Passing as a Texan is not just a matter of putting on cowboy boots and big hat. No, that will never do if you want people to think you were born and bred there. Dig a little deeper, play it a little more subtly at times, and you too can
blend in with the natives.
First of all, I have to declare one rule of thumb. It is easier, and more beneficial, to pretend to be a Texan the farther
away you are from Texas. There is zilch benefit to being a Texan if in in Oklahoma or another neighboring state. But
you might be impressed by how far you can go by being a Texan in New York City or especially in Great Britain. The
British loove the romance of the wide open spaces of the American West.
The basics: Wardrobe. Accent. Schooling. Preferred Beer/Foods. Religion.
Wardrobe is pretty much the same year round: nondesigner jeans, a wide belt, a shirt with those pearl fasteners
instead of buttons, bolo tie, boots -- and buckle about the size of your car horn. Of course your employer may require a uniform or a dress code, but surely you can sneak in a bolo tie or some piece of silver or turquoise jewelry. At least a large buckle at the waist to keep your pants where they belong.
Do not make any claim to being from Texas, do not call yourself a Texan. Let people guess. And then look down in an aw shucks gesture, smile and softly admit: "Ah doo come from Taix-iss". Tip for getting the accent down: watch Rock Hudson lay it on thick as a fake Texan with Doris Day in Pillow Talk from 1959.
Claim to have gone to University of Texas or even A&M. That should be good enough for anyone, right? Maybe
you are applying for a job and you are forced to admit on your application that you went to some highfalutin outstate
college. You can still say, "Ah shore wish I could have gone with my brother to U of T but darn it, I got this
scholarship and it was just too darn good to pass up."
When you walk into a bar, always say to the barkeep, "Bah enny chance yall carry Lone Star or Pearl bee-ah?" Maybe they do, maybe they don't, but cheerfully accept whatever you were going to have anyway. Nondrinkers may request Dr. Pepper. Also ask the waitress at restaurants if "bah enny chance yall carry chicken frahd steak?" If chicken fried steak is too commonly available (because you might have to order it if they say yes), then change the inquiry to buffalo burgers.
You were raised Baptist. You can be anything now but you were raised Baptist. End of discussion. You can make up a story about how you just about drowned when baptized in the river "but oh how good it felt to let the love of
Jesus wash right over me."
These five tips should help the newcomers to Texas, or the average impostor outside of Texas, get by without raising too many antenna. Also feel free to also adorn your person, car and abode with designs that feature these Texas symbols: armadillos, blue bonnets, the Running W of the old King Ranch, oil wells, the Lone Star, longhorns, or the yellow rose.
Good luck. "And bah enny chance do yall have enny extra grazing space? I got a couple thou head of cattle jes dyin for some greenery and a drink of water from a nice lazy creek."