Dependable, Lendable, Undefendable, Vendable!

Dependable!

Bum Steers wouldn't be Bum Steers without the Bushes.

Econology Can Be So Confusing

President Bush described part of a conversation with Japan's prime minister as "the devaluation issue," causing a dip in the value of the yen until White House officials released a statement explaining that the president had meant to say "the deflation issue."

The Eagle Regrets the Boob-oo

After Barbara Bush said, during a luncheon in Kansas, that she had had three different "dress sizes" in her lifetime, the Wichita Eagle misquoted her as saying that she had had three different "breast sizes."

Not Interested. We're Waiting for the Big White One

Houstonians Mackey and Ann Ervin put up for sale on the auction Web site eBay the four-bedroom, three-bath house in Midland where both George Bushes lived in the fifties for $250,000, more than twice its appraised value of $103,500.

See Saddam. See Saddam Run

While working on his plan for a new preemptive military doctrine, President Bush told his aides that he wanted the foreign policy written in language clear enough that "the boys in Lubbock can understand it."

Let Karen Hughes Go Home to Austin, and See What Happens!

Lendable!

Type 'n' hype on the Bum Steers bookshelf.

How to Become an Athletic Supporter: You Don't Have to Wear a Jock to Talk Like One, by Teri Burns, of Cypress (Booklocker.com, $11.95). A Cliffs Notes for women on team sports, this slender volume has separate chapters on a variety of sports and commentary such as "Football uniforms have really tight pants. Really, really tight. So tight you can see a player's jockstrap. . . . As football involves frequent crouching and bending over, be ready to enjoy some spectacular views, especially during a team huddle."

The Gospel According to Tony Soprano, by Chris Seay, of Houston (Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, $12.95). A minister, the author sermonizes about Christianity and life while examining character by character a show that he says "serves as a prescription for the soul. It has the power to condemn or restore. . . . Like all art, it must be interpreted. . . . it became a part of me."

Night Games!: A Guide to Understanding and Enjoying the Nightclub and Bar Scene, by Rodney A. Battles, of Hurst (Brown Books, $19.95). Advice about hitting on and picking up women at clubs includes items such as a list of turnoffs for women--for example, "men whose breath is stanking from dranking or smells as if they just ate a 'doo-doo' sandwich!"

Diary of a High Maintenance Woman: Love Lessons I've Learned the Hard Way!, by Beth Elias, of Dallas (chickperspective.com, $12.99). From chapter one: "What's the deal when an intelligent, friendly, attractive new age woman cannot be successful in a relationship? IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME? When I couldn't answer this question, I went on a total self-exploration trip. . . . I am about to share my life secrets with you, to give you my pure chick perspective."

Enrob Annual Report 2001, by Charles Platt and Erico Narita (ReganBooks, $10.95). Tongue-out-of-cheek Enron spoof quotes bigwigs "Sharon Sheckel," "Max Greede," and more, presents diversification ideas such as "Enrob's Martian outpost" and a "nuclear-powered stratocruiser," and assuages fictional stockholders with lines like "During 2002 we expect to receive $1 trillion from a consortium of investment banks, gonzo dotcom gurus, Bulgarian organized crime, union pension funds, and the federal government. We'll complete hostile takeovers of Verizon, Qwest, and AT&T."

Undefendable!

You didn't think we'd Lay off Enron, did you?

Never Mind

In its April 15 issue, Fortune magazine took a page and a half to explain why it listed Enron, which had filed for bankruptcy the previous December, as the fifth-largest company on its roster of the nation's top five hundred corporations.

Turn Out the Lights. The Party's Over

Less than a year before news of accounting scandals and off-the-book partnerships ruined the energy giant Enron, the company's in-house art committee spent $4 million on contemporary artworks such as Claes Oldenburg's $590,000 giant soft-sculpture light switch.

Arthur Andersen Booked It as a $97.9 Million Profit

Following the bankruptcy of Enron, the Houston Astros paid the company $2.1 million to ditch the name Enron Field and regain the rights to the naming of their ballpark, for which Enron had previously agreed to pay $100 million over thirty years.

For Practicing Safe Fraud

Kenneth Lay, the dethroned chairman of Enron, and his wife, Linda, put up for sale three of their Aspen, Colorado, properties, worth a total of more than $15 million. Nearby, a bar called Woody Creek Tavern set out a large jar labeled "Ken Lay Relief Fund. Please Help a Fellow Neighbor" and garnered contributions including fake dollar bills and condoms.

Coming Soon: "Felons of Enron"

In August Playboy magazine featured a photo spread of "Women of Enron," and two months later Playgirl followed suit with a pictorial called "Men of Enron."

Specializing in Cayman Island Partnerships

The University of Missouri announced that it had been unsuccessful in filling a new chair in its economics department, which is called the Kenneth L. Lay Chair in International Economics.

Jus' Stuff It

After the collapse of Enron, Linda Lay sold off some of the Lay family's possessions in a secondhand store she opened called Jus' Stuff.

Vendable!

Fluff 'n' stuff in the Bum Steers gift guide.

1) Paper dolls of George W. and Laura Bush, showing the president and the first lady in basic underwear along with a variety of clothing from ranch wear to Inauguration Day finery, from Dover Publications, Mineola, New York ($5.95).

2) Six-inch-tall "Mini-You" action figures custom-made to resemble the buyer and a spouse or a significant other (two of each person), manufactured by Gentle Giant Studios, of California, and featured in the 2002 Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog ($7,500).

3) The Longneck Wrench, a tool that is a 9/16-inch wrench on one end and a bottle opener on the other, from Longneck Wrench, of Wimberley, longneckwrench.com ($13.95).

4) A die-cast metal

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