That’s right, shop. Because this year we are introducing the Bum Steer Catalog, offering you the opportunity to browse actual items that’ll help you keep that Bum Steer feelin’ all year long. (Please note: that Bum Steer feelin’ can sometimes be confused with chafing; this sensation should abate over time.)
In choosing a name for their new literary press, A Strange Object, Callie Collins and Jill Meyers turned to a quotation from an early Donald Barthelme short story, “Florence Green Is 81.” In the story, a character describes the aim of literature as “the creation of a strange object covered in fur which breaks your heart.”
It’s a quotation that seems especially resonant, now that many in the publishing industry wonder if physical books are an endangered species.
According to the astonishing new results of an exhaustive twelve-month study published for the first time in Bum Steer News and jointly conducted by NASA, the Centers for Disease Control, the West Abilene Psychic Certification Center, and the Corpus Christi Metal Detecting Club, last year was the fourth-bum-steeriest year in Texas history. The only steerier years have been 1982 (#3), 1845 (#2), and 1957 (#1 on the basis of the Amarillo Zombie Outbreak and subsequent alien invasion that installed Price Daniel as governor). Causes of the 2013 steer surge are still unknown but may include contamination of the drinking water in certain parts of the state by a mutant steer virus, as well as the curse of an ancient bum steer mummy.
NASA steertistician Dr. Elwin Harlock, lead researcher on the project, noted a preponderance of bad behavior in the Dallas area, explaining, “Historically, we have found that an individual known as Jerry Jones is likely to boost the results for the Metroplex. But 2013 was a relatively quiet year for him, and Dallas still exceeded our expectations.”
However, the epicenter of the steerpocalypse, as many are calling it, appears to have been Houston. In 2013 the metro area produced an unfathomably horrible baseball team, a phenomenally bad football team, a lieutenant governor prone to embarrassing moments on the telephone, and a U.S. senator prone to shutting down the federal government while reading nursery rhymes from the dais. Then, to top it all off, the city’s voters declined to save the Eighth Wonder of the World. In fact, the three largest sources of steerishness identified by Dr. Harlock are all located in the Bayou City. That would be the Houston Astros, the Houston Texans, and Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst. Research shows a steertistical dead heat among these contenders, making them our joint Bum Steers of the Year!
“No, Timmy, You’re Not on the Horny Housewives 6 Bus, You’re on the Naughty Nurses 3 Bus”
Parents of elementary school students in the Birdville ISD sued charter bus company Executive Coach Inc., alleging that as their children were boarding a charter for a class field trip, a pornographic film was playing on the bus’s TV monitors.
The Times Regrets the Era
During the special session for SB 5, a New York Times correction said, “The proposed legislation that State Senator Wendy Davis helped to block in the Texas Legislature would restrict abortion after 20 weeks, not 20 years.”
They’re a Formidable Team With A Lot of Weapons
Little Leaguers sold $10 raffle tickets to raise money for the Jim Ned Baseball Association, near Buffalo Gap. First prize was an AR-15 assault rifle. Second prize was a 9mm handgun.
At Least the Snake Died Laughing!
A northeast Texas woman and her son were doing yard work when they encountered a snake. They decided to kill the snake by dousing it with gasoline and setting it on fire, but the burning serpent slithered into a nearby brush pile, igniting it, and the fire then spread to the woman’s home, which was completely destroyed.
They’ll Get His Paddle When They Pry It From His Cold, Dead, Wicked Backhand
Pledging to oppose any gun-control legislation, freshman state representative Kyle Kacal, a Republican from Bryan–College Station, asserted, “I’ve heard of people being killed playing Ping-Pong. Ping-Pongs are more dangerous than guns.”
He Won’t Touch the Stuff No Mow
Oliver James McCracken admitted to Ector County deputies that he had been smoking “potpourri” shortly before they stopped him as he drove a riding lawn mower through a city intersection.
Next Up: A Chain of French-Style Asseries®
Following its successful trademark application, Bikinis, an Austin-based restaurant chain staffed by scantily clad servers, announced that it was now billing itself as “America’s ONLY Breastaurant®.”
Thanks to This Jury, He Did Eventually Get Off
A Bexar County jury acquitted Ezekiel Gilbert of murder in a shooting that eventually caused the death of Lenora Ivie Frago. The jury accepted Gilbert’s argument that because Frago—a Craigslist-advertised “escort”—took Gilbert’s $150 payment but didn’t have sex with him, he was justified by Texas law “to use deadly force to recover property during a nighttime theft.”
“Oshiffer, I Drank the Fifth . . . HIC! . . . I Mean, I Take the Fifth”
Travis County district attorney Rosemary Lehmberg was pulled over for driving erratically by sheriff’s deputies, who found an open bottle of vodka next to the driver’s seat and arrested her for DWI. Despite her relentless denial, dash-cam and jailhouse videos from the incident revealed that Lehmberg was thoroughly sozzled.
Editor's Note: This year we partnered with our friends at Bum Steers News to bring you the most shocking, outrageous, and ridiculous Bum Steer issue ever. Below, you'll find a preview of their incredible findings. The full report will be available on newsstands next week. Get in line now!
There are those who adore the black-eyed pea and those who deem it better suited to the provisioning of livestock. But there aren’t many Texans who won’t eat just a few on New Year’s Day in adherence to the notion that doing so brings good fortune for the year ahead.
- A Corpus Christi woman brandished her handgun at a pack of threatening coyotes while she was jogging.
- A November poll found that Texas A&M is now more popular than the University of Texas, which was 8 percent more popula
You probably won’t read about it in Texas Aggie magazine, but two women who claim to be A&M undergrads are making a living writing “dinosaur erotica.” Authors Christie Sims and Alara Branwen—understandably, those are pseudonyms—have to date published dozens of short digital books with titles like Dino Park After Dark, which can be downloaded for $2.99 at Amazon.
Several years ago, when Bill White was still the mayor of Houston, Toni Lawrence, an ebullient sixty-something former city councilwoman and current armchair historian, decided it was time to set right a historical wrong.
“Robert Smithson in Texas” (Dallas Museum of Art, through April 27): You may be familiar with the famed earth sculptor’s Spiral Jetty, in Utah’s Great Salt Lake, but as this retrospective demonstrates, Smithson also planned a number of ambitious projects in Texas, one of which was completed, though not by him: Amarillo Ramp, which Smithson was researching when he died in a 1973 plane crash near the site of the work.