Cali Crazy: A Texan’s take on the Golden State—part 3—Holy Holisticism, Batman!

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Talk about crazy. California is blazing the crazy trail with every holistic “remedy” under the sun. Jeepers, Batman—it’s like there are snake oil salesmen on every corner of every city and town in this gorgeous, zany, backward-from-frontward Golden State!

Oil pulling. Essential oil therapy. Urine drinking. Sun gazing. TriVibamins (something to do with “Light Particle Gatekeepers”). It’s all so bewildering to this Texan. Call me simple, but this stuff just don’t add up.

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What ever happened to going to the doctor once a year, having your blood analyzed, eating your veggies and taking a couple of vitamins here and there … and just workin’ hard and livin’ right?

Not sure what to make of all this holisticism. But people around here seem to swear by it. My dentist wife’s patients tell her all about it; and she smiles and listens and helps them keep their mouths healthy.

Snake oil crazy

Take this oil pulling. From what I can tell, you swish a tablespoon of oil in your mouth on an empty stomach for 20 minutes. This supposedly draws out toxins in your body and improves oral and overall health.

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Toxins? Isn’t that what a snakebite’ll give ya? Or spider venom? Shoot—if a wasp stings me, I plaster some cold mud on it like my dad showed me. Does that draw out toxins?

Essential oil therapy, huh. Kinda sounds like what happens to my hair while I sleep: The little Italian grease monkeys come out and pump away. Come morning … all natural mousse. It works so well my wife says I look like a Who from Whoville.

A taste’ll teach ya

I drank my urine once. By accident. I peed in my water bottle on a road trip and then forgot and took a swig. At first I thought it was old, warmish sour lemonade. Then it hit me. The only health benefit I got out of it was to aid my memory so as to never drink my pee again.

Sun gazing? No need for a Texan’s take on this one besides this humble piece of advice: It’s pretty dumb to stare at the sun. Nuff said.

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My wife and I ran into the TriVibamin thing at a hot springs resort in a little nearby town that’s even smaller than ours. From what I can tell it has something to do with vibrating the atoms in vitamins. So … Viba- and -amin … vibrating vitamins. Get it? Nope.

Shake it up

“Because Your Energy, Vitality & Good Heath Depend Upon The Light Particles You Absorb” is what a brochure says about TriVibamins.

If light and vibration are good for you, I must’ve really benefitted from riding shotgun in a friend’s old rattling pickup during all those scorching-hot Texas summer high school days.

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David Kozlowski, Old Ford Chevy Chevrolet Pickup Truck Blue Red Rust, Jacksboro, Texas Feed Mill. All rights reserved.

This Texan just doesn’t get why eating right and exercising and common sense preventives don’t do the trick for these crazy Californians. It’s like they’re always looking for something new and nutty when the tried-and-true works every time.

This holistic stuff is kinda like a religion around here. Takes more faith than most, too.

Maybe I should start pushing something just fresh enough to believe in. Like pleasingly packaged bovine excrement that when sniffed vigorously for 20 minutes is sure to purge all toxins and every last scrap of common sense.

Sound crazy enough to sell? In California, it just might.

For more Cali Crazy Texan takes on the Golden State, part five is in the works. Stay tuned.

Cali Crazy: A Texan’s take on the Golden State—the Intro

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As a Texan, my take on California is based, in part, on movies, music and murders—Dirty Harry, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Beach Boys, the Manson family and O.J. Simpson.

It’s a perception of palm trees, glitz, glamour, surf spray, blood red sandy sunsets, optimism, money and movie stars. All of which is funny because the little Sierra Nevada town to which I came and settled has none of these elements.

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All kinds of crazy

What it does have are chilly lakes, river and creeks, colossal ponderosa pines, boulder-strewn mountains, a rustic Old West main street, cabins, cottages, trailer homes, covert marijuana operations, county fairs and farmers’ markets, meth mouths and a ubiquitous hippy vibe.

Its denizens are a curious mixture of gun-toters, hunters and fishers, mellowed radicals, old-guardians and libertarians, cowboys and wine connoisseurs, big-city expatriates and small-town burn-outs. One can find equal numbers of 2nd Amendment activists and gun control enthusiasts, good ‘ol boy beer guzzlers and potheads. It’s a place where everyone can fit in—as long as they fit in within their own groups.

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And along comes the Texan, who talks like a Midwesterner and thinks like a Texan and laughs at the funny stuff going on all around him as he encounters big-government, big-idea California head-on and realizes he’s all the way in when he gets his driver’s license and marries a mountain girl. This new California life means higher taxes, better weather, more expensive gas, more personal freedom and less social responsibility.

My Cali now

This California is now my California. But I can still look at it my way: through the eyes and prejudices of a Texan. Big, bold, beautiful, bloated and kinda nutty—in good and bad ways. Cali Crazy is my take on California; and I’m sticking with it. Yeehaw, baby—let’s ride.

For more Cali Crazy Texan takes on the Golden State, here’s part one: Cali Crazy: A Texan’s take on the Golden State—part 1—Suspicious minds

Cali Crazy: A Texan’s take on the Golden State—part 1—Suspicious minds

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If you want to make a Californian uncomfortable, look him right in the eye, smile and say hello. Works every time … well, nearly every time. Every now and then, he smiles and says hello right back. If this happens, he must be a recently arrived, newly made Californian.

If he seems refreshingly direct and friendly, he must be a transplanted Texan.

Suspicious minds

I asked my Californian wife why friendliness makes locals uncomfortable. She says Californians are suspicious of friendly, direct people because they’re unsure of their angle. They see a friendly face and wonder: What does this person want from me? People don’t just smile and say hello to be neighborly. It’s a little weird.

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I’ve also noticed that once Californians get to know and trust you, they can be as friendly as Texans. It’s about trust. It’s also about boundaries. Which may be another reason for suspicion toward friendliness—perhaps the friendly person is merely feigning friendliness—one can never be sure, which is why it’s prudent to meet friendliness with suspicion until angles can be figured and filtered for possible offensive properties. Around here, friendliness can offend.

Get it? I know, it’s confusing; I’ve been working this stuff out since I got here.

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Credit: Peter Yang for Texas Monthly

Simple minds

I imagine sharing this analysis with another Texan—say, a cowboy from Odessa. He’d likely say something like, “I dunno whatcha mean. I’m friendly because I wanna be. Life’s too short to be suspicious. Besides—it’s the right way to be. No sense in overanalyzing it—ain’t got time to worry about offending anyone anyhow.

The way I see it, if they’re offended so easy, somethin’s wrong with ’em.”

For more Cali Crazy Texan takes on the Golden State, here’s part two: Cali Crazy: A Texan’s take on the Golden State—part 2—Flunking Cultural Appreciation 101