's the thing about Hereford, the entire town is built around its main economic boon: cattle. Now, when you round up a whole bunch of cattle and herd them into a feedlot, what do you think will happen?
Poop. The answer is poop. Lots of poop. And when the wind blows a certain way, all that fragrant cow sh….I mean, poop is carried on a swift gale directly towards Amarillo.
The smell is about as nice as you think, mi amigos. If you know, then you know. If you ain’t from here--take my word for it, pardner.
But anyway, remember I mentioned how the economy of the Texas Panhandle was built on the cattle industry? That link between cattle and prosperity is why you’ll always run into an old-timer who--on the days when the smell of Hereford is heavy in the air--will take a deep whiff and solemnly inform you: “That’s the smell of money”.
2. “You never really break up with anyone, you just lose your turn”
I heard this zinger for the first time a few weeks ago (lookin' at you, Alex) and let me tell you something: There has never, and I mean ever, been a more accurate metaphor to describe “finding love” in The Bomb City.
I dated the same person all through high school (howdy, Adam), and we had countless jokes about how our social circle was essentially a moving panorama of human musical chairs.
Look. The dating scene in Amarillo is quite literally the stuff of legend, and not the good kind. Just about everyone has had some kind of uhhh….connection..with each other; along with their exes, siblings, extended family members, and so on. Periodically, they'll decide to reunite with one of the exes and the cycle begins once again.
There’s more sordid twists, turns, and second cousins than Days of Our Lives could ever dream of.
I said what I said.
3. “What church do you go to?”
In case you haven't noticed, there’s a church on every single corner of this town. Well, okay fine, Toot n' Totum will probably squeeze the churches out within a few years. Amarillo’s grown bigger, and the population has become more diverse. But I still clearly remember the days when asking what church someone belonged to was the one of the first things you asked when meeting someone new.
Every single 30-something who grew up in this town will back me up on this. It was totally normal to have a large portion of your identity be defined by the church you belonged to. And moreover, your church and its congregants were a reflection of you, and vice versa. Church culture and cliques were (and still are) a real thing.
In fact, I've always thought of going to church in Amarillo to be pretty similar to joining a gang.
I'm dead serious.
Gangbangers throw up signs and fly colors to identify themselves and each other. Amarilloans shake hands, exchange names, and ask each other what church they go to. It all ties in with "reppin the set"...
I guess when the Toot n' Totums finally push the churches out, we can start asking each other "What store you go to, dawg?"
4. “Don’t like the weather? Wait 30 minutes.”
If you make me explain this one, I’m going to come and find you, strip you naked, whip you with a wooden spoon, and then leave you outside to find out for yourself.
Eight days ago, this entire city got bent over the knee of Winter Storm Uri and got an ass-whooping that we’ll never forget, guaranteed. Hell, we won’t even see a storm like that again in our lifetimes, probably (Knock on wood). There was snow, ice, subzero wind chill, polar bears roamed the streets--it was mayhem.
And now, as I write this post, it is a beautiful sunny day with the slightest chill of Spring in the breeze. That’s Amarillo for you. I have already assumed that in about an hour, it’ll suddenly be so damn cold I’ll turn the heater back on and change into a fuzzy sweater.
If you can't be ready for whatever this wind blows our way, you’re gonna have a bad time.
That’s four ways to say you’re from Amarillo without saying you’re from Amarillo. I have a laundry list of more clever quips, but I’m pretty sure that other people have some top-notch, clever zingers that I’ve never heard before.
Are you one of these smarty-pants? Talk to me. Tell me what you got.
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