1987 Bum Steer Awards

January 1987By Comments

What a Bummer! It was supposed to be a great year for Texas. It started out as a birthday celebration, the 150th anniversary of the republic, but ended up more like a funeral. How bad was 1986? UT had its first losing football season in thirty years, and Fred Akers got fired. Texas had its first losing season 150 years—for the first time, more people moved out than moved in—and Mark White got fired.

This was the year of the red tide and the black plague—black gold, that is. The price of a barrel of oil dropped below $10 in April, and the rig count fell to an all-time low of 663 in July. The collapse of oil left an empty feeling in Houston, where 72 high-rise office buildings were totally vacant, and in Dallas, where a $7 million spec house went begging. Times were so tough that in San Antonio, mayor Henry Cisneros came home from another day of promoting economic growth to find that Fox Photo had laid off his wife.

To make matters worse, 1986 was an election year. Mark White’s primary opponent called him “nerd” and a “scumball,” White called Comptroller Bob Bullock “Chicken Little,” Bullock called White “Foxy Woxy,” and we elected the meanest of them all, Bill Clements. Teachers blew a fuse because they were forced to take competency tests, which 97 per cent of them passed and the rest were able to take again. It wasn’t our year in sports either. The Rockets and the Astros came close, but in the end everybody in Boston and New York got to remind us about those “Let the Bastards Freeze in the Dark” bumper stickers.

With so much to choose from, it wasn’t easy to single out a Bum Steer of the Year worthy of succeeding such past winners as James Michener, George Bush, Carolyn Farb, Jackie Sherrill, J. R. Ewing, and Farrah Fawcett. Our winner captured exactly what the year was like. At the moment of truth, Texas USA, the official sesquicentennial bull, performed like a Bum Steer and, like 1986 itself, ended up belly-up.

THE WRONG STUFF
Texas USA, named the official bull of the Texas sesquicentennial because the markings on his forehead resembled a map of Texas, died after suffering a broken back as the result of what was described as a “mating mishap.” His head has been stuffed so that it can be displayed at the state capitol.

The Runners-up:

SHEIK AHMED ZAKI YAMANI
Oil Minister of Saudi Arabia
All our troubles are his fault. He got the bright idea to increase his country’s oil production and cut the price of oil. He got lower prices, all right. He also got fired.

JERRY GLANVILLE
Houston Oilers’ Coach
Named interim coach with two games to go in 1985, he was told that his job depended on how the team played in those last two games. The Oilers lost both. Glanville kept the job. The Oilers kept losing.

BUBBA
The Pet Javelina
After wildlife officials took Bubba from his owners and released him into the wild, Corpus Christi erupted with “Bring Bubba Back” bumper stickers, a nightclub benefit, a ballad of Bubba, a $150 reward, and a search. He’s still missing.

MARK WHITE AND BILL CLEMENTS
Gubernatorial Opponents
Their low-brow, negative campaigns carried just one message: the other guy was worse. By election day they had voters wanting to pick “None of the above.”


HOW TO BEAT A BUST, LESSON I
At a Beaumont city auction, Ricky Thomas paid $5 for a machine that turned out to be a laser-equipped water-bill processor that the city had purchased for $98,900.

THEN SHE DROVE HIM TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM AT GENERAL HOSPITAL
Pamela Douglas of Fort Worth stabbed her boyfriend, Frank Green III, after he laughed at a scene that showed a man beating his ex-girlfriend on the soap opera Santa Barbara.

DON’T FORGET TO TEST THE SWEET ’N LOW
Lamar County sheriff’s officers tested a brown powder leaking from a package addressed to Paris Junior College student Elizabeth Horn and identified it as hashish. Horn was not charged when her lawyer proved that the substance was really Constant Comment tea.

DOUBLE DARE IF YOU SHAVE YOUR HEAD FIRST  
Harris County jail deputies built two fake electric chairs and dared inmates to sit in them.

Great Moments in Statesmanship

AND THERE ARE OTHER SIMILARITIES AS WELL
Addressing the State Democratic Executive Committee four days after the space shuttle exploded, Governor Mark White compared the Challenger astronauts to the Democratic party. “They took risks, they passed tests,” he said. “That’s what the Democratic party has always stood for.”

ONE ON HIROSHIMA. ONE ON NAGASAKI. TWO ON BEAUMONT
During and appearance in Port Arthur, Congressman Jack Brooks of Beaumont was asked why the federal government allows Japan to dump products on the U.S. market. “God bless Harry Truman,” Brooks answered. “He dropped two of ’em. He should’ve dropped four.”

TRY GIVING A SPEECH IN MOSCOW
On a trip to Pakistan, Congressman Charles Wilson of Lufkin told a Houston Post reporter, “I want to do everything possible to kill Russians—as painfully as possible.”

TO THE PEOPLE OF TEXAS AND ALL AMERICANS IN THE WORLD: I AM BESIEGED BY A THOUSAND OR MORE OF THE ENEMY UNDER SANTA ANTA. THE ENEMY HAS DEMANDED A SURRENDER, AND I HAVE ANSWERED WITH AMDRO
Demonstrating fire-ant control methods, Texas agriculture commissioner Jim Hightower said, “Fire ants have us Texans outnumbered far worse than Colonel Travis’ men were outnumbered at the Alamo.”

THEY’RE CHANGING THEIR NAME TO FOUR-LETTER WORD, INC.
Word, Inc., of Waco, one of the nation’s largest publishers of Christian books, distributed a paperback reprint of the Final Report of the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography. The report contains details from pornographic magazines, describes sex acts, and lists titles of pornographic books and articles, such as Teen Nymphos, and Bound, Whipped, and Raped Schoolgirls.


BUT BEFORE THE EXPLOSION, HE’LL DO A VERSE OF “NEARER, MY GOD, TO THEE”
Alfred Dukes of San Antonio, the keyboard player with a Baptist singing group en route to a performance, was refused service of an alcoholic beverage on a USAir flight by crew members who thought he was drunk. Following a disturbance, Dukes was removed from the flight because he made a remark about a bomb on the airplane.

HOW TO BEAT THE BUST, LESSON II
At a gem and mineral show in Tucson, Arizona, Roy Whetstine of Longview paid $10 for a rock resembling a small potato. The rock turned out to the largest star sapphire ever discovered, worth $2.28 million.

AND $98,500 FOR BACO-BITS, SOUR CREAM, AND CHIVES
Despite being notified by the Pentagon that the government would no longer pay defense contractors for nonmilitary items, General Dynamics in Fort Worth charged the U.S. $100,000 for kitchen equipment, including $1500 for an automated potato peeler.

THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD
The U.S. State Department tried to add closed-circuit television surveillance to the security system of the exclusive Terrace House on Maple apartments in Dallas, in order to provide more protection for Mark Thatcher, son of Britain’s Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. But the management objected and asked him to move out.

NO, BUT HE CAN PLAY SECOND FIDDLE
Universal Television in Hollywood turned down a suggestion from the vice president’s office that George Bush make a cameo appearance as a federal drug agent on Miami Vice.

ALONG WITH A BLACK BEAN, A CIGARETTE, AND A BLINDFOLD
The employees of BHP Petroleum (Americas) in Midland were summoned to a meeting following a merger and handed sealed envelopes labeled either “A” or “B.” Inside each “A” envelope was a job offer. Inside the “B” envelopes were form letters notifying employees of their dismissal.

WHY DIDN’T MARK WHITE THINK OF THAT? 
One month before Kerr County public weigher J.C. Milton was to face a challenge for reelection, his race was taken off the ballot when county officials learned that his term still had two years to go.

“AND THE WINNER IS . . . CUT! CUT!”
Radio station KEYI-FM in Austin conducted a promotion in which it gave away a Mazda RX-7 to the 103rd caller. The winner was Bob Cole, a disc jokey from competing station KOKE-FM.

MERRILL LYNCH IS BEARISH ON NATIVE TEXAN
Native Texan, a Longhorn bull from Sugarland, spoiled the filming of a Merrill Lynch commercial because he wouldn’t run away from the New York Stock Exchange building fast enough to suit the director.

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?

IT WAS A TOUGH YEAR FOR:

HERBERT AND BUNKER HUNT 
The Hunt brothers’ Placid Oil and two other Hunt entities filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after lenders demanded the repayment of $1.5 billion in delinquent loans.

THE SHAMROCK HILTON
The venerable Houston hotel closed its doors for keeps in June.

T. CULLEN DAVIS
He and his brother, Ken, were ousted from management and majority ownership of Kendavis Industries by banks owed $500 million.

JOHN CONNALLY
He is chairman and CEO of Chapman Energy, which is in default on $22.5 million in bank loans.

EDDIE CHILES
The Western Company of North America, of which Chiles is chairman, suspended principal and interest payments indefinitely on $400 million in debts.

INTERFIRST CORPORATION, MCORP, AND FIRST CITY BANCORPORATION
The three bank holding companies suspended quarterly dividends on common stock.


ALL IN FAVOR SAY “AKEEM”
During the June 5 meeting of the Austin City Council, television monitors on the council dais, which usually display zoning maps to the board members, carried a live broadcast of a Houston Rockets-Boston Celtics play-off game.

SURE IT’S CROWDED, BUT SO WAS HOME
After Eddie Cooks of Fort Worth died from injuries suffered when he was hit by a car, three women showed up at the funeral home, claimed to be his wife, and insisted on riding in the funeral limousine.

YOU ARE WHAT YOU BLEAT
Jennifer Kavinsky and Sarah Duck, graduating seniors at Rice University, asked that their diplomas be printed on paper rather than sheepskin because they are vegetarians.

IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED, TRY, TRY AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN. THEN CALL MISSISSIPPI
After the Texas Army National Guard failed in 26 attempts to place a new statue of the Goddess of Liberty atop the Texas Capitol, the Mississippi Army National Guard was called in to help and succeeded on its first try.

A FREE PRESS IS THE CORNERSTONE OF LIBERTY, PART I 
In an address to the Midland Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club, Benjamin Hooks, the executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said, “We kill live leaders and worship dead ones.” The Midland Reporter-Telegram reported his remark “We kill live niggers and worship dead ones.”

“AND, FURTHERMORE, MICKEY TOLD US HE JUST LOVES PLASTER”
Arkansas’ Governor Bill Clinton protested to the Wall Street Journal after the paper compared Texas’ and Arkansas’ sesquicentennial celebrations. The Journal reported that Texas had been visited by Prince Charles while Arkansas had been visited by Mickey Mouse and that Texas had baked a forty-ton birthday cake while Arkansas had a four-foot-tall plaster-filled cake.

THE WIND AND THE RAIN WOULD HAVE GOTTEN IT IN ANOTHER 25 MILLION YEARS ANYWAY
Vandals blasted Balanced Rock off its pedestal near Fredericksburg.

IF IT’S A SELLOUT, HE’LL GIVE AN ENCORE
Death row inmate Roger Leroy DeGarmo, who was allowed to designate five witnesses for his execution, sought to put three of the seats up for auction and split the proceeds between his family and the family of the woman he had killed.

A FREE PRESS IS THE CORNERSTONE OF LIBERTY, PART II
Reporting on Southwest Airlines’ second-quarter earnings, the Dallas Morning News ran the headline SOUTHWEST AIRLINES POSTS DROP IN EARNINGS. Reporting on the same figures on the same day, the Dallas Times Herald ran the headline EARNINGS APPROACH RECORD.

BIG DEAL. DID THEY COVER THE SPREAD? 
Sixth-graders at the Cistercian Preparatory School in Irving scored higher than eleventh-graders statewide on a test made up of sample questions from the Texas Educational Assessment of Minimum Skills exam.

IT’S THE BOTTOM OF THE FIFTH, AND THE PLAYERS ARE LOADED
Following a post-game altercation in Cooter’s bar, New York Mets baseball players Ron Darling, Tim Teufel, Bob Ojeda, and Rick Aguilera were arrested by Houston police.

THAT’S INFLATION FOR YOU. $8 USED TO BUY A MUCH BIGGER PLACE
Todd Hoffman and Bob Burns of Conroe announced plans to make a souvenir stand and museum out of the Chicken Ranch, a celebrated former brothel near La Grange. They will sell one-square-inch parcels of land for $8.

ANYWAY, IT HAD THE SIX W’S: WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, AND WHITE LIES
Betty Godfrey of the San Antonio Light won first place in the Headliner’s Club competition for best newspaper column with an article about a restaurant patron who watched a bag lady sit down and eat his lunch. Two days after the award announcement the Light confessed that Godfrey had made up the story.

THEIR SLOGAN IS, DON’T GET CAUGHT WITH YOUR PANTS DOWN
Three students at UT-Austin started the Protection Connection, a business specializing in “discreet delivery of quality contraceptives.” Deliveries are made within thirty minutes.

“YOU MEAN THIS ISN’T HOW TO APPLY FOR A TRANSFER?”
Hercules Gann and Billy Battenfield escaped from the Texas Department of Corrections’ Ellis I Unit by hiding in a trailer. They were apprehended when the trailer’s next stop turned out to be another prison.

HE ALWAYS WAS A LOVE ‘EM AND LEAVE ‘EM KIND OF GUY 
Richard “Stony” Foster escaped from the Stephens County jail after he, a trusty, and the jailer on duty engaged in a sex party with female inmates.

AKEEM, I SAW, I WAS CONQUERED
Writing in Sports Illustrated about the Los Angeles Lakers’ victory over the Houston Rockets in the first game of the NBA Western Conference finals, Jack McCallum said, “As the seconds ticked away in Game 1, the Forum fans began a familiar chant: ‘We Want Boston!’ How terribly premature. And how inevitable.” The Rockets won the series by sweeping the next four games.

QUICK! SEND A TRUCKLOAD OF SALT AND A TANKER OF TRIPLE SEC TO: 
Burleson, where the Johnson County sheriff’s department closed I-35 West and evacuated residents of a nearby trailer park after a tank truck overturned and began leaking tequila vapors.

AND IF ELECTED, I WILL NOT ROLL OVER
Ozona voters elected Raymond Davee as justice of the peace. Anson voters elected Roy Lambert as justice of the peace. Both men were dead at the time of their election.

YOU WOULDN’T LISTEN, SO HE TOLD THE JUDGE
The Reverend W .N. Otwell, a fugitive from contempt-of-court charges resulting from his refusal to license his church-run boys’ home, explained his disappearance by saying, “God didn’t tell me to go to jail.”

THE STEGOSAURUS SOLD EARLY
Marvin Allen Weir, Jr., of Austin was arrested for stealing dinosaur tracks from a creekbed in Hays County, after a tipster told law enforcement officers that he saw the tracks in the back of a pickup while attending a garage sale at Weir’s home.

Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace

HIS ROMAINE DAYS WERE OVER. SHE LOOKED RADISHING IN HER TRUFFLED GOWN. EVEN THE CAULIFLOWER GIRLS LOOKED FIT AS A FENNEL. BUT WHERE WAS THE TWO-CARROT RING? “AVOCADO GO GET IT,” SAID THE BEST MAN. “IF IT DOESN’T TURNIP, I ARTICHOKE YOU,” SAID THE GROOM. “IT COST ME A MONTH’S CELERY.” THYME PASSED. “HERE I YAM,” SAID THE BEST MAN. TEARS LEEKED. “EVERYBODY RICE,” SAID THE MINISTER, TUGGING AT HIS WHITE COLLARD. “LETTUCE PRAY.” THEY EXCHANGED VOWS OF CLOVE. “YOU MAY CRESS THE BRIDE,” SAID THE MINISTER, AND THEY LIVED FOREVER AFTER IN PEAS AND HOMINY
Mike and Phyllis Blancher of Midland married in Albertson’s grocery store and posed for pictures in the produce section as part of a singles’ night promotion.

FOR THE BATTLE OF THE SEXES
The Sportsman’s Bailiwick in San Antonio offered a combat camouflage wedding dress with a matching net veil, priced at $500. The gown was designed for an exhibit by the Women’s Caucus for the Arts.

THEN HE TURNED TO THE CAMERA AND SAID, “HI, MOM”
At the conclusion of the marriage of Bill Boy Bryant, a wide receiver for the 1985 Texas Longhorns, and Deidre Dodds, the daughter of UT athletic director DeLoss Dodds, the bride and groom turned to each other and exchanged high fives.

EVERYTHING WENT FINE UNTIL THE BEST MAN TURNED OUT TO BE THE GROOM’S CAT
Dallas bridal consultant Kelly Mitchell arranged a wedding in which the ring bearer was the bride’s pet poodle, Fluffy, who walked down the aisle with the wedding rings secured to a satin pillow tied to her back.


PLEASE, OSCAR. THEY’RE NOT RIDERS. THEY’RE JOCKEYS.
Oscar Wyatt, the chairman of Coastal Corporation, was criticized by the Houston chapter of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee for referring to the OPEC oil ministers as the “thirteen camel riders.”

WHAT ABOUT ABDULLAH THE CAMEL RIDER?
The Arab-American Society of Irving demanded the cancellation of a wrestling match at the State Fair of Texas because one of the participants was named Abdullah the Butcher.

IT MUST HAVE BEEN LEAD POISONING
After Willis “Big House” Sterling died in a shoot-out with San Antonio police, the Carter-Taylor-Williams Funeral Home sent an obituary notice to the San Antonio Light that said, “Mr. Sterling died Tuesday in San Antonio after a brief illness.”

ZIP CODE 00000
U.S. postal authorities in Bryan insisted that city officials name a two-hundred-foot stretch of pavement that had served as an entrance to a country club for fifteen years. Bryan city manager Ernest Clark designated the roadway as “Un-named Street.”

“AS ALIVE AS YOU ARE, SIR”
While visiting the Middle East, Vice President George Bush asked a Jordanian army briefing officer, “How dead is the Dead Sea?” The officer answered, “Very dead, sir.”

YOU’VE GOT TO START SOMEPLACE
The University of Texas beat out Harvard for a medical pathologist’s collection of two hundred brains.

Bum Steer Gift Guide

BLEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS
Texas Proud, an album of traditional Texas music on a record shaped like a map of Texas distributed by H. W. Daily, Inc., of Houston.

REACH OUT AND TOUCH NO ONE
Cellular Phoney, a plastic, non-working replica of a cellular phone for automobiles, marketed with the slogan, “It’s not what you own,” and available from Adalbert von Gontard in Midland.

THE MEXICAN FOOD SECTION IS CARNE KNOWLEDGE
Making It: A Cookbook for Lovers, featuring recipes like steak tartare (in the raw) and sections on “Appeteasers” and “Food Fore Play,” by Liz R. Berezovytch of Austin.

FOR THE MAN WHO HAS NOTHING
Houston Poor start kits, containing a bumper sticker and a T-shirt with a Houston Poor logo. The emblem features a skyscraper that offers “four years free rent on a three-year lease” and a blimp that flashes the words, “Oh, Thank Heaven, for Chapter 11” over the Houston skyline.

YOU HEAT THEM WITH A CATTLE PROD
The Slave Ranch Trial Cookbook, featuring 32 favorite dishes of jurors and bailiffs in the Kerrville slave ranch trial.

IT MAKES A GREAT TOM COLLINS
Catnip liquor, a nonalcoholic after-dinner drink for cats, from CatHouse Fashions in Dallas.

FORWARD-THINKING TEXANS ARE BUYING HIGH-TECH LOTION INSTEAD
Texas Oil, a complete line of tanning oils and lotions, for a “refined tan,” distributed by J.M. Duke, Inc., of Dallas.

WRITHE IN PAIN. WRITHE DIRELY IN PAIN. DO NOT PASS GO. DO NOT COLLECT $200
The Official Von Erich Family World Class Championship Wrestling Game from Texas Main Events, Inc., of Dallas.

NOBODY ENTERED
Fifty acres of land near Amarillo, offered as first prize in a nationwide contest sponsored by MTV.


WELL, HOW ABOUT “WAR IS HECK”?
Fort Hood was forced to change its new emblem—a Frank Frazetta painting of a helmeted, red-eyed warrior with a bloody ax, mounted on a horse standing in rivulets of blood—because the pentagon objected to the accompanying motto: “Death Dealer.”

TODAY’S SPECIAL: SURF ‘N’ HEARSE
The Red Lobster restaurant in Mesquite promoted its opening with a drawing for a free dinner consisting of Conan, a 22-pound, 154-year-old lobster. After Houston radio station KFMK broadcast the story, a public outcry forced Red Lobster to change its plans and ship Conan to Sea-Arama Marineworld in Galveston. One month later Conan died anyway.

HIIIIII YAHHHHH . . . OWWWWWWWWW
A ten-year-old San Antonio boy who suffered a stab wound told police that a man had stabbed him in the leg while he was practicing karate. Later the boy retracted his story and said that he had stabbed himself while practicing karate with a knife.

HIS DECORATOR LIKES THE WAY IT COMPLEMENTS BLACK AND WHITE STRIPES
Dickinson police chief Wayne Broussard directed that the town’s two jail cells be painted pink.

READY, AIM, FLUNK
Professor Richard Swope of Trinity University in San Antonio teaches the principles of engineering design to freshman engineering science students by having them lob water-filled balloons at him.

SHE MUST BE A MEMBER OF THE 2,629,440-MINUTE WOMEN
Kilgore College officials ordered the removal of Night Winds, an abstract outdoor sculpture, from the Longview campus after Katherine Blackson wrote a letter to the Longview Morning Journal, calling the sculpture a “perfect example of a communist policy to erect ugly and meaningless objects instead of artworks of beauty and inspiration.” The sculpture was placed on campus five years ago.

MAN IS SEPARATED FROM THE BEASTS BY HIS ABILITY TO REASON
Houston’s Theater on Wheels asked Mrs. Mikhail Gorbachev to be honorary chairwoman of the theater group’s fundraising ball, a position last held by Carolyn Farb. “We figured that Mrs. Gorbachev has probably heard of Carolyn since they both wear designer clothes,” said Jan Norris, chairman of the board.

WHERE THERE’S SMOKE, THEY FIRE
The Ponderosa Volunteer Fire Department dismissed Janet Hightower after she was featured in a nude pictorial in Playboy magazine.

CARTER IMMEDIATELY GAINED FIVE POINTS IN THE POLLS
Former president Gerald Ford agreed to make two campaign speeches in Dallas on behalf of Republican congressional candidate Tom Carter, but when he learned that the rallies would be outside in the middle of the summer, he canceled.

FIRST THE METS, AND NOW THIS
Brute, a singing Chihuahua from Vidor, was defeated by Willie and Brandy, two mutts from New York performing “dognastic” routines, in a national contest to determine America’s most wonderful pets.

THE ARRESTING OFFICER WAS CAPTAIN QUEEG
Security officers at the Audie Murphy Memorial Veterans Hospital in San Antonio filed criminal charges against patient James Wash for “willful removal of government property without authorization” after Wash took a slice of strawberry shortcake from a dining hall cart.

A GREAT UNIVERSITY DEMANDS GREAT ICE CREAM 
The University of Texas licensed H.E.B. grocery stores in Austin to sell Longhorn Ice Cream, a mixture of orange sherbet and vanilla ice cream.

WHO SAYS HE’S NOT TOUGH ENOUGH TO DEAL WITH THE RUSSIANS?
On his sixtieth birthday, Vice President George Bush told his wife, Barbara, “I am never going to eat broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, or cabbage again.”

IT WAS THAT TIME OF THE MOUTH
When defendant Christopher Masters interrupted his trial for aggravated robbery in Houston with repeated outbursts, court bailiffs gagged him with tape and a sanitary napkin.

SOMETIMES IT’S SO HARD TO SAY GOOD-BYE
A Texarkana jail inmate was hospitalized after he simulated sexual intercourse with a metal bunk and then couldn’t get free.

MR. PISTOL PETE WAS HOME WASHING THE DISHES
Ms. Pistol Pete, a 41-pound pit bullterrier from San Antonio, demonstrated why she won the title of Strongest Dog in the World by pulling a full-sized automobile.

ONCE A SERVANT OF THE PEOPLE, ALWAYS A SERVANT OF THE PEOPLE
Former House Speaker Gus Mutscher, who was convicted of conspiracy to accept a bribe in 1972, was reported to owe $90,000 in delinquent taxes in Washington County, where he is the county judge.

“NOW WAIT HERE, OUTSIDE THIS BANK, AND I’LL GIVE YOU A REAL BIG TIP”
Austin cabdriver Pete Salazar picked up a man wearing a dark ski mask, who then robbed him at gunpoint and forced him to drive to Corpus Christi.

TO ENTRAILS, INC.
HNG/Internorth announced that it was changing its name to Enteron Corp. after four months of research by a New York consulting firm. When the pipeline company discovered that “enteron” is defined in the dictionary as “the intestine,” it changed its name again sixteen days later.

WHATEVER YOU MEANT, NO
Jack Wilborn of Fort Worth told the Associate Press that T. Cullen Davis approached him after a Sunday night church service and said, “Could you forgive me for what I did?” Speaking through his attorney, Davis later said that he was not referring to the murder of his stepdaughter and Wilborn’s daughter, Andrea Wilborn, for which he was acquitted in 1977.

This is Dallas

TO PASS YOU HAVE TO PRACTICE SUDDEN STOPS AT NEIMAN’S
Driving-education instructors Jim and Marsha Kirchmeier opened the Classic Driving School, using only three 1986 Porsche 944s.

PREREQUISITE: A DEGREE FROM THE CLASSIC DRIVING SCHOOL
As part of its continuing-education curriculum, the University of Dallas offered a course entitled “Existentialism for Yuppies: Coping With Being and Nothingness in the Lifestyle of the Eighties.”

FIRST WE TOLD EACH OTHER. THEN WE TOLD OUR FRIENDS. THEN OUR FRIENDS TOLD . . . 
East/West Network sponsored “The Best of Dallas” luncheon, during which Bum Bright, Trammel Crow, Herb Kelleher, Rodger Meier, and Mayor Starke Taylor spoke on how Dallas has transformed itself into a world-class city.

WHERE’S JAMES EARL RAY WHEN YOU REALLY NEED HIM?
An SMU student, using the pseudonym of Biff Sudcliff, wrote a parody of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech in the Daily Campus: “I have a dream that echoes in the valleys, screaming about the Brotherhood of White Men…. I have a dream, nay, I have a vision that my children will be able to play in the streets of this city, realizing their potential as God-fearing, heterosexual conservatives who will rule the country hand-in-hand with other little white children.”

IS IT THAT BLINKING GREEN THING RIGHT OUT THERE?
Passengers snapped up two hundred tickets in just two hours for two Braniff midnight charter flights from DFW Airport to Rising Star, Texas, and back. The midnight flights featured views of Halley’s Comet and servings of champagne.


IF THEY’RE GOING TO SURVIVE, WE’D JUST AS SOON NOT
Plans for an underground bomb shelter in downtown Houston, to be used in the event of a nuclear attack, provide for it to house a maximum of 172 people. The only people eligible to use the shelter are elected officials, some city and county department heads and their assistants, and officials of the local utility companies.

“THANK YOU, BUT I ALREADY HAVE A DATE THAT NIGHT”
Immediately after being sentenced to 24 years in prison for aggravated robbery, Mark Lee Woodson of Houston asked prosecutor Trish Saum, “Would you want to go out when I get out of TDC?”

KEEP THE MONEY. SURRENDER HARLINGEN
In an attempt to build support for a $100 million aid package for Nicaraguan contras, President Ronald Reagan warned that the Sandinista regime in Managua is “just two days’ drive from Harlingen.”

KEEP THE MONEY. SURRENDER ALEX
Cameron County sheriff Alex Perez asked the county commissioners to authorize $125,000 for riot gear to prepare for a Sandinista invasion. When the commissioners turned him down, he forwarded the request to President Reagan.

JUST 20 MILLION SHOPPERS, AND HE’S OUT OF THIS MESS
Clint Murchison, Jr., who filed for protection from his creditors after incurring an estimated $200 million in debts, held a garage sale and charged the public a $10 admission fee.

YOU COPS WILL JUST HAVE TO WATCH HILL STREET BLUES AT THE SAME TIME AS EVERYBODY ELSE
Billie Ross Thomison, the president of Austin CableVision, became angry following his arrest on DWI charges and ordered cable company employees to take a special channel that carried police information off the air.

COME ON, COPPER, MAKE MY DAY
Jojo, a large, mixed-breed dog, bit a Houston police officer, who then shot him in the muzzle. Jojo spat out the .357-caliber bullet and ran off.

GOOD THINKING, TOM, BUT THAT’S THE WRONG PLACE TO PUT THEM
Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Loeffler, in San Francisco to make a speech, was reported to have worn a bathing cap on each foot while showering to protect him from contracting AIDS.

“HELLO . . . NO, SIR, NO ROBBERS HERE”
After being notified that an alarm had sounded at MeraBank, El Paso police called the bank to determine whether the alarm was false. The phone rang unanswered for several minutes while a gunman completed the daylight robbery and made his escape.

SO HE SWITCHED TO STATION KINK
Christian radio station KIXL-AM in Austin cut off antipornography crusader Mark Weaver in mid-broadcast when the station manager decided that Weaver’s descriptions of homosexual practices were too explicit.

TWO BITS, FOUR BITS, SIX BITS, A DOLLAR, IF THEY’RE THE PIRATES, WE WON’T HOLLER
David Rucker of Mesquite fought the choice of a nickname for athletic teams at the new Poteet High School because Pirates are not a wholesome role model, and the skull-and-crossbones emblem is satanic.

HOW MANY AGGIES DOES IT TAKE? TWO. ONE TO MIX THE RED, BLUE, AND BROWN PAINT AND ANOTHER TO DIP THE FLOWERS
Scientists at Texas A&M University announced that they had developed maroon bluebonnets.

IT WAS LOVE AT FIRST CITE
State district judge Tom Cave of Fort Worth was indicted on federal civil rights charges that he gave favorable rulings to women who would have sex with him. Cave was dating and had planned to marry a former prostitute from San Antonio who had appeared in his court on charges of possessing drugs.

SOMETHING WENT WRONG WITH THE RECTIFIER
The City of Austin collected $31,000 in penalties when the Valley View Energy Corporation of Dallas failed to fulfill a contract to deliver electric power produced by burning cattle manure.

HE THOUGHT HE COULD WALK ON IT
As part of the script for Perry Como’s TV Christmas special filmed in San Antonio, Mayor Henry Cisneros dressed up as Santa Claus and fell into the San Antonio River.

WE ALWAYS THOUGHT HENRY LEE PREFERRED STILL LIFES
Dallas artist Frank X. Tolbert II painted a portrait of convicted serial murderer Henry Lee Lucas at the request of Lucas’ attorney.

YOU CAN BEAT THE RAP, BUT YOU CAN’T BEAT THE RHEINGAU
Cedar Park police chief Roy Phillips was convicted of disorderly conduct and fined $213 following an altercation in a café where Phillips became upset because the restaurant ran out of white wine.

DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO
William P. Holcomb, a lieutenant in the Houston city marshal’s office, which tracks down parking violators, paid $1500 in fines after he was discovered to be the city’s number one parking offender, with 375 unpaid tickets.

NO CLASS, NO PAY
After General Motors’ largest stockholder, H. Ross Perot, criticized management’s executive perquisites, GM Chairman Roger Smith said of Perot, “He has an office that makes mine look like shantytown. He has Remingtons; he has a Gilbert Stuart painting hanging on the wall.” Then GM announced that it was severing ties with Perot.

THE WHITE HOUSE IMMEDIATELY OFFERED TO SHIP HIM ARMS
Russell Scott, the editor of the Daily Texan, the student newspaper at UT-Austin, was arrested after he came to the paper’s awards banquet wearing a turban and carrying an alarm clock and road flares wrapped with wire in an attempt to look like an Arab terrorist.

NOW DEPARTING ON TRACK ONE, THE CLAIMS LIMITED
The Southern Pacific Railroad announced that it would cease to operate in Matagorda County so that it could no longer be sued there, because the county has a reputation for giving large jury awards to plaintiffs.

UH, GEORGE, THAT’S NOT WHAT “SAMPSON SCORES” MEANS
Former heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman said that the Houston Rockets basketball team would play better if the players refrained from sexual activity.

This is Houston

THE BIGGEST ONES WE KNOW ARE STILL ALIVE
Enforcer Products, Inc., which manufactures rat baits and traps, sponsored a Fat Rat contest in which it offered $1000 to the person submitting the largest dead rat.

WARNING: THE HARRIS COUNTY HOSPITAL DISTRICT MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH
The board of the Harris County Hospital District rejected a proposed public-education program to help people recognize the early warning symptoms of cancer because the district’s hospitals were already operating at or near capacity.

WE’D ESPECIALLY LIKE TO THANK THE DEADBEATS WHO MADE ALL THIS POSSIBLE
The San Jacinto Savings Association ran an advertisement for “our quality foreclosure properties” in the Houston Post under the headline OUR FORECLOSURES OPEN A LOT OF DOORS FOR YOU. “They’re known as our Sesquicentennial Homes,” the ad read. “And they’re all ‘Houston Proud,’ beautifully improved and maintained in the spirit of this fine city.”

ALL THE STORES WERE OUT OF HANDGUNS
Charles Willy Alpine was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to charges that he carried a bow and arrow around Houston, shooting at buses and people who bothered him.

SHE GOT THE HONEYMOON CELL
Regina Brooks spent the night before her wedding in the Houston city jail because she was arrested during her bachelorette party at La Bare.

WHEN THE PRICE IS BELOW $15, HE SHUTS IN THE OLIVE OIL
Steve Zimmerman, the owner of La Colombe D’Or restaurant, initiated the “Oil Barrel Special”—a four-course lunch that sells for the current price of a barrel of crude.

Related Content