The 1986 Bum Steer Awards

February 1986By Comments

IT’S A GOOD THING THAT TEXAS’ SESQUICENTENNIAL YEAR is here at last, because number 149 wasn’t good for much except Bum Steers. The price of oil went down, and the price of Southwest Conference football players went up. The Legislature started out to cut the budget and ended up tripling college tuition. Bill Clements came back into politics, and Benny Eureste left politics. Mark White left too—for Honduras.

Attorney general Jim Mattox beat a felony rap. The baseball Rangers didn’t beat anybody. The Spurs, Rockets, and Mavericks quickly exited the NBA play-offs. The state tourist agency said that Texas has the best fall foliage, and New England took notice. The New York Times said that Houston has the Amon Carter Museum, and Fort Worth took notice. Billy Clayton switched political parties, and no one took notice.

Some things never change. Billie Sol Estes got indicted, and the Oilers fired their coach. Horse racing didn’t get out of the legislative starting gate. Clinton Manges didn’t pay his Gunslingers football team. And speaking of money troubles, the bankruptcy courts had some unlikely visitors: Clint Murchison, Sakowitz, the Hunt brothers.

Of all the boos and boo-boos, one stands out as worthy of joining such past notables as George Bush, Carolyn Farb, Jackie Sherrill, Mike Martin, J. R. Ewing, and Farrah Fawcett as Bum Steer of the Year. For producing the longest unbroken string of Texas clichés ever compiled, we salute . . .James Michener and his not-so-novel Texas.

WHAT’S BLACK AND WHITE AND UNREAD ALL OVER?
Its first printing of 750,000 sold out.

More than a million copies have already been sold.

And why not? After all, wasn’t James Michener invited to Texas back in 1981 by our very own Governor Bill Clements to write a novel honoring Texas’ 150th birthday? Didn’t he get his own office at the University of Texas and all the research help he wanted? Didn’t he have access to every nabob of the state?

Doesn’t James Michener deserve something special?

You bet he does—the 1986 Bum Steer Award. Michener’s Texas makes J.R.’s Dallas look like an informed and sophisticated portrayal of Texas today. Ordinarily we’d say, “Don’t take our word for it, folks. Read it yourself.” But as far as we can tell, no one has. So, as a public service, here’s everything you need to know about James Michener’s Texas.

MICHENER ON RULES TEXANS LIVE BY
Want to make it big in Texas? Here, in the mortal words of Michener’s characters, is how to do it.

• “Don’t never steal cows in Texas, boy. Down here they play by different rules.”

• “If you’re gonna do it, son, do it Texas-style.”

• “A Texan who can’t handle a gun ain’t fit to be a Texan.”

• “A handshake is a handshake, and by God, you better not forget it.”

• “Never forget, son, when you represent Texas, always go first class.”

• “Son, would you pee on your mother’s grave? To befoul Texas football is the same thing.”

• “Life in Texas is like a giant crap game, a perpetual gamble.”

• “A good chicken-fried steak smothered in white gravy, or a big slab of barbecue with baked beans and potato salad, that’s a man’s food.”

• “If you grab enough Texas land, somethin’ good is bound to happen.”

• “The University of Texas has one overriding obligation. To turn out football teams of which the state can be proud.”

• “If I have only one life to live, one dent to make, I want to make it where it counts, in Texas.”

MICHENER ON WHY TEXAS IS TEXAS
Are we smarter? Braver? Tougher? Meaner? None of the above. We’ve got anomie.

“Anomie is the emotional state of mind we are apt to fall into when we are wrenched away from familiar surroundings and thrown into perplexing new ones. The two key words for me are disorientation at first, followed by alienation if it continues long enough. . . .

“I have no opinion whatever as to whether our great-great-grandfathers were criminals or rowdies or gentlemen scholars. All I’m concerned with is: ‘How did they behave? What did they actually do?’ And when I study that restricted body of information, I must conclude that most of them experienced anomie. . . .

“Texas has always been a neurotic place, a breeding ground for anomie. But it’s the neuroticism of activity, of daring, and I hope it never changes, even though the cost can sometimes be so tragic.”

DID HE REALLY SAY THAT?
Somehow we weren’t surprised to come across the following lines:

• “The Texan who guns down his neighbor does not visualize himself as committing a crime.”

• “They were Texas gamblers and they did not whimper.”

• “This isn’t an ordinary ranch. This is a Texas ranch.”

• “Sounds illegal,” Cobb said, but Lakarz corrected him: “Sounds Texan.”

• “This is heroic land and it demands heroic people.”

AND WHAT IF I DON’T?
Two plastic flamingos were taken from Nancy Prather’s yard in Grand Prairie. One came back with its beak taped shut and a ransom note attached to its body reading, “If you ever want to see your other flamingo again, then place a dollar and a half in a Gucci briefcase.”

THEY’RE HANDLING THE CASE PRO BONE-O
Martin Pinnas of Houston hired two attorneys, whose usual fee is a $10,000 retainer plus $300 an hour, to help resolve a divorce case in which he said the only issue was who would get custody of the family dog.

FILE IT IN THE PORTFOLIO NEXT TO “40 PER CENT OF THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE”
In a land deal, Houston investor and power broker Walter Mischer bought 12 per cent of the nation of Belize.

GUANO TO TEXAS
Dr. Merlin Tuttle of Milwaukee, the founder of Bat Conservation International, announced that he wanted to move his organization and research to Austin, which he called “bat nirvana land.”

ESPECIALLY OF THE BRAIN
Donnie Trest of Houston parachuted off a broadcast tower while dressed in a gorilla suit. After being arrested for criminal trespass he explained that he made the jump to attract attention to the need for more research for cancer.

GOOD SAMARITAN, PART I 
When a tractor-trailer truck overturned on a Houston freeway, pinning the driver underneath the wreckage, Don Fowler used a crane that was in the back of his pickup to save the driver’s life. Then a highway patrolman issued Fowler a ticket because the crane was too heavy for his truck.

GOOD SAMARITAN, PART II
Xanthe Johnson of New Braunfels rescued a kitten tossed into the Guadalupe River by a man who first held it in front of two large barking dogs. When she cursed at the man after recovering the animal, she was arrested for disorderly conduct and fined $200.

WE UNDERSTOOD HIM THE FIRST TIME 
Raymond L. Flynn, mayor of Boston, said in San Francisco, “I came here from Dallas—the worst! Lowest of the low. The Kennedy Memorial is a disgrace. The buildings are horrible. The only people you see on the streets are the poor blacks who clean the horrible buildings.” Later his press secretary said, “The mayor was referring to the architecture of Dallas, while maintaining a great respect for the people of Dallas and for all Texans.”

CHANGE AT TWO FOR THE EXECUTIVE SUITE
The first elevator in the town of Hondo was installed in a three-story office building.

IT MUST HAVE BEEN STRIP STEAK AND RUMP ROAST
After police in Humble arrested Cynthia Ann Oakley for shoplifting and led her to a patrol car, her panties fell down to her ankles, and three steaks and a twelve-and-a-half pound roast fell out.

THE BULL DIED LAUGHING 
The Diez y Seis de Septiembre celebration in Laredo featured thirteen midget bullfighters from Mexico performing in a special midget bullfight.

DON’T ORDER THE STEAK TARTARE 
Real estate developers announced that Cullen Davis’ 20,000-square-foot mansion in Fort Worth, the scene of a 1976 murder and shooting spree for which Davis was tried and acquitted, will be converted into a restaurant.

THE DEFENSE CALLS SIR ISAAC NEWTON
Dancer Morganna Roberts, who claims to have a sixty-inch bustline, was charged with criminal trespass after she interrupted a Houston Astros game by running onto the field and kissing two players. Criminal defense attorney Richard “Racehorse” Haynes said she did not intend to go onto the field, but when she leaned forward from her first-row seat, she fell over the railing. “Anybody who understands the law of gravity will understand it,” said Haynes.

THEY WOULDN’T HAVE NOTICED ANYWAY
In a brochure designed by the Texas Education Agency to prepare students for upcoming tests, one question began, “Which, if any, of the following words are mispelled?” “Mispelled” was misspelled.

THIS TIME GOD REACHED DOWN AND SAID,”TELL IT TO THE JUDGE”
Religious book publisher Word Incorporated of Waco revealed that it was postponing the release of new books, films, and records by popular Christian author Joyce Landorf, whose work tells “how God can reach down to heal marriages,” after Mrs. Landorf announced her impending divorce.

JUDGE JERRY SAYS CHECK IT OUT
In his opinion upholding a ban on girlie magazines for inmates in the Dallas County jail, federal judge Jerry Buchmeyer described one magazine in the style of drive-in movie reviewer Joe Bob Briggs: “Extremely disappointing garbonza count: 25 ½. No blood. No breasts. No Kung Fu. Four biker chases. Biker fiction, biker cartoons, biker letters, biker horoscopes, biker suspenders. Four wasted pages of fully clothed bimbos.”

MOREOVER, NOT ONE OF MY PATIENTS SUFFERS FROM THE HEARTBREAK OF CRABGRASS
Dr. Nicholas Bachynsky of Houston is being sued by the state attorney general’s office for prescribing a weed killer named 2,4 Dinitrophenol in his diet clinics. “In the ten thousand people we’ve treated, there have been no deaths,” he said. “What have I done that’s been illegal? Where are the dead people?”

FOR PARSLEY, SAGE, ROSEMARY, AND THYME YOU GET LIFE
Undercover vice officers arrested Shari Gann of Dallas when she tried to sell them oregano cigarettes and charged her with delivery of a simulated controlled substance, a felony. Had she sold them real marijuana cigarettes, the offense would have been a misdemeanor.

HE WANTED A DOUGHNUT. HE GOT THE HOLE
Only minutes before he was to be released from the Texas Department of Corrections on the day his prison term was up, Thomas Ackenback escaped from the Walls Unit in Huntsville. He was apprehended as he tried to buy a doughnut and was returned to solitary confinement.

THIS IS DALLAS

THE SWANSON’S IS GOOD, BUT IT NEEDS A TOUCH MORE BAZOOKA
USA Today reported that Dallas consumed more bubble gum and frozen dinners per capita than any other U.S. city.

SECOND PLACE IS “ADAM SMITH”
The Dallas SPCA announced that the most popular name for a dog in the city is “Brandy.”

DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE FOR RIPPLE
Alain Bellet, a transplanted Frenchman, announced plans to build a 600,000-bottle public wine cellar in which oenophiles could lease a ten-case space for twenty years for $750.

AND IF RICHARDSON HAS ANYTHING TO SAY ABOUT IT, NO ONE EVER WILL
Businesses in Richardson contributed $260,000 for Enterprise City, an exercise in free-enterprise economics for students at Canyon Creek Elementary School. The purpose, school officials said, was for pupils to learn “no one gets a free lunch.”

J.R., DU BIST EIN SCHWEINHUNDT IF NOT FOR LUFF OF GOTT
Criswell College in Dallas inaugurated a shortwave radio station, KCBI International, aimed at Europe and parts of Africa. The programs feature Texas-style soap operas with a “subtle religious message” communicated as part of the “Dallas ambience.”

THIS IS HOUSTON

IF IT’S ALL THE SAME TO YOU, WE’LL GO AWOL
A new nightclub called Rambose opened in Northwest Houston featuring a paramilitary theme, including a green military stretcher used as a buffet table, bartenders dressed in black headbands and camouflage clothing, waitresses in bandoliers, and rest rooms labeled “latrine.”

IS THAT A BANANA IN YOUR POCKET OR ARE YOU JUST GLAD TO SEE ME?
The Follies Bergere theater in Houston presented a show called “Beauty and the Beast” featuring simulated sex between a woman and a man in a gorilla suit.

NOW SEEKING AN AGGRESSIVE, ACCOMPLISHED WOMAN LAWYER WHO MAKES THINGS HAPPEN
David Wayne Therrell of Houston, named Cosmopolitan magazine’s bachelor of the month for October, was arrested for stealing a federal tax refund check. The magazine had quoted Therrell as seeking “an aggressive, accomplished woman who makes things happen.”

CLICK
Lanny Griffith, who reports on traffic for Houston radio station KLOL, calls his show “Traffic in Bondage,” constantly uses sadomasochistic images (“Traffic is reaching a level of submission on the Gulf Freeway”), and employs such pain-related sound effects as breaking glass, cracking whips, and screams and moans.

OUR FRIENDS THE ANIMALS

SNOW—OKAY. RAIN, HEAT, GLOOM OF NIGHT—OKAY. BUT NIX ON THE BIRD
The U.S. Postal Service suspended mail deliveries to a Houston neighborhood after mail carriers complained that they were harassed by an aggressive mockingbird.

WE CAN’T MOVE AFTER OFFICE PARTIES EITHER
An elephant hired by the Stewart Title Company in Austin as the feature attraction at an office party balked on the third floor of the firm’s parking garage and stayed for three hours.

WHAT’S OVER YOUR HEAD, TEKO? ROOF! ROOF!
Teko, a dog from Snook that can mimic human speech, was the guest speaker at the Giddings centennial celebration.

POLLY WANT A CORONER
Sid Crowley, an assistant district attorney in Houston who handled a case of a parrot that died under suspicious circumstances, announced, “You don’t kill a parrot and get away with it in Harris County, Texas.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION, DIAL THEIR 800 NUMBER
A flock of buzzards invaded Ballinger and made their home on a telephone microwave tower.

THAT NIGHT, PANTING WITH DESIRE, THEY PAWED EACH OTHER
Toy poodles Touché and Tasha, owned by Cindy and Bob Gouin of San Antonio, were married in a ceremony in which Tasha worse a sheer white gown ruffled at the collar and bodice, with a pearl-beaded crown and matching veil. Touché wore a black tuxedo trimmed in black satin, a white ruffled shirt, a bow tie, and a cowboy hat.

I SWEAR TO TELL THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH, AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH 
Addressing the Texas Senate following his retirement as chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court, Jack Pope said, “What I lacked in charisma I made up in mediocrity.”

AT LEAST IT WORKED
Robert Downing of Houston took a bulldozer from a construction site and drove it through his subdivision looking for his lost dog, doing $20,000 worth of damage. When he got home, the dog was there waiting for him.

PUBLIC RELATIONS . . . THE OLD TEXAS CRUDE 
The Discover Texas Association, an organization for businesses that promote tourism, unveiled its new slogan: “Tourism . . . the New Texas Crude.”

BUM DEER AWARD
William Mark Day of Austin shot a deer in Mexico with antlers so large that Day won the Mexican deer of the year award given by the Texas Trophy Hunters Association. He and the deer were pictured in Outdoor Life magazine, which quoted Day as saying, “I took one look at the buck and went down on my knees. I was speechless.” Subsequently Day was indicted on federal charges that he paid $20,000 for a set of antlers stolen from a Canadian taxidermy shop, which he then had had mounted on a small deer he’d killed in Mexico.

COULD YOU TAKE A LITTLE MORE OFF THE TOP?
In response to an inquiry from Houston, the State Board of Barber Examiners adopted rules prohibiting topless barbershops.

SIT DOWN, GIB, SO YOU CAN’T BE 
House Speaker Gib Lewis asked a group of handicapped visitors in wheelchairs to “please stand up and be recognized.”

J.R., THIS TIME YOU’VE GONE TOO FAR
Governor Mark White appeared on an episode of Dallas.

LAUGH OR WE’LL SHOOT
The Maryland and Tennessee football teams, in El Paso for the Sun Bowl game, were on their way to a Sheriff’s Posse dinner when rifle-toting bandits hijacked their buses. Later the hijacking was revealed to be a practical joke arranged by the Sun Bowl host committee.

SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BIGOTS
Lieutenant David Walker, chairman of Houston’s Afro-American Police Officers League, said that city councilman Ernest McGowan had shown “divine guidance,” “exemplary wisdom,” and “insight from on high” in presenting a city medallion to Louis Farrakhan.

AND NOW, HERE’S SOMETHING TO HELP US WITH OUR OVERCROWDING PROBLEM
The Duncanville preschool PTA held a benefit auction in which one prize was a $500 vasectomy.

QUICK! A BUCKET OF ICE AND TWO GLASSES TO INTENSIVE CARE
Methodist Hospital in Houston began offering patients valet parking, uniformed doormen, bellboys, a concierge, and executive suites.

IN TEN MORE YEARS, SHE’LL HAVE TWO HANDS AND TWELVE FEET
Lauretta Adger of Garland has fingernails half a foot long that she has been growing for ten years.

STILL MISSING: ONE MINIATURE SLEIGH AND EIGHT TINY REINDEER
Workers demolishing an El Paso restaurant found the skeletal remains of a man inside the chimney.

NEXT SEMESTER, BOYS AND GIRLS, WE’LL PRACTICE POSING FOR MUG SHOTS
A federal grand jury indicted former Houston junior high math teacher Gerald Lassiter for firearms violations after he had his students fill out what he said were job applications. The forms were actually applications to purchase guns, which Lassiter intended to use himself.

SAY, WHY DID THAT MASKED BUREAUCRAT LEAVE A SILVER MEMO?
Denton city manager Chris Hartung conducted a management study session in which supervisors and department heads watched an old TV episode of the Lone Ranger.

HELLO, WALLS
The Internal Revenue Service filed suit against singer Willie Nelson for civil tax fraud, saying that he had significantly underreported his income for the years 1975-1978 and asking for more than $2.2 million in unpaid taxes and penalties.

NEVER MIND
In a bankruptcy proceeding, Galveston police officers seized the Moody National Bank and refused to let customers or employees enter, only to discover they had seized the wrong bank.

VERY IMPORTANT: GET LAWYER
After Antonio Gonzales of Kyle and Kathy Otis of Lexington were arrested and charged with robbery, Travis County sheriff’s deputies discovered a list in their car labeled “things to do,” which included “guns and bullets” and “ski mask and scary mask.”

NEED NOT BE PRESENT TO WIN
As part of a campaign to reduce driving while intoxicated, Midland radio stations KNFM and KMND offered to pay for the funeral of the first drunk driver killed locally on New Year’s Eve.

WAS IT SOMETHING I SAID?
Rose Marie Devine of San Antonio was convicted of robbery for extorting more than $10,000 from her ex-husband. He paid the money after she threatened to kill him, his wife, and two children, sent a funeral home representative to his house to discuss a burial plot, tried to have his utilities disconnected, and attempted to have his entire house moved.

BIG LOSERS

• Louie Welch, Houston mayoral candidate. His four-point program to control AIDS began with “shoot the queers.” Or so he said, into a microphone he thought was dead. It wasn’t. He was.

• Jo Bob Briggs, drive-in movie critic for the Dallas Times Herald. Used his syndicated column to poke fun at starvation; parodied the song “We Are the Weird.” Now a former Times Herald movie critic.

• Texaco, major oil company. Ordered by a Houston jury to pay Pennzoil $11.1 billion for interfering with Pennzoil’s purchase of Getty Oil. Soon to be a minor oil company.

• Jim Wacker, TCU football coach. Kicked seven players off his team following their confessions that they had been paid by alums. Won Southwest Conference Coach of the Year in 1984. Didn’t win a single conference game in 1985.

• General Dynamics, defense contractor. Accused by the Pentagon of $244 million in overcharges; agreed to drop billings of $55 million after Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger suspended payments to the company for thirty days.

• Muse Air, commuter airline. After losing $17 million in 1984, gave up its long struggle against its hated competitor, Southwest Airlines. Merged with—guess who?—Southwest Airlines.

THE OTHER EIGHT HAD “TEENIE WEENIE HIT”
Twelve of the twenty members of the San Antonio Police Department SWAT team were forced to remove or alter tattoos that displayed the phrase “Total Hit” between lightning bolts.

HE HAS A DREAM, HE HAS A DREAM. GREAT GOD ALMIGHTY, HE HAS A DREAM
State senator Craig Washington of Houston proposed legislation to combine holidays honoring Martin Luther King Jr., and Confederate war heroes.

THANKS FOR THE ADVICE, BUT WE’D RATHER PAY
The Texas Bar Journal, the official publication of the State Bar of Texas, published an article by Robert Jorrie and Mason Stanley entitled “The Tax Advantages of Lingering Death.”

AFTER YOU, BERNIE
Bernard Roth, a physics graduate student of the University of Texas, asked the student senate to hold a referendum to determine whether the university should provide suicide pills in the event of nuclear war.

NEXT TIME TRY LEAVING IT ON THE STREET WITH THE KEYS IN THE IGNITION
Ronald and Deloris Harper of Milano pleaded guilty to burying their 1979 Mustang in their back yard and reporting it stolen in a scheme to collect insurance. Milam County officials said the Harpers didn’t dig the hole deep enough and had to knock the top in with a sledgehammer in order to cover the car with dirt.

WE LIKE THE SCENE WITH THE MEGABYTES
Southwest Motion Pictures Company of Dallas filmed a movie in Galveston, starring Houston actors Hank Amigo and Andre Chimene, called Computer Beach Party.

THOSE WHO CAN’T . . .
In a nationwide comparison of high school students who want to become teachers, the SAT scores of Texans ranked forty-seventh.

ALFRED, YOU’RE GETTING TOO INVOLVED IN YOUR WORK
Alfred Castellano, chairman of the San Antonio Policemen and Firemen’s Civil Service Commission, was found guilty of arson.

DAVY CROCKETT DIED FOR . . . 
Dallas hairdresser Wayne Towsley, who created this star-studded hair sculpture as a salute to Texas’ 150th birthday. (PICTURE)

FUN COUPLES

• Congressman Charlie Wilson of Lufkin and Washington lobbyist Annelise Ilschenko. They inspected the U.S.S. Saratoga after Wilson told the Navy that she was a member of his staff.

• Houston mayor Kathy Whitmire and her frequent companion, New York painter John Alexander. “She is a fun-loving, interesting, very personable woman,” he told a reporter.

• Attorney General Jim Mattox and Ernie, the Safeway super-chicken. They paraded down Austin’s Congress Avenue as part of Mattox’s publicity campaign to enforce child support payments.

• Dallas developer Ward Hunt and Princess Michael of Kent, wife of Queen Elizabeth’s first cousin. They were romantically linked by Rupert Murdoch’s British weekly, News of the World.

THEY DIDN’T LIKE THE NEW COKE EITHER
A fight broke out in an Austin supermarket when a Coca-Cola salesman discovered two Pepsi employees dismantling a Coke display.

BONNER’S? YOU KNOW, THE BAR WHERE JANET COOK, ROSIE RUIZ, CLIFFORD IRVING, AND PINOCCHIO ALL HANG OUT
Chicago Sun-Times reporter Wade Roberts wrote an article about watching the Chicago Bears-Dallas Cowboys football game from Bonner’s Bar in Eden. After publication, Sun-Times editors began to suspect it was a hoax, but Roberts insisted the story was true, accompanied an editor to Texas, and spent two days searching fruitlessly for Bonner’s, whereupon he was fired.

JUST ONE CONDITION. KING’S X ON THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT
Serial murderer Henry Lee Lucas was baptized in the chapel of the El Paso County jail.

TAKE THAT, CASPAR WEINBERGER
Former U.S. senator John Tower was named to the Fashion Foundation of America’s best-dressed list.

WHAT’S THE MANTA? IT WAS JUST A FLUKE THAT THEY LANDED ON YOUR PLAICE. YOU CAN CACHALOT IF YOU’LL QUIT FLOUNDERING AROUND AND PIKE THEM UP. FINDERS KIPPERS. TOO BAD THAT ONE LANDED ON YOUR PORBEAGLE, BUT IT WAS AN ACT OF COD
Thirty-four fish fell out of the sky in Fort Worth and landed in Louis Castorano’s back yard.

BUM STEER MENU

WITH SIX YOU GET TACO
Fajitas, prepared in Dallas by experts in Southwestern cuisine and served to Julia Child, reminded her of Peking duck and mooshi pork. “It’s just like being in China,” said her husband.

WHERE IS JIMMY DEAN WHEN YOU NEED HIM?
Catfish sausage, available in a marketing test in Dallas, prepared by Delta Industries in Jackson, Mississippi. If the sausages are successful, products to follow include “cat dogs” and “corn cats.”

SURF ‘N’ BURP
Lobster fajitas—fresh Maine lobster grilled with an Italian sweet pepper sauce or a basil aioli and wrapped in a flour tortilla—prepared by Tony’s restaurant in Houston.

EAT YOUR HEART OUT, TONY
Chicken-fried lobster, an exclusive of the Tyler Petroleum Club.

OKAY. SO YOU FINALLY MADE IT TO THE COTTON BOWL. ENOUGH’S ENOUGH 
Cotton-fried chicken and cottonseed-stuffed fish, two of the recipes in Cottonseed Cookery, a new cookbook published by Texas A&M.

IT MUST HAVE BEEN A LEMON CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE ISOTOPING
For dessert, a wedding cake in the shape of the South Texas Nuclear Plant, the groom’s employer, served at the wedding of Ruth Peggy Muras and Alvin Charles Steffek in Praha.

REVOLUTIONARY! NEEDS NO MATCHES OR CHARCOAL!
For preparing the Bum Steer menu, there’s nothing like the Haul a Drum barbecue pit, made in Houston from barrels that the Environmental Protection Agency found had previously contained chemical wastes.

BUM STEER GIFT GUIDE

LET’S DON’T
T-shirts featuring knives from the movie Commando, available from knifemaker Jack Crain of Weatherford. Along with the knives, the shirt displays the words “Let’s Party Commando.”

OR WAS IT “SEX—IT’S BORING” AND “POLITICS—ESPECIALLY IF YOU’VE DONE IT”?
Rush: A Girl’s Guide to Sorority Success, written by Margaret Ann Rose of Austin, a former rush captain of Zeta Tau Alpha at UT. The book offers hints on how to avoid inappropriate clothes (“tight and revealing”) or topics of conversation (“Sex—especially if you’ve done It” and “Politics—it’s boring”).

WILLIE AND WAYLON KEPT THE MINERAL RIGHTS
A square foot of Luckenbach, along with a deed and membership in the Footlier Society, available from P.A.D. Enterprises in San Antonio for $24.95.

WE’RE HOLDING OUT FOR DYNASTY’S GREATEST HITS
A country-western music album from Lorimar productions called Dallas: The Music Story featuring Steve Kanaly (Ray Krebbs) singing “Who Killed Jock Ewing?”, Howard Keel (Clayton Farlow) singing “J.R.! Who Do You Think You Are?” And other songs bearing subtitles such as “The Ewing/Barnes Legacy” and “J.R.’s Lament.”

COMING NEXT: HYSTERECTOMY EARRINGS
Anatomically accurate heart bypass pins in fourteen-karat gold, showing the actual placement of the bypass arteries, designed by Michael Taterka, Lake Jackson.

O  BURY IT NOW ON SILICON PRAIRIE
The Texas Cow Chip, a miniature replica of a Texas Longhorn made entirely of electronic components, available from the I-P-E Group, Austin. “The Texas Cow Chip is perfect for the would-be cowpoke who wouldn’t know which end of a dogie to punch.”

SO THAT’S WHY THEY CALL IT TOILET WATER
A bottle of Cow Chip cologne, offered by DMA Inc. in Bedford.

A RECREATIONAL BLAST! PICNIC LAUNCHES, GREAT FISSION, AND MILES OF NIKE ‘N’ BIKE TRAILS
A former Nike Hercules nuclear missile base near Fort Worth, owned by Fred Cowan of Dallas, for sale for $1.5 million. The base sleeps 140 people. Missiles not included.

I SEE BY YOUR SPLIT ENDS THAT YOU MUST BE A GEMINI
A personal horoscope reading by astrologer Frederick Davies along with an autographed copy of his book, The Astrology of Wealth, plus shampoo, conditioning, and styling, offered by Frost Brothers beauty salon for $39.

EVERYTHING FROM SEXODUS TO THE NUDE TESTAMENT
An X-rated Bible, offered by Madalyn Murray O’Hair’s American Atheist Press in Austin in an attempt to “expose obscenity in Christendom’s most holy work.”

HE SAVES HIS BLOW DRYER FOR BANK JOBS
Terry Lee Birdow, Jr., of Tyler demanded money from a grocery store clerk while brandishing a comb. The clerk walked out of the store, held the door shut, and told a passerby to call the police.

FOUR SMALL PROBLEMS SOLVED, ONE LARGE PROBLEM CREATED
A group of Port Arthur businessmen started a movement to combine Port Arthur, Port Neches, Groves, and Nederland into a single new city called Spindletop.

“DUH . . .”
Baylor football coach Grant Teaff, in a press conference following his team’s 21-14 victory over SMU, said, “I knew if we had the lead last in the game, we wouldn’t lose.”

NO PASS, NO PLAY
Dennis Shannon resigned from his job as a math teacher in Fort Worth after school officials said he had sold grades for prices ranging from $50 for a 75 to $75 for a 91.

DON’T STAND UP WHEN IT PLAYS “LA MARSEILLAISE”
San Antonio is negotiating to become the first American city to lease French-made, coin-operated street corner potties that feature self-cleaning, total automation, and soft music.

HIS CASE DIDN’T HAVE A LEG TO STAND ON
Texas prison inmate Ronald Danford was sentenced to serve five additional years after prison guards, searching him following a five-day furlough, discovered an ounce of marijuana concealed inside his artificial leg.

WELL, HOW ABOUT THROWING IN A BATTLESHIP?
Kay Osterman, general manager of the curio stand loated next to Battleship Texas, bought the entire contents of the battleship’s closed souvenir shop with a sealed bid of $20,000. The next-highest bid was $501.

ACCORDING TO HOUSE RULES, HOWEVER, ONLY WILD BOORS CAN VOTE
State Representative Charles Evans of Hurst arrived at the House chamber to find his seat occupied by the head of a wild boar.

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