The 1976 Bum Steer Awards

Life! Ah, what magic lies in those words! But the question of 1975 was this: Is there life after Dolph? Looking back on the past year, we’re not even sure there was life during Dolph. But even if life failed us, Bum Steers did not. Day after day, month after month they reared their long, horned heads and mooed. We heard them, saved them, and now it’s your chance to hear them, too: this year’s Texas Monthly’s Bum Steer Awards.

FULL OF BULLOCK
Brother Dave’s diner in Whitehouse began serving what Dave called “cheap, tasteless, and hard to swallow Bullockburgers” after a visit from Comptroller Bob Bullock’s sales tax raiders. Bullock responded, “I have no doubt but that your Bullockburgers will be as hot as the seven checks you gave this office.”

NEXT TIME YOURE IN TROUBLE, CALL A HIPPIE
The Dallas Police Department’s Hi Line Avenue warehouse was robbed of $28,000 in cash, $1250 in silver bars, and $500 worth of jewelry from an unlocked safe.

ONE SMALL STEP FOR MANKIND, ONE GIANT STEP FOR ME
Astronaut Alan Shepard was awarded a Coors Beer franchise in Houston.

THEY CAN’T FIND THEIR HORN WITH BOTH HANDS
The Houston Police Department reported local labor leader Don Horn missing, only to discover three hours later that he had been in their own jail.

AS WE SEE IT, YOU FLUNKED HISTORY
According to Mayor Preston Wood of Bridge City, “As I see it, Franklin Roosevelt expressed it pretty good when he made his famous quote, ‘Of the people, by the people, and for the people.’”

TIRED OF LLOYD, HUBERT, GERALD, RONALD, GEORGE, SCOOP, ETC.?
Stripers, a hamster whose slogan was, “The only candidate honest enough to admit he’s a rat,” won a student senate seat at the University of Texas at El Paso.

GOD PREFERS DR PEPPER
Baptist preacher Buckner Fanning of San Antonio testified in court that his ability to play golf and perform baptisms was impaired after a bottle of Coke burst in his hands.

MORAL: JUST DON’T CUSS WHEN THEY CUT OFF YOUR ARM
The Dallas Motion Picture Board classified Horror High, which shows a pupil using a paper cutter to sever a teacher’s arm, as “suitable for young people.” The same committee judged Paper Moon as “not suitable” because child actress Tatum O’Neal utters a four-letter word.

A SMALL WORD IN FAVOR OF TEA
District Judge O.P. Carrillo fired his secretary of five years, Mrs. Zenaida Montemayor, after seeing her drinking a cup of coffee with his arch rival, Duval County Judge Archer Parr.

THIS IS MY GREAT, GREAT, GREAT, GREAT, GRANDMOTHER—I THINK I’ LL KEEP HER
Genoveva Gutierrez of San Marcos is 117 years old, takes swimming lessons, doesn’t wear glasses, climbs trees to get over fences, and walks eight blocks to church.

BOOP BOOP DIDEM DADEM WADEM SHOO
John Hatfield of Austin swallowed only 10 goldfish in an effort to break the Guinness World Record of 507 live goldfish swallowed in four hours.

IF THINE EYE OFFEND THEE, FLUSH IT
Al Mokry sued for damages because his left eye, removed earlier for tests, accidentally rolled down a laboratory drain at the UT Health Science Center. He claimed that thinking about the episode cause him nervousness and headaches.

IT’S NO PROBLEM FOR GENOVEVA GUTIERREZ
Representative John Whitmire of Houston authored a bill to ban pay toilets as being inconvenient, cruel, discriminatory, and unpleasant. “It is especially difficult for elderly and sick persons who cannot manage to crawl over or wiggle under the door,” said Whitmire.

TWO TIN CANS AND A THREAD TO:
Southwestern Bell Telephone for their newly instituted charges of twenty cents for directory assistance calls.

SPECIAL CUT RATE! OIL FIELD WORKERS FOR SALE! ONLY $83.33 APIECE! ALL MUST GO!
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration imposed a $500 fine on Midland’s Gulf Refining Company after an accident killed six pipeline workers.

DEPRESSED? LIFE LOST ITS MEANING?
Jimmy Stanley, rescued after three hours in Galveston Bay, said, “I thought, ‘Here I am, twenty-one, with a hell of a good future in real estate, finding homes people really want. I’ve got a lot in me to help others. In view of this, there’s no way I’m not going to make it.’”

NO, BUT WELL SELL YOU DOLPH BRISCOE
Governor Dolph Briscoe told Sheikh Al-Aharif Al-Hamdan that the Alamo was not for sale.

OH? YOU MEAN IT’S NOT ABOUT THE 1964 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN?
Dallas’ movie classification board gave Barry Lyndon a “not suitable” rating without ever seeing the film. After an appeal by Warner Brothers, the board screened the movie and changed the rating.

WHAT HE REALLY WANTED WAS THE ALAMO
During Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s trip to Texas he had to: sit through a staged bank robbery; be introduced to make-believe “soiled doves” or prostitutes of the Old West; watch a trained buzzard; receive a Colt .45 sixshooter; and become an honorary Texas Ranger.

SURE JUDGE, I’ LL BE THERE IN 497 YEARS
Stephen D. Thompson received a Dallas jury summons while serving a 500-year prison sentence.

FOR NEXT YEAR’S BIRTHDAY, HE SCALES A PAY TOILET
Houston businessman Richard Minns, 46, celebrates his birthday every year by performing physical feats. Last year he skied around Lake Tahoe three times. Future birthday plans include fighting a bull in Mexico and killing a great white shark.

FLOATING OUT THERE IN GALVESTON BAY IS JUST THE MAN FOR THIS CHALLENGE
Texas A&M graduate William Williams claims he cannot sell nine lots on “Aggie Lane” in League City because the street name ruins the property value of the lots.

WAIT TIL NEXT YEAR
During a speech by a Texas A&M expert on rodent control, six rats scurried across the stage floor of Dallas’ Hillcrest High School. After the Aggie failed to catch the rats, a second assembly was cancelled.

THE 1976 JOHN J. AUDUBON AWARD ( TIE) TO:
• Representative Joe Wyatt of Bloomington, who told officials that “whooping cranes are dumb birds who fly into televisions antennas. I don’t think they’ll ever last.”
• Texas Parks and Wildlife Commissioner John Green, who bristled at the suggestion that 4000 more acres be put aside for whooping cranes, commenting, “The cranes are not the only thing to consider. We have got to protect the rights of that man who buys the hunting license.”

WILL THE DEFENDANT PLEASE RISE AND FACE THE JURY
Galveston jurors convicted Jesse

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