by Lindsey Eck
Originally appeared in 2001 (Plum Creek) Tales 8:19, 30 April 1997

What with all the militia fever going on all over America, and even out on the Net, I’m beginning to feel a little bit left out. I’ve never joined a paramilitary group or signed up for a cult, let alone served a lien against the Caldwell County Courthouse or taken a neighbor hostage. So maybe it’s time I fell into step, so to speak.

I think these Republic of Texas dudes should back up about nine years or so in their history books. If the annexation of Texas was never legal, what about Texas’ secession from Mexico? I’d stake my best edition of Carlos Fuentes that I could find a Mexican constitutional lawyer or ten who would argue that had no legal basis either.

On that solid footing, I’m ready to announce my candidacy for caudillo of the Banana Republic of Tejas. And, if a majority of people willing to declare themselves citizens of the Banana Republic will vote for me in the election I’m fixing to call, I’m ready to declare myself Life President, Ambassador, and many other grandiloquent titles. I’m also willing to hole up in a quonset hut outside of McMahan for as long as it takes till the media notice I am there.

It’ll sure simplify things next April, since people will be paying taxes to me, rather than me paying them to Washington.

You may ask, even if Texas never legally seceded from Mexico, what puts me in charge rather than, say, the Mexican state of Coahuila. To which I assert the same logic by which the Republic of Texas folks claim they, rather than our elected Legislature, represent the will of the people: I thought of it first.

But, Lindsey, you may object, you’re not even Mexican-American. Nor were you born in Texas. To which I reply, neither was the self-styled head of the Republic of Texas, in line with the historical principle that great nationalists, from Alexander Hamilton to Napoleon, come from some other country than the one they claim to love so passionately.

It’s sure a lot easier to become president of an imaginary republic than, say, a real corporation.

So, my provisional capital will be Lockhart, a town I chose for its central location, its historic aura, and because the 2001 (Plum Creek) Tales office is here. But this little newsroom just won’t do for the Capitol of a Banana Republic. I wonder how easy it would be to occupy the local fire station. Or at least an abandoned auto-parts store.

Let’s see — I’ll need a lien against Glosserman’s for a new ’Vette, the First-Lockhart National Bank for a quarter million in cash, and Don Bravo’s for a whole mess of carne guisada dinners with guacamole sides. As for ballots, bogus documents, and recruiting posters, I can run them off on this here Mac.

And it seems any wacko can set up a Web page.

There’s only one problem with this scheme. I don’t know much about guns. And I have a funny feeling those federal critters aren’t going to be quick to recognize the Banana Republic of Tejas. Especially when I lay claim to Fort Hood and Randolph Air Force Base in a people’s court.

So maybe I should just revert to plan B: a cult based on the Hale-Bopp comet. No one’s committing suicide. We’re just gonna party like it’s 1999.

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