Fact Check

Aggie Hurricane Preparedness

Photograph shows Texas A&M bookstore windows boarded up from the wrong side in advance of Hurricane Rita?

Published Sep 29, 2005


Claim:   Photograph shows Texas A&M bookstore windows boarded up from the wrong side in advance of Hurricane Rita.

Status:   Real photo; inaccurate description.

Examples:   [Collected on the Internet, 2005]

was wondering if this photo is real, or if the people at Texas A&M deserve their reputations as idiots…

Oh my goodness! This is hilarious! Damn Aggies..always good for a laugh!


Plywood to protect your store from Hurricane Rita . . . $200

Supplies to hang the plywood . . . $50

Using your Aggie education to hang the plywood on the wrong side of the windows . . . PRICELESS!

Origins:   Students and others associated with Texas A&M University (known as "Aggies") in College Station, Texas, are often the butt of regional humor portraying

them as dumb hicks. (University of Texas and Texas A&M students trade jokes casting each other as buffoons, just as here in southern California the same jokes

circulate with versions featuring either USC or UCLA students.) The image displayed above

is in that vein, a spoof of the familiar MasterCard "Priceless" commercials supposedly showing an A&M-associated store (Loupot's Bookstore) whose owner presumably boarded up the "wrong" side of the shop's windows (i.e., the interior rather than the exterior) to prevent them from breaking when Hurricane Rita hit the Gulf Coast in September 2005. Without more contextual information, however, we could also assume that the proprietors were resigned to window breakage and were most concerned about keeping shattered glass out of the store, and therefore they deliberately boarded it up from the inside.

Our assumption proved to be correct (i.e., the store's windows could not support exterior-mounted plywood, so the boards were placed inside to protect the shop floor from glass shards), as the project director at Loupot's informed us:

Our windows will not support the weight of plywood screwed into their frames — neither is there sufficient masonry wall surrounding them for an attachment — therefore our contractor a "good Ag" suggested saving the store from a major cleanup and letting the glass go — it wasn't a difficult decision to make!

Additional information:

    A Picture Worth a Thousand E-Mails A Picture Worth a Thousand E-Mails (The Bryan-College Station Eagle)

Last updated:   1 October 2005

  Sources Sources:

    Hensley, Laura.   "A Picture Worth a Thousand E-Mails."

    The Bryan-College Station Eagle.   1 October 2005.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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