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Tall Texan Turns Blue

Imagine a gym full of people, not just any gym but one at the University of Kentucky. It’s filled with parents, campers, coaches, and ballplayers who have arrived for the opening day of basketball camp. After several minutes of anxious anticipation, the campers are shushed by one of the coaching assistants.

One of the coaches begins to welcome everyone and then suddenly, for no apparent reason, he stops and points to someone in the back.

“Hey, you. Tall guy in the back. Come up front a minute,” he commands.

In the back of the room, standing next to my sister-in-law, is my brother, my very tall brother, the family comedian, who can never get enough of kidding friends and family members.

When he realizes the coach is pointing at him, he slumps and tries to disappear.

“Tall guy with the Texas t-shirt, come up front,” the coach orders.

By now everyone in the room is searching for the person who was crazy enough to wear a shirt from Coach Gillespie’s former employer to a UK camp. My sister-in-law is making her way toward the nearest exit. Their sons are red-faced and pretending that it is someone else’s father being called to the front.

When my brother reaches the front of the room, the coaching assistant points to the Texas t-shirt and, to the delight of the campers and parents, asks him to sing the Texas fight song.

Normally my brother would have had a wisecrack reply, but not this time. This time he simply told the truth.

“Look, my wife got the shirt on sale somewhere and I don’t know the Texas fight song,” he says.

“Then sing I’m a Little Teapot,” the coach says.

“Do I look like I’m going to sing about a little teapot?”

All the kids thought it was hysterical, except for my three nephews.

There is a lesson to be learned here. Wearing a Texas shirt to a UK event is a little like being the only turkey on the farm at Thanksgiving—not a good idea and there’s little hope of being unnoticed.

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