1977 Bum Steer Awards

So, what are we going to do now? Darrell’s gone, the Bicentennial’s over, Lloyd Bentsen proved that a Southerner couldn’t be elected president, and W.A. Criswell blessed President Ford, who then lost, proving that a Christian couldn’t be elected president either.

Meanwhile, Americans busted out of a Mexican jail just in time to escape the devaluation of the peso. With all that behind us, who knows what’s in store? We hope, dear readers, that this year’s Bum Steer Awards will give some solace by recalling what we all managed to survive in 1976.

THAT’S WHY WE’RE AGAINST IT
Governor Dolph Briscoe justified his proposal to kill golden eagles in West Texas by saying it was for the “protection of poor defenseless little lambs and kids.”

HAND’S UP! WANNA SEE MARTHA AND THE KIDS?
After robbing a Houston Ramada Inn, Sam Pendleton left his wallet, with identification, on the counter.

THE QUESTION IS NOT IS THERE LIFE AFTER DEATH, BUT CAN THEY CHANGE A TWENTY?
The Texas House Administration Committee received a $495 expense account voucher signed on May 10 by James Cline. Cline died on April 16.

HE WON’T COME. HE’S INTO LEISURE SUITS AND WHITE SHOES
In the “Miracle at Pentecost” mural at the Biblical Arts Center in Dallas, Stanley Marcus was the model for the Pharisee who invited Jesus to dinner.

OH, HUSH
Madalyn Murray O’Hair, head of the American Atheist Church, declared Thursday the sabbath for American atheists because “that is the day I led the children of atheism out of the wilderness of religion and that was also when I created Heaven on Earth on a half-acre tract down here in the great state of Texas.”

KIM—0
Kim Yun-Suk was thrown in a Seoul, Korea, jail for wearing what police described as a vulgarly lettered T-shirt. It read, TEXAS WESTERN—24.

DEMOCRACY MEANS ALWAYS HAVING TO SAY YOU’RE SORRY
Texas voters elected Houston attorney Don Yarbrough, who had been found guilty of civil fraud and gross negligence in the practice of law, to the Texas Supreme Court after confusing him with political Yarboroughs Ralph and (the other) Don. Meanwhile, convicted felon Gus Mutscher, former Speaker of the Texas House, was released from the remainder of his probated sentence for conspiring to accept a bribe, given back his civil rights, then appointed and subsequently elected Washington County Judge.

LOUIE LEARNED IN JUST A WEEK
Denison rancher Louie Thurman spent seven months teaching his Brahman bull, J.R., to sit down.

THAT’S NOTHING, YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN HIM EAT LOBSTERS IN MAINE
Campaigning in San Antonio, President Gerald Ford tried to eat a tamale without removing the corn shuck.

THE CABS ARE CHEAPER AND ANYWAY, IT’S CLOSER TO MARFA
When New York banned the Anglo-French supersonic Concorde, Van Horn Chamber of Commerce president M.J.Mitchell offered his city as an alternate landing site.

THE KIDS WOULDN’T SPLIT THE TAKE
The Dallas School Board voted to put sweets and soft drink machines back in high schools when students were discovered profiteering from black market sales of candies and drinks.

ONE TERMINAL CASE OF MONTEZUMA’S REVENGE TO:
Dan Eddy, Jr., of Dallas, who complained after a recent business trip to Mexico, “A family trip? To that dirty place? If I would never get to Mexico again, it wouldn’t bother me. I don’t like the food or the climate.” Eddy is a board member of the Texas Good Neighbor Commission, a state agency designed to promote cooperation and understanding between Texas and Mexico.

BUT HE KNEW THE HANDSHAKE AND BROUGHT THE RACCOON TAILS
Swearing in city council members, Hunter’s Creek City Attorney Bill Olson read first a loyalty oath, then one for swearing in policemen, before finally getting the right one.

WHERE WAS LEE HARVEY OSWALD WHEN WE REALLY NEEDED HIM?
An Oldie But Goodie Bum Steer: one week after President Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas, Austin American-Statesman sports editor Lou Maysel began his story on the 1963 Texas—Texas A&M football game: “Tommy Wade, as anonymous as a Secret Service agent this season, stepped in and foiled an assassination plot that almost took the life of another of America’s number one citizens, the University of Texas football team…” He continued, describing “the ruthless way they went about their assassination plot on this cool, windy day…. quarterback Jim Keller drew the sniper’s job…. He drew bead on the Longhorns…. It wasn’t long before Keller uncovered his rifle arm and pumped those three telling shots at the Longhorns.”

NO SPIT, SHERLOCK
Denton Police Chief Wayne Autrey prohibited his patrolmen from snuff dipping and tobacco chewing on duty because police cars had spit cans left in them and tobacco streaks down the sides.

THE JACKIE ONASSIS HOMEMAKER AWARD
John McFarlin of San Antonio promised Joan Manning $500,000 in 1973 if she would marry him, but she hasn’t kissed him since the altar. After paying her $350,000, he wants a divorce and his money back.

LEE? LEE?
Radical attorney William Kunstler, speaking in Dallas, said he wasn’t very upset about the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy: “While I wouldn’t have done it, two dangerous men were eliminated . . . Dead presidents, you know, aren’t worth very much.”

OF COURSE, THE CHICKENS THEY WERE WRAPPED IN DIDN’T DO SO WELL
The Webster Intermediate School Science Club broke a world record when six of the fourteen specially wrapped eggs they dropped from an airplane 1000 feet above the school yard landed intact.

WE DON’T
Hays County commissioners refused to remove a metal silhouette of a nude male tied to a ball and chain in front of the county jail because “it tells it like it is” and it was once in Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A RECORD, BUT THE POST OFFICE LOST IT
Jackie Jones of Lindale used 26 ball-point pens to write her sister in Prentiss, Maine, the world’s longest handwritten letter—318 feet long. It weighed fifteen pounds and cost $17.76 to mail.

A DAY EARLIER WOULDN’T HAVE MADE ANY DIFFERENCE
The day

More Texas Monthly

Loading, please wait...

Most Read

  • Viewed
  • Past:
  • 1 week