The 1976 Bum Steer Awards
Life! Ah, what magic lies in those words! But the question of 1975 was this: Is there life after Dolph? Looking back on the past year, we’re not even sure there was life during Dolph. But even if life failed us, Bum Steers did not. Day after day, month after month they reared their long, horned heads and mooed. We heard them, saved them, and now it’s your chance to hear them, too: this year’s Texas Monthly’s Bum Steer Awards.
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FULL OF BULLOCK
Brother Dave’s diner in Whitehouse began serving what Dave called “cheap, tasteless, and hard to swallow Bullockburgers” after a visit from Comptroller Bob Bullock’s sales tax raiders. Bullock responded, “I have no doubt but that your Bullockburgers will be as hot as the seven checks you gave this office.”
NEXT TIME YOU’RE IN TROUBLE, CALL A HIPPIE
The Dallas Police Department’s Hi Line Avenue warehouse was robbed of $28,000 in cash, $1250 in silver bars, and $500 worth of jewelry from an unlocked safe.
ONE SMALL STEP FOR MANKIND, ONE GIANT STEP FOR ME
Astronaut Alan Shepard was awarded a Coors Beer franchise in Houston.
THEY CAN’T FIND THEIR HORN WITH BOTH HANDS
The Houston Police Department reported local labor leader Don Horn missing, only to discover three hours later that he had been in their own jail.
AS WE SEE IT, YOU FLUNKED HISTORY
According to Mayor Preston Wood of Bridge City, “As I see it, Franklin Roosevelt expressed it pretty good when he made his famous quote, ‘Of the people, by the people, and for the people.’”
TIRED OF LLOYD, HUBERT, GERALD, RONALD, GEORGE, SCOOP, ETC.?
Stripers, a hamster whose slogan was, “The only candidate honest enough to admit he’s a rat,” won a student senate seat at the University of Texas at El Paso.
GOD PREFERS DR PEPPER
Baptist preacher Buckner Fanning of San Antonio testified in court that his ability to play golf and perform baptisms was impaired after a bottle of Coke burst in his hands.
MORAL: JUST DON’T CUSS WHEN THEY CUT OFF YOUR ARM
The Dallas Motion Picture Board classified Horror High, which shows a pupil using a paper cutter to sever a teacher’s arm, as “suitable for young people.” The same committee judged Paper Moon as “not suitable” because child actress Tatum O’Neal utters a four-letter word.
A SMALL WORD IN FAVOR OF TEA
District Judge O.P. Carrillo fired his secretary of five years, Mrs. Zenaida Montemayor, after seeing her drinking a cup of coffee with his arch rival, Duval County Judge Archer Parr.
THIS IS MY GREAT, GREAT, GREAT, GREAT, GRANDMOTHER—I THINK I’LL KEEP HER
Genoveva Gutierrez of San Marcos is 117 years old, takes swimming lessons, doesn’t wear glasses, climbs trees to get over fences, and walks eight blocks to church.
BOOP BOOP DIDEM DADEM WADEM SHOO
John Hatfield of Austin swallowed only 10 goldfish in an effort to break the Guinness World Record of 507 live goldfish swallowed in four hours.
IF THINE EYE OFFEND THEE, FLUSH IT
Al Mokry sued for damages because his left eye, removed earlier for tests, accidentally rolled down a laboratory drain at the UT Health Science Center. He claimed that thinking about the episode cause him nervousness and headaches.
IT’S NO PROBLEM FOR GENOVEVA GUTIERREZ
Representative John Whitmire of Houston authored a bill to ban pay toilets as being inconvenient, cruel, discriminatory, and unpleasant. “It is especially difficult for elderly and sick persons who cannot manage to crawl over or wiggle under the door,” said Whitmire.
TWO TIN CANS AND A THREAD TO:
Southwestern Bell Telephone for their newly instituted charges of twenty cents for directory assistance calls.
SPECIAL CUT RATE! OIL FIELD WORKERS FOR SALE! ONLY $83.33 APIECE! ALL MUST GO!
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration imposed a $500 fine on Midland’s Gulf Refining Company after an accident killed six pipeline workers.
DEPRESSED? LIFE LOST ITS MEANING?
Jimmy Stanley, rescued after three hours in Galveston Bay, said, “I thought, ‘Here I am, twenty-one, with a hell of a good future in real estate, finding homes people really want. I’ve got a lot in me to help others. In view of this, there’s no way I’m not going to make it.’”
NO, BUT WE’LL SELL YOU DOLPH BRISCOE
Governor Dolph Briscoe told Sheikh Al-Aharif Al-Hamdan that the Alamo was not for sale.
OH? YOU MEAN IT’S NOT ABOUT THE 1964 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN?
Dallas’ movie classification board gave Barry Lyndon a “not suitable” rating without ever seeing the film. After an appeal by Warner Brothers, the board screened the movie and changed the rating.
WHAT HE REALLY WANTED WAS THE ALAMO
During Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s trip to Texas he had to: sit through a staged bank robbery; be introduced to make-believe “soiled doves” or prostitutes of the Old West; watch a trained buzzard; receive a Colt .45 sixshooter; and become an honorary Texas Ranger.
SURE JUDGE, I’LL BE THERE IN 497 YEARS
Stephen D. Thompson received a Dallas jury summons while serving a 500-year prison sentence.
FOR NEXT YEAR’S BIRTHDAY, HE SCALES A PAY TOILET
Houston businessman Richard Minns, 46, celebrates his birthday every year by performing physical feats. Last year he skied around Lake Tahoe three times. Future birthday plans include fighting a bull in Mexico and killing a great white shark.
FLOATING OUT THERE IN GALVESTON BAY IS JUST THE MAN FOR THIS CHALLENGE
Texas A&M graduate William Williams claims he cannot sell nine lots on “Aggie Lane” in League City because the street name ruins the property value of the lots.
WAIT TIL NEXT YEAR
During a speech by a Texas A&M expert on rodent control, six rats scurried across the stage floor of Dallas’ Hillcrest High School. After the Aggie failed to catch the rats, a second assembly was cancelled.
THE 1976 JOHN J. AUDUBON AWARD (TIE) TO:
• Representative Joe Wyatt of Bloomington, who told officials that “whooping cranes are dumb birds who fly into televisions antennas. I don’t think they’ll ever last.”
• Texas Parks and Wildlife Commissioner John Green, who bristled at the suggestion that 4000 more acres be put aside for whooping cranes, commenting, “The cranes are not the only thing to consider. We have got to protect the rights of that man who buys the hunting license.”
WILL THE DEFENDANT PLEASE RISE AND FACE THE JURY
Galveston jurors convicted Jesse Ray Owens of aggravated rape after he dropped his trousers in the courtroom as part of his defense. The woman who claimed Owens was her attacker said his only unusual physical characteristic was a small penis.
THAT’S BECAUSE HOUSTON WANTS ALL THE INDUSTRIAL WASTE IT CAN GET
Harris County Commissioners Court voted to deny Walter Quebedeaux, the county pollution officer, travel funds to attend the monthly meetings of the Texas Water Quality Board where industrial waste permit decisions are made.
SOME PEOPLE NEVER GET ENOUGH JUNK FOOD
Two Lamesa patrolmen were caught taking food from the local high school cafeteria by school officials lying in wait in the school yard.
WE DIDN’T SEE YOU AT THE FUNERAL FOR
• Seven Seas and Lion Country Amusement Parks in Arlington, which folded.
• The Texas A&M football team, once ranked number two in the nation, which also folded.
• Flower Mound New Town, north of Dallas, which lost its federal loan guarantees.
• The new Texas Constitution, which cost $5 million to write, and which voters defeated almost three to one.
CRIMESTOPPERS TEXTBOOK #287: MEN WITH SNAKES AROUND THEIR NECKS SHOULD BE REGARDED WITH SUSPICION
In Houston, Gail Williams, a gas station attendant, was robbed after a man threatened to throw a snake draped around his neck at her. He and the snake fled with $80.
30 DAYS IN JAIL WILL TEACH THEM BEES A LESSON
The Texas Senate voted unanimously for a bill to prohibit Brazilian killer bees from entering the country.
Houston Representative Mickey Leland claimed the environmental movement was another “clandestine plot” to divert attention and money from the poor and dismissed the U.S. landing of men on the moon as “jive.”
TURN ON, TUNE IN, BUG OFF
City Attorney Crawford Reeder was shown shooting the finger at reporters on San Antonio’s Channel 5 nightly news broadcast.
AND WHAT’S MORE, IT WILL
An attorney for Southwestern Bell Telephone argued before the Texas Supreme Court that the telephone company had the legal right to charge $1000-a-minute on in-state calls if it so desired.
DON’T CALL US—YOU CAN’T
Citizens of Longview can no longer call their post offices. All numbers for main and substations are unlisted.
WE’RE NOT SURPRISED
The swearing-in ceremony for new Texas Utilities Commission members was interrupted by an electrical brown-out.
EVER WONDER WHY AGGIES ARE PARANOID?
The Federal Communications Commission ordered Texas A&M to replace maroon and white stripes on their TV antenna with regulation orange and white ones.
THAT’S TO MATCH THE WORLD’S LARGEST INDOOR EGO
Astro boss Judge Roy Hofheinz interrupted the Rice University Band program and confiscated the band’s script after its announcer called the Astrodome “the world’s smallest indoor football stadium.”
CAN YOU SHOOT THE BIRD?
A brochure from Fort Worth’s Green Oaks Inn advertises: “A bird-watchers paradise. You can see the big birds like the AF’s B-52 bomber and KC-135 jet tanker; medium size birds like the sweep-wing F-111; and soon, little birds like General Dynamic’s new F-16.”
THE LOSER GOT A BUSHEL OF CUCUMBERS
For the opening of the movie Linda Lovelace for President, Austin’s Texas Theatre sponsored a weenie-eating contest for all female movie goers. Entrants got in the movie free and the winner received $125 worth of prizes.
YOU SHALL KNOW THE TRUTH AND THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU FREAK
“Pornography; The Sexual Mirage,” a 190-page handbook produced by the Baptist General Convention to help Southern Baptist ministers fight smut, was denounced as pornographic by many of the same sponsoring ministers.
THE AGGIES NEVER MISSED IT
The Texas A&M Liberty Bell’s 70-pound, yard-long cast-iron clapper, which disappeared ten years ago, was returned to the campus.
THAT’S THE ONLY REASON, BUNKER
After he and his brother were acquitted on wiretap charges, H.L. Hunt’s son Bunker said, “My heart goes out to the poor, to the people who cannot afford to defend themselves. Herbert and I were able to hire fine lawyers and that’s probably a big reason why we are free today.”
When Charles Washington applied to become a Houston policeman, he answered, no, he had not been in trouble with the police, but yes, he had robbed a store once but wasn’t caught. During the interview the police matched his prints with those in an unsolved robbery, and arrested him.
YOU GO TO KANSAS CITY AND TURN LEFT
Ohio drill press operator Demetrio Garza and his father-in-law took a taxi from Toledo to Laredo to visit their mothers.
DON’T BOGART THAT PLUM, MY FRIEND
The Dallas district attorney dismissed charges of possession of peyote against a 27-year-old man after the suspected narcotic turned out to be a dried plum.
TOO BAD HE DIDN’T MAKE DEEP THROAT
Dennis Stanfill, board chairman of 20th Century Fox, maker of The Towering Inferno, was speaking to San Antonio Chamber of Commerce officers when flames engulfed a curtain in a nearby ballroom, sending smoke into the gathering.
The Dallas City Council ripped out a two-story-high philodendron in City Hall to make room for individual Gittings portraits of themselves.
THE MISSING WORD IN THIS SENTENCE IS:
Houston Mayor Fred Hofheinz, speaking about hiring new police officers, declared, “We’re going to offer police jobs to qualified women regardless of their sex.”
AREN’T YOU GLAD YOU USE DIAL?
Six prisoners escaped from the Brownsville jail using a pistol carved out of soap.
BUT OCCIFER, I WAS RIDING A WHISHKEY SOUR
Austin police stopped a motorcyclist who was wearing a plastic ice bucket on his head instead of a helmet.
BIG D, BIG A, DOUBLE S
The Dallas City Council prohibited newsrack display of magazines or books which depicted nudity on the cover. The week after the ordinance was passed, Newsweek was censored because its cover showed the naked body of a slain Vietnamese child.
A TSAR IS BORN
The only college campus in the nation where student protests occurred during 1975 was at UT Austin after Dr. Lorene Rogers was named president. Faculty members claimed the new Madame President kept enemies lists and reduced or eliminated scheduled salary increases for professors who disagreed with her.
I DO I DO ALREADY
Dallas’ Reverend Wayne Rothberg married a couple who began the ceremony by stripping and another with the bride in labor pain.
THE HIGH AND THE MICEY
Houston police finally got rid of the mice that continually feasted on the department’s seized sacks of marijuana.
OH BOW WOW, MAN
Officials in Spring Branch and Pasadena have hired German shepherds and Labrador retrievers to sniff out drugs at some of the cities’ high schools.
GUARDS, GUARDS, SEIZE THIS MAN
J.W. Burdell of Sherman sold his three horses, six pigs, rooster, seeder, and fertilizer; quit his welding job; hocked his car for a run-down school bus; put $34 in his kitty and announced plans to run for the presidency with the slogan “You’ll Get Well With Burdell.” Shortly after his announcement, Burdell was arrested for driving while intoxicated.
ON WEDNESDAYS THEY DRESS UP AND PLAY ARMY
The El Paso City Council at work.
HAPPY SENIOR CITIZEN’S DAY TO YOU… HAPPY SENIOR CITIZEN’S DAY TO YOU…
San Antonio state legislator G.J. Sutton, 66, co-sponsored a bill in the last session which would create a Texas “Senior Citizen’s Day” on June 22—his birthday.
GUARDS, GUARDS, RELEASE J.W. AND SEIZE BILLY JOE
When evangelist Billy Joe Clegg received a $1500 check, he interpreted it as a sign from God to run for the presidency again this year. Four years ago Billy Joe named Jesus Christ as his campaign manager and a host of angels as his campaign aides. He lost.
WE’RE OK, YOU’RE NOT
Jack Earthman’s neighbors in Houston have gone to court to kick out a Vietnamese refugee family living behind Earthman’s home. Deed restrictions in the neighborhood permit only household help to live in garage apartments.
TOUGH TOENAILS FOR ALL YOU SPASTIC, UMRELLA-TOTING, HEAVILY MADE-UP, FAT, BLACK, FEMALE HIPPIES
Jon Sparling, assistant DA in Dallas, believes prosecutors should look for jurors that “are hypocritical, biased, redneck individuals who want a crook kept off the streets.” His no-no list of jurors includes women (“I can’t trust them”) who carry umbrellas and wear heavy makeup, blacks, fatties, physically impaired, free-thinkers, and flower children.
PHYSICIAN, REVEAL THYSELF
Ben Vick was caught impersonating a doctor in Kansas when he told hospital officials he was a 1956 graduate of the UT Medical School in Houston. The school didn’t open until 1970.
PIE WITNESS NEWS
Austin and Lufkin television newsmen were hit with shaving cream pies while reading the evening news on the air.
RIGHT, WALT, DON’T CALL US, WE’LL CALL YOU
Former LBJ aide Walt Rostow, now a UT professor, called for an invasion of North Viet Nam during the last days of the Saigon regime.
THAT’S AFTER THEY DO A SWINE DIVE
Barbara Backus has taught nine pigs to swim for San Marcos’ Aquarena Springs underwater show.
WALT ROSTOW IS LOOKING FOR AN AIDE, GENE
Gene Tipps of Seymour woke up in June after being in a stupor for eight years following an auto accident.
THEY WERE ONLY HALF-ASSED BEFORE
Lieutenant Governor Bill Hobby, after listening to a long speech by Houston Senator Walter “Mad Dog” Mengden, remarked, “Walter, you have just made a complete ass out of the Senate. I hope you’re satisfied.”
LOVE THY NEIGHBOR, SO LONG AS SHE’S BAPTIST
Dr. W.A. Criswell, pastor of Dallas’ First Baptist Church (largest in the world) had a four-hour debate with atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair in which he called her a liar and a Communist and told her to “shut your mouth, woman.”
OUR REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS POSH AWARD TO:
Frank Erwin, former UT regent chairman, who threw a temper tantrum in Austin airport and threatened to fire managers and employees of Texas International when his reservation was resold after he failed to show up on time.
AGE OR IQ, JUDGE?
Chief Justice Joe Greenhill of the Texas Supreme Court held up a “hook-‘em-horns” sign before swearing in Texas A&M grad Glenn Kothmann as president pro tempore of the Texas Senate.
Danny Kizer was arrested in Houston and charged with seven counts of bigamy after two of his wives met while visiting a sick friend and discovered each was married to Danny.
Ten Mexican-American sympathizers of the United Farm Workers Union were wounded by South Texas citrus farmer C.L. Miller, Jr., who “opened season” on the picketers. “I haven’t been shooting at them. I shot ‘em,” Miller said.
PHYSICIAN, FEEL THYSELF
Locksmith Robert Story was arrested for impersonating a doctor after patients at the Texas Medical Center complained of a fondler. He worked through five floors at the Center before being caught.
HE OWES DANNY KIZER $35
Eagle Pass Justice of the Peace Tomas Herrera helped the economy by giving $5 rebates to all newlyweds.
BIG DEAL. HOW DO YOU GET TO THE DRAIN?
The costliest Christmas gift in the Sakowitz catalog was an old-fashioned bathtub filled with diamonds. Price: $118,335,000 (sales tax extra).
BUM SOW AWARD
Will Corrales of San Antonio raised a six-legged female pig that also has two stomachs and two sets of reproductive organs.
WHERE HE REIGNS, IT POURS
After House Speaker Bill Clayton broke a dozen gavels, Houston representatives issued helmets to House clerks. One gavel barely missed Clayton and landed in his chair.
JUST A SATORI AWAY FROM NIRVANABURG
Followers of Swami Satchidananda are negotiating for 1200 acres in East Texas for a proposed model community ashram to be called Yogaville.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Houston School Board candidated Bill Harwell left for a cruise to the Bahamas while his campaign treasurer conducted his runoff election bid. Yes, he won.
EARTH HAS AN UNLISTED NUMBER
Dr. George Low, deputy chief of NASA, told aviation and space writers he believes in intelligent life on other planets, but said, “If those beings had wanted to communicate with us, I believe they would have by now.”
THE MOVING SPHINCTERS POINT, AND HAVING POINTED, MOVE ON
Cold weather finally drove away the almost one million cowbirds that were depositing 862 pounds of droppings daily on Rice University.
I DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT ART, BUT I KNOW ABOUT NEKKID
W. D. Wyatt, president of the First National Bank in Corsicana, removed a Renoir nude before putting an exhibit of 140 paintings on public display.
A GOOD CENTERFIELDER WOULD HAVE HAD IT
On the opening day of the Texas Rangers baseball season, a helicopter crashed in right center field.
FOR OUR ANNUAL SALE WE STRIP COMPLETELY
Griffin’s Western Wear of Austin advertised on TV that “All our clothes are 20 per cent off all the time.”
PEOPLE WE WANT TO HEAR MORE FROM IN 1976
Okay, come out, we know you’re in there. Ben Barnes, Candy Mossler, Preston Smith, Candy Barr, Ben Jack Cage, Dolph Briscoe, Gen. Edwin Walker, Marina Oswald, James Ling and Rosa Carrasco.
DON’T WORRY, MAYOR, CHLORINE TURNS ‘EM WHITE
Asked whether a future swimming pool was needed in the black section of Pittsburg, Texas, Mayor D. H. Abernathy said, “I don’t know what they want one for anyway. Everybody knows those niggers are scared of water.”
AND THEN IT’S ATTACKED BY A HOSTILE BAND OF INDIAN CORN
Neiman Marcus’ Christmas Excess was an $8000 sterling and silver-plate model “gravy train” with an engine and four cars that circle the table delivering condiments and gravy.
I THOUGHT I THAWED A PUDDY TAT
Reveille, the Texas A&M canine mascot that died last summer, was kept in a deep freeze, awaiting a proper burial until the student body returned for fall classes.
DROOL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT
Julio Nieto, the famed Weslaco spitter, so named for his custom of spraying citizens and buildings, was arrested once again this year. After landing in jail, Julio tore up his mattress and broke several light bulbs by spitting on them while they burned.
IT’S SIMPLE! YOU JUST FOLD ONE CUP INSIDE THE OTHER . . .
Lackland Air Force Base officials discontinued the use of females as drill instructors after basic trainees complained about having women show them how to fold underwear.
TAKE A DAY OFF, BOB. MAYBE THREE
“Matagorda Island’s beaches are the prettiest this side of the Riviera,” said State Land Commissioner Bob Armstrong.
AND THEY SHALL BEAT THEIR F-4s INTO PLOWSHARES
Former South Viet Nam Premier Nguyen Cao Ky told reporters he was thinking of moving to San Antonio to become a farmer.
HEY MOBSTERS! TIRED OF VEGAS?
Abilene prosecutors dropped murder charges against a man accused of killing his daughter’s boyfriend because they were reluctant to locate funds to bring in out-of-state witnesses.
JUST PUT YOUR CADILLACS IN A CIRCLE AND YOU’LL BE OKAY
A group of women objected to the new state constitution because it deleted a provision allowing the governor to call out the militia to repel Indian attacks.
JOHN WAYNE WEPT
A recent translation of a Mexican officer’s diary revealed that Davy Crockett surrendered at the Alamo, and was executed some time after the battle.
THE OPPONENTS KEPT SEEING THREE VOLLEYBALLS
Esther Pena was thrown off the Texas A&M volleyball team for refusing to wear a bra during workouts.
WHAT REALLY GOT’EM WAS SHE WOULDN’T TURN OVER
Members of the Scenic Loop Swim Club near San Antonio voted to oust member Paula Newell for undoing the back of her bathing suit.