Texans were jolted back into reality on Tuesday night when they realized that the State of the Union Address would be President George W. Bush's last, and soon they'd no longer have carte blanche to spit, burp, pass gas or make obscene comments and gestures in public.
"There's going to be a new sheriff in town next year and he's going to clean up this state," Dallas' Rory Atkins said sorrowfully. "And if it's Hillary, good gawd almighty."
Historically, Texans never gave two craps about etiquette, decorum, rules or law. It was a big, untamed wilderness for men to exert their power. Cowboy movies in the 1950s enhanced their macho image, and the oil boom made them rich and even cockier.
When George W. Bush was elected in 2000 by Florida's sleight-of-hand voting maneuvers, Texans gave a big yaaaa-hoooo and pulled down their drawers to show the world they were in charge.
"With good ol' W. in the Oval Office, we could do anything we wanted and he had our back," Austin's Hoop Porter said. "You telling me I can't roll down my window and spit on a crowded downtown city street? Well, bite this. Yaaaa-hoooo."
Porter said he took full advantage of his constitutional right to pass gas in an elevator and scratch his privates in public.
"It's nothing to blow snot out of my nose on a fancy restaurant floor," Porter said. "You can kiss my ass if you don't like it."
Boorish conduct isn't confined to Texas alone. Many states have reported a decline in civilized behavior in recent years, however, Texans project a sense of entitlement to flout good manners.
"It's trickle-down from the Oval Office," Houston's Earl Buntin said. "When you see the president getting out of military service, the vice-president shooting a guy in the face, and Enron cooking the books, it's a free-for-all. Why are you jumping on me cause I like to urinate on your front lawn?"
Texans said they hope the new president will show a little compassion and leave their state alone. They wondered what kind of sissified state it will become when a dad can't take his son on a pickup truck ride down a city sidewalk to watch people scatter, or hogtie someone they disagreed with.
"Give us football, beer and cheerleaders and you can have the rest," Arlington's Zak Covington said. "Watch out, numbnuts, I feel a good belch comin' on."