1998 Bum Steer Awards

The Escapees Are the Ones Who Are Jogging Fast
Nacogdoches County changed its prisoners’ work-crew uniforms from ultra-bright orange to old-fashioned black-and-white stripes after alarmed citizens reported sighting escapees who turned out to be joggers.

Try Our Famous Vanilla Waivers, Coffee With Chicanery, Subpoena Noir, Hot Tea With a Twist of Lemon Appeal, Pot de Criminal, Chocolate Judge Cake, Fruit Supreme Court, Tirami-sue, Gideon’s Crumpet, Eclair and Present Danger, Parfait Accompli, Fish Roe v. Wade On Writs Crackers, Pecan Praliens, Espresso Authority, Old Bailey’s Irish Coffee,V&E’s Coffee, Café au Layman, Brandeis Tea, Roscoe Poundcake, Baby Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and All Kinds Of Torts. Or Just Say, “Give Mea Culpa Coffee!”
Attorney David Musslewhite of Dallas opened a combination law office and coffee bar dubbed Legal Grounds.

It Could Have Been Worse
In a game against the Los Angeles Lakers, the Dallas Mavericks set an NBA record by scoring only two points in a quarter.

“Breathe! Breathe!”
Steven Sera of Irving was arrested for rape and kidnapping after his ex-wife played a videotape of what she thought was her second child’s birth but, according to law enforcement authorities, showed Sera engaging in sex with unconscious women.

“Sorry—We Were Looking for Drew Nixon”
Two Abilene prostitutes were arrested for leaving a message about availability and price when they tried to page a customer but mistakenly dialed the number of a local narcotics officer.

Cedar Fever Will Do That to a Man
Jerry Wayne Adams of Lubbock was sentenced to ten years’ probation in Lubbock County on six counts of shrub arson three days after accepting ten years’ probation in Hale County for setting fire to junipers.

Suspicions Confirmed
The Austin Independent School District mailed report cards for 35,000 secondary school students to the wrong home addresses.

But “Heaven-o” Contains The Word “Heave”
Kleberg County commissioners unanimously adopted “heaven-o” as the county’s official greeting after a Kingsville man pointed out that “hello” contains the word “hell.”

That’s I as in Idiots
After comedian Rodney Dangerfield decided to premiere his latest movie in Daingerfield, the city council officially dropped the first i from its name for a week.

Drop Those Panties or I’ll Clog Your Arteries
A thief in Denison who disguised himself with pink panties pulled over his head was foiled by a convenience-store clerk who scared him away by throwing cans of Spam.

101 Damnations
U.S. senator Kay Bailey Hutchison donned spotted earmuffs to attend the inauguration of President Clinton.

The ‘63 Connery Is Fantastic, But Avoid The ’69 Lazenby
At a Napa Valley charity wine auction, the trio of restaurateurs who own Del Frisco’s Double Eagle and two other Texas steakhouses paid $360,000 for a motorized wine table that plays various James Bond musical themes and contains eighteen magnums hand-painted with scenes from the 007 films.

Speed Limits Howitzer Enforced
Smith County sheriff J. B. Smith acquired two 13-ton military-surplus armored personnel carriers identified as Bubba 1 and Bubba 2.

Look for Him in Area 51
Representatives of Austin’s Calvary Chapel told a gathering of University of Texas students that religion is the answer to alien abduction. “To get rid of the pesky aliens,” said layman Frank Dorian, “you need to find Jesus Christ.”

Confess Everything, My Son—Your Sins, Your Sorrows, Your Modus Operandi
Arlington police officers arrested John E. Shelton, a onetime minister to inmates at the Tarrant County jail, and charged him with four counts of armed robbery.

We’ll Give It to Him the Minute He Shows Up
French officials notified the U.S. government that France claims ownership of La Belle, the ship used by the explorer La Salle that has been excavated from Matagorda Bay by the State of Texas, because the ship belonged to Louis XIV.

Skillet Stealing— But Not Skill at Stealing
After assaulting a Conroe convenience-store clerk with an iron frying pan and stealing cash from the register, Michael Morrison and his wife, Lisa Wasson, were apprehended because they left Wasson’s driver’s license behind.

I’ve Seen Kilometers and Kilometers of Texas
After numerous drivers complained, Amarillo officials canceled a plan to install metric speed-limit signs.

They Identified Him From the Spam Stains
Charles Walter Hill of Fort Worth was convicted of aggravated robbery despite the fact that he wore boxer shorts over his head during a carjacking.

Repent! It’s Lather Than You Think
A meteorite hit the house of Howard Cameron, a Beaumont minister, while he was shaving.

Da ‘Boys Will Be Boys
On their final night of training camp at Austin’s St. Edward’s University, unidentified players for the Dallas Cowboys trashed a dormitory, ripping panels from the ceiling, knocking down a surveillance camera, and urinating in the hall.

Let Sleeping Dogs Rot
Outraged alumni flooded Texas A&M University with protests after learning that a plan to increase seating at Kyle Field would require relocating the graves of four Reveilles, the Aggies’ collie mascot, to a site without a direct view of the stadium scoreboard.

Few Americans Subscribe to the Durham Herald-Sun, and Fewer Still Have Any Ambition to Read It
During the Republic of Texas standoff in the Trans-Pecos, the Durham, North Carolina, Herald-Sun wrote of the area around Fort Davis, “Few Americans have seen the barren Davis Mountains in western Texas, and fewer still have any ambition to live there.”

Don’t Bogart That Finger
Four teenagers received probated sentences after they broke into a funeral home in Sanger to steal embalming fluid so they could smoke cigarettes dipped in it to get high. When they could find none, two of the teens cut a finger off a corpse and tried to squeeze out some fluid.

Better Warn the Football Team Not to Get a Delay-of-Game Penalty
Citing additional operating costs, Texas Stadium officials in Irving threatened to fine Abilene Cooper High School $1,200 after the marching band’s halftime show ran two minutes longer than planned.

“Hey, We Can Use One of These Cop Cars for Our Getaway”
Two men attempting to rob an armored truck parked outside the Greater Houston Credit Union were

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