Sometimes riding off into the sunset hurts.

Big Tex, the legendary mechanized 52-foot-tall cowboy who greeted patrons attending the State Fair of Texas, died tragically yesterday morning when he was engulfed in flames. Big Tex (real name, Giorgy Sean vanHootendanglerry) was 60 years old. He leaves no wife, survivors or horse.

His fiery demise is still being investigated by authorities. One carny who worked a booth near Big Tex reported that he suspected the legendary cowboy may have been drunk at the time of the fire.

“I hear tell the big boy liked him his bottle,” said the tatted five-toothed young man. “Seems to me like he slurred an awful lot when he jabbered at folks. He was probably wasted and torched his ownself lightin’ a blunt, some rock or a smoke or somethin’.”

The wiry carny surveyed the midway and began to tear-up. “Gonna miss that ol’ boy. I always looked up to him and that big ol’ belt buckle he wore.” He wiped his red eyes and turned his full attention to this reporter. “Say, buddy– you wanna win you a big ol’ teddy bear for your sweetheart? Just toss this here big ol’ ring over any little old Coke bottle over yonder. Why, it’s easy as pie. You can’t hardly help but win yourself a gigundo stuffed critter!”

$348 later, this reporter walked away with a 4″ plastic unicorn past the sad remains of Big Tex. The old cowhand will be sorely missed.

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