What Kind of Year Was 2003?

THE ACCOMMODATIONS WEREN’T BAD, BUT THE ALPO WAS SERVED COLD

Curtis Lee Robin, of Vidor, after being convicted of abusing his eleven-year-old stepson by locking him out of the house at night, thus forcing him to sleep in a doghouse, agreed to a plea bargain under which he would sleep in a doghouse for thirty consecutive nights.


FIRST HE ASKED TO AUDITION FOR GOD

Former U.S. senator Phil Gramm played a Confederate politician in the Civil War movie Gods and Generals.


WINONA RYDER WILL PLAY HER IN THE MOVIE

Brooke Stollenwerck Aldridge, a prominent Dallas socialite and a fundraiser for several local charities, was arrested for shoplifting a $120 Kate Spade wallet, a $485 pair of black pants, and a $1,250 Hermès wallet from the Neiman Marcus store at NorthPark Center.


“AND THEY WERE BOTH NAKED, THE MAN AND HIS WIFE, AND WERE NOT ASHAMED, BUT THEIR CREATOR WAS ARRESTED BY THE GARDEN OF EDEN VICE SQUAD”

The police in Pilot Point, north of Dallas, threatened to charge Wes Miller with display of harmful material to a minor because a mural on a building he owned depicted Eve with bare breasts, but they held off pressing charges after Miller draped a piece of yellow crime-scene tape over her nipples.


MAKE THAT “OLDER BUT NOT WISER”

Forty-six-year-old Eddy Lee Dacy, of San Antonio, was sentenced to six months in jail for parole violations, including leaving the state so he could appear with his teenage girlfriend on an episode of Ricki Lake titled “Older Men, Younger Women.”


PUT YOUR EAR UP TO IT AND YOU CAN HEAR A TSUNAMI

The U.S. Shell warehouse, in Los Fresnos, installed on its grounds a 14,000-pound concrete conch shell.


THEN THEY GOOSE-STEPPED TO THE END ZONE

On the evening of September 26, which began the Jewish High Holy Day Rosh Hashanah, the Paris High School band performed a World War II-themed halftime show that included the playing of the song “Deutschland Uber Alles” and the waving of a Nazi flag.


JOEY’S PICK: A JUICY PATTY IN A POUCH OF PETA BREAD

Members of the group In Solidarity With Animals picketed Ziggy’s Healthy Grill, a Houston restaurant, because it serves a kangaroo burger.


IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT, MOVE TO CORPUS CHRISTI

Blanca Castillo, of Richland Hills, asked Tarrant County commissioners to remove the bronze panther from the grounds in front of the county administration building in Fort Worth, which was once known as Panther City, because she considered the artwork a “pagan statue.”


FOLLOWED BY “MY HEROES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN NAZIS”

The night before California’s gubernatorial recall vote, which resulted in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s election despite complaints by women alleging sexual harassment, Willie Nelson performed at a private party at a Sonoma vineyard and sang a spoof of “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before” called “To All the Girls I’ve Groped Before.”


DUDE, YOU’RE GETTIN’ A CELL

Actor Benjamin Curtis, who played the goofy, smart-alecky “Steven” in Dell Computer’s “Dude, you’re gettin’ a Dell” commercials, was arrested in New York for possession of marijuana.


THAT’S WHAT YOU GET FOR THINKING INSIDE THE BOX

Charles D. McKinley pleaded guilty to federal charges of stowing away on a cargo jet because he had climbed into a wooden crate and had himself shipped from New York City to DFW Airport.


IT’S NOT HER FAULT. AFTER REDISTRICTING, NO ONE IN AUSTIN KNOWS WHO HIS CONGRESSMAN IS

Presidential adviser Karen Hughes, of Austin, after complaining that Democrat Lloyd Doggett doesn’t do an adequate job of representing her in the U.S. House, subsequently discovered that her congressman is, in fact, Republican Lamar Smith.


THEY BOTH HAVE THE SAME GOAL: COMEBACK

After the November 2002 elections, in which most of the candidates supported by the Tarrant County Democratic party lost their races, the group’s Web site became the domain name for a Swiss company advertising male organ-enhancement pills.


THE 20,000-VOLT LINE DOESN’T FALL FAR FROM THE TREE

San Antonio billionaire Charles Butt, the chairman and CEO of H-E-B, had a fifty-year-old apple tree trucked to his estate in Northeast Harbor, Maine, but the twenty-foot-tall tree was so big that every power line it passed under had to be lifted, forcing the truck to stop repeatedly and causing a ten-hour traffic jam.


GOOD GRIEF!

Brazosport High School, in Freeport, sent home senior Marcus Flannel because of his distracting appearance since he had shaved into his hair “RIP Amir,” a tribute to a fourteen-year-old friend who had died.


AFTER THOROUGHLY GRILLING THE CLUB’S OFFICERS

The University of Texas’s Office of Trademark Licensing forced the student Barbecue Club to remove from its Web site a spoof of the university seal that read “The University of Barbecue at Austin. Brisket, Sausage, Pork Ribs.”


SHE REMINDED HIM OF SIMON COWELL

American Idol singer Justin Guarini was ticketed by Grand Prairie police for unsafe boat operation at Joe Pool Lake after he almost hit a girl on the beach.


IF HE DOESN’T HAVE TO DO IT WITH HIS HEAD, IT’S JUST A SLAP ON THE WRIST

Manuel Vera, a former corrections officer for Harris County, was found guilty of misdemeanor official oppression for plunging a probationer’s head into a toilet and was sentenced to ten weekends of toilet-scrubbing at the boot camp where he had worked.


IF ONLY OLD SENATORS WOULD JUST FADE AWAY

Gonzalo Barrientos, a Democratic state senator from Austin, quoted Harriet Beecher Stowe as saying, “Age wrinkles the face; quitting wrinkles the soul”—a line that actually came from General Douglas MacArthur.


IS THERE SUCH A THING AS GOOD PEA SALAD?

More than 600 of the 1,700 inmates at the state’s Darrington Unit prison, in Rosharon, suffered

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