The 2003 Bum Steer Awards

It was a year of asinine atheists, buck-naked bad guys, crud-coated coins, duct-taped duds, ex-Enron exhibitionists, felonious Ferraris, gaffe-prone guests, hijacked heads, icky incumbents, jittery java junkies, kaput kampaigns, lascivious lawyers, Munsters maniacs, ninny newlyweds, obdurate officials, pesky perfumes, quickie-minded quadrupeds, risible reading, superannuated sodas, titillating textbooks, un-dry urbanites, vamoosed vaudevillians, wandering weapons, Xena-like Xanthippes, yammering Yankees, and zealous zit-ologists.

The Bull Just Smiled and Declined to Press Charges

Joey Allen Long, of Paris, was charged in Mount Pleasant with the theft of $4,600 worth of bull semen.

We Can Only Imagine What the Words “Bob Torricelli” Did to Him

Thomas Ray Mitchell, of Texas City, was convicted of aggravated assault for shooting his girlfriend because, he told the police, he thought she was about to say two words that upset him: “New Jersey.”

Your Money or Your Ranch-Style Recipe

Irma Ortiz and Irene Hinojosa were arrested for aggravated robbery because they entered the La Feria home of Ortiz’s ex-boyfriend, held him down on the floor, and before taking his money, hit him over the head with a can of beans.

Man Cannot Live By Peanuts Alone

After Southwest Airlines announced that it would charge obese customers for two seats, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals put up billboards showing a photo of a man’s big hairy belly hanging over his jeans along with the caption “Don’t pay for two seats. Go vegetarian.”

We’d Like To Initiate A Dialogue And Share Our Feelings About This: You Suck

An article on the Web site of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in Pennsylvania, discussing the February issue of Oprah Winfrey’s magazine O, said of the periodical, “Jammed with self-esteem exercises, it is so over-the-top touchy-feely, it’s probably against the law in states like Texas.”

Read My Dips: No New Tostadas

State representative Kino Flores, of Mission, has filed a resolution to make chips and salsa the official snack of Texas.

Soon to Be Known As the Fightin’ Racs

Residents of Frisco, both black and white, protested the changing of the high school’s team name from the Fightin’ Coons to the Fightin’ Raccoons.

Call Again in Five To Ten Years

Humberto Perez participated in a San Antonio radio station’s call-in program titled “What Is Your Biggest Lie?” and detailed a scheme to arrange for a friend to steal his pickup truck so that he could collect payments from his insurance company and car-alarm manufacturer–only to be arrested for mail fraud by an FBI agent who had tuned in to the show, suspected that the story was true, and tracked down the caller’s identity.

Now Is the Time for All Good Men to Come to the Aid Of the Other Party

McLennan County court-at-law judge David Hodges, of Waco, was barred by the Texas Supreme Court from seeking reelection as the Democratic party nominee because he had voted in the Republican primary.

Aggies Lose By 4; Critics Blame R. C. Slocum

After complaints that as many as eight Texas A&M students were sharing the same house, the Bryan City Council voted to limit the number of unrelated people in one house to four.

What’s The Problem? It Is Unusual

Anita Perry, the wife of Governor Rick Perry, applied for a hardship driver’s license for her daughter, Sydney, age fifteen, and checked a box indicating that, despite Perry’s $115,345 annual salary, she was making the request because of “unusual economic hardship.”

Where’s Joseph McCarthy When You Really Need Him?

Dana Cloud, an associate professor of communication studies at the University of Texas at Austin, wrote the school’s paper , The Daily Texan, to laud a California court’s decision permitting the deletion of the words “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance. She then proposed, for “godless radicals” such as herself, a new pledge that promises allegiance to “ordinary people,” including “the laid-off Enron workers,” “the sweatshop workers from New York to Indonesia, who labor not under God but under the heel of multinational corporations,” and “the people of Iraq, Palestine, and Afghanistan.”

So Far, He’s Covered Most of North Dallas

John Winter Smith, of Dallas, has been a customer at 3,344 Starbucks stores in his quest to visit every outlet of the upscale Seattle-based coffee chain.

You Call It an Oversight. We Call It Effective Counsel

According to news reports, Nate Newton, a former offensive lineman for the Dallas Cowboys who was convicted of federal drug charges, asked for a new detention hearing while still in jail in Dallas because, his lawyer said, the athlete’s former attorney failed him by not calling Jerry Jones as a character witness.

But His Political Career Is Shot

Kenn George, of Dallas, an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination for land commissioner, removed a picture of a Purple Heart from his political Web site after news reports revealed that he had never been wounded and had never been in combat.

The State Department Has Issued a Travel Advisory for Lufkin

In a poll conducted by The Daily Sentinel, of Nacogdoches, in October, 87 percent of the respondents said they believed there were Al Qaeda cells operating in East Texas.

They’re Practicing For the Attack on East Texas

An unidentified pilot from Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, flying an F-117A Stealth fighter plane, accidentally dropped dummy bombs into the bathroom of a Monahans home and the front yard of a house in Pecos.

But Their Turnout Is Surprisingly Good

The Hidalgo County Republican party commissioned a study of the county’s registered voters, which showed that some 16,000 of them were ineligible or dead.

She’s Never Sounded Better

Britney Spears had to end her concert in Lubbock after only two songs because the amount of electricity needed for the onstage pyrotechnics overwhelmed the power system and shorted it out.

Bad Call. He Would Have Let You Get On Down the Road

Stenson Hutcherson, of Austin, who appeared in court to challenge a speeding ticket, asked his lawyer to eliminate from the jury pool juror number one, who happened to be Governor Rick Perry.

Good Thing They Weren’t Watching The Vagina Monologues

Thomas Jefferson High School in Port Arthur canceled a performance of a play called Stop the Violence after high school students began fighting with each other during the show.

That’s Contempt Of Courting

District court judge James Keeshan, of Conroe, was fined for disorderly conduct and publicly admonished by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct following a confrontation at Joyce’s 30-Something Lounge, in which he caused a man to fall off a bar-stool onto the floor. The incident occurred after the judge’s female companion told him that a few days

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