The 1993 Bum Steer Awards

January 1993By Comments

Hail to the beef! Texas tried to give the nation its next president but instead only produced the next Bum Steers. Two of them, in fact: George Bush and Ross Perot share the Bum Steer of the Year awards. But that’s the kind of year 1992 was. In what other election year could one state produce two major candidates in the general election and fail to elect either one?

The strangest things kept happening. In America the economy went down, and in Japan the president threw up. At Houston’s Republican National Convention in August, the weather was cool, Pat Buchanan was hot, and keynoter Phil Gramm was just lukewarm. In the debates Bush eyed his watch and Perot was all ears. As his parting shot of the campaign, the president described his Democratic opponents as Bozo and Ozone.

Perot’s campaign was just as strange. In the spring he went from out of the race to first in the polls in just four months. In the summer he went from first in the polls to out of the race in just four weeks. In the fall he was back in and climbing fast until he said on 60 Minutes that he had left the race because of fears that Republicans would disrupt his daughter’s wedding. He won the debate wars but lost the CBS piece.

Presidential candidates weren’t the only Texans who made 1992 a Bum Steer year. The Rice Owls won more football games than Nolan Ryan won baseball games. American Airlines lost big money, and the backers of the bullet train couldn’t find any. The new Texas lottery took away our money, and Congress tried to take away our supercollider. Can a president from Arkansas make things better in 1993? Look at the bright side—at least he’s not from Oklahoma.

Losing Isn’t Everything
Kyle Pennington of San Antonio bought three Texas lottery tickets to show her children the folly of gambling. She won $150.

Call Me Back When You Have an Answer
After seventeen years on the lam, prison escapee James Sanders was captured in Fritch—where he had started a new life, married, and fathered a daughter—after he called the FBI to find out how someone could clear his name.

James Sanders Might Fall for It
The City of Rollingwood announced a plan to paint stray dogs with spray guns, hoping that owners could be issued a citation when they called the city to complain.

Those Big Ol’ Books Were Just Too Tough for Our Kids, but at Least They Never Quit
The NCAA Graduation-Rates Report, which calculated what percentage of scholarship football players entering college in 1984 and 1985 graduated within six years, revealed that the University of Houston and Texas Tech tied for the next-to-worst record in the nation, with a graduation rate of 14 percent. The only school with a lower graduating percentage, Southeastern Louisiana, dropped football in 1986.

Horses and Zebras Don’t Mix
The Texas Tech school mascot, a black horse carrying a masked rider, galloped around Jones Stadium while celebrating a Tech touchdown against Wyoming and knocked down a referee.

What Did Richard Nixon Know and When Did He Know It?
Thieves broke into the state headquarters of the Texas Democratic party in Austin and stole $3,100 in campaign filing fees.

But We’ll Miss Dorito Breath
Frito-Lay of Dallas announced that its new recipe for nacho cheese chips would reduce the problem of “Dorito breath.”

That’s Nothing. His Washington Landlord Is $4 Trillion In Debt
Houstonian Properties Limited, the owner of the land and building at the Houstonian Hotel and Conference Center, where George Bush maintains a suite as his official residence for voting and tax purposes, filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 because of $28.3 million in unpaid debts.

Another Dirty Trick
Two of the eighteen new voting precincts in Lubbock had no residents and were located in the city landfill.

Take Two Aspirin and Sue Me in the Morning
After a lawyer took out a newspaper advertisement seeking the names of people who had been injured on the Rattler, Fiesta Texas’ roller coaster with a 166-foot drop, officials for the new San Antonio theme park said that of 600,000 riders, only around 30 had been sent to hospitals.

Let Them Eat Red Tape
Federal inspectors at Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio found more than eighty mail buckets containing unpaid bills from vendors supplying groceries.

They’re Redlining The Pond This Year
A Bank One customer in San Antonio, whose loan application had previously been denied, was arrested after he entered the bank, stripped off his clothes, and quacked like a duck.

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread
Harris Country deputy sheriff Edward Estmere Webb, Jr., was charged with theft for removing approximately $600 from the collection plate during services at the Southeast Church of Christ.

Stumped! A Campaign in the Neck.

Where Is Santa Anna When You Really Need Him?
Pat Buchanan campaigned in San Antonio before the Texas presidential primary dressed as a defender of the Alamo.

Now We Know Who Really Has Family Values
Millie’s Book, Barbara Bush’s story of life in the White House told from the viewpoint of the family’s pet spaniel, earned $889,176. Looking Forward, George Bush’s autobiography, earned $2,718.

Smile if Galveston Is Tickling Your Nose
Hillary Clinton campaigned in Texas wearing sunglasses in the shape of the state.

They’re Looking for Deep Pockets
Ferrumar Resources of Alexandria, Virginia, formed a foundation dedicated to recovering Barbara III, the torpedo bomber that Lieutenant (j.g.) George Bush bailed out of over the Pacific Ocean in 1944.

Read My Clips. No New Taxes
After an article in Money magazine revealed that George Bush avoids paying around $29,000 annually in state income taxes by declaring Texas as his legal residence instead of Maine, Doonesbury character Zonker Harris told readers that they could do likewise by declaring their intention to move to Texas. More than 55,000 people clipped out the mock application that accompanied the cartoon and mailed it to state comptroller John Sharp.

It’ll Make a Great Pie Chart
Girard Kinney won an Austin pumpkin carving contest by creating a likeness of Ross Perot.

One Other Thing. What Does “Paper or Plastic” Mean?
Campaigning at a grocers’ convention in Orlando, Florida, George Bush went through a mock checkout lane, used an electric scanner that registered prices, and later told grocers that he was “amazed by some of the technology.”


VERBATIM VERBOSITY

He’s Not the Only One
George Bush on family life, during an interview with David Frost: “I mean a child that doesn’t have a parent to read to that child or that doesn’t see that when the child is hurting to have a parent and help out or neither parent there enough to pick the kid up and dust him off and send him back into the game at school or whatever, that kid has a disadvantage.”

Except When We Do, or Maybe We Don’t
Bush on the economy: “We’re enjoying sluggish times, and not enjoying them very much.”

Give ‘Em Heck
Bush on the media, while campaigning in South Dakota: “And also, if you haven’t detected, I’m a little sore at the national media. Let me tell you something. Remember what Harry Truman said: ‘They wouldn’t know’—I better be careful. Well, I better not say that. I got the—they’re mad at me anyway.”

It Certainly Is
Bush on an inscription at the Jefferson Memorial: “‘With frequent changes laws and institutions must go hand-in-hand with the progress of the human mind.’ As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, with new discoveries were made, new truth discovered, matters of opinions change is certain of that. Institutions must advance also to keep pace with my times. If I’ve ever heard an eloquent plea for term limits, that’s it.”

Shut the Ecuador on Your Way Out
Bush on optimism, while campaigning in New Hampshire: “You cannot be president of the United States if you don’t have faith. Remember Lincoln, going to his knees in times of trial and the Civil War and all that stuff. You can’t be. And we’re blessed. So don’t feel sorry for—don’t cry for me, Argentina.”


That’s What They All Say
Richard Fife Curr of San Antonio was charged with assault after nightclub dancer Deanna Merryman told police that he bit her on the rear end during a performance, causing two puncture wounds. Curr told police that he was trying to place a dollar bill in her G-string when she backed into his tooth.

She Got Him All Pumped Up
After receiving a report that a woman had been kidnapped and was being driven around Hill County bound and gagged, sheriff’s deputies stopped the suspect’s car and discovered that the victim, wearing a blond wig, skirt, shirt, and boots, and tied hand and foot with ropes, was a plastic dummy.

But They Did Allow Players to Take a Free Drop From the Window Hazard
The Plano Board of Adjustment ruled that Catharine and Joseph Mansour could not receive a variance to the city’s zoning ordinance in order to build a 21-foot-high net that would prevent errant golf balls on the eighth hole of the Chase Oaks Golf Course from hitting their home.

Cowhide, Oxide, What’s the Difference?
The Galveston County Fair and Rodeo Association disqualified its grand champion steer, contending that it had been pumped full of air to enhance its appearance.

Fill It Up With Château Prince William Sound
The advertising manager for Exxon’s British subsidiary described the odor of a newly developed diesel fuel as “a strong, fruity fragrance accentuated with floral top notes.”

Everybody Was Relieved
British rock singer Ozzy Osbourne gave the Daughters of the Republic of Texas a $10,000 check as atonement for his 1982 act of urinating in front of the Alamo.

The White Man Will Never Understand the Ways of the Great Spirit
Dial Books, the publisher of the best-selling Brother Eagle, Sister Sky: A Message From Chief Seattle, was informed by Pacific Northwest historians that words the book attributes to the chief in an 1854 speech were actually written by Ted Perry, a Texas screenwriter, in 1971.

In the War Against Roaches, We Will All Be Called Upon to Make Sacrifices
Peggy Holt of Austin received minor injuries in an explosion that occurred when the pilot lights on her gas stove ignited fumes from eight insect foggers she had set off in her small apartment.

According to Tournament Rules, Players Are Entitled to a Stroke a Hole
Neighbors of the Forest Creek Golf Club in Round Rock complained after they discovered that the club was hosting nightclub-sponsored golf tournaments featuring drink carts driven by topless women.

In Texas They Teach Us, “Don’t Get Mad—Get Even”
Italian model Carla Bruni, denying that she was the reason for the marital troubles of Mick Jagger and Texas-born model Jerry Hall, said, “I think people should learn not to wash their dirty laundry in public. Maybe in Texas they think it shows class, but I think her behavior shows a big lack of discretion and elegance. It’s not the way I would behave if I were married. If you’re fed up with your man, you should talk to him, not the world. At least that’s what they teach us in Italy.”

Can You Play the William Tell Overture?
Eddie Earl Wilson of San Antonio was arrested for violating probation after a twenty-minute chase, during which he dived into the San Antonio River and pirated a tourist barge. A pursuing officer caught him by commandeering a barge with seven mariachi musicians on board.

And Two or Three Thousand Who Needed To Be Jailed
Tom King, the now-retiring president of the Texas Savings and Loan League, told a reporter that when he took the position in 1984 “there were two or three people who were in the business who needed to be watched.”

Teletrac: Try Los Angeles
Pac Tel Teletrac, the California-based maker of a device that can be installed in cars so that they can be tracked electronically if stolen, advertised on billboards in the Fort Worth area: CAR THIEVES: FORT WORTH HAS TELETRAC. TRY EL PASO.

How Much for a Sure Thing?
Austin criminal defense lawyer David Bays took out newspaper advertisements featuring the motto “A Reasonable Doubt for a Reasonable Fee.”

No, But How About Trade for Santa Fe?
New Mexico state senator Tom Benavides called for an election to be held in far west Texas so that residents could decide whether to leave Texas and become part of New Mexico.

You Mean “Kick”
The last words of Johnny Frank Garrett of Amarillo, before being executed for killing a nun, were “I’d like to thank my family for loving me and taking care of me. And the rest of the world can kiss my ass.”

How Now, Brown Cow?
A three-hundred-pound heifer that had been missing for three weeks was rescued from the Amarillo sewer system.

And He Demanded That the Case Be Transferred to Small-claims Court
John Carrigan, the attorney for accused murderer Jeffrey Leibengood of Houston, asked the trial judge to include people shorter than five feet in the jury pool because his client was only four feet six inches tall.

What? No Gasoline Credit Card?
After losing $732 million in 1991, Houston-based Tenneco reported that it paid outgoing chairman James Ketelsen $1.5 million in salary and bonuses and gave him a two-year consulting contract worth $900,000 and a company car.

Introducing a Candidate For the Next Chairman Of Tenneco
Charles McKay, the head of the state insurance pool that provides workers’ compensation insurance to employers who cannot otherwise buy coverage, charged $58,034.18 in private club fees, entertainment, and travel to the pool during a period when it posted a deficit of $600 million.

They Didn’t Want to Run A Head of the Ticket
Harrison County commissioners voted to relocate the Precinct 25 polling place to a church after icy weather forced voting to be moved from an outdoor pavilion to a nearby women’s rest room.

Offer Not Valid When the Rig Count Tops One Thousand
The Houston chapter of the Society of Petroleum Engineers offered a $15 subsidy to help unemployed members pay the $20 luncheon fee at its monthly meetings.

Boohoo 1992 It Was a Bad Year for . . .

Mark White: LOGROLLER
Relinquished control of two radio stations in a legal dispute with Ross Perot. Gave up his law firm partnership. Resigned from the Hermann Hospital Trust board. Subsequently plagued by reports that he accepted stock from a businessman who later was awarded a lucrative hospital contract.

Houston’s Jeff Davis High Panthers: LOSERS
Lost their seventy-third straight football game, going back to 1985, setting a national high school record for futility. Came no closer in an 0-9 season than a 21-0 loss to Scarborough.

First City Bank: LENDER
Declared insolvent by federal regulators because of bad loans, including $5 million to a Saudi family connected with the notorious Bank of Credit and Commerce International.

Lena Guerrero: LIAR
Said she graduated from the University of Texas. She didn’t. Said she was Phi Beta Kappa. She wasn’t. Resigned from the Texas Railroad Commission and tried to win back her seat. She couldn’t.

James Baker: LACKEY
Left his position as Secretary of State to become White House Chief of Staff and guru of the foundering Bush campaign. Lost not only the election but also his reputation as a political genius.

San Antonio Light: LEFT OUT
Won the San Antonio newspaper battle when its owner, Hearst Corporation, bought the rival Express-News. Lost the war when Hearst announced that it would keep the Express-News and sell or fold the Light.

Robert Tilton: LITIGANT
Included in an exposé on televangelists by ABC’s PrimeTime Live. Sued by contributors to his Word of Faith World Outreach Center in Farmers Branch. Responded by suing opposing lawyers for defaming him. Investigated by Texas attorney general Dan Morales for deceptive trade practices. Responded with a $2 million suit against the state.


He Was Looking for the Good Book
Bible salesman Mark Ramsey of Galveston withdrew as a candidate for the Texas Legislature after he was arrested for stealing girlie magazines from a grocery store.

The Democrats Are Hungry for Victory This Year
Bee County commissioners decided not to allow early voting at senior citizens centers after a resident was told that he would not receive food unless he voted a straight Democratic ticket.

Smokers Have Their Rights Too: The Right to Remain Silent. The Right To an Attorney
Kay E. Cohlmia, the president of a smokers’ rights group called the American Smokers Club, was investigated for selling untaxed black market cigarettes to club members.

FUN COUPLE OF THE YEAR
John Bryan, formerly of Houston, and Sarah Ferguson, the duchess of York. Bryan is the son of Tony Bryan, onetime husband of Houston socialite Josephine Abercrombie. The duchess is separated from Prince Andrew. British newspaper photographs showed her bare-chested, and him kissing her foot.

What’s More, She Didn’t Say “Go to Hell” When He Told Her to Relax and Enjoy It
A Travis County grand jury refused to indict Joel Rene Valdez for aggravated sexual assault, although he admitted to breaking into a woman’s apartment and confronting her with a knife. Valdez contended that the victim gave her consent by asking him to wear a condom.

The Damn Traffic Doesn’t Move Any Faster Down Here
A boring machine digging a tunnel for a sewer line under the West Loop in Houston ran into a buried concrete support and had to be rescued by drilling from the surface because it didn’t go in reverse.

She Didn’t Have a State Inspection Sticker, and Her Headlights Were Out
An Arlington police officer arrested and jailed a woman for jogging in a street instead of on an adjacent sidewalk.

She Can Still Visit. Wednesday and Sundays For Fifteen Minutes
While former Lincoln Savings and Loan chairman Charles Keating was awaiting sentencing for swindling investors, John Connally sent a character testimonial to the judge in charge of the case. “I do not believe I know an American family that is more closely knit, more loving, than the Charlie Keating family,” Connally wrote. “He is one of Mother Teresa’s greatest benefactors who comes to visit him every time she is in the states.”

Now We Know Why Students Need Help
UT 101, a new pass-fail course designed to help incoming students at UT-Austin adjust to the university, had to be canceled when officials discovered that school rules prohibit freshmen from taking pass-fail courses.

And the Ruling Is: If You Don’t Break 100, It’s Not Pleasure
The Texas Ethics Commission was asked to rule on whether a law prohibiting lobbyists from taking public officials on pleasure trips applied to a quick tour of a local business, a free lunch, and a free round of golf.

Forget the Alamo
Two San Antonio public relations firms that handed out information packets for the city’s international drug summit placed stickers over pictures of the Alamo as a gesture to Mexican dignitaries.

There May Be a Change In the Itinerary. You May Be Going Up the River
Twenty-two members of the Kappa Alpha fraternity at Texas A&M were investigated and paid a fine for stealing a gazebo top, a palm tree, a yucca plant, three wooden barrels, ropes, netting, and playground equipment to be used as decorations for a Cruise the Caribbean party.

You Were Wearing a Parachute, Weren’t You?
Jimmy Richard Bowers of Seminole was ordered to make a public apology for shooting crop duster pilot Royce McCormick as part of an eight-year probated sentence for aggravated assault. The apology, printed in the Seminole Sentinel, read “I apologize for shooting you. I sure didn’t mean to. All I meant to do was shoot the plane. I sure never meant to cause you any harm.”

Just Like Stupid Judicial Opinions
Two judges on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Sam Houston Clinton and Frank Maloney, voted to give Jeff Daniel Thompson a new trial after he was convicted of aggravated kidnapping for abducting a thirteen-year-old girl and forcing her to pose for nude photos. The judges’ dissenting opinion said that taking nude photos of her could be a form of expression protected by the U.S. Constitution.

We know Airline Food Stinks, but…
The City of Fort Worth was penalized by the Federal Aviation Administration for lax security at Meachem Field that allowed student pilots to walk across an active runway as a shortcut to nearby restaurants.

He Was Just Practicing Safe Commencement
Spring Branch Memorial High School principal Virginia Leiker abruptly halted graduation ceremonies when a male student handed her two condoms as she handed him his diploma.

Run It Up the Flagpole
Northern Exposure actress Janine Turner of Fort Worth said in a magazine interview, “I’m extremely patriotic. Whenever I hear the National Anthem, even when I’m in bed, I salute, or whatever is it you do.”

How About Jackposterior Jamboree
The town of Azle (named for the German word for “donkey”) changed the title of its proposed new festival from the Jackass Jamboree to the Jumpin’ Jack Jamboree after the local chamber of commerce was deluged with complaints that “jackass” was a nasty word.

Ask Not for Whom The Beeper Tolls
Houston judge Joe Kegans detained 40 people in her courtroom for three hours after no one would say whose beeper went off during court proceedings. Then she made the 21 attorneys say, “It wasn’t my beeper, and I don’t know whose it was.”

Proving Once Again That There’s No Such Thing
An escalator in Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center suddenly reversed directions, causing injuries to around two dozen people attending the thirteenth annual Big Feast, which provides the city’s poor and homeless population with a free lunch.

Just Like Aggies
Ellie Soler, a doctoral candidate in education at Texas A&M, conducted a study of Texas school superintendents and found that as a group they were less likely to exhibit right-brain behavior such as creativity, vision, and empathy than left-brain behavior such as conservatism, logic, control, and resistance to change.

Hook ‘Em
Before Mississippi State played the Texas Longhorns in football, MSU coach Jackie Sherrill tried to inspire his team by having a calf castrated on the practice field.

Drop That Carrot, Or I’ll Shoot
Houston police officer Franklin Paul, a member of the mounted patrol division, accidentally discharged his .45-caliber revolver, injuring Java Jive, his horse.

But at Least They Rang the Doorbell
When Larry Bojarski of Richmond offered to pay only $299 of the $683 fee to have his father cremated, Evans Mortuary covered the torso with a sheet and dumped it at his door.

To Get to the Other Side
Judith Lopez, an assistant professor of home economics at Southwest Texas State University, studied changes in men’s and women’s clothing, including the question, “Why are women’s clothes made with the buttons on the left, opposite of menswear?”

You’ve Come to the Right Place, Jose
Commenting on his trade from the Oakland A’s to the Texas Rangers, Jose Canseco said, “It’s more relaxed here. It’s an atmosphere I can relate to. In Oakland it was always win, win, win—and you get fed up with it.”

Forget How Fast They Run the Forty. Here’s the Newest Secret of Scouting
Reporting on Dallas’ success in the National Football League draft, the Austin American-Statesman said, “Scouts think some of Dallas’ early picks from small colleges could be nuggets. The Cowboys had more prime pricks than any other team.”

They’re Just Arrogant, Bureaucratic, Dangerous, Money Hungry, Drug-Ridden, And Football Crazed
The Texas Association of School Boards and other educational organizations hired MEM and Associates of Austin, a political consulting firm, to develop a campaign to combat the image that public schools are wasteful and inefficient.

If Apprehended, Bail Will Be Set at Two Six-Packs
After two men escaped from the Nacogdoches County jail through a storage door leading to the roof, Sheriff Joe Evans explained that they had learned of the escape route from the prisoners who had gone out to get beer at a nearby convenience store and returned.

We Like the One Where the Musician says, “Come Play Your Strumpet”
Following protests from members of the Historic Granbury Merchants Association, the Granbury Convention and Visitors Bureau discontinued a double entendre ad campaign that pictured a smiling fisherman accompanied by a headline that read WE HAVE A LOT OF HOOKERS WHO GET UP EARLY TO SPEND THEIR DAYS IN GRANBURY and another with a tourist couple carrying their purchases with the headline WE’D LIKE TO ATRRACT MORE STREETWALKERS AND BAG LADIES TO GRANBURY.

The Midterm Exam is a Date With Steve Wyatt
The student union at UT-Austin offered an extracurricular course called How to Marry Texas Rich, with a course description that read: “Do you dream about a life of luxury and riches? Stop dreaming and start doing! Discover how to recognize the rich and have them recognize you. Learn the history and art of golddigging, the psyche behind the bucks, and how to determine who is wealthy yet compatible.”

Exhume Them if Next Year’s Models Say, “Please Separate Your Cans and Bottles”
Sixth graders at Holy Name School in San Antonio buried two Barbie dolls and a Ken doll to demonstrate their concern about toys that are not made of recyclable materials.

As Long as You Don’t Get Out of Your Air-conditioned Car
Houston’s official slogan, “Houston’s Hot,” intended to promote the city’s recovering business climate, was criticized prior to the Republican National Convention as focusing attention instead on the city’s hot, humid summers. The Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau then adopted a new slogan: “Houston—So Much More to Explore.”

Now Tell Us the Famous Story About The Day Zeus Moved From Olympus to Turtle Creek Boulevard
The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture sponsored a special fall conference, “Pegasus and the Nine Muses,” celebrating the construction of Pegasus Plaza in downtown Dallas. “Pegasus, the winged horse, is the symbol of the birth of creative imagination arising from impossible sources—the very story of Dallas and its beginnings,” read the announcement for the event. “The soaring, winged horse has become synonymous with Dallas’ own spirit where opportunity springs from impossible odds.”

“For Taking a Personal Interest in His Employees”
Jerry Jarmon, an Austin State Hospital plant manager who was accused in a sexual harassment lawsuit of repeatedly asking a secretary about her sex habits, won a $25 prize for being named the maintenance department’s employee of the month.

Picking the Right Tofu Can Be So Stressful
Whole Foods Market stores in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and California installed special screened-off sections so that shoppers can get a ten-minute massage for $7.

The Chimp Monkeyed with the Lock. “Stop, You Big Ape!” Cried the Boy. “You’re Gibbon Me a Scare.” It Didn’t Langur When The Door Swung Open. Rhesus Christ! What a Mandrill. Hanuman Combat. Grandma Was Sipping Capuchin, Getting Utan in the Sun, When It Spider. “Turn the Other Chacma,” the Boy Shouted. But Before His Very Eyes, Marmoset Down on the Ground. Fortunately the Incident Took Place Out in the Baboondocks, so There Was Nobody Else to Saki to. Entellus More. All Right, This Took Place on Colobus Day.
On October 12 a pet chimpanzee escaped from its cage in Dripping Springs, bit a fifteen-year-old boy, and threw the boy’s grandmother to the ground.

Dear Jury: Let the Punishment Fit the Crime
The family of an eleven-year-old boy sued the Lubbock Independent School District after the boy was shoved into a cell during a field trip to a juvenile detention center, held there for an hour before being released, and upon his return to school, ordered to tell a sixth-grade class to “improve their attitude” or “the same would happen to them.”

It’s Called a Boobie Gun
A woman robbed a fast-food restaurant in Temple of $368 by threatening a clerk at the drive-through window with a curling iron held under her shirt.

You Can’t Say He Didn’t Warn You
William E. Gibson, the chairman of American Federal Bank in Dallas in 1989, said, “If the industry is to survive, its member institutions must take positive steps to rebuild public confidence by instituting strict codes of ethical business conduct.” In 1992 Gibson was convicted of defrauding American Federal of $43,000 and American Airlines of at least $200,000.

He Blew All the Money on Clairol
Officials at American Federal Bank in Dallas detained and questioned bank customer William F. Gibson, the owner of Hello Gorgeous hair salon in Plano, for more than two hours because they thought he was William E. Gibson, the former president of American Federal who had recently been convicted of bank fraud.

Give Till It Hurts The Bum Steers Catalog.

The Texas Longhorns Celebrity Calendar, featuring pictures of choice Longhorn cattle, offered for $7 by Dickinson Cattle Company, Calhan, Colorado.

The Willie Nelson Cooked Goose Cookbook and IRS Financial Advisor, published by Longstreet Press, Atlanta, for $5.95.

Jewelry and objets d’art, an estimated $200,000 worth of items belonging to Judy Nelson of Fort Worth, which she was permitted to keep as the result of her legal settlement with her former lover, tennis Martina Navratilova, offered at auction.

Pet Congressman, a portly doll in a dome-shaped cage, accompanied by an official guide to care and feeding (“seems to thrive on pork-from-a-barrel”), sold for $15 at the Republican National Convention in Houston by Capital-isms, Inc.

Etch A Sketch art, including a reproduction of the Sistine chapel ceiling in 25 sketches, etched by Robert Bluestein of Austin and offered for $175 to $200 a sketch.

A new Lamborghini Diablo, with a top speed of 202 miles per hour, priced at $241,064 (plus taxes) at Lipshy Motorcars in Dallas.

Critter Cuisine, photographed and written by Al and Mary Ann Clayton “for the cook who’s cooked it all,” sold in bookstores for $15.95.

Grassy knoll fence, a section from the site of the Kennedy assassination, offered for $5,000 by John Gardner of Dallas.

The Texas Swimsuit Calendar, featuring bikini-clad models and Western themes such as cowgirls and Indians, published by Candy Lop Calendars in San Antonio for $10.95.


There Go the Ten Points For Executing Proper Parallel Parking
On her way to renew her driver’s license, Dora Nuhn of New Braunfels was unable to stop her car and crashed through the wall of the Department of Public Safety office.

It’s a Bum Rap
Dallas West End artist Krandel Lee Newton, who operates Butt Sketch, a business specializing in “rear-perspective portraits,” sued Mark Burton for infringing on a trademark name by operating a nearby enterprise called Fanny Sketch.

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallo? Hallo?
When Christian radio station KIJN-AM of Farwell increased its power from 250 to 5,000 watts, townspeople found that broadcasts of sermons and hymns could be clearly heard on the telephone.

It’s Hard to Find a Place to Practice These Days
Three volunteer firefighters in Donna were arraigned on charges of arson for setting a warehouse fire that they later helped fight.

Quick! The Lawyer Repellent!
During a lawsuit between neighbors over barking dogs, San Antonio attorney James Sieloff waved a can of dog repellent over his head, pressed the nozzle, and accidentally sprayed the chemicals on the jury.

Then He Was No-billed
Dallas law officers, unable to discover the last name of an arrested deaf and mute man who gave his first name as Howard, detained him for two weeks under the name “Howard the Duck.”

The Police Are Busy Guarding the City Council
The El Paso City Council voted to spend $112,000 to hire a private security firm to guard the city’s police station.

Sounds Sane to Us Too
San Angelo judge Royal Hart ordered J. B. Fiveash to have his mouth covered when testifying and to talk to his lawyer from behind a glass partition after Finveash, who was facing misdemeanor charges of assault and resisting arrest, spat on his court-appointed lawyer for refusing to pursue an insanity defense.

Either Put a Roller Coaster in the Grand Canyon or Stop Whining
The National Park Service protested a Six Flags promotion with McDonald’s that offered coupons to the amusement parks bearing the slogan “America’s Most Exciting National Parks.”

Tonight’s Special: Moo Goo Go Boom
Hao Liu, the manager of the Summer Palace Chinese restaurant in Sulphur Springs, was acquitted of charges of attempted arson for trying to hire an undercover law officer to blow up the rival Royal China restaurant.

Sounds Like a Clear-cut Case of Death by Guillotine
Lubbock County pathologist Dr. Ralph Erdmann was charged with three counts of tampering with government records after he lost a murder victim’s head while performing an autopsy.

Par $400
Harris County Court-at-Law judge Jim Barkley closed a golf pro shop that he had been operating out of his chambers, selling golf bags, apparel, and monogramming by his wife to attorneys.

Wish You Were Here. Don’t You?
Following the announcement by General Motors that its Arlington assembly plant would be kept open while the one in Ypsilanti, Michigan, would close, Arlington City Council member Dick Malec proposed that the city throw a party to raise money for unemployed GM workers in Michigan.

Give It to the Legislature. They Deserve It
Ann Richards gave a turkey to Gullet Elementary School in Austin.

It Was Just a Slap In the Face
Zsa Zsa Gabor won a new trial after a federal court jury ordered her to pay $3 million to Len Safir, the president of Hollywood Fantasy, because she failed to honor a contract calling for her to attend a “fantasy week” at a San Antonio hotel, where guests had paid $7,500 to hobnob with show business celebrities for a week.

You Mean “AWOL” Doesn’t Stand for “A Wicked Overhead Lay-up”?
The Lingleville High School basketball team lost its projected starting center, Eric Slater, when he was arrested by sheriff’s deputies and charged by U.S. Navy officials under his real name, Kevin Keith Osborne, for being absent without leave from a Virginia amphibious base.

What’s a Few Dollars Among Friends?
Congressman Ron Coleman of El Paso, who originally acknowledged writing four bad checks on the House of Representatives bank totaling $285, was officially reported to have written 673 bad checks totaling more than $200,000.

But the Government Didn’t Cover Our Check
Explaining why he had written a $6,500 overdraft on the House of Representatives bank to the Internal Revenue Service, Congressman Charles Wilson of Lufkin said, “I had a choice between owing the IRS and overdrawing my account, so I did the same thing you would have done.”

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