The 2014 Bum Steer Awards

It was a year of awful Astros, brazen breastaurateurs, confused congressmen, drunk district attorneys, equine endangerment, fantasy feces, greasy good-for-nothin’s, harebrained homophobes, inelegantly inked infielders, jackass juries, klutzy kettles, leaked loquaciousness by the lieutenant governor, misplaced machinery, nettlesome North Koreans, Orangeblood odors, prison/pigpen problems, questionable quacks, ravioli-revering Red Raiders, sloppy social media, tenaciously terrible Texans, unfair ultimatums, vengeful vipers, waitresses without wardrobes, excoriated ex-executives, yechy yearbooks, and zesty zombie zwieback zigzagging through the zodiac. (Okay, actually, there is no zombie zwieback. We just couldn’t think of any z’s.)

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.

Like a Rock

Carlos Sergio Valdes drove a new Chevrolet Tahoe off the lot of an Austin car dealership, then called police two hours later, claiming the vehicle had been stolen from him during his unauthorized test drive. Police recovered the truck a short time later from a woman who said Valdes had sold it to her for a small amount of crack cocaine.

Sieve Free or Die!

Texas Tech student Eddie Castillo spent months trying to get permission from the DPS to wear a colander on his head while posing for his state ID photo, arguing that doing so was a protected expression of his belief in Pastafarianism, a satirical faith whose adherents disdain organized religion and revere a deity known as the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The ID card he ultimately received did not feature his sacred headgear.

Dude, No One Got in to See Kanye at South-By. Get Over It.

A widely circulated photo of North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un in his war room showed a map in the background labeled “U.S. mainland strike plan,” on which one of the few marked target cities was Austin.

“Sir, I Said Slide Out of the Car, Now!”

Following a lengthy car chase in Williamson County, Scott MacFarland refused officers’ commands to exit his vehicle, forcing them to physically remove him, a difficult task since he was naked and covered in a “greasy substance.”

“You Say It’s a Large Yellow Thing With Huge Tires and a Big Metal Scoop

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