1979 Bum Steer Awards

It seemed like a bad idea at the time. Why were 60,000 Texans, presumably otherwise sane, singing happy birthday to an animal of the bovine persuasion? That the animal was Bevo, the University of Texas mascot, and the occasion was last fall’s game between UT and SMU helped to explain the singing, but wasn’t it a crazier moment than even a football game should inspire? But then this was the year of Cullen Davis, the year the farmers struck and the Rangers and Astros struck out, the year we lost Dolph, John, Bob, Joe, Price, and Phyllis George, and the year of all the preposterous events on the following pages. Clearly those 60,000 fans knew that in the face of so much craziness, you need to be a little crazy just to get by. So … Happy birthday, dear Bevo. Happy birthday to you.

THE LORD GIVETH AND THE REVEREND TAKETH AWAY
After friends requested that Corpus Christi housekeeper Rosa Garcia’s salary be raised to the minimum wage, her boss, the Reverend Henry Romer of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, fired her.

SHE WASN’T ALPHA XI DELTA MATERIAL ANYWAY
An Alpha Xi Delta sorority rush party at the University of Texas went on as scheduled after a freshman rushee collapsed and died of a heart attack. “All I know is, you’re spoiling our rush party,” a member of the sorority told an inquiring reporter.

ONLY IF YOU DIAL WITH YOUR TOES
After her daughter injured her foot on a disconnected telephone, an Austin woman sued Southwestern Bell, claiming that the phone’s design was faulty.

OH BRAD, POOR BRAD
Texas Ranger owner Brad Corbett spent millions to bring in new players who could win a pennant for his team, but the Rangers only tied for second, and Gaylord Perry, one of the players he got rid of, won the Cy Young award as outstanding pitcher in the National League.

OVER 12 SOLD
After buying the reserve grand champion steer at the Fort Worth Stock Show for $15,500, restaurateur Don Hansen turned it into hamburgers, which he sold for $2000 each. He got thirteen orders.

LBJ CARRIED IT IN ‘48
Tarrant County commissioners created a new voting precinct that contains only the Mount Olivet Cemetery.

SOUNDS LIKE A CASE FOR ELLERY QUEEN
A Dallas bowling alley installed an automatic camera system in the men’s room and posted a sign on the wall that read, “Cameras are installed in this room to protect against vandalism.” The sign was stolen.

THE NEXT MONTH HIS RENT WENT UP $24, 287
After his landlord raised the rent on his townhouse $50, Houston Tax Assessor-Collector Casey Fannin ordered a revaluation of the property, which increased the landlord’s taxes by $24,337.

AND WELL BE COUNTING ON BILL’S SUPPORT FOR THE 1980 DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION
At a Dallas campaign fund raiser for Republican Bill Clements, Ronald Reagan said things “look great for Hill.” In Austin, Gerald Ford said he wanted to help Clements become governor of “the great state of California.”

I’M SORRY, SIR, BUT BANK POLICY PROHIBITS CARS WITHOUT CHECKING ACCOUNTS FROM USING OUR LOBBY
After a Galveston drive-in bank teller told an angry customer to take his appeal concerning an uncashed check to the main lobby, the driver proceeded up a flight of stairs into the lobby—still in his car.

THAT’S RIGHT, SOME OF US ARE JUST RIDICULOUS
Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence V. Skloss enjoyed a $2783 dinner at Austin’s La Tour restaurant in order to show that Texans aren’t “a bunch of cowboys and Indians.”

A CLEAR BID FOR SUPPORT FROM THE MOUNT OLIVET PRECINCT
Governor Dolph Briscoe asked the Senate to confirm the appointments of four dead people to state boards.

HELLO, HON. IS THIS SELF-SERVICE?
When a caller threatened to set off a bomb at a Lubbock service station, the female attendant obediently followed instructions to strip and stand at the service station’s window before realizing the call was a hoax.

LET US KEEP OUR OIL AND WELL PROMISE NEVER TO SEND YOU JIM COLLINS AGAIN
Congressman Jim Collins of Dallas told the U.S. House of Representatives it was time to renegotiate Texas’ 1845 annexation agreement with the U.S.

WHAT A FUN GUY!
While his lawyers were negotiating a settlement to insure that Coastal States Gas Corporation wouldn’t have to refund more than $1 billion in overcharges to beleaguered customers, Coastal States chairman Oscar Wyatt threw a lavish prenuptial dinner in Paris for Princess Caroline of Monaco.

MY GOD, WHY HAST THOUGH FORSAKEN ME?
Evangelist Ruth Carter Stapleton, Jimmy Carter’s sister, prayed for a location for her new headquarters that would be near an airport, with a mountain, water, and lots of trees. She ended up in Bartonville, near Denton.

HINT: THE FATAL BULLET STRUCK THE BACK OF MY NECK, EXITED THROUGH MY THROAT, AND LODGED IN GOVERNOR JOHN CONNALLY’S ARM
A news quiz in the San Antonio Light posed this question for history buffs: “I succeeded Dwight D. Eisenhower as President of the United States in 1961. Documents recently released by the FBI show that Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, assassinated me in Dallas in 1963. What is my name?”

¿COMPRENDE?
When the Austin Independent School District asked the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare why the district had lost $440,000 in bilingual education funds, HEW told AISD it would have to file a freedom-of-information request to find out.

NOBODY’S PERFECT
A San Marcos land title expert discovered that the historical marker locating the site of the vanished town of Jonesville had been in the wrong place for 42 years.

JUST CHECK THE TIRES AND THUMP THE MELON
State Commissioner of Agriculture Reagan Brown proposed that watermelons be used as fuel.

THEY SURE DO
While campaigning for governor in Seguin, Bill Clements expounded on the subject of Indians: “How did the Indians feel? Well, ignorance is blissful. Is this area of Texas more productive, more fulfilling of God’s purpose—are we playing our role of destiny with this broad expanse

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