Texas…never change. But stop trying to kill me if possible.

Actual, full menu at the tiny Texas fair I went to yesterday:

I asked the girl at the counter if I could just get some fried water and she looked at me funny and I explained I was on a diet and so I wanted something “light and healthy”.  Then she asked the other girl in the stand if they could fry water and the other girl told me they’d specifically been told not to because “it causes explosions”.  So basically I went hungry because of explosions.

Worst. Fair. Ever.


In unrelated news, it’s time for the weekly wrap up.

What you missed on my satirical sex column (safe for work if your boss isn’t a total douche canoe):

What you missed on Ill-Advised:

What you missed on the Houston Chronicle:

What you missed in my shop (tentatively called “Eight pounds of uncut cocaine” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

What you missed on the internets:

This week on shit-I-didn’t-come-up-with-but-wish-I-did-because-it’s-kind-of-awesome:

This week’s wrap-up sponsored by Scarlet Mom, an everyday woman surviving the fickle bitch called life.  She’s quite lovely and she recently posted this real ad from an old Penthouse that is so fucking awesomely nostalgic it makes me hurt.

172 thoughts on “Texas…never change. But stop trying to kill me if possible.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Nice! I had my very first fried “something” a couple weeks ago (it was a Twinkie and, unfortunately, not diet like fried water).

    It. Was. Amazing.

    I’m never, never eating one again.


  2. What, no deep fried butter? You should complain, that is at all the stands here (Washington State). I’ve never had it, it sounds pretty disgusting!

  3. When I first read your link, I thought it was for “Vagina Taxidermy.”
    Which would have been gross.
    …But also strangely plausible, coming from you.

  4. And by Vegan Taxidermy, we mean “sculpture.”

    That awesome menu makes me want to go to Five Guys for some of their incredibly delicious fries, though.
    So. Badly.

  5. I read that as watered soda at first and thought, “Ah, less sugar to make up for all the fried food.” I should have known better.

  6. Well at least the fried pickles have some sort of healthy element….cause you know, there are no calories in pickles, so I feel that one is your best choice. Plus…pickles don’t explode…to my knowledge at least.

  7. oh.my.god. i just about spit my drink out … i love fried pickles.. and fried oreos.. but have never tried fried water 🙂

  8. I had fried cheesecake once. I’ve not seen it since, and that’s probably a good thing. It was delicious! And probably very bad for my ass.

  9. This reminds me of the time a friend tried to make his own fried oreos…without putting batter on them first. They disintergrated in the deep fryer and then he decided to make french fries…that came out coated with little bits of oreo.

  10. Screwed Up Texan – i am not surprised! but i was surprised it wasn’t on the list… 🙂

  11. Oh, I SO want to try the fried banana split! I actually thought the sign said “watered soda” too at first…maybe a menu item for the people who want to balance their fried calories with a lower-cal drink. 🙂 I also have to ask: with all the other bounty available, who the hell would order fried pickles or okra???

  12. Try the Minnesota State Fair. We have all of that except it’s on a stick. We also have a death ride. That’s what my last post was about.

  13. Texas State Fair serves fried coke and fried maragaritas so your request for fried water was not too far out there. While the fried coke is actually coke inside of a fried batter ball, the maragarita was more of a yummy beverage with fried stirrers – not sure if the batter (sort of funnel cake ish) was flavored or not I was too busy enjoying the frozen drink on a hot day. This year we will be trying the fried cactus and fried jambalaya and my boys are looking forward to the bacon battered cinnamon rolls.

  14. Grease is not my friend. It does things to my tummy that should not occur in nature. Better you should eat the frozen bananas. At least they pass for healthy. I’m just sayin’…………..

  15. I LOVE that somebody had to specifically tell them not to fry water. Makes me feel a little better about my cooking.

  16. I’d give anything for some good ol’ Texas fried okra right now! (Too bad no one up here has even heard of it.)

  17. I am guilty of trying to fry ice cubes. Hey, we used to get bored at Burger King–stuff happens. There is nothing is nothing like hot ice shooting out of a fryer to remind you that there are worse things than boredom.

  18. We once asked a waitress in a pub if she would pop our popcorn and bring us water for our cordial. The fact that it was a joke went right over her head.

  19. this IS texas and we are supposed to be bigger and better. i am a little disappointed they didn’t kick it up some with fried rattlesnake or fried armadillo?

  20. I ate a Fried Snickers once. I had a serious foodgasm and it was the best sugar trip I have ever been on. I haven’t had one since but I still have pleasant daydreams about it.

    I heard that fried butter was like having the best gooey cinnamon roll ever. I want to try it when the state fair starts in Arizona…

  21. Went to type in your website in my browser and my computer felt I actually meant that I wanted to go to threeolives.com. My computer is trying to get me drunk.

  22. I’ll say this, you’re one busy chick, Jenny!
    Thanks for the updates – and the awesome fair experience! Did you get hit on by many toothless carnies?

  23. Obviously you didn’t read the menu carefully enough. The donuts are FRESH. You know, like Subway. Ergo, the health-conscious choice.

  24. The very first thing that I thought when I read down to “Water & Soda” was that you should have asked for fried water. Then I read further, and my insanity was exonerated! I’LL SHOW THEM! THEY’LL ALL PAY!

    But not for fried water, apparently.

  25. Once, I ate a deep fried Pop Tart. My life was changed forever. And I got horrible gas…but we don’t talk about that.

  26. i posted “into the wild” last week. i played that song on a loop for a long time. and since your post, i’ve been playing amanda palmer’s “in my mind” on a loop.

    last week was the lowest depression i’ve been in for years, so i kept telling myself, “depression lies”.

    so thanks for that, and for the amanda palmer.

  27. Interesting that you mention Scarlet Mom, as just last week, she came up as a possible Match.com match for me.

  28. My first thought was “what, no fried water or soda?” Then you made the joke in the next sentence. Then I was flabberghasted by the girls’ explanation as to why you couldn’t have it.

    You just can’t make that shit up.

  29. They should just fry people’s tongues, and then their little hearts can taste fried food all the day long.

    Fried air?

    A great health campaign would be limiting meals at the fair to fried household products.

    People would still eat fried tennis shoes though. Probably.

  30. Thank goodness Houston Rodeo only comes around once a year, because OMG I love me some fried Oreos. 🙂 I’ve been promised fried Nutter Butters and cookie dough for next year. NOM!

  31. Maybe they could have battered and fried a bottle or cup and then put water *IN* it for you …

  32. “Claire J September 16, 2012 at 1:36 pm
    When I first read your link, I thought it was for “Vagina Taxidermy.”
    Which would have been gross.
    …But also strangely plausible, coming from you.”

    Now I don’t feel so bad about what I wanted to tell you re: the Bic pen reviews on Amazon. Recently, somebody posted that link on a forum where I am a member along with about 125 other people from all walks of life, ages, etc. Their title said “BIC PENS FOR WOMEN.” It was amazing how many of the women (self included) confessed that we had clicked the link because we had misread the title and thought it said BIG PENIS for women….

    What can I say? We are a delightfully bawdy group. For us, a big penis thread would have easily been “strangely plausible.”

    (Thank you Claire for letting me quote you.) (Like she had a choice.)

  33. I really think they’re just slacking. I mean, almost everything else on the menu is fried, so I think it’s logical to assume that it is an establishment where one goes to obtain fried things. How dare they not fry their water?

    The least they could do is provide some sort of disclaimer on the sign, saying “Our beverage fryer is currently on the fritz, so we will be unable to provide any fried beverages at this time. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

    Lazy. No care for customer service.

  34. That seems like a /very specific/ proscription against frying water. But what about fried soda? WHAT ABOUT THAT, STALLHOLDER GUY? Soda is already part-exploding, so maybe it’s immunized against the subsequent splosions you’d otherwise get when you fried it.

  35. Umm, doesn’t a Snickers bar cost like $.80 at the gas station? Charging $4 ridiculous. Maybe the batter is just that good?

    Oh and they can fry Koolaid but not water?

  36. “Fresh cut fries” and “fresh donuts” sounds pretty healthy. They must have been just harvested from the french fry and donut trees. Probably organic and local, too, right?

  37. The world’s worst taxidermy? I have to admit I liked the pomeranian vaulting over the globe. The joie de vivre of it all!! It is strange that the animals all had the same ocular affliction, though.
    Plus, as an adult ESL teacher I came into contact with Cows that Type and it’s hysterical–would’ve loved to have been the duck!

  38. I am super curious what year that ad was from… Also, I have never gotten the fried oreo at our local fair. Is it true it gives you diarrhea so violently that you have a seizure? I’m thinking of trying it anyway…

  39. So…. does anyone else think that the other chick wins at customer service? *raises hand and looks around*

  40. I’m guessing that you’ve already seen this site, but I’m not sure where else you can get a taxidermy house cat, a stone phallus that you can rent by the hour, a vagina in a jar (try the etcetera category), and an antique doll all at the same place. All brought to you by “committed vegetarians [who] believe that far more cruelty went into the manufacture of a pork sausage than into the manufacture of anything for our shop.”

  41. I would think fried water would be their specialty, that is, if they want to make lots of money. Who doesn’t pay to go to a fair to see lots of explosions?

  42. Ha. They made fried Dr Pepper, so they can make fried water!

    Seriously, though, if you don’t do it right, explosions! And really, what is a great meal without some explosions thrown in? That’s how we roll in Texas.

  43. I don’t know where you find the music you post but keep doing it. I absolutely, positively loved Lianne La Havas! I could listen to her incredible voice and music for hours. Past my bedtime now but tomorrow I will check her out and try to buy her album.
    Thanks, again.
    Oh! I’ll take a fried pickle and fried banana split next time you go to the “tiny fair”. Does that mean everything there is in miniature?

  44. Hi Jenny. Okay, so I made my friend almost get into a major car accident in Loveland, CO because I saw a GIANT METAL CHICKEN (or rooster) – so I made a video for you. Don’t know if you’ll ever see this, but hopefully some of your readers will get a chance. Sorry for the crappy quality. I’m a writer, not a camera person.


  45. Best blog ever! Going to bookmark. ; )
    $1.50 for water soda is way over priced.

  46. Watered soda? well, at least they admit it…most of the time they don’t. I’ve never had fried oreos or most of the stuff on the menu, and I lived in Portales and Louisiana, and am now in Albuquerque.

  47. Is it bad that my only thought upon reading that menu was that they would be sorry offering me free refills all day on tea? No profit margin from them! I could drink gallons of unsweet tea with lemon :p

  48. My husband re-fried pork rinds one time because he said they had gone stale. I refused to try them because I like my colon where it is, inside my body.

  49. I think you are super awesome for being able to straight-faced order fried water. And I think the funniest part of the story is (of course) that the counter girl thought you were serious. Well…ummmm… maybe that’s because you were? LOL

  50. I think the bigger question is… water fills you up?! Maybe some fatgirl lessons are in order 😛

    But seriously, I’ve had almost everything on this menu… anytime you need some help….

  51. I just stumbled upon your book this weekend at Hastings. I live in Lubbock and grew up in Iraan (Go Braves, ha!) and I was like, Wall, Texas!?! I cannot wait to read it! Congrats to you, Small Town Chick!!!

  52. Sadly, second counter girl was on the ball and you missed the most amazing accidental explosion… On mythbusters they dropped small to large amounts of water into small to large amounts of vary-ing types of boiling oil to see just HOW BIG an explosion they could get. The results made me stock up on baking soda for putting out kitchen fires, even though I’ve never had one… Hint: To put out a kitchen fire caused by oil and water you need one of those fire fighting helicopters to come drown it… It’s worth checking out. If you don’t have a son and spouse who have DVRed every episode I bet you can find it online…

  53. Lovers of Vegan Taxidermy : TROY EMERY
    a.k.a my new obsession

    TE uses pompoms and other craft-like materials to create colourful creatures (some based on real animals, others imaginery) and they are amazingly weird, utterly creative and wonderfully whimsical. Love.

  54. I’m afraid of deep-fried anything, but I wonder if Youtube has videos of people trying to deep-fry water… I love the internet. I also love you for saying the stuff we all wish we’d thought of saying at the time or weren’t brave enough to voice.

  55. Is your episode of Katie’s show going to be online at any point? Like on Amazon instant video or Hulu or iTunes or something? Because I really want to see it but I don’t have a television so I missed it when it aired.

  56. I’m a little afraid for everyone at the fair if these girls were explicitly told not to fry water…

    Ever try a fried Mars bar? Sounds awful but it is melted chocolatey caramel nougat deliciousness.

  57. I’ve never had so much fried stuff, but a few years ago we went to the state fair specifically looking for this heart attack burger that’s apparently made with chocolate covered bacon strips and the buns are two krispy kreme donuts. My husband wanted to try it but we couldn’t find it. My feet hurt from walking around so much so I told him that if we could leave the fair, I’d make him one of those abominations at home. And I shamefully did. But not before making him sign a form stating that he’s a moron for eating it and that in exchange for the burger, he had to wash the dishes for a week. Unless he had a heart attack. Which luckily, he did not.

  58. Fried food lets me down. I grew up near PA so I had funnel cakes a lot as a kid. When we finally visited New Orleans, I was so excited to try beignets. First bite and I realized it was just a damn southern funnel cake.

  59. Even the two menu items with the word “fresh” in them are deep fired. No wonder Houston always wins the “fattest city” title–the competition is clearly rigged.

  60. The way you can relate a hilarious story and make it millions of times more hil-aree-ous is a wonder that I suspect I shall never cease to be amazed by. How on earth do you do it? Now I want to go ask someone for fried water. I have this theory, you see, that people automatically become funnier when they’re around you, because you like exude awesomeness or something like that.

  61. Funny gag to play in a kitchen with a deep fryer. Launch a piece of ice from a distance into the hot deep fryers and watch it pop and shoot grease all over an unsuspecting victim. Good times and workers comp claims ensue.

  62. First off,
    They fried water and it exploded? What the hell do they put in the water in Texas?
    Secondly, frying things does not always make them better, as I unfortunately found out at KY’s fair. Fried girl scout cookies are nothing but a blasphemous excuse to ruin perfectly good cookies. It crushed my soul, ever so slightly.

  63. I knew Texas has lots of OIL, didn’t know they fry all the available shit. Probably this affects Texan livers, not their genitals otherwise with such a diet they would be extinct.

  64. My parents would give me a bucket of water and a paint brush to “paint the driveway”. By the time I would get to the end of the driveway…well it had began it evaporate in the Dallas, Texas heat. So being the bored, gullable McFly that I WAS, would just start over from the top and paint again. Kept me busy for HOURS!

  65. They speak the truth! I tried to deep fry water yesterday…Well I actually ran a cold tap into a oven dish full of hot oil & It went horrifically wrong. I should have known this really, but after a bottle of wine it seemed like a good idea. Shame, because I used to quite like my eyebrows. But I did discover nappy rash cream is awesome for burns..

  66. SHUT the EF up. That did NOT really happen. What am I saying? Of course it happened. I’m starting to believe it’s not stupidity or ignorance that is the cause of these delightful scenarios… it’s simply that the zombie apocalypse is now upon us.

  67. I went to the Utah State Fair this weekend and they had Fried Green Jello. I couldn’t bring myself to try it. My friend said it looked like those wormy things on Eraserhead, hahaha!

  68. Fried banana split?? I already love Texas, but now this?? I can never leave. I think I live fairly close to you, but we had NOTHING going on here, that I know of. Now I need to find fried banana splits! Any chance you could tell me what town this was it?

  69. I remember working my way through school in various menial food service jobs. One of our favorite slow-time activities was to ice cube the deep fryer. You throw an ice cube into a fired-up deep fryer and run. Oil and water do not mix. They’re not overstating the consequences, there is an explosion of sorts with hot oil being the shrapnel. Good times, good times.

  70. Where you in Brownwood?? Or some other random city with a fair happening in Texas? Have you ever been to Oktoberfest in Fredricksburg? We are planning on checking it out.

  71. Fried pickles are my favorite. It’s hard to get a good mess of fried pickles up here in Missouri though. Did you tell the ladies cooking that you’d post about the explosion (assuming it really would have exploded, of course) on your blog? That would’ve been enough to bribe me into frying water.

  72. The fact that water will explode when deep fried is a testmate to how healthy things (such as water) do not mix well with unhealthy things (such as a deep fryer).

    Deep fried zucchini is amaze balls, though, isn’t it. I consider it the expception to the rule.

  73. Fire water… oh wait Fried Water… Well, win some, lose some.

    New Term I learned here today “douche canoe”… freaking awesome. I think I will cause my boss one and see if he is one or not. I will supply the results.

  74. I’m wiping the tears from laughing so hard I started crying. I wish I could say I can’t believe the girl asked her friend if they could fry water, but I’m not. Now you made me want some fried pickles they are pretty tasty. As great as fairs are for people watching, I gotta stay away for the sake of my arteries.

  75. You do know that if someone specifically told them not to fry water, that means they have tried it before and the results were not good.

  76. Wait, it’s called “soda” in Texas? I thought Texas was firmly in the “pop” belt. Or in the “Coke” zone. I grew up in Kansas, and whenever I visit I get the “well, look who’s all fancy-shmancy now that she lives on the East Coast” look whenever I say “soda” instead of “pop”. I also get the “what truck did you fall off of?” look when I say “pop” in NJ. Never lived in a “Coke” state, but I’ve heard they exist.

  77. Fried EVERYTHING! We’d never experienced anything like it, we went to a Fair when we visited your lovely country last year and there was even Deep Fried Cool Aid. Ew.

  78. Really? They can’t fry water because of the explosions…and it was a Texas Fair??? Seems like they’d definitely fry water BECAUSE OF THE EXPLOSIONS!!!

    Hmm…me thinks perhaps everything ISN’T bigger in TX after all!

  79. In WI, you could get deep fried beer. If they can do that, they can do water. Total liars, I’d say. Or else the magical knowledge of deep frying aqueous liquids hasn’t migrated that far south yet.

  80. I LOVE the fact that they list ‘Fresh Donuts.’ This is ironic because DONUTS ARE THE ONLY FOOD ITEM ON THAT LIST THAT ARE ACTUALLY FRIED IN REAL LIFE! Hilarious that they are presented as the healthier choice on the menu … God Bless Texas!

  81. But you forgot the Fried Butter on a Stick…Seriously, google Iowa Fried butter for video. I couldn’t bring myself to try it though.

  82. The best product reviews are of the Victorio Kitchen Products 571B Banana Slicer on amazon. I laughed until I cried and people at work thought something was wrong with me. It will brighten any day!!

  83. You weren’t in Odessa, were you? Just curious, I’m in the Great State of Texas this week and I visited the tiny fair in Odessa. In good ole San Angelo now, pissed off my favorite snow cone stand closed two weeks before I got here. Ugh! Sorry, just thought it’d be cool if we were both at the same shitty fair.

  84. You know who ELSE will be at the Texas Book Festival….. TONY DANZA! Surely he would join the Pony Danza cause…

  85. Wow. LP? Wow. Never heard of them, waiting for iTunes to come up so I can buy everything from them. Wow. Thanks for that.

  86. It’s amazing how many times American’s (and specifically the state of Texas) makes the news here because of the fried food fair served at fairs. It’s all “American’s fry this, American’s fry that”. We clearly do not understand the benefit of deep fat fried. Perhaps Canadians would be healthier if we tried deep frying our igloos in crunchy breaded coating.

  87. OMG the Tardis liquor cabinet is awesome. You need to tell Victor that you MUST have it. As a source for your booze slushies, it’s perfect. The rest of the stuff was cool too, esp. the Vegan Taxidermy and the LP video. P.S. Loved seeing you on Katie.

  88. When cleaning a grill at a greasy spoon, my colleague accidentally threw a handful of ice cubes into the deep fat fryer. There was an immediate eruption, not unlike Mount Vesuvius, as super-heated fat jetted two feet into the air. As we dove for cover, people on the other side of the kitchen (their bravery exactly proportionate to their distance away from the horror) calmly suggested we turn the fryer off. Swaddled in hand towels and aprons, my colleague inched close and turned the dial to off. It still took an eternity of seconds for the geyser of scalding death to subside. In short, do NOT fry water in either its liquid or solid form without the kind of hazmat suit a vulcanologist wears when approaching lava.

  89. *snort* You asked if they could fry water and it bestowed upon you a very serious possibility of crime.
    I love looking at the chalkboard photo… they use the word fresh twice, which get your healthy neurons excited, and then it craps all over your meal plan. Fresh Fried Crap!

    I was at a fair for FARMERS recently and my options were same as yours – grim.

    I thought the farmers might pull together and have some carrots or strawberries in a wooden bowl laying around. Nope. I was pointed in the direction to the corn shack, where they grill corn cobs and dip it down to their wrist in a vat of butter. Extra salt. *sigh*

  90. I loved your suggestions for bored children. My standby was always to suggest a game of hide and seek and then fail to seek.

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