Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mirror Mirror

Not long after my wife and I moved into our first apartment in Texas, a new plaza sprang up about half a mile down the road. It was named Ajax Plaza, after what was then–and may still be–the only business there: Ajax Mirror Superstore. I used to bitch about this every single day as we drove past it. A mirror superstore. What the hell is wrong with us? What does it say about our vanity as a nation that we allow such an establishment to exist? Where are the torch-bearing mobs from Frankenstein and The Phantom of the Opera?

I find it even more relevant that this store exists in Texas, because there is no place in the world more obsessed with its own image. Here’s a simple test: if you suspect you may be in Texas, look around you; if you don’t see a picture of Texas, or a Texas flag, or at the very least, a giant beveled star, you are not in Texas. This information is crucial to Native Texans–the Real Chosen People®–whose religion considers it a sin against Texas to leave the state (or, as about a third of its residents–including its governor–seem to believe, the Nation). Because Texas is a vast expanse, and much of it is an empty wasteland, its residents need almost constant reassurance that they have not inadvertently strayed from its precious boundaries into basically anywhere else, where people don’t give a shit that they’re from Texas.

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