Farewell, and thanks for all the memes

Sign­ing off with a tale of a gun-tot­ing Texas grandma’s re­venge on a gator, plus more in­ter­net gold.

Austin American-Statesman - - THE PLANNER - Con­tact Eric Webb at 512-912-2953.

You won’t have this meme­hound to kick around any­more.

I re­gret to re­port that this Webb Re­port is the fi­nal such re­port. Af­ter al­most seven years at the Amer­i­can-Statesman, I’m step­ping away from the pa­per’s so­cial me­dia helm. It’s been a won­der­ful, trans­for­ma­tive ride — I still thought I was straight when I started here — but it’s time to chase a new ad­ven­ture. For fur­ther sto­ries about snakes crawl­ing out of toi­lets, Mex­i­can free-tailed bats car­ry­ing small bombs and the se­cret ori­gins of Texas icons like queso and the word “y’all,” I re­fer you to the Statesman fam­ily of web­sites, where ta­lented writ­ers like my col­leagues Amanda O’Don­nell and Katey Psen­cik (whose work reg­u­larly ap­pears in this space) will con­tinue to spin in­ter­net ephemera into writ­ten gold.

It was a dream of mine since I was a kid to write for this pa­per. Bor­row­ing your eye­balls each week has been a great priv­i­lege. Now, enough of that. Let’s have some fun with what’s been buzzing on­line, for one more time.

The per­fect re­venge

The 12-foot al­li­ga­tor’s first mis­take: cross­ing a Texas grandma with a Winch­ester .22 Mag­num.

From the Hous­ton Chron­i­cle on Tues­day came a tale as Texan as they come. Judy B. Cochran — mayor of Liv­ingston in East Texas; a great-grand­mother called Nana by her fam­ily — had long held a sus­pi­cion that a mas­sive al­li­ga­tor had killed her minia­ture horse three years ago. As she told the Chron­i­cle: “We think this is the gator that ate one of our minia­ture horses sev­eral years ago, as big as this gator was, he could’ve eas­ily eaten it. Typ­i­cally the ga­tors don’t bother us, but we’ve been look­ing for (this one).”

The horse might have been smaller than the av­er­age horse, but this 580-pound rep­tile came a lit­tle larger than stan­dard is­sue. Ac­cord­ing to the Chron­i­cle, Cochran got the gator right where she wanted it af­ter han­dlers caught it in a pond us­ing a sea­soned rac­coon. (Fi­esta brand? A tra­di­tional brisket rub? One won­ders.)

Fox 4 re­ports that Cochran was in a meet­ing when she was no­ti­fied that the gator had been got. She took him out on her Goodrich ranch with just one shot, the Chron­i­cle re­ports. Nine years ago, ac­cord­ing to the Chron­i­cle, Cochran’s then5-year-old grand­son killed an 800-pound al­li­ga­tor from the same pond.

Ac­cord­ing to the Dal­las Morn­ing News, Polk County (where Goodrich and Liv­ingston sit) is “one of only 12 in Texas with an al­li­ga­tor hunt­ing sea­son,” giv­ing Cochran a 20-day time­frame (and spe­cific re­quire­ments about hunt­ing per­mits and meth­ods) to set­tle her score.

Just be­cause the gator is off the hook lit­er­ally doesn’t mean it’s off the hook metaphor­i­cally. The Chron­i­cle re­ports that Cochran plans to eat the an­i­mal’s meat, have its head mounted and dis­play part of its tail in her of­fice.

Oh, and also: Nana plans to wear some al­li­ga­tor-skin boots once all is said and done.

Ain’t no hair off his braid

Mad that Wil­lie Nel­son is play­ing at a rally for U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke? Knock your­self out, the Austin icon and coun­try mu­sic le­gend says.

Nel­son will head­line a con­cert for the El Paso Demo­crat, who is run­ning to un­seat Repub­li­can U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, on Sept. 29 at Au­di­to­rium Shores. That hasn’t set­tled well with some con­ser­va­tive fans, who have taken to so­cial me­dia to blast the “On the Road Again” singer.

Nel­son ap­peared on ABC round­table talk­show “The View” on Tues­day, where he told the hosts that the ire didn’t bother him.

“I don’t care,” Nel­son told “View” co-host Joy Be­har. Fans who don’t like it “are en­ti­tled to their opin­ion, and I am en­ti­tled to mine.”

Nel­son has a long his­tory of sup­port­ing Demo­cratic politi­cians and lib­eral causes, but a news re­lease from Nel­son’s pub­li­cist de­scribes the O’Rourke event as “the first public con­cert Nel­son has held for a po­lit­i­cal can­di­date.”

I am not a cook

Here’s some news you won’t want to cover up. An Austin break­fast dish is about to break into the Wash­ing­ton din­ing scene.

As part of a cel­e­bra­tion of “some of the na­tion’s best morn­ing dishes,” the fa­mous Water­gate Ho­tel’s restau­rant, King­bird, will serve the Texas hash from Austin’s own Pa­per­boy, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease from the ho­tel. The brunch item, which the Water­gate says will bring “South­ern flame” from chef Patrick Jack­son, in­cludes sweet potato, pork shoul­der, poached egg, onion, pep­pers and al­mond romesco, ac­cord­ing to Pa­per­boy’s menu.

The Texas hash will be served start­ing Sept. 26 through­out the fall, ac­cord­ing to the ho­tel. Friendly re­minder that you do not need to travel to Wash­ing­ton to eat this hash and that Pa­per­boy has two Austin lo­ca­tions: one on East 11th Street and one at Ra­dio Cof­fee & Beer on Man­chaca Road.

Names change, nuggets per­sist

It’s not a joke. It’s not a nick­name. And even if this is the first time you’ve ever seen it writ­ten, the Wendy’s lo­cated within the Uni­ver­sity of Texas’ Jester Hall has been of­fi­cially re­named “Jendy’s,” ac­cord­ing to the Daily Texan.

No, but for real, though. “We thought it would be great if we could just come here and re­brand the whole thing as Jendy’s to prove that we get the stu­dents,” Chris Cor­ley, a mar­ket­ing ex­ec­u­tive be­hind the de­ci­sion, told the uni­ver­sity’s stu­dent news­pa­per. (Ap­par­ently, UT stu­dents have been calling the restau­rant “Jendy’s” col­lo­qui­ally for a bit now. Jester plus Wendy’s, etc.)

Still hav­ing a hard time ac­cept­ing it? Pic­tures show­ing Jendy’s sig­nage and em­ployee uni­forms were shared on Twit­ter af­ter the switch hap­pened Sept. 14.

The chain has a his­tory of en­gag­ing cus­tomers on­line. The most retweeted tweet of 2017 was posted by a teenage boy seek­ing free chicken nuggets from Wendy’s for life. — AMANDA O’DON­NELL, AMERICANSTATESMAN ATAFF

Cap­i­tal losses

How can Austin be both si­mul­ta­ne­ously the “best place to live in Amer­ica” and only the fifth-best state cap­i­tal to call home in the coun­try? Ask fi­nan­cial ser­vices com­pany Smart As­set, which re­cently com­piled a list of the “Best State Cap­i­tals to Live In” in 2018.

In com­pil­ing the list, the site looked at fac­tors like a cap­i­tal’s unem­ploy­ment rate; rate of vi­o­lent and prop­erty crimes; and din­ing and en­ter­tain­ment.

The cap­i­tals that ranked above Austin were Honolulu (fair); Madi­son, Wis­con­sin (cheese, OK); Concord, New Hamp­shire (hmm); and Mont­pe­lier, Ver­mont (sure, if you like syrup).

At No. 5, Smart As­set says that Austin is a “great place to be” for res­i­dents con­cerned with sav­ing money. It es­ti­mates that the me­dian house­hold should have $46,400 of dis­cre­tionary in­come. Ac­cord­ing to the list, the rea­son the city fell at No. 5 is that it could stand to im­prove on safety. — AMANDA O’DON­NELL, AMERICANSTATESMAN STAFF

Shuf­flepuffs and Ravin’-claws

Get your dress robes ready — it’s time for the “Wizard­ing Event of the Year.” WizardFest, a “Harry Pot­ter”-themed dance party, is set for Oct. 10 in San An­to­nio.

Ac­cord­ing to the Face­book event, the party is tak­ing place at the Rock Box and will fea­ture but­ter­beer (for witches and wizards over 21) and other Pot­ter-themed drinks, a cos­tume con­test and Quid­ditch pong.

The event doesn’t go into de­tail about what type of mu­sic is played at a dance party for witches and wizards — fingers crossed for the Weird Sis­ters, a fic­tional-turned-real band fea­tur­ing mem­bers of Pulp and Ra­dio­head who played a catchy tune called “Do The Hip­pogriff ” in a (mostly) deleted scene from “Harry Pot­ter and the Goblet of Fire.”

It’s sure to be a mag­i­cal time. — KATEY PSEN­CIK, AMER­I­CAN-STATESMAN STAFF


So long, Statesman; it’s been real.


Wil­lie Nel­son has three words to say to fans who are up­set about his up­com­ing con­cert in sup­port of U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke.

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