One of the best things about living in a small town in Texas is the characters you get to know.
Like most small towns, there is a cafe where a loyal group of friends meet for breakfast 7 days a week. And we have one.
Years ago, it was called Bill y Bob's. The name was an inside joke on the owner and chef, Bob Santiago. He refers to himself as "The Mexican."
For years, a group met at Bob's for morning coffee and yuks. Ranchers, farmers, the local banker, a couple of former mayors, the pharmacist. All had land and all raised cattle. That was one common bond.
The other common bond was the bullshit stories, jokes and pranks they played on each other. The best comedy show around.
Bob affectionately named them The Liars Table and hung a handmade sign over their front table designating it as such.
I started taking my daughter to breakfast when she was old enough to sit up. Over time, the boys "adopted her" and called her "our girl". She especially likes sharing her birthday with them. They started a tradition of putting in one dollar each on her birthday. She's made off with as much as 8 bucks.
I've been honored to have been invited into the group. Joe, O.D., A.J., Rex, Olin, The Judge, Freddie, Doc, Bob and a few others. I have learned more history and more funny stories in the last 10 years from this bunch. And counting me, the average age is at least 75.
Nothing is off limits. Politics (and they evenly split Republican and Democrat), religion (no Baptists in this group), sex, price of hay, price of cattle, the weather, the price of a cup of coffee, price of gasoline, price of a new hogneck trailer, the ornery waitress, etc.
The language of men who live close to the land is very informative.
When a blue Norther (a cold front) is headed in you are warned that, "It'll knock your hat in the creek." Because that's actually happened to them.
When a heavy thunderstorm has passed thru, you will hear that, "It sounded like a cow pissing on a flat rock." Because they've actually heard that.
When a politician of any sort starts to get too important, you will hear him described as a post turtle. "He sure didn't get there by himself. He sure doesn't know what to do now that he's up there. And who was the asshole that put him up there?" Because they've actually seen post turtles.
Not being a man that lives close to the land, I have asked a few stupid questions.
"O.D., why do you castrate the young bulls?"
"It's real simple. We're just changing that boy's focus from ass to grass."
The cafe names change, the location sometimes moves depending on the price of a cup of coffee, but The Liars Table is a permanent fixture in Celina, Texas.
Next time you're in these parts, look around the town square around 8 in the morning and you'll find them. And they'll be happy to have you join them.
That way, they'll have someone new to laugh about when you leave.