Illicit Fun in Dallas

In the latest issue of D magazine, Trey Garrison explores some of Dallas' more intrusive, arbitrary, and puzzling regulations. Garrison, who quotes me and notes that Dallas ranked 17th on Radley Balko's list of "the worst nanny-state cities in America," laments "the wussification of Dallas," pining for the days when the city was known for its brothels, casinos, and bars where you could smoke—as opposed to nowadays, when Dallasites go to Oklahoma for fun (Indian gambling and cheap liquor). Garrison tests the limits of the city's tolerance by, among other things, riding a bicycle hands-free, brandishing a toy gun in public, and getting illegally close to a stripper. "Mandatory helmets are only for bike riders," he notes, "not bikers [i.e., motorcyclists]. Groups of guys in leather on hogs are a more intimidating lobby than groups of guys in spandex shorts." Speaking of shorts, Dallas has decreed that taxi drivers may not wear them. More, including the lowdown on the legality of requesting a blowjob and the transparent paternalism behind restrictions on convenience store window signs, here.

A few years ago in Reason, I told the stirring tale of how motorcyclists in Texas (and elsewhere) won the right to feel the wind in their hair.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    "Groups of guys in leather on hogs are a more intimidating lobby than groups of guys in spandex shorts."

    As an avid and helmetless bicyclist in southern Florida (where there are no requirements for adult bicyclists or motorcyclists to wear helmets), I can tell you that not only are bicyclists less intimidating than "bikers", they are also very deferential to the "nanny-state". I am constantly berated by total strangers on bicycles to "get a helmet".

  • EJM||

    In "Dr. Strangelove", Slim Pickens originally had the line, "a fella could have a pretty good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff". As a result of the Kennedy assassination, before the film's release, the line was dubbed so that "Dallas" was replaced by "Vegas".

  • Mister DNA||

    Once I knowed a preacher, preached the Bible through and through, but he went down to Deep Ellum, now his preachin' days are through.

  • tim||

    I'll wear a helmet depending on the risk. If I am riding into my office which requires navigating busy streets - I'll wear a helmet because the dangers are cars and idiot bikers. If I am just hitting the trails around some lakes - I won't wear a helmet because I need to look out for idiots who can't control their dogs and I'm not going that fast (due to the for mentioned idiots). Helmets just constrict the view.

    For mountain biking - a helmet is a must (if nothing else than low hanging branches).

    My observation of most road bikers is that they are hardass socialists with anger issues.

  • Kolohe||

    That 'worst nanny state cities' article is way confusing, with Las Vegas and Miami being 1 and 2 respectively. 17 wouldn't seem all that bad.

  • Number 6||

    My observation of most road bikers is that they are hardass socialists with anger issues.
    QFMFT

  • Orange Line Special||

    Reason shows us yet again why there's a new word in the dictionary.

    Not wearing a helmet if you're going 65MPH might be an acceptable attempt at Darwinism if there weren't much more involved: all the socialized costs incurred by those victims. Reason continues to live in a fantasy world where they push one "libertarian" idea without making all the others a precondition.

  • Kolohe||

    Plus, it's far easier to read the 'worst nanny state cities' article as it appears on your own site.

  • ||

    How to tell liberal cyclists from conservative cyclists: The former wear black spandex shorts and colored jerseys. You can also measure the progressiveness of the cyclist by how long it takes after arriving at the office before he changes out of the spandex. The true believers in social justice will wear their cycling togs all week long. You can usually smell them coming.

    You're bicycling to work, not racing, so WTF do you need scrotum-hugging black lycra for?

  • MikeB||

    Dallas isn't that bad. I get royaly drunk here all the time and the cops ignore it unless you are causing a problem for others. Down in Seven Points (Cedar Creek Lake), where my lake house is, they will happily give you a PI to earn the $400 they get off each one.

  • ||

    Dreadful city, Dallas. I used to live their, and I can tell you that really, really wants to be LA.

  • Taktix®||

    Do the couple guys from Pantera dtill own that strip bar?

    That should count for something...

  • MikeB||

    Taktix,

    It is my understanding that they do.

    Dreadful city, Dallas
    Are you kidding? Cost of living is about a third of LA, NY, pay is almost the same, and we got Uptown, Lower Greenville, and used to have Deep Ellum. Numerous metal acts come through here. Going to see Cradle of Filth at HOB in a few weeks. It is all walking of train riding distance for me.

  • MikeB||

    stupid me

    walking or train riding

  • KWebb||

    You're bicycling to work, not racing, so WTF do you need scrotum-hugging black lycra for?
    Chafing is not fun.

  • Some Guy||

    A person commits an offense if he operates or rides upon a bicycle...without wearing a helmet

    That's just sad. I'd rather not ride at all than look like a dork. Yes, I said dork.

  • Chrispy||

    ... Dallas ranked 17th on Radley Balko's list of "the worst nanny-state cities in America,"

    This is misleading. If I'm reading the link right, that list is a list of the 35 most populous cities in America, ranked as 1 being the most free, and 35 being the most "nanny state-ish." So if I'm reading it correctly, Dallas is in the middle of the pack among big cities as far as that type of regulation is concerned.

  • Orange Line Special||

    Neither Reason nor their readers seem to understand that there are different types of cyclists. Only one set is brightly-plumed.

  • 99||

    So if I'm reading it correctly, Dallas is in the middle of the pack among big cities...

    And it's 17th on Radley Balko's list.

  • ||

    Not wearing a helmet if you're going 65MPH might be an acceptable attempt at Darwinism if there weren't much more involved: all the socialized costs incurred by those victims. Reason continues to live in a fantasy world where they push one "libertarian" idea without making all the others a precondition.

    Why don't you man the fuck up and quit paying other people's hospital bills?

  • ||

    Brandybuck,
    How to tell liberal cyclists from conservative cyclists: The former wear black spandex shorts and colored jerseys.

    Ohhh, man, you must have visited Santa Cruz, CA!!

    I hate those holier-than-thou bicycle riders - if it weren't a crime punishable by browbeating greenie propaganda on the perpetrator until death, I would just run them all over with my Volkswagen Beetle!

  • ||

    "Mandatory helmets are only for bike riders," he notes, "not bikers [i.e., motorcyclists].



    This is just a pretext for stopping Mexicans on their WalMart clunkers to check to see if they are legal, mulling drugs or just going to town while brown.

  • ||

    Not wearing a helmet if you're going 65MPH might be an acceptable attempt at Darwinism if there weren't much more involved: all the socialized costs incurred by those victims.

    "Those victims"? WHAT victims?

    Reason continues to live in a fantasy world where they push one "libertarian" idea without making all the others a precondition.

    A "libertarian" idea like Individual freedom, perhaps? Yeah, I can see how THAT idea can be a problem....

  • ||

    Chafing is not fun.



    That's what they invented briefs for.

  • Gac||

    I always wore the lycra shorts when biking - you just don't want too much freedom down there when sitting on a bike seat. That said, I always had the decency to wear regular shorts on top...

    In all my years of biking, I have never had anyone tell me to get a helmet. Granted, the shaved head, tattoos, and perpetually pissed-off look I have seems to prevent most of the "serious" bikers from approaching me, much less telling me what to do...

  • Abdul||

    I cycle daily, and I always wear a helmet because my mother would kill me if I had my head crushed without one.

    I also hate that most cycling clothing just sceams "I am King Dorko from planet Dorkon!" What's wrong with subdued solids?

  • ||

    Unfortunately Dallas is often judged by its barren and boring northern suburbs, which are carbon copies of most corporate nomad and white-flight roosts. As RC Dean posted, "their (sic) is no their (sic) their (sic)."

    See the city! It is a collection of cool places such as Downtown (yes), Uptown, Deep Ellum/Expo Park, Knox-Henderson, Lower Greenville, Lakewood, Cedar Springs/Oak Lawn, Southside/Cedars, North Oak Cliff/Bishop Arts, Design District and the largest collection of Art Deco exhibition buildings in the world, Fair Park. White Rock Lake is one of the largest urban lakes in the world. We even have one of the largest urban forests, The Great Trinity. We even have a rail line, trolley and subway. There is a huge Arts scene, with two more buildings opening in the Arts District - an Opera Hall by Sir Norman Foster and a theater center by Rem Koolhaas. Plus you can sit outside and eat BBQ, Mexican food or haute cuisine. Oh and we invented the frozen margarita - how uptight is that? And yes, illicit things are rife! I am a native and I've seen it all.

    And contrary to perception we have elected a black mayor, a lesbian Hispanic sheriff, a black District Attorney, several gay city councilmen and we have a Hispanic school superintendent. Almost every judge elected recently is a Democrat.

  • ||

    We even have one of the largest urban forests, The Great Trinity.

    Containing the only trees in North Texas (which is part of the Midwest whether the people who live there will admit it or not).

    Yes, I live in the wooded swamp that is Houston, why do you ask?

  • ||

    Well, to chime back in, I don't like big cities generally, and found Dallas to be a particularly irritating example of the breed.

    Sure, its got some nice areas, but its also infested with people who really, really think being just like LA is what Dallas should strive for.

    The Dallas city government has to be one of the worst in the country, but that's another rant.

    Still, I know tastes vary. Folks who like Dallas are welcome to it.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I always wore the lycra shorts when biking - you just don't want too much freedom down there when sitting on a bike seat.

    Comfortable bike seats are the solution, rather the standard sodomizing bike seats most models are equipped with.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement