The Saga Continues

Our broken electrical grid follows us into another cold winter.

Winter is coming. I promise. Soon you’ll be able to get pumpkin-spiced tire rotations at the Jiffy Lube. 

That’s the good news. The bad news is that Texas does not have enough electricity for it to get cold and keep you warm. Last winter, after we froze in the dark for days, Governor Abbott promised to fix ERCOT. So when he was asked if he would finally fix our electrical grid during the Texas Legislature’s third special session this year, he basically said “No, but I can ban abortion!” 

Ya know, that’s not working for me.

Early last month, we had a baby hurricane. Baby Nicholas glanced off the south side of Houston, and 400,000 homes and businesses lost electricity. 

Wait a minute. Wait just a damn minute. We call ourselves “The Energy Capital,” but large swaths of the area were without electricity for days because a weak hurricane skirted by us?  

The scariest four words in Texas: “We’re gonna have weather.”

I guess we could all move to Oklahoma, where they have plenty of infrastructure that survives in cold weather. The downside is that we’d be living in Oklahoma. There’s only a slight difference between dying in Texas and living in Oklahoma.  

If we don’t act quickly, we may have to give up the name Energy Capital, because that’s just a bouquet of manure unless we can do something about our whoopee-pillow lack of reliable energy. 

To help out our clueless government officials, I’ve come up with some ways to save energy for a good cause. Not just electricity, but any damn type of energy. Remember: we all have to sacrifice. 

• Learn to love cold Tex-Mex food.

• Whenever the Astros are ten runs ahead, we call the game, make everybody go home, and turn out the lights.  

• Forget the Alamo.

• Wear a 7-gallon hat instead of a 10-gallon one.

• Don’t Mess with Texas thermostats.

• Four words: Windmill-powered Halloween costumes. 

• Limit two-stepping to only one step.

• Limit disco fever to disco with a normal temperature.

• Set all barbeque grills to 78 degrees max.

• Turn off bedroom AC, sleep with both legs hanging out.

• Put beans in your chili.

• Feed politicians jalapeños so their bullshit comes out hot.

If you’re like me, you are pretty damn pissed off at people who won’t get a vaccine or wear a mask. They are the only thing keeping us locked up right now, where we are suffering from glittering, catastrophic ennui. 

Since the QAnon people are always telling us to “do your research,” I finally did mine. What I discovered is that a surefire way to die from COVID is to be a loony radio talk-show host or politician who preaches against the vaccine. It’s kinda like Justice and Karma getting married and having a baby.

The latest unfortunate death was a classic. (It seems like every day there’s a new one, especially in Florida.) A political fundraising group was started in Florida to support candidates who oppose vaccines. Because they are a political group, they have to file reports with the Federal Elections Commission on who donated to them and how they doled out the money. But they couldn’t do that last month because their treasurer died. Of COVID.  

Get your damn shot.

This article appears in our October 2021 edition of OutSmart magazine.


Susan Bankston

Susan Bankston lives in Richmond, Texas, where she writes about her hairdresser at The World’s Most Dangerous Beauty Salon, Inc., at
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