cowboys, How to, Texas

How to Have Coffee with Ranchers in West Texas without Being an Ass

  1. Dress normal.

If you try to look like a rancher when you aren’t, they’ll know it before you sit down. Don’t be a clown.

  1. Stay quiet.

Ranchers and farmers are friendly, but they are generally on the verge of losing their patience, especially during a drought. Don’t test them by asking stupid questions.

  1. Know the difference between a ranch and a stock farm.

Ranches in West Texas are measured in sections (640 acres), not acres. So please don’t mention your uncle’s “twenty acre ranch” near Dallas.

  1. Don’t ask the wrong questions.

Never ask a man how many acres or cows he owns. This is common courtesy in ranch country. And don’t ask why they “need all those guns.” They need them for rattlesnakes, coyotes, wild hogs, and city boys who ask too many questions.

  1. Don’t be condescending.

Ranchers and farmers are highly educated business folk, usually handling more money in a year than most of us see in ten. They also work hard with their hands, and they can easily choke an ass.

  1. Be kind to the waitress.

Men of the land are loyal. If they’ve had coffee in the same café for any stretch of time, they’ve come to love the people who serve them each morning. So, when she asks you if you’d like coffee, you damned well better say “yes, ma’am,” say thank you when she brings it, and leave a good tip in the end.

  1. Be polite.

In West Texas, “Yeah” is a worse word than “bastard.” If you can’t say, “yes sir,” at least say, “yes.”

“Damn” and “bastard” are acceptable words in West Texas, but leave the other curse words at home.

  1. Don’t talk about yourself.

This is a good tip anywhere. But, if they ask you, do answer humbly, honestly, and briefly.

  1. Do talk about the weather.

But never say, “I’m sick of this rain.”

  1. Have a firm grip.

If they offer a hand for shaking, grasp it firmly, squeeze for one to two seconds, and then release. Don’t offer a limp fish, don’t pump like an oil well, don’t hold for several seconds, and don’t try to hug.

Once you leave, if your car breaks down within a hundred miles and you’ve followed the above rules, you can call the café and rest assured that someone in a pickup will be there to help you in no time.

About Nowhere Tribune

A husband and daddy, striving to love his neighbors and be kind to his pets. I love good food, good beer, and a few good friends. My other interests are hiking, taking walks, lifting weights, reading books by manly authors like Hemingway and Twain, and splitting fire wood with my bare hands.


10 thoughts on “How to Have Coffee with Ranchers in West Texas without Being an Ass

  1. City boys who ask too many questions haha if it weren’t for my stance against needless exploitation and killing I’d probably very much like ranchers

    Posted by Amanda | June 16, 2018, 12:53 pm
  2. Love it!

    Posted by ellie894 | June 16, 2018, 2:01 pm
  3. Great tips – I’ll remember them if I ever meet any ranchers in Texas!

    Posted by Mari Biella | June 17, 2018, 5:10 am
    • Thank you! Yes, when you visit the Caprock Canyons and Hotel Turkey you’ll definitely have the opportunity to have coffee with the ranchers. 🙂

      Posted by John | June 17, 2018, 7:28 am
  4. This is hilarious! I grew up in Arizona, and you gotta love those Western stereotypes people have.

    Posted by Dee | June 17, 2018, 7:37 am
    • Thank you, Dee. I work with farmers and ranchers every day; there are all types, but most are characters, that’s for sure. I love the west. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

      Posted by John | June 17, 2018, 7:42 am
  5. Good to know for if/when I visit that part of the world. While I’m not too familiar with Texan culture, I don’t get why someone would ask strangers about the size of their farms. That would be the equivalent of asking strangers how much they earn, somewhat rude. I do love my coffee though.

    Posted by TheCovertAtheist | June 26, 2018, 8:47 pm
    • “That would be the equivalent of asking strangers how much they earn.” Exactly, but some people don’t realize that, apparently.

      Posted by John | June 27, 2018, 5:19 am

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