People sometimes scratch their heads when I tell them that Tex has not one but two professional degrees. “How much does a cowboy need to know to shovel s&^t?” I can see them inwardly asking themselves. While I don’t have an answer to that question, I do suspect that if Tex’s brain wasn’t busy processing some higher order problem, it’s likely my husband would become a super villain.
Case and point, when he was twelve, Tex learned how to pick locks, not just the insert a long pin into a bathroom handle kind of lock but the five pin tumbler locks you find on front doors. This talent was put to good use when his school lost the key to the football trophy case. Tex was sought out to unlock the oversize glass and wood cabinet. Then after the teachers had emptied the case of the athletic bling, Tex was sent home with it because the staff still couldn’t find the key and didn’t want to count on Tex to always retrieve the trophies for them. I’m not sure how bank safes work, but I’m pretty sure one way or another, Tex would find his way into one if he put his mind to it. On the plus side, I never worry about where I’ve put my keys.
After mastering lock picking, at fourteen Tex decided to become a blacksmith, not just any blacksmith, the kind the makes knives. The man owns not one but two anvils.
I can’t decide whether this talent would be put to better use by creating powerful weapons or for torture because I know just the photos of Tex standing next to glowing red metal scare the bejeezus out of me.
Although he disputes this, Tex has an eidetic memory. His argument against this fact holds little water when he responds to questions like “Have you ridden a subway?” with “I last rode the subway on September 8th 2009, it was sunny that day. I was traveling to Prague to visit my friend Hermann”. Most of the time his ability to recollect EVERYTHING only works against me when I offer to do a chore like take out the trash or get groceries on a certain day but I can picture this skill being something the world would rue. At the very least, if Tex went global as a super-villain with his memory, he would have other people to ask “Do you know why it smells in here?” the day after garbage day.
Lastly, there’s his intelligence. Tex is familiar with everything, especially science. Although I identify as an artist now, at one point in my life I received an honors degree in biology. One day, after having one too many simple biological concepts explained to me, I exploded at Tex “I have a Bachelor of Science you know!” This was a mistake. From that point onward Tex would start in on a subject and casually say “You have a working understanding of organic chemistry right?” and then proceed to explain an idea that would have been way above my head even when I did study science. This becomes even more problematic when we meet with Tex’s friends. For example the man who researches biomedical engineering in neuroscience;
Super intelligent friend who is being recruited by Harvard to me: “Have you heard of transmission electron microscopy?”
Tex: “It’s fine, keep going, she has a science degree.”
Unwashed inwardly: “I know this, I know this! Oops now I’m lost. Just smile and pretend that you’re following along. Thank God I’m not expected to ask informed questions about his job.”
Taken all together, in my estimation, Tex’s potential for becoming a super villain, who colludes with underworld, is quite high. Thus, I’m somewhat relieved by his choice to channel his energies into education instead. Although given my lack of street smarts, it’s entirely possible that my husband is secretly meeting with mobsters to fund his diabolical projects on the sly. Just in case, I always keep my ears open in the event that Bad Horse sends a singing telegram to inform Tex that his application to the Evil League of Evil has been accepted.