Chapter 76
Bulletproof Roof
The Tales of Texas

1a - The Mysterious Ski Rack
1b - Wheres the Other Half of That Moose
1c - The Waiter Who Didnt Yall
1d - Scorpions, Scorpio
2a - Diet Soda
2b - Riding into the Sunrise
3 - Modest Magazines
4 - Down to Houston
5a - What Does That Sign Say
5b - Just Follow Your Nose
5c - They Call It the Sunbelt
5d - The State Tree
6 - The New House
7a - Billboards
7b - Billboards Again
8 - Stereo Upgrade
9 - Wineries
10 - Unintentionally Left Blank
11 - CBW in TX
12 - Ice House Radio
13 - Goats and Cotton
14 - Dig We Must
15 - Dan Moody
16 - Dry Heat
17 - Dead Animals
18a - Bookstore Culture
18b - On the Open Road
19 - Weather
20 - Sightings in Bertram and Buchanan
21 - Too Many Birds
22 - Road Hazards
23 - Sightings to and from Houston
24 - The Great Wall of Train
25 - In the Heat of the Day
26 - Bite Me
27 - Bid on This Skeleton
28 - Willie
29 - Rural Countryside
30 - SUV SUX!
31 - Kinky on the Texas Monthly Hour
32 - Strange Yellow Sky
33 - Football is a Serious Enterprise in Texas
34 - Remember the Alamoo!
35 - What's That on the Radio
36 - Trip to Houston through the small towns
37 - Shoe Story, an Austin Anecdote
38 - Unintended Fireworks
39 - Flash Flood Warning
40 - Sin City
41 - Live music in Austin, but in theaters not in clubs
42 - Fear of Overpass
43 - The Big Sneezy
44 - New Texas
45 - Front Ended by the French Fry Mobile
46 - Dirt Farm
47a - Heard at the Texas Book Festival 2008
48a - Texas Book Festival 2009
49 - Central Time Sucks
50 - Temple Texas
51 - Christmas in Austin
52 - Pennants in the Wind
53 - The Road Less Traveled
54 - Texas-size Thunderstorm
55 - Cool Van
56 - Your New House Is That-A-Way
57 - C.S.I. Austin
58 - New MTV Game Show
59 - Equine Technology
60 - Look at That Prairie
61 - Get Your Water Here
62 - Corporate Anniversaries
63 - College Sprawl
64 - Hire These Guys
65 - Preparing for Winter
66 - Careful What You Overhear
67 - Bonnie Raitt
68 - Perfume
69 - Questionable Skills
70 - All-American Day
71 - Read Me
72 - Weird Fog
73 - Overpackaged Food
74 - What Town Was That
75 - Texas Book Festival 2010
76 - Bulletproof Roof
77 - The Oldest Photo
78 - Cheesesteaks Part 1
79 - Cheesesteaks Part 2

Hail, Caesar? Hail, Yes!

20101201

Between Austin and Houston, I see a billboard for "BulletProof Roof." I think this is metaphorical. I think it's because of frequent hail in the billiard-table plains east of the Brazos river. Well, yes, but. . . . The billboard next to it, in the same color scheme, is for "Guns and Ammo" at a large nearby gun shop. Now the first sign is suddenly ambiguous. Nothing ambiguous about the second one, though.

A few minutes with Google reveals that "BulletProof Roof" is a trademark of a roofing company around Houston and in the Brazos Valley area that guarantees its products for twenty years plus. Good marketing name.

Now let me tell you about the "Brazos Valley." As a valley, it doesn't look like a valley. It is so shallow and so wide that I can't see any valley-like depression as I drive through it. The land surrounding the river is flat, flat, flat. When it floods, the water must be wide, wide, wide, and not very deep. The river oxbows violently through this tabletop terrain, as is typical of rivers in very flat floodplains. If you look at a map, there is a blue epileptic snake oxbowing through the green ten or fifteen miles west of Prairie View, Texas. And the name of that town tells the truth, too.

Google also pointed to a fun page from a roofing company that found a hole in a client's roof made by a .45 caliber bullet that penetrated three layers of slate tile. Three layers of rock! Pictures of a perfect little round hole. Fortunately, it did not get as far as inside the house. They have the bullet, complete with rifling marks, too, just in case anyone is interested. This was not in Texas as you would expect but in Akron, O-freaking-hio, dudes! "CSI: Akron!" Tonight on CBS! 10, 9 Central!