1992 Bum Steers Awards

Where is Alfred Hitchcock When You Need Him?
The Texas Department of Agriculture fined a crop duster in Wilbarger County $1,250 for spraying pesticide on a family of four in a pickup truck.

Drive Friendly—I’m Uninsured.
To avoid Texas insurance and safety standards, at least two thousand drivers from El Paso illegally purchased license plates in New Mexico.

He Was Waiting for Long Dong Silver
Three suspects were arrested in Weatherford for stealing a figure of Ronald McDonald from a McDonald’s restaurant. Police found Ronald in the suspects’ apartment, dressed in ladies lingerie.

Curb Your Livestock
The police in Dumas ticketed drivers of cattle trucks for violating the town’s waste ordinance after cow manure and urine repeatedly sloshed onto streets, cars, and pedestrians.

Wanted: A Nuclear Weapon as a Protest Against Hairdressers
Dallas hairdresser Jonathan Van Voorhees developed a mushroom-cloud-shaped hairstyle as a protest against the use of nuclear weapons.

Justice, Yes; Peace, No
Justices of the peace Milton Gallagher of Ennis and Robert Roberts of Italy reduced most traffic fines from $25 to $1 after the Ellis County Commissioner’s Court denied their requests for a salary increase.

Open That Safe Or I’ll Shoot
Christopher Else of Dallas tried to get help for his drug habit, but no treatment center would accept him as a patient because he didn’t have insurance. When an official at one center told him that he’d have better luck if there was a criminal case pending against him, Else decided to commit armed robbery and allow himself to be caught. At his trial, jurors agreed to send him to a drug-treatment center at Dallas county’s expense.

It Protects the Eyeballs
The National sports daily reported that the protective cup worn by Texas Rangers pitcher Nolan Ryan during his seventh no-hitter was sold at auction for $62,500. In fact, the item sold was Ryan’s cap, and the price was $6,250.

In Highland Park the Fine is $500
The Dallas Police Department gave members of the city’s homeless population $240 tickets for scavenging through trash bins in violation of the city ordinance against illegal trash collecting.

Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me, When I Make a 64
The University of Texas at Austin music department offered a course in the history of rock music. Items studied included MTV, lip-synching, mind-altering chemicals, and the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band .

And Now, Here’s Our Newest Deputy, Pee-Wee Herman
Asked what he planned to do about a deputy who was charged with exposing himself to a child, Bexar County sheriff Harlon Copeland said, “What he does on his own time is up to him.”

Throw the Bum Out
James Fedigan of Houston was charged with disorderly conduct for mooning Galveston beach users while bungee jumping from a construction crane platform.

Here’s the Plan: First We Put Up a Giant Air Filter West of Muleshoe, Then We Pave Everything From Here to Levelland
After taking samples in Lubbock during spring windstorms, the Environmental Protection Agency ruled that the city failed to meet clean-air standards and ordered it to reduce dust pollution.

Size A, Size DD, What’s the Difference?
Dr. Adolph Kauffmann III of Fort Worth was placed on five years’ probation by the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners after insurance investigators discovered that he had been seeking reimbursement for breast biopsies when in fact he had performed breast augmentations.

Can’t a Dead Man Rest in Peace Around Here?
Believing that he was about to die, José Luis Hernández of Ciudad Juárez purchased a custom-fitted coffin, took it home, got in it, and refused to come out. Family members summoned the police, who were unable to open the coffin because Hernández had shut it from the inside.

Can’t a Dead Woman Rest in Peace Around Here?
Margaret Moffett of Dallas was on probation for three convictions and facing additional charges for writing a hot check when her obituary appeared in the Dallas Times-Herald. After court officials saw the obituary, Moffett’s convictions were set aside until sheriff’s deputies, investigating the absence of a death certificate, found her alive at home.

Let ‘Em Freeze In the Silence
A 6 mistakenly typed for a D in a computer program prepared by DSC Communications of Plano disrupted telephone service to five million people in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.

But Management Gets to Play Free in the Pro-Am
One week before posting a $14 million third-quarter loss, while laying off four thousand employees, Shell Oil announced that it would spend $8 million to sponsor Houston’s annual pro golf tournament.

Sayonara, Turkeys
James Robert Vancourt III and Glenn Franklin Harvick were arrested for robbing and armored car near the Arlington Hypermart after the police identified them with the help of pictures snapped by a busload of Japanese tourists.

No We Ain’t
Punk rocker Tod Waters, the lead singer of Spunk, was arrested in Houston after dedicating a song about prison life and homosexual rape, titled “You Is,” to the Houston police.

It’s Like Not Having Rhythm
Former congresswoman Barbara Jordan told an Austin women’s conference, “I believe that women have a capacity for understanding and compassion which a man structurally does not have, because he cannot have it. He’s just incapable of it.”

Honk If You Loved Aunt Mary
Ray Williams of Lancaster announced plans for a drive-through funeral parlor at which motorists could view the deceased without leaving their cars.

Anyone Who Lets Women Fight in a War Might Let ‘Em Command the Corps
The executive committee of the faculty senate at Texas A&M opposed offering General Norman Shwarzkopf the chancellorship of the Texas A&M University System.

He’ll Fit In Perfectly
Houston city councilman Ben Reyes, facing charges of felony theft and election-code violations, agreed to a plea bargain in which he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor violations and promptly announced that he was considering a race for Congress.

The First Coup Was Just a Warning
Aeroflot Soviet Airlines failed for months to pay $7,000 refueling

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