The 1994 Bum Steer Awards

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

More Texas Monthly

Loading, please wait...

Most Read

  • Viewed
  • Past:
  • 1 week