Somebody find that fellow Orwell. Isn’t he the one who said 1984 would be a year of ruthless efficiency? Instead it was a year of Bum Steers. Where was Big Brother when we needed him?
Everything seemed to be running in reverse. Clint Murchison sold the Dallas Cowboys for $80 million and still came up short; he was sued for unpaid debts of around $100 million. The Texas Department of Corrections couldn’t correct itself. Educators declared war on education reform. The year’s most celebrated romantic triangle featured a Houston woman who was the radio voice of Elsie the Cow. And the most vocal student protest occurred at, of all places, SMU and involved, of all people, fraternities. At least it was for a good cause: the boys were stirred up by a ban on booze at their parties.
Sports? The Astros were supposed to contend for the pennant. They didn’t. The Rangers were supposed to be better. They weren’t. The Rockets added Ralph Sampson and still finished last. In one day, Texas, TCU, and Arkansas successively gave away a surefire trip to the Cotton Bowl. The Cowboys lost their mystique, and the Oilers just lost. And lost. And lost.
Business? While the rest of the country was going crazy with takeovers, Mesa Petroleum tried to take over Gulf, the Limited tried to take over Carter Hawley Hale, and Coastal States tried to take over Houston Natural Gas. Nothing worked.
But it was left to politics to provide the Bum Steer of the Year—the successor to such worthy champions of the past as Carolyn Farb, Jackie Sherrill, Mike Martin, J.R. Ewing, and Farrah Fawcett. In a year when a sheriff got arrested for dealing pot, when Billie Sole Estes said LBJ was a crook, when Dallas pulled out all the stops for the most boring political convention since the Whigs went out of business, one man stood out below all the rest. He started the year near the top and went straight downhill. Ladies and gentlemen, presenting George Bush.
YOU CAN LEAD A HORSE TO WATER, BUT YOU CAN’T MAKE HIM THINK
Because you were a Texan, George, we were willing to overlook the publication of your dog’s memoirs, C. Fred’s Story, by C. Fred Bush.
Because you were a Texan, we tried to forget that during your debate with Geraldine Ferraro you said, “I’d sure like to use the time to talk about the World Series or something of that nature.”
Because you were a Texan, we tried to make allowances the next day when you said, “We tried to kick a little ass last night. Whoops! Oh, God, he heard me. Turn that thing off.”
Because you were a Texan, we were going to ignore your attack on Walter Mondale for saying that U.S. Marines in Lebanon had “died in shame,” when he had not.
Because you were a Texan, we were willing to shut our eyes when you hauled out dictionaries to show that Mondale meant “died in shame” even if he hadn’t actually said it.
Because you were a Texan, we tried to dismiss the Washington Post’s description of you as “the Cliff Barnes of American politics—blustering, opportunistic, craven, and hopelessly ineffective all at once.”
But then, George, you went and took $123,000 off your taxes on the grounds that your real residence was Kennebunkport, Maine. The IRS didn’t buy it, but we do. Now we know why you spent the whole year acting like a Yankee. Anybody who’d sell his Texanhood for $123,000 deserves to be Bum Steer of the Year.
THAT’S OKAY. THEY DISMANTLED THOSE TOO
When notified that security guards had found a bomb under a sink in Houston’s Federal Building, the police bomb squad quickly arrived to dismantle it. The security guards then said that they had reported finding a bum under the sink.
HE’D HAVE MISSED ANYWAY
With the score tied in the final seconds of a crucial play-off game against the Los Angeles Lakers, the Dallas Mavericks’ Derek Harper, thinking his team was actually ahead, dribbled without shooting while the clock ticked off the last six seconds of the games. The game went into overtime, and the Lakers won.
NO MORE PENCILS, NO MORE BOOKS, NO MORE PREACHER’S DIRTY LOOKS
State education reforms forced the Dallas Independent School District to end its 59-year practice of giving class credit to students who studied the Bible in Sunday School.
DON’T SCHEDULE A NUCLEAR ATTACK DRILL AT:
Stephen F. Austin State University, where seven students were treated for smoke inhalation after school safety officer Carroll Bonnette set off a smoke bomb to make a dormitory fire drill seem realistic.
THEY WERE JUST TRYING TO MAKE A LITTLE MONEY FOR COLLEGE
Four students at Lake View High School in San Angelo used the school print shop to produce counterfeit $20 bills.
IS NEIMAN’S THAT BIG WHITE BUILDING WITH THE DOME ON TOP?
Officials requested that “Washington” be added to the name of Dulles International Airport so that passengers will know they are not in Dallas.
YOU’RE FROM BIG D/ I HAVE GUESSED/ BY THE GUN YOU PACK/ UNDERNEATH YOUR VEST
For the fifth consecutive year, the Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Airport led the nation in the number of travelers caught carrying concealed guns.
SHE WHIPPET THE TRUCK DOWN THE PEKE. SUDDENLY SOMETHING UPSETTER. THERE WAS A MOMENT OF PURE TERRIER AS ANIMALS RAINED FROM THE SKYE. DINGO! POODLES OF BLOOD EVERYWHERE. “BY COLLIE, I OUGHT TO BE A RETRIEVER,” SHE SAID IN A HUSKY VOICE, “BUT INSTEAD I’LL JUST SAY, ‘CHOW.’ ”
A woman driving a City of Dallas sanitation truck accidentally hit the dump switch and deposited the carcasses of thirty dead animals onto I-30.
ANY IDIOT CAN SEE THAT IT’S COUNT DRACULA
Procter and Gamble mailed information packets to Texas clergymen in an attempt to refute a persistent rumor that the company is linked to the devil and that the corporate man-in-the-moon logo portrays Satan.
“JUDGE, YOU JUST HAVE TO TASTE THEIR COOKING”
After two Garland sisters, Dorothy Watts Scrivano and Lawayne Watts Bancker, pleaded guilty to attempting to arrange the murders of their husbands, both men asked that their wives be put on probation and allowed to return home.
DON’T FORGET THE COCKROACHES
Houston restaurant designers Patricia and William Beatty told reporters that their techniques for making diners feel at home included making paint jobs look grubby, putting handprints on switchplates, and smearing yellow grease stains deliberately on walls.
HEY, HEY, RONNIE REY, HOW MUCH SWEAT DID YOU SWEAT TODAY?
Rock Against Reagan, a protest group planning to demonstrate at the Republican convention, sued to require the City of Dallas to provide an air-conditioned trailer.
OH, THAT EDDIE MARTINEZ
Addressing the Republican convention, Congressman Steve Bartlett of Dallas told the story of Eddie Martinez of San Antonio, who saved $700 in 1984 because of President Reagan’s tax cuts. When a reporter asked which Eddie Martinez he was referring to, Bartlett confessed that he had made the whole thing up.
I DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT PIGS, BUT I KNOW WHAT I LIKE
Eugene Bonelli, dean of the Meadows School of the Arts at SMU, prohibited a student art show from exhibiting a charcoal drawing of pigs mating.
BEAT IT JOHN
John A. Norman of Houston formed his own recording company and released a single entitled “We Still Believe (Loyal Fans),” a Houston Oilers song with a Michael Jackson flavor. Sample lyrics:
When your Derrick’s running dry,
Hold your head and hold it high.
Pretty soon a gusher will be flowing through.
IT’S A TOUGH, DIRTY, THANKLESS JOB, BUT SOMEONE’S GOT TO DO IT
Elva Wilson formed Money Watchers, a program to help prevent Dallasites from over-spending.
After two women were bitten by a shark while swimming off South Padre Island, town spokesman Joe Rubio described the incident as a shark accident rather than a shark attack and explained, “More than likely he ran into her leg and got it caught in his mouth.”
“WE MAY BE CROOKS BUT WE AIN’T ALPO”
The Texas Department of Corrections agreed to pay $14,000 to two former inmates who filed lawsuits claiming that they were forced to jump out of trees and fight packs of dogs while being used as live bait in training sessions for guard dogs.
After Arlington police conducted a raid on homosexuals gathered in a nearby park, residents on Gaywood Street petitioned the city to change the name of the street.
WHY DON’T WE JUST IMAGINE THAT IT’S MOVED?
Dr. James Hall, a psychiatry professor at Southwestern Medical School, launched a drive to bring the Foundation for Research on the Nature of Man—the world’s leading facility in ESP, clairvoyance, telepathy, and other psychic phenomena—from North Carolina to Dallas.
“IS THAT A CREDENTIAL IN YOUR POCKET OR ARE YOU JUST GLAD TO SEE ME?”
Mike Blasingame, the mayor of Jacinto City, and John Lee Cooper II, the public works director, were arrested for using their city credentials to pose as Houston vice squad officers in order to stage a phony raid at a topless bar.
USE APPLES AND THEY’LL NEVER SUSPECT A THING
Tammy and Sabrina Mitchell were arrested after a Dallas woman became suspicious and called the police when they told here how to remove a family curse: take three showers, remove your fingernail polish, lay $2000 across your stomach in the shape of a cross, rub grapefruit all over you, and then tear the money in half and bury it in a graveyard at midnight while nude.
THEY WERE TURNED DOWN FOR THE ABSCAM ACCOUNT
Shortly after the Dallas city government was rocked by two bribery scandals, O’Reilly Advertising, in a promotional campaign for Castilla Properties, mailed plain brown envelopes to city officials. Each contained a $1 bill and a card from the developer with the message, “There’s more where this came from.”
COVER YOUR APSE
The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth announced that its featured twelfth-century French Romanesque apse was a fake painted only fifty years ago.
SURVIVAL OF THE DIMMEST
The State Board of Education decided that biology textbooks to be used in Texas schools in 1985 do not have to mention Charles Darwin or evolution.
ON THE FIRST DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME . . .
U.S. Fish and Wildlife agents seized the largest illegal shipment of wild animals ever confiscated at the Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Airport. The outbound shipment consisted of 1 Mexican beaded lizard, 2 rat snakes, 2 Barkeray anole lizards, 3 water snakes, 4 coffee snakes, 6 fence lizards, 7 boa constrictors, 10 giant tree frogs, 15 amiva lizards, 18 cone-headed lizards, 19 mud turtles, 20 garter snakes, 20 tree frogs, 20 spade-footed toads, 25 tiger salamanders, 25 scorpions, 69 spiny-tailed iguanas, 508 black tarantulas, and 1229 red tarantulas.
SO? WE’VE HAD A NO-CASH BANK ACCOUNT FOR YEARS
The Lone Star National Bank in Dallas opened as a no-cash bank that will not cash checks or accept cash deposits.
HE’S NOT USED TO PEOPLE WHO TALK BACK
The State Board of Morticians was informed of an investigation showing that 23 of 24 funeral homes surveyed had failed to comply with state cost-disclosure regulations. But board president Aubrey Fife of Junction, a funeral home operator himself, refused to let the report be discussed at the meeting and explained afterwards, “I don’t feel this is a wide-spread problem.”
BRYAN’S THE ONE NEARER TO COLLEGE STATION
Butch and Gwen Clausen of Greenville took their two-month-old twins to the Hunt County district attorney’s office to determine which one was Bryan and which one was Ryan.
• Dallas political rivals John Wiley Price and Elsie Faye Heggins
• Fort Worth socialite Karen Fortson and Margret Thatcher’s son, Mark
• Austin city councilman Mark Spaeth and Amanda “Miss Kitty” Blake
• Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks Gary Hogeboom and Danny White
• Mrs. Judy Nelson of Fort Worth and Martina Navratilova
• Courtroom adversaries Oscar Wyatt and Clinton Manges
THEY GOT MOSTLY ROTTEN EGGS AND TOMATOES
The Texas Rangers baseball club instituted a new policy prohibiting fans from bringing food into the stadium. Containers were searched, and any food that was discovered was confiscated.
HANDS UP! HERE’S THE GROCERY MONEY
M.C. Worthon of Houston was apprehended and charged with robbing Texas Commerce Bank-Greens Crossing of thousands of dollars taken from the teller working next to his wife.
AN OFFICER AND A JERK, PART I
After Shari Miller of Dallas learned of her daughter’s murder and went to the apartment where the body had been found, police officer W.M. Clifton asked for her identification, checked the records, and arrested her for outstanding traffic violations.
NEXT TO GO: ANY TEAM NAMED THE CARDINALS
Longview Christian Academy, an independent Baptist school, canceled a scheduled basketball game with Cistercian Preparatory School in Irving when it found out ten days before the game that Cistercian was a Catholic school.
GREAT WORK, BUT WILL HE HOLD UP ON CROSS-EXAMINATION?
Baytown police arrested Robert Dale Davis, Jr., and a juvenile named Ronnie for burglary after hearing Baby, a yellow-headed Amazon parrot owned by the victim, say repeatedly, “Come here, Robert. Come here, Ronnie.”
NOW IT’S CALLED A JOHNNY
To honor Johnny Goyen, who retired from the Houston City Council after 25 years, the council installed a plaque on the eighth floor of city hall dedicating the men’s rest room in his honor.
NOBODY WANTED TO SIT BY THE FOUL LINE
After a quarrel over seating arrangements, the National Watermelon Association canceled its championship seed-spitting contest scheduled at Billy Bob’s Texas nightclub in Fort Worth.
WARNING: PEANUT BUTTER CAN BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH
Dressed as Peter Pan and claiming to be his brother, Donnie Trest scaled the face of the Astrodome and unfurled an anticancer banner.
GAME. SET. MISMATCH.
Seeking a sister city, Irving city officials chose Wimbledon, England. Michael Benton, executive director of the Irving Convention and Tourist Bureau, said that they picked Wimbledon because of its similarities to Irving.
ASK NOT FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS. IT TOLLS FOR IRVING
The City of Irving programmed its fourteen emergency warning sirens to sound like the chimes of Big Ben.
MAKE THAT, “SO PAN AM IS THROUGH WITH HIM”
In 1983 Pan American World Airways laid off Spicer Lung of Houston, then rehired him after he helped subdue a hijacker. “Mr. Lung came through for Pan Am, so Pan Am will come through for him,” an airline spokesman said. In 1984 Pan Am laid him off again.
I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU FATHER AND MOTHER
Debra Tubbs married Tony McDaniel while lying on a stretcher at the Dallas County courthouse as paramedics stood by to rush her to the hospital. She had gone into labor while purchasing a marriage license.
THE TIES THAT BIND
Dallas district judge Josh Taylor issued a decree in the divorce of Noel and Sondra Kay Buckner that awarded him an American Flyer electric train set and other model railroad paraphernalia, awarded her a 1935 tinplate Comet engine with passenger cars, and ordered that the couple be granted visitation rights to each other’s trains.
FIRST YOU COLLECT THE STUFF AT THE STATE CAPITOL IN THE SPRING OF ODD-NUMBERED YEARS
The City of Austin signed a contract to buy electric power from two generating plants that will burn cattle manure as fuel.
A MAN’S HIVE IS HIS CASTLE
After being stung by bees in his home, Alan Brasell of Spring called a beekeeper, who found 325,000 bees and more than five hundred pounds of honeycomb between the first and second floors of his house.
THE OTHER FIVE MOVED OUT TO LAS COLINAS
According to Forbes magazine’s annual list of the four hundred richest people in America, five of the top ten are from Dallas.
DAHLINK, I LUFF IT VEN YOU CHANGE DER CHANNEL
Henner Ertl of the Institute of Applied Psychology in Munich reported that a survey of 11,000 West Germans indicated that watching the TV program Dallas improved their sex lives.
HE EXPECTS A BOOMING BUSINESS FROM WEST GERMAN TOURISTS
Dallas real estate developer Terry Trippett bought Southfork, the setting for the television series Dallas, and announced plans to rent it for $2500 a night.
HONK IF YOU LOVE FREE ENTERPRISE
Philip Gaudin and Bill Crabtree of Dallas formed Freeway Fantasies, a singles club to enable infatuated motorists to contact people in other cars. Members are issued window tags with a number and bumper stickers with a picture of two cars snuggling.
EVEN IF HE IS RIGHT, GOD, DO IT ANYWAY
The First Court of Appeals in Houston Awarded a new trial to Arthur Howard, who said he suffered burns when a match ignited Faberge’s Brut 33 Splash-on Lotion. Faberge’s lawyer had challenged Howard’s claim by dousing his own arm with Brut, lighting a match, and saying, “God, if I am wrong, burn me.”
WELCOME HOME, OUR OLYMPIC HEROES
• Returning to his home near Houston after winning four gold medals, Carl Lewis discovered that thieves had smashed his collection of Waterford crystal and robbed him of silverware, stereo equipment, and a videotape machine programmed to record his triumphs.
• Alvin Robertson, the starting guard on the gold medal U.S. basketball team and the first-round draft choice of the San Antonio Spurs, returned to Fayetteville, Arkansas, and was arrested and booked at 4 a.m. for an outstanding speeding ticket.
• Shortly after Bela Karolyi, gymnastics coach of gold medalist Mary Lou Retton, returned to Houston, Harris County impounded his three loose dachshunds. All three were so weakened by the ordeal that they died soon after Karolyi located and reclaimed them.
NYAH, NYAH. I HAD MY FINGERS CROSSED
After two years of vows by Dallas city officials that no city tax dollars would be used to pay for the Republican convention, Mayor Starke Taylor announced that while “no promises were broken,” the convention had cost local taxpayers $1.5 million.
SPECIAL TODAY ON NO EQUIS, NEINEKEN, WARM DUCK, TAME TURKEY, BORED-O, STOLICHNYET, AND MOOT ET CHANDON
High Sobriety, the Southwest’s first nonalcoholic liquor store, opened in Dallas, featuring nonalcoholic beers, wines, and champagnes.
SO THAT’S WHY THEY CALL IT THE OLDEST PROFESSION
A San Antonio policeman arrested a 75-year-old prostitute who said she had been plying her trade on city streets since 1940.
DUMBO SENT HIS REGRETS
Camilla Blaffer Royall of Houston married Herbert Mallard of Boston in Jaipur, India, in a wedding that featured the bridegroom riding in on an elephant; a procession involving two more elephants, four camels, eight horses, and sixteen costumed warriors; a three-hour Hindu service with chanted mantras; and a procession around a fire of cow dung. The ceremony was a surprise to the bride, who explained afterward that she was “only expecting a small wedding—flowers, songs, and a couple of elephants.”
GOOD WORK. YOU’RE FIRED
Montague County sheriff W.F. Conway was named Texas Lawman of the Year for arresting multiple murderer Henry Lee Lucas. Then he was defeated for reelection because opponents blamed a tax increase on the expense of the Lucas investigation.
WITH A QUACK, QUACK HERE AND A BIFF, POW THERE
Tammy Rene Bowden of Irving was charged with a misdemeanor for punching, biting, and pulling the hair of a Dallas model who, while jogging by Bachman Lake, protested because she thought Bowden was choking a duck.
DON’T GET MAD. GET FREE CHICKEN
After being released from prison, retried, and acquitted on charges of robbing a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Greenville, Lenell Geter stopped in at the restaurant for dinner and upon being recognized received a lifetime free-meal pass.
NOTHING IN THIS WORLD IS CERTAIN EXCEPT DEATH, TAXES, AND . . .
Federal and state officials announced that they were investigating possible voting fraud in Duval County.
WHY NOT POST MORTEM?
The Houston Post offered $1000 to the winner of a contest to name the paper’s new Sunday magazine. The winning name was “The Magazine.”
THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE
The GOP convention featured a jelly bean portrait of Ronald Reagan.
NOT TO MENTION THE COUNTLESS JACKASSES
Officials at Houston Lighting and Power announced that the grounds of the South Texas Nuclear Project have become a refuge for deer, peregrine falcons, and more than a hundred alligators.
“NOW FOR OUR TRAFFIC REPORT. WE ARE FIRST ON THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT. MOTORISTS SHOULD AVOID THE INTERSECTION OF SPACES 103 AND 104.”
A helicopter used by Austin radio station KEYI was left running in a downtown parking lot while its pilot got out to look it over. The copter took off on its own, tilted over, spun fifty feet on its rotors, and crashed into a parked car.
THESE ARE THE VOYAGES OF THE STARSHIP FREE ENTERPRISE, WHOSE FIVE-YEAR MISSION IS TO EXPLORE STRANGE NEW COUNTIES
After calling county records clerks across the country to see if anyone would accept his claim to mining rights on fifty asteroids and planets, Thomas Budnick of Massachusetts filed his claims at the Sabine County courthouse in Hemphill.
READY . . . AIM . . . TOOT
The Texas A&M alumni band association went to court in an effort to keep women out of the Aggie band, arguing that an all-male band was justified by “preparation of cadets to become officers in the military service of the U.S. for the defense of this nation.”
EVEN MORE AMAZING, THE WORLD’S SHORTEST MEMORY
The midway at the Texas State Fair in Dallas featured little Ruby Sadler, “the world’s smallest woman,” and, two booths away, Little Barbara Bennett, “the world’s smallest woman.”
THEY DIDN’T HAVE THE MUSIC TO “LA CUCARACHA”
Mexican consul general Javier Escobar y Cordova protested to Olympic authorities because the Olympic band, in a salute to cities that had hosted previous fames, honored Mexico City by playing “Granada.”
JOSÉ, CAN YOU SEE?
The media sheet for the Diez y Seis de Septiembre concert by the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra listed Francis Scott Key as the composer of the “Mexican National Anthem” and Jaime Texidor as the composer of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
BIG DEAL. THERE WERE TWO BABIES RUNNING FOR THE U.S. SENATE
Eleven-year-old Brian Zimmerman defeated two adults in an election to determine the mayor of Crabb.
BUM DEER AWARD
A young buck deer in Liberty Hill had to be tranquilized and taken back to the woods after he jumped on the back of one woman and made menacing moves toward another.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE JEWISH TO LOVE TEXARKANA
An inmate at the Texarkana Federal Correction Institution sued prison officials who closed the kosher kitchen after determining that none of the ten inmates in the kosher food program were Jewish.
RE: BREW HA-HA. ISSUE: SAME OLD GRIND. RULING: NO MORE PERKS.
One thousand union employees at the IRS center in Austin signed protest petitions after the director of the center, citing the “country club atmosphere,” ordered the removal of 120 coffeepots.
GIVE US YOUR TIRED, YOUR HUNGRY, YOUR WARM-BLOODED
After the first cold front of the season caused temperatures to plummet in Plainview, five illegal aliens carrying suitcases and duffel bags walked into the Hale County jail, said they were cold, and asked to be sent home to Mexico.
AN OFFICER AND A JERK, PART II
Bexar County sheriff Joe Neaves proposed that citizens be allowed to carry concealed weapons in order to reduce street crime.
LIE DOWN. ROLL OVER. THROW UP.
Petland in Arlington sponsored a Pupsi Challenge to test a new soft drink for dogs called K-9 Kola. After most dogs refused to taste the drink, their owners resorted to pouring the cola on their own fingers and sticking them in their pets’ mouths.
IN THESE TIMES OF REDUCED SOCIAL PROGRAMS, EVERYBODY HAS TO MAKE SOME SACRIFICES
After weeks of debate, planners of the Republican convention decided not to try to break the world record for the number of balloons released at one time.
ANOTHER GOOD SPOT MIGHT BE YOUR SENATE OFFICE, PHIL
While campaigning for the U.S. Senate, Phil Gramm suggested that Boston would be an ideal place for a nuclear waste disposal site because the waste must be dumped in an area where there is “no production or human activity of any great or high importance that would be disrupted.”
IF WE DON’T STOP THEM HERE, THE MCNAY ART INSTITUTE WILL BE NEXT
San Antonio city councilman Bernardo Eureste tried unsuccessfully to eliminate the city funding of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, charging that it had been taken over by communist sympathizers who have ties to “an international cause centered in Cuba.”
STEALERS 6, OILERS 0
Jim Whitworth parked his car in downtown Houston and left two Houston Oilers tickets under the windshield wiper for anyone to take. When he returned, under the windshield wiper were four more Oilers tickets.
THAT’S PAR FOR THE COURSE
The Austin American-Statesman published an article and a photograph about the death of golf pro Jimmy Demaret. First the paper mistakenly used a picture of golfer Gene Sarazen instead of Demaret. Then, informed of its error by readers, the paper in its second edition replaced the picture of Sarazen with one of the father of Austin golfer Ben Crenshaw.
A REALLY GOOD TAMALE PIE IS HARD TO PASS UP
Elgin Petty of Terrell, who buys waste food from Dallas schools to feed to his pigs, was victimized by thieves who stole fifty gallons at knifepoint.
The Rusk County Historical Commission announced plans to acquire and refurbish a 1908 outhouse and move it to the grounds of the county library in Henderson.
FAMOUS LOST WORDS
• New York mayor Ed Koch, in an address to a group of Houston businessmen, proudly pointed out his new black lizard-skin “ten-gallon boots.”
• Bexar County judge Leo Mendoza, on employee pay raises: “Most of the departments have asked for ten per cent, and it’s my opinion we can give them half, which is six per cent.”
• TCU wide receiver James Maness, on catching a 99-yard touchdown pass, the longest in Southwest Conference history: “This record is going to be hard to break.”
• Ronald Reagan, in a taped address to the Cattle Barons Ball in Dallas: “I’m delighted to have this opportunity to speak before the Washington Charity Dinner of 1984.”
THE YEAR OF THE SNAKE
CRIMESTOPPERS TEXTBOOK #295: DIAMONDBACK MEASURING STICKS CAN DETER REPEAT OFFENDERS
A thief stole a toolbox from Rickie Scheffel’s pickup truck in New Braunfels, unaware that just moments before, Scheffel had caught a rattlesnake and dropped it into the toolbox.
NEXT TIME, WHEN I SAY RAREBIT, I MEAN RAREBIT
After eating a five-pound rabbit, a fourteen-foot python named Wally went into a frenzy, broke loose from his cage in San Antonio, attacked his owner, Larry Butler, and had to be pried loose from Butler’s neck.
FOR ALL YOU DO, THIS BOA’S FOR YOU
Three robbers entered a 7-Eleven store in Bedford, threw a three-foot snake at the attendant, and escaped with three twelve-packs of beer while the attendant was wrestling with the snake.
ISN’T ONE ENOUGH?
Harris County commissioner Jim Fonteno hired former Houston police chief Carrol Lynn, who had recently been paroled from a twelve-year sentence for extortion and other crimes, as a security consultant. Fonteno asked Lynn to investigate using snakes to protect county facilities.
SO THAT’S WHY THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO TOUCH THE ANIMALS
After a visitor questioned why the coral snake in the Houston zoo had not moved for nine months, zoo officials confessed that the snake was made of rubber.
CAN YOU BLAME IT?
Mrs. Robert Fields of San Angelo discovered a two-and-a-half-foot diamondback rattlesnake trying to get out of the bowl of her toilet.
THE BUM STEERS COLLECTION
IT REPLACED THE MAYOR ON MR. BLACKWELL’S WORST-DRESSED LIST
The Whitbear—a limited edition of 25 Cathy Whitmire look-alike teddy bears with Jordache glasses, hazel eyes, business suits, and bow ties, offered by Suzy Stewart and Jo Meredith of Houston for $250 each.
GO TO MORGUE. GO DIRECTLY TO MORGUE
College Days at Texas A&M University, a board game described as “a cross between Monopoly and Life,” based on student life and traditions at A&M, developed and marketed by Aggie alumnus Jon Word of Lubbock.
ANYTHING TO IMPROVE KIDNEY PIE
Genuine Texas mesquite, available from Harrod’s of London, supplied by Dallas oilmen Jeff Bentley and Jim Creasey.
COMING SOON: AFTERNOON IN LEVELLAND
Evening in Amarillo, a designer fragrance men’s cologne, available from Royal Mail Lines of Fort Worth.
SHE’S MAD TOO, EDDIE
Parties, Parties, by Mrs. Eddie Chiles, available through “The Dallas Collection,” a catalog prepared to benefit the Republican convention.
DON’T SHOOT UNTIL YOU SEE THE WHITES OF THEIR THIGHS
“Cop Cakes,” a calendar featuring photographs of bare-chested policemen, published by three Fort Worth police officers.
• Denton County millionaire rancher Rex Cauble, convicted on racketeering charges in 1982, arrived at federal prison in Big Spring on his own private jet.
• Houston architect and developer Cerf Ross bought Mar-a-Lago, the 18.5-acre Palm Beach estate of the late cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, for $16 million, the highest price ever paid for a home in the U.S.
• Mesquite school superintendent Ralph Poteet defended the paddling of thirty elementary school students who had not brought watercolors to art class as necessary to “a proper environment in this district for learning.”
• The Vineyard on Lake Travis is spending $1.75 million for the gates to the subdivision, which will be 17 feet high and 36 feet wide, have 2500 individually carved grapes, and require thirteen carvers to work 40,000 hours.
• Dallas wine merchant Tony La Barba and Austin restaurateur Gaylan Stroth paid the highest price ever for a bottle of wine, $38,000 for a jeroboam of 1870 Mouton Rothschild.
• CoSandra Williams of Beaumont named her daughter Rhoshandiatellyneshiaunnevshenkescianneshiamondrischlyndasaccar
merceddiamaebellecescajameshauwnneltomecapolotwoajohnyaetheodora Koyaanisqatsoiuthawyhaiashieakhauwnne Williams.