The 1994 Bum Steer Awards

January 1994By Comments

So Californians think they had a bad year. They had fires. We had David Koresh. They had the second Rodney King trial. We can’t manage to have even one Kay Bailey Hutchison trial. They had the Giants, who lost the pennant on the last day of the season. We had the Astros, who lost the pennant on the first two days of the season, when their new megabucks pitchers flopped.

And that’s not all. We had: Leon Lett . . . Bob Krueger . . . and the Virgin Mary, who appeared on a tree limb in Brownsville and on a Camaro hood in Elsa. A woman in El Paso reported the theft of $150 worth of food stamps — from her Gucci purse. A man in Henrietta kept finding Papermate ballpoint pens floating up in his toilet — 75 in all, but never more than 5 at once.

And (we challenge you, Californians, to top this) we had our Bum Steer of the Year. Last year he shared the title with George Bush. This year he has it all to himself. Welcome back, H. Ross Perot. Or, as Sesame Street called its new character, H. Ross Parrot. At least Perot finished first in Bum Steers. That’s better than he did in the NAFTA debate against Vice President Al Gore. And in a survey of two thousand adults to decide what famous person they would most like to be seated next to on an airplane, Perot ranked third behind Oprah Winfrey and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Forget those T-shirts that said “Ross for Boss.” After NAFTA, make it “Ross for Loss.”

And a Black Eye Will Be Called Shiner Bockanoma
The New England Journal of Medicine reported a case in which lime juice splattered on the skin caused swelling, blistering, and second-degree burns when exposed to sunlight, and called the affliction margarita photodermatitis.

For Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, the Charge Was Cruelty to Animals
The Dallas police charged the Dallas Theater Center with operating a sexually oriented business because its performance of the critically acclaimed play Six Degrees of Separation included a nude scene.

Your Wish Is Our Command
Judge Fidencio Guerra, Jr., of Edinburg, presiding over the trial of the truck driver whose accident involving a school bus in Alton killed 21 students, warned members of the media covering the case, “If you don’t mention my name, that will be the last time you come into this courtroom.”

She Feels the Same Way About You
SMU invited Marian Wright Edelman, the founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, as the commencement speaker, following Ross Perot in 1991 and George Bush in 1992. Wrote Vanessa Polak in the student newspaper, the Daily Campus: “A great majority of May graduates have no clue who this woman is . . . and don’t really care to find out.”

You Came to the Right Place
Former Big Spring residents Zane Rutledge, B. Z. Lewis, and Jance Allen returned to town to produce a film called Hell Is Texas, in which the characters are dead and find themselves in hell. Sample dialogue: “The beer’s not even cold.” “That’s how I know it’s hell.”

“She’s Out, but How About Some Leather?”
After Penthouse magazine published a cartoon showing a lonely Princess Diana and a made-up phone number (1-800-BUCKINGHAM), which readers could call to offer her companionship, the King Ranch Saddle Shop in Kingsville was deluged with calls asking for “the lonely princess” on its line 1-800-282-KING.

U-R-A Nut
Wesley Nunley of Pleasant Grove spent $10,000 for a concrete slab on his property inscribed with large red letters welcoming Jesus and reading “U-F-O LANDING BASE 1.”

Th-Th-That’s All, Folks
Agricultural instructor Dick Pirkey was fired by the Harmony school board on the grounds that he allowed a student to castrate a pig with his teeth.

A Warrant Has Been Issues for Mr. Spock
Two men who had been drinking heavily at a party in Universal City passed out and awakened to find that they resembled, as one victim put it, “a Klingon from Star Trek,” with their hair and eyebrows shaved off.

Right. Like Arkansas Is Famous for Good Politicians
In an article in Ladies’ Home Journal, Bill Clinton’s mother wrote, “It’s not in my nature to change to please somebody. I’m me, and that’s that. Recently, among the forty thousand or so letters I’ve received, a woman from Fort Worth wrote a sneery, snide letter about the way I dress. Like Fort Worth is famous for high fashion, right?”

Don’t Ask, Don’t Take Off
The departure of an American Airlines flight from Dallas to Los Angeles was delayed after the crew requested that all pillows and blankets be changed because the passengers on the plane’s previous flight from Washington, D. C., included a number of gay rights activists.

Don’t Forget the Leadership of Travis McGee
Before the boxing match in San Antonio between Julio César Chavéz of Mexico and Pernell Whitaker of the United States, promoter Don King said, “This is a chance for the Mexicans to redeem themselves. Remember the Alamo. I want them to bring back the spirit of Sam Bowie.” Sam Bowie is a professional basketball player.

At Least It Wasn’t “The Home on the Range”
The Texas Rangers baseball club announced that it would name its new ballpark in Arlington “The Ballpark in Arlington.”

Der Führious
Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez of San Antonio, criticizing the House of Representatives for pledging allegiance to the flag instead of the Constitution, said, “Here we are, like a good little herd, reminiscent of the Hitlerian period. Sieg Heil, Sieg Heil.”

To Really Make the Super Bowl Work for You, Take the $59.95 and Bet That the Cowboys Will Beat the Spread
Former Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry sent a letter to 250,000 churches promoting the Halftime Video Kit for Super Bowl Sunday 1993. The Package, costing $59.95, included a twelve-minute video featuring players who are born-again Christians. “I believe Super Sunday can be your biggest outreach event of the year,” Landry wrote. “Make the Super Bowl work for you rather than compete against you.”

On Second Thought, Make That a Week Off
Police sergeant David Gage of Abilene was given a day off with pay after his motorcycle collided with a skunk.

A Can of Foamy Would Be Cheaper
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros ordered his official portrait removed from regional offices across the country, at a cost of $2,200 that he paid personally, because it looked as if he needed a shave.

He Had It Repainted Powder Blue
Craig Hogan of Houston became the first man to sell enough Mary Kay cosmetics to earn the right to drive one of the company’s pink Cadillacs.

It Didn’t Have Any Pictures
Edward Mallett of Houston, the court-appointed attorney for a man accused of bank fraud, asked federal judge David Hittner to authorize attorney’s fees of $520 for reading The Mafia, CIA & George Bush, a book about bank fraud that mentions Mallett’s client.

The Judge Gave Him a Light Sentence
Santiago Garcia of Baytown, who arrived at the federal courthouse in Houston for sentencing following his conviction for counterfeiting immigration documents, had to be transported to the eleventh-floor courtroom by freight dolly because he weighed nine hundred pounds.

For Example, Don’t Say, “What Poor, Unfortunate, Pitiful, Deaf And Dumb, Victimized Cripple Wrote This?”
The University of Texas Office of Personnel Services and Employee Relations sent out a newsletter giving a list of terms that should not be used when referring to a person with a disability. Among the terms were:
• afflicted by/afflicted with
• cripple/crippled/the crippled/crippling/crip
• unfortunate/pitiful/poor
• homebound employment (say “employed in the home”)
• normal (as the opposite of having a disability)
• wheelchair bound/confined to a wheelchair (say instead, “uses a wheelchair”)
• blind as a bat
• suffers from
• invalid
• deaf and dumb
• victim
• courageous
• inspirational
• brave
• challenged

It Was a Busted Play
David Bridges confessed that he stole a color television set from a residence in Arlington so that he could watch the Dallas Cowboys play the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC championship game and then returned to steal the remote control.

He Got Sacked Anyway
Diamond Hill High School in Fort Worth canceled its football game against Glen Rose and dropped varsity football after eight players on the team were suspended for cutting classes to throw a bachelor party for the team’s quarterback, who was getting married the night of the game.

Sorry, No Credit for Outside Activities
Andrea Guerrero of Alvin saw a man slumped over the steering wheel of a car, administered CPR, and saved his life. She was on her way home from taking a high school sports medicine test, in which she had flunked the portion covering CPR.

Can’t You Folks Get Together and Work Something Out?
Four Houston men rented a billboard announcing that they were middle-class white males, ages 32 to 39, seeking wives. A Houston woman rented a billboard announcing that she was willing to be a surrogate mother for free.

Bye, George Life in the Bush League.

Read My Lips: No New Speeches
After Jeb Bush, a candidate for governor of Florida, said, “I am running for governor not because I am George and Barbara Bush’s son. I am running because I am George P. and Noelle and Jeb’s father,” his brother George W. Bush announced his candidacy for the governorship of Texas and said, “I am running for governor not because I am George Bush’s son. I am running because I am Jenna and Barbara’s father.”

Read My Hips
Pamela Glowski and Randy Davis arrived at the Astrodome to hear George Strait sing at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, only to discover that their seats had been taken by George and Barbara Bush, who did not move.

Where’s a Scud Missile When You Need One?
The Kuwaiti government honored George Bush with a 25-foot poster on the occasion of his visit celebrating Kuwait’s liberation in the Persian Gulf War.

It Stands for “Gone—Clinton Beat”
Queen Elizabeth II made George Bush a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath. As a foreigner, he cannot be called Sir George, but he is entitled to use the initials G.C.B. after his name.

Blarney! The Case for Extinction

Jurassic Punk
A public-access TV channel in Athens, Ohio, aired an episode of the Texas-based PBS show Barney and Friends that featured slogans and images superimposed over the program, including “Submit to Barney,” “Barneyness Is Next to Godliness,” and a swastika.

Why Is This Dinosaur Different From All Other Dinosaurs?
The Lyons Group of Dallas, which produces and merchandises Barney, threatened to sue Jews for Jesus of New York for using an image of the purple dinosaur in a recruiting campaign.

Watch for Barney’s New Friend, Luciferus Rex
Radio evangelist Joseph Chambers, the head of the Paw Creek Ministries in North Carolina, criticized Barney as “straight out of the New Age and the world of demons and devils” and published a booklet called Barney the Purple Messiah in which he calls Barney “a pro-liberal, politically correct, teacher of the current social values being promoted by the new generation of ‘One Worlders.’”

Heroes for Our Time
During a K mart store promotion in Galveston, four youths beat up a man dressed in a purple-and-green costume to resemble Barney.

Ozzie Had Been Put To Sleep
To celebrate the merger of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society of Texas in the Dallas area, the SPCA hosted a wedding ceremony between two cocker spaniels, Beethoven and Harriet.

And Then They Subpoenaed His Diary
Charges alleging destruction of public property were filed against Mount Pleasant city manager Clay Collins, who resigned after the discovery of a hole drilled through the wall between the men’s and women’s rest rooms in city hall.

Just Desserts
Dallas televangelist Robert Tilton filed suit in federal court in Tulsa to prevent a rerun of an ABC PrimeTime Live episode about his ministry, but he was excused from attending hearings after a man outside the courthouse threw a pie in his face.

The Opposing Announcer Made Both Free Throws
After a foul was called on Texas A&M during its game against the University of Houston in the Southwest Conference basketball tournament, referee Bryan Stout spotted Aggie radio announcer Dave South holding his hand over his throat in a choking gesture and had South ejected from the arena.

Here Is Exactly What You Must Never Do
The Katy school district received national criticism and ultimately apologized to parents for issuing a student conduct handbook that contained graphic references to sexual misconduct. The handbook, which was given to children as young as first-graders, warned that a student faced expulsion for “an act involving contact between the person’s mouth or genitals and the anus or genitals of an animal or fowl.”

A Cop Came Russian Over. “No Hard Felines,” He Said, “but Your Neighbors Have Been Keeping Tabs. You’re Allowed Only Three Purr Family.” The Owner Answered, “Siam Not Amused. Don’t Maltese Me About This. A Manx Home Is His Castle. Gib Me a Break.” The Cop Said, “You Won’t Have To Do Manul Labor. Just Pay the Kitty Or Abyssinia to Jail.”
The police in the Houston suburb of West University Place cited Dr. William Hauser and his wife, Judy, for having six cats, three more than is allowed by city ordinance.

After NAFTA, Crossing Will Be Easier
A thief stole a tractor cab from the parking lot of a Motel 6 in El Paso and attempted to ford the Rio Grande. He abandoned the vehicle in the river after the wheels became stuck in the mud.

Your Money or Your Life
San Antonio city officials announced that people who ignore warnings and drive through floodwaters during rainstorms will have to pay to be rescued.

Your Money or Your Wife
Cynthia Strickland of Kerrville filed for divorce from her husband, James, after he obtained a temporary injunction prohibiting her from spending her $1 million winnings in the Texas Lottery.

It’s a Harvard Plot
Southern Methodist University asked the University Park city council to change the name of a street called Yale Boulevard to SMU Boulevard.

His Plan Was to Move the Capitol to Pflugerville
In exchange for $29.1 million, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi offered to send transcendental meditation experts to Austin to rid the city of stress and negativity and to eliminate crime.

First, Give Us Some Candy
Triumph Church in Nederland created Hellhouse — a haunted house for Halloween with scenes of real-life horror. Tour guides wearing demon masks led visitors through ten rooms, in which actors presented versions of abortion, satanism, drug use, and suicide. In one room an athlete addicted to cocaine pointed a gun at his chest and, as the tour guide egged him on, pulled the trigger. In the final room, an actor dressed as Christ told visitors to change their lives and accept Him as their savior.

What We Want to Know Is, Who Decided What the Proper Level of Stress Is?
The Texas Department of Health distributed three million brightly colored condoms to promote disease-free sex, then had to recall them because they had not undergone federal stress tests.

True, but Tattoos Last Longer
The Texas Legislature passed a law regulating tattoo parlors, including a prohibition against tattoos for people under eighteen, despite an opponent’s contention that “you’re putting a higher standard on tattoos than you put on getting married.”

He Was Promoting Safe Sips
Lee Gooch of Houston was evicted from Traders Village flea market in Spring Branch for selling his invention called Candoms, a canned-beverage holder that rolls up when not in use and looks like a large condom.

They Are So Clothes-Minded
After Baylor officials announced that the school would offer instruction in nude drawing, a normal part of the curriculum at most art schools, protests from Texas Baptists caused the university to cancel the class.

Next, Breed Them With a Parks and Wildlife Bureaucrat
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department operated a program to catch bass and breed them in hopes of developing a strain of stupid bass that are easy to catch.

The Sequel Will Be Called The Law and Me
Houston attorney Jack Kennedy, the former host of The Law and You, a program that appeared on a local cable TV station, was disbarred for 68 violations of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct.

It’s Not the Jail. It’s the Joint
Charles Schoonover of Harlingen was arrested at a meeting of the Harlingen City Commission after the city manager asked him to extinguish a cigarette and he replied, “It’s not a cigarette. It’s a joint.”

Let’s Get Two
A crowd of 35,412 at a Texas Rangers baseball game ignored the action on the field and watched a luxury box, where a stripper hired to help celebrate a birthday party took off her pink polka-dot bikini and danced in front of a window.

You Must Be Present to Win
Houston police officers nabbed more than thirty fugitive parole violators by sending letters to their last known addresses, saying that the recipients were entitled to money because they had been kept in overcrowded prisons. The violators were arrested when they showed up at the designated address to pick up their money.

Strike a Blow for Reinventing Government. Drop Them on Hazel O’Leary
To resolve a local dispute over the future of the Pantex nuclear weapons plant near Amarillo, U.S. Secretary of Energy Hazel O’Leary approved a plan that called for her to name a six-member committee, who will name a sixteen-member committee, who will name an eight-member committee, who will name twelve more members to its committee, which will then advise how Pantex should get rid of its bombs.

He Wanted Interest Rates to Get High
Ralph DeLaRosa of Port Lavaca was arrested after he went to a drive-in window at the First State Bank and Trust and mistakenly deposited an envelope containing three marijuana cigarettes.

The Bride Wore Pink. So Did the Groom
At the wedding of Bill Scales and Karen Loomis of Austin, held on the shores of Lake Travis at Hippie Hollow, Texas’ only beach area where nudity is allowed, the bride, the groom, all fifty wedding guests, and the minister were naked.

“Why, Just the Other Day I Heard Her Say, ‘The Greater This Reserve Army in Proportion to the Active Labor-Army, the Greater Is the Mass of a Consolidated Surplus-Population, Whole Misery Is in Inverse Ratio to Its Torment of Labor. The More Extensive, Finally, the Lazarus-Layers of the Working-Class, and the Industrial Reserve Army, the Greater Is Official Pauperism. This Is the Absolute General Law of Capitalist Accumulation.’”
In a speech to Collin County real estate agents, Republican congressman Dick Armey of Lewisville said, “Hillary Clinton bothers me a lot. I realized the other day that her thoughts sounded a lot like Karl Marx.”

Loaded! All the Extras and More!
Joe Martin of Mississippi was charged with capital murder in Harris County after he tried to sell an RV while the body of the man he is accused of killing was still in it.

Nolan Was Working on His Knuckleball
After being hit by a pitch from Nolan Ryan, age 46, Chicago White Sox infielder Robin Ventura, age 26, charged the pitching mound and was grabbed in a headlock by Ryan, who hit Ventura six times in the face and head before other players intervened.

Not That Pie, You Idiot. I Meant 3.14159
Marlin high school teacher Mike Vader pled guilty to a charge of attempted assault for paying a student $20 to throw a pie at another teacher.

P.S. Bon Voyage
State district judge Charles J. Hearn of Houston sent death row inmate Robert Drew a letter informing him of the date for his execution and added a happy face after his signature.

Three Blind Editors
On April 9 the Dallas Morning News ran the following correction: “On page 25A of Thursday’s Metropolitan section, a photo caption incorrectly identified Minnie Mouse as Mickey Mouse.”

“My Fellow Capitalists . . . ”
Mikhail Gorbachev accepted an invitation from U.S. senator Phil Gramm to serve as guest of honor at a Republican fundraising reception in Washington in exchange for an appearance fee of approximately $70,000.

Just Relax and Enjoy It
An article in the SCOT Wildlife News, published by the Sportsmen Conservationists of Texas, warned readers of a campaign by landowners to shorten hunting season by a week. The introductory headline for the story was DATE RAPE.

Send Us the Speaker And We’ll Give You Back Robert Drew
The Speaker of the Vermont House of Representatives asked that his name be removed from a letter threatening economic sanctions against Texas over its pending execution of Vermont native Robert Drew, because he feared that Vermont might be prevented from shipping its low-level radioactive waste to Texas.

Marooned Department of Aggieculture

Third Prize Went to AG E JOKE
Texas A&M University held a contest to determine the most clever personalized Aggie license plate. First prize went to Dale Laine, Jr., of Houston for 02BNAG. Second prize went to Mark Brand of Sugar Land for HUMP IT.

Dig ‘Em, Aggies
Texas A&M asked the Texas Legislature to pass a bill allowing the university to establish the Aggie Field of Honor, a perpetual-care cemetery for Aggies and their families.

How About “New Aggie College of Health and Occupational Safety”?
The name of Laredo State University was changed to “Texas A&M International University” after school officials rejected the proposed name of “Texas A&M-Laredo” because they feared that the acronym TAML would cause the school to be nicknamed Tamale Tech.

But Only If You Say “Abracadabra” First
Texas A&M chemistry professor John Bockris conducted research that he said indicated that gold had possibly been created from mercury, lead, and dirt from played-out mines.

“In Appreciation for Cutting Costs by Almost 100 Percent”
Houston Lighting and Power awarded $2 million in bonus payments to employees who operated the South Texas Nuclear Project even though the plant had been shut down since February.

And Remember, “Devil” Is “Lived” Spelled Backward
The Grand Saline school board directed that materials containing a picture of Santa Claus be removed from a classroom because the word “Santa” can be rearranged to spell “Satan.”

Meet the Next Superintendent of the Grand Saline School District
Following a series of illnesses that affected the staff at the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas, Bishop James Stanton performed an exorcism to rid the headquarters of evil spirits.

The Park Cities News published the following correction for a mistake that appeared in an article about a man who calls himself Beau and escorts women to society functions for a fee: “We printed a story about Beau for the Evening. In that story we inadvertently printed that Beau would always be the ‘Southern Gentleman,’ making every effort to fulfill the needs and desires (expect sex) . . . ” It should have been “except sex.”

Crime Pays. Law Enforcement Doesn’t
Outgoing Nueces County sheriff James Hickey was indicted by a federal grand jury after he wrote himself a $48,000 check, which he classified as a “salary adjustment,” from a federal drug-forfeiture fund.

But There’s a Great Picture of a Stork in Volume 12
Grace Good, the principal of Rice elementary school in Tyler, authorized a teacher to paste together two pages of Young Scientist, a science encyclopedia, so that students would not see a photograph of a vaginal birth.

They Also Refused To Pay Their Bills
Two days before the Super Bowl game between the Cowboys and the Bills, the residents of Buffalo, Texas, placed blue stars resembling the Cowboys logo over all signs containing the word “Buffalo.”

Funny, This Doesn’t Look Like Kansas
A Yorkshire terrier in Dallas landed unharmed after being caught in a tornado and flying through the air for two miles.

What Will He Do for an Encore?
Scott Scott of Houston, the manager of Legends hair salon, won the amateur division of the Liberace Play-A-Like Contest in Las Vegas.

Come Back! Come Back! A Just God Would Never Destroy Floydada And Leave Louisiana Untouched
Pentecostal preachers Sammy and Danny Rodriguez of Floydada told relatives that the devil was after them and persuaded them to go to Louisiana because Floydada was going to be destroyed if they didn’t leave. After other relatives reported them missing, they were spotted by police in Vinton, Louisiana, and chased until their car hit a tree. Out of the 1990 Pontiac Grand Am emerged twenty people—fifteen adults from the seats and five children from the trunk. Every one of them was totally naked.

Our Next Selection Will Be “Jailhouse Rock”
Texas Southern University deactivated the Ocean of Soul marching band after members of the band were caught stealing electronic equipment valued at $22,000 during a trip to Japan.

Don’t Worry, It’s Not an Undercover Assignment
An aide to Dallas mayor Steve Bartlett asked the city police department to replace Detective Evelyn Mayfield as the mayor’s bodyguard and driver after Bartlett’s wife joked that the officer was too pretty to drive her husband.

We’re Shocked—Shocked!—That Beauty Pageant Contestants Are Being Asked to Wear Revealing Swimsuits
Shawna Andes of Austin withdrew from the Miss Texas USA Pageant after pageant officials gave her a bikini swimsuit that she said was too revealing.

How a Bill Becomes Law
Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock said that Senator Judith Zaffirini of Laredo could pass any legislation she wanted to if “she’ll cut her skirt off about six inches and put on some high-heel shoes.”

And If You’d Just Raise Your Hemline, Senator Parker, You Might Get One
When the Texas Senate honored Judith Zaffirini of Laredo for casting her 10,000th consecutive vote since she became a senator in 1987, Carl Parker of Port Arthur said, “If I had a husband who supported me, I could do that too.”

Jack Nicklaus’ Tip of The Day: Think About Your Club Selection Before You Swing. A Three Wood With a Graphite Shaft Is Much More Flexible
Anthony Macaluso of Austin was arrested on the Balcones Country Club golf course and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after an argument over a loose dog led to a struggle in which he attempted to choke another club member with a six iron.

Jose, Can You See?
Texas Rangers outfielder Jose Canseco attempted to catch a fly ball hit by Carlos Martinez of the Cleveland Indians, but it bounced off his head and over the fence for a home run.

Okay, How About Cuatro de Mayo?
Leonel Herrera of Edinburg, who was convicted of capital murder in the shooting death of a police officer, protested that his execution date was set for May 5, a Mexican holiday known as Cinco de Mayo.

It Was in the Clothing, Stupid
After a Brookshire high school student complained that $41 was missing from her purse, a school nurse forced all the girls in a Spanish class to submit to a strip search. The money was not found.

Not Tonight, Dear. The Blimp Is Watching
David and Sue Winingham of Granbury sued Anheuser-Busch for $148,500 in damages, alleging that after the company’s Bud One Airship flew over their ostrich farm at a low altitude, the birds stopped breeding.

“Now You May Shake Hands With the Bride”
After a spectator at the Dallas Children’s Theater objected to a kiss between a black actor and a white actress in a wedding scene, an official at the theater removed the kiss from the script.

Woe Is Me ‘93 Who Had a Bad Year? C for Yourself.

The supercollider. CANCELED! after the U.S. government spent $2 billion on the project, by a vote of the House of Representatives.

The Houston Oilers. CHOKED! by blowing a 35-3 lead to the Buffalo Bills in the AFC play-offs.

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson. CAUGHT! by an indictment for destroying records as a state treasurer.

Anthony Young. CHAGRINED! when the Houston-born pitcher lost a record 27 straight games for the New York Mets.

Houston’s Jeff Davis High. CLOBBERED! by a national-record eighty straight losses in football.

Houston’s Wheatley High. CRESTFALLEN! by being the first team to lose to Jeff Davis High in 81 games.

Bob Krueger. CANNED! by a two-to-one margin in his bid to hold on to his Senate seat.

Mis-Givings The Bum Steers Catalog.

Nolan Ryan baseball card, in 22-karat gold foil, available from Preferred Direct of Plymouth, Minnesota, for $29.95.

T. Boone Pickens’ mansion, a 16,000-square-foot home in Dallas, with six bedrooms, eight full baths, five half-baths, five fireplaces, three wet bars, and a seven-car garage, offered for $8.9 million.

FertiLlama organic fertilizer, touted as nonburning and odor free by FertiLlama, Inc., founders Peggy Cripps and Glenda McEvoy (“the llama mamas”), prepared near Brenham and sold in garden centers in Houston, Austin, and Brenham for $5 for a two-pound bag.

Royal family card set, featuring Princess Di, Fergie, and other members of British royalty, with write-ups by gossip columnist Liz Smith, offered by Dallas-based Press Pass in ten-card packs for 99 cents.

The Clinton Countdown Calendar, covering four years to January 20, 1997, with important events identified for each day (“1/4/94: Last Quarter Moon . . . only 38 more last quarter moons until Clinton leaves office”), sold for $12.95 by Lame Duck of Dallas.

Bill’s Balls, a set of three golf balls displaying a caricature of Bill Clinton and political commentary (“Go in the hole with Bill!”), designed by Pat Guerra and Michelle Cheney of Austin and sold at Golfsmith for $12.50.

“Methane Avenue. Change Here for Hydrogen Sulfide Square”
The Dallas Area Rapid Transit authority was forced to stop work on a subway tunnel because its tunnel-boring machine released pockets of methane gas that had been trapped in the rock when ancient sea worms decayed.

Don’t Blame Us. We Voted for Millie
Cat Connection of Dallas, a feline grooming facility, held a contest on Inauguration Day to choose the cat that most closely resembled the Clintons’ family cat, Socks.

Ignorance of the Lawyer Is No Excuse
After Clarence Brandley’s conviction for murder was overturned because of racial prejudice and the charges against him dismissed, Attorney General Dan Morales filed suit against Brandley for $22,000 in unpaid child support, most of which had accumulated while he was in prison.

Nuking the Japs Was Okay, but Chemical Warfare Is Even Funnier
State representative Will Hartnett of Dallas distributed satiric materials to his Republican colleagues, including fake tax forms in which the address label asked for homeless persons to “please identify dumpster location” and charitable deductions were limited to such groups as the “League of Wymyn Voters.” Asked about a picture of a mushroom cloud with a caption that read “Built in the U.S. by lazy, illiterate Americans . . . Tested in Japan,” Hartnett replied, “Obviously, if you don’t like nuclear warfare, you’re not going to like that.”

Don’t Let Representative Will Hartnett Find Out About This
After a ten-year dispute with the Houston suburb of Piney Point Village, the Japanese government agreed to pay a garbage collection bill owed by its consulate.

He Wasn’t Crazy About The Body, but He Loved The Headlights
Former Erath County Commissioner Hurrsell Whitefield was sentenced to ten years probation and fined $10,00 for using county funds to buy a car for a Fort Worth topless dancer.

Just Doing Some Legal Research
Harris County Court-at-Law judge Al Leal apologized for appearing to read Penthouse magazine while he presided over a public lewdness case.

“The World Will Little Note nor Long Remember What We Say Here, But It Will Never Forget What They Did Here”
The City of Hidalgo spent $20,000 to build a statue of a killer bee commemorating where the bees first crossed into the United States from Mexico.

Our Main Man, Who Be in Heaven
P. K. McCary of Houston wrote Black Bible Chronicles, which retells stories in the first five books of the Bible in street talk. McCary’s version of Noah and the flood reads, “So while the Almighty was hipped to what was going down, He told Noah that because of these hard times He was gonna get rid of the world. ‘I’m fed up, Noah, with what’s happenin’ ‘round here. These folks ain’t what’s happenin’ anymore, so I’m gonna do what I gotta do, and end things once and for all. Man, I’m gonna blow the brothers clear outta the water.’”

The Texas Supreme Court ruled in a dispute over odors from an Erath County calf farm that manure was not an air contaminant.

They Have a Dream
After the Dallas Mavericks lost 27 of their first 29 games and fired Coach Richie Adubato, general manager Norm Sonju explained that the club wasn’t blaming Adubato for the poor record. Said Sonju: “We’re the worst team in basketball. We made a decision last summer to be the worst team in basketball.”

Stop or I’ll Shoot
A man sleeping in the nude in Poteet was awakened by his wife’s screams, saw an intruder in his house, chased him outside while still naked, and pursued him for thirty minutes in his pickup until his quarry crashed into a guard rail on Interstate 35.

No Big Deal
US magazine published a picture of model Anna Nicole Smith of Mexia that touched off a controversy whether her breasts are real. Smith claims that her bust size is the results of weight gained during pregnancy, but the picture, which US claimed was taken shortly after the birth of her son in 1987, showed her looking slim and trim.

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