The Award Winners
Jeffrey Dahmer Would Have Loved It
The Houston Chronicle food section offered a stew recipe that called for “1 1⁄2 pounds skinless, boneless children breasts or thighs.”
At Least He Left the Punch and Cookies
A robber hit a neighborhood branch of the Security State Bank of Abilene the same day that the bank celebrated Customer Appreciation Day.
At a New York computer trade show, Compaq senior vice president Ross Cooley charged that rival Packard Bell Electronics did little more than assemble computers from parts made by other companies. If Packard Bell’s executives sold their stock, Cooley said, the company would be left with nothing but “some Mexican factories and four Chinese engineers.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, The Next President of the United States
(The newspaper clipping shown with this comment is not available online.)
It Was a Dispute Over a Game of Race Cards
Arlington Star-Telegram editor Jim Witt disbanded a group of readers serving as a mock jury watching the O. J. Simpson trial after just four weeks, when one panelist had to be physically restrained from attacking another.
First You Trade Your Third Baseman, Then You Try to Skip Town
The Center for Corporate Renewal in Houston held a two-hour seminar for presidents, CEOs, and CFOs of companies with revenues of $2.5 million to $250 million on “Survival in Turbulent Times,” featuring Drayton McLane, the owner of the Houston Astros, speaking on “The Turnaround of the Houston Astros—Becoming a Champion.”
We’ve Known That for Years
Secretary of Housing and Urban De-velopment Henry Cisneros, when asked “How’s your airport?” by a fellow airline passenger who mistook him for former Denver mayor and current Secretary of Transportation Fede-rico Peña, answered “You’ve got the wrong Hispanic.”
He Was in Fine Spirits Too
Juan Pelico of Houston was discovered in good condition after going without food for a week when he was accidentally locked inside a bar that is open only on Saturday nights.
The PCB Sauce Was a Killer
Lucius Lowell Flanagan of Houston was sentenced to ten years’ probation and his two sons were sentenced to prison for selling drums that had previously been filled with chemical waste as barbecue pits.
Where’s Willie Horton When You Need Him?
To tout their hometown, Port Arthur boosters dressed up in alligator costumes to meet with Governor George W. Bush at the state capitol.
Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition
A member of the New Hope Christian Fellowship Church in Plano offered a handgun certification class taught in the church sanctuary.
Actually, Bill Has Fame Too
Appearing on HBO’s Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, “There’s no ego in my life. But fifteen, twenty years ago, I was wandering around Arkansas, and Bill Clinton was. Who would have ever thought that one would go on to power, prestige, and fame. And the other would end up as president of the United States.”
In Sickness and in Wealth
Gifford Riney of Bullard sued his former wife, Hilda Stanley, for $2.15 million plus punitive damages when he learned that before she had their marriage annulled, she had won $4.3 million in the Texas lottery.
That’s What We Were Afraid of
Defending the Reverend William Hoover of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Fort Worth, who resigned after his admission that 38 years ago he had sexually abused a 12-year-old boy, parishioner Fern Bombardier said, “He is very well liked and well respected here, and he has touched a great many people.”
There’s Activity in the Pen
Texas Rangers relief pitcher Ed Vosberg received a citation outside the Ballpark in Arlington for illegally trying to scalp four tickets to the All-Star Game.
America’s Fishiest Home Videos
Port Isabel High School band director Joe Martinez resigned following revelations that he had tried to nab a thief by conducting videotape surveillance of a room where girls changed clothes for band practice.
What We Want to Know Is, Could He Have Done This in Port Isabel?
After students at Canyon Vista Middle School in Round Rock vandalized the boys’ bathroom by urinating on rolls of toilet paper, principal Don Dalton apprehended a perpetrator by crawling into the ceiling and moving a ceiling tile so that he could peek into the restroom.
He’s Been Made an Honorary Alumnus of Canyon Vista Middle School
Robert Moore of Dallas was convicted of littering in Independence, Kansas, after he flew over the town in a rented single-engine plane trying to prove his boast that he could drop a roll of toilet paper on Main Street.
A Classic Case of Enos Envy
In an action that drew heavy criticism, the Texas Southern University regents, faced with high administrative turnover and low morale among faculty and students, elected as its new chairman former Houston Astro Enos Cabell, who attended community college for one year.
What’s the Velocity, Kenneth?
CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather went to Panama City, Florida, to report live on Hurricane Opal.
“Had I Been Born With a Bra, I Would Not Have Been Prosecuted”
A Harris County jury convicted Angelina Carreras of disorderly conduct after she bared her top at Sylvan Beach in La Porte. “Had I not been born with breasts, I would not have been prosecuted,” she said. “It’s not for attention. It’s for civil rights.”
Will Ignore for Ever
As part of a campaign to discourage contributions to panhandlers, the Trinity Ministry to the Poor in Dallas designed windshield stickers that featured a red slash across a beggar holding a “Will Work for Food” sign.
Next Thing You Know, They’ll Let Women Go to School There
After the Texas A&M administration objected that the A&M College Republicans had violated school rules in a fund-raising campaign to fight a proposed multiculturalism class, state Republican party chairman Tom Pauken charged that Texas A&M is no longer the conservative institution it once was.
The Stock Opened at 38D
Rick’s Cabaret International in Houston filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the purpose of becoming the first publicly traded topless bar.
Make That “the Church On the Block”
To avoid being sold at auction, Rockwall Church on the Rock, one of the nation’s largest religious complexes, filed for Chapter 11 after creditors said it defaulted on $12 million in bonds.
She Wanted to Call Her Therapist
A woman wearing an orange bikini and cowboy boots, with tattoos on her stomach and shoulder, a fake knife sticking out of her head, and fake blood all over her, approached Baylor University student Kevin Claxton in the parking lot of a Waco convenience store and asked him for a quarter. When Claxton said that he didn’t have one, she kicked him, chased him into the store, and then jumped on top of his Ford Thunderbird and started kicking it.
Have You Considered An Eternal Light Bulb?
Moore County commissioners voted to relight the eternal flame, a tribute to veterans in the courthouse square, after years of letting it burn only on holidays because of high gas costs. One month later, after a gas bill of $1,032, county judge Billie Faye Schumacher ordered it extinguished.
Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
Bruce Storey, 91, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after he stabbed 80-year-old Horace Vines in an argument over a 77-year-old woman, who subdued Storey by hitting him over the head with her cane until police officers broke up the altercation at the Retirement Inn of Fort Worth.
Never Give Up. Never. Never. Never. Never. Never. Never. Never. Never. Never. Never. Never. Never. Never. Never. Never. Never
In an acknowledged effort to have a lawsuit heard by a particular Nueces County judge, attorneys Robert C. Hilliard of Corpus Christi and Andrew Schirrmeister III of Houston filed the same case seventeen times until it was randomly assigned to the court of district judge Manuel Banales.
One Subdivision, One Ranger
The final six homes in a subdivision being razed to make way for a new runway for Dallas–Fort Worth Airport were blown up by a television crew to provide footage for the season premiere of CBS’s Walker, Texas Ranger.
Right Up Until He Shot Them
The Concordia Heritage Association in El Paso filed suit to prevent John Billings, the great-grandson of John Wesley Hardin, from exhuming the gunslinger’s remains and reburying them in Nixon. Billings said that his goal was “to bring him back to Gonzales County, where the memory of him is better served by people who knew what he was…He was a victim of the times and he was viewed by many, many people as a friend.”
She Might Hit You With a Spoon
After Kay Bailey Hutchison won the Congressional Chili Cook-Off using a recipe that included kidney beans, Governor George W. Bush was asked at a press conference what he thought of someone who would eat chili with beans. Bush said, “Probably someone I don’t want to be around the next day.”
On Second Thought, Virginia, the Answer Is No
A man dressed in a Santa Claus suit robbed the Truck Stops of America Country Pride restaurant in Baytown of $5,000 and escaped by hijacking a taxi.
Throws Right, Bites Left
As part of its community relations program, the Austin Police Department distributed trading cards to kids featuring photos, vital statistics, and arrest records of the six-member canine unit.
This, Your Honor, Is an Emotionally Oriented Business
After a judge ruled that the Sports Fantasy Bar and Grille in Fort Worth violated rules banning sexually oriented businesses within a thousand feet of parks and residential areas, owner John Michael Schlueter opened a new business in the same location called Peckers.
They’ll Get Even on St. Valentine’s Day
The state Republican party gave mob nicknames to seven Texas Democrats who had voted against the GOP crime bill, including Johnny “Baby Face” Bryant, Ken “Knuckles” Bentsen, and Charlie “the Catman” Wilson.
She Thought He Meant Half the Coffee
R. C. Mills of Coahoma filed suit against Carol Rains, a waitress at Herman’s Restaurant who had served him coffee, claiming that he bought two lottery tickets and gave what proved to be the winning ticket to her. He sued her for $6,435,210 plus $3 million for mental anguish, $3 million in punitive damages, and $4,717,605 in attorney’s fees for refusing to split the pot.
One More Small Step for Man
After NASA scientists found that woodpeckers had punched holes in the space shuttle Discovery’s external tank insulation, they deployed a fake owl to scare away the birds.
King of the Wild Front Row
During a Texas-Louisiana League baseball game between the Lubbock Crickets and the Abilene Prairie Dogs, umpires Mel Chettum and Vince Price ejected everyone in the press box except the public address announcer, as well as the Lubbock team mascot, Davy Crickett.
What Mike Hath Joined, Let No Hunter Rend Asunder
Galveston County justice of the peace Mike Nelson performed a marriage ceremony for Bonnie and Shorty, two endangered white rhinoceroses, at Bayou Wildlife Park near Dickinson.
They Wanted to Attend Bonnie and Shorty’s Wedding
Houston zoo officials temporarily abandoned attempts to move two hippopotamuses to the Kansas City, Missouri, zoo after the hippos resisted efforts to get them into a trailer for the trip.
Suspicions Confirmed: There Are More Real Texans in Santa Fe Than in Austin
Following protests by customers, the new branch of the Coyote Cafe in Austin decided to reduce the chile seasonings in its dishes below the level used at its flagship restaurant in Santa Fe.
In Eagle Lake, which bills itself as the “Goose-Hunting Capital of the World,” sponsors of the first annual Attwater’s Prairie Chicken Festival adopted a new motto: “Eagle Lake: It’s for the Birds.”
Which One Was Freckles?
Members of the frequently bickering El Paso City Council pledged to be nice to each other in an oath administered by Freckles the Clown.
Tonight, a 100 Percent Chance of Incarceration
A Houston man held off a SWAT team for four hours by threatening to harm his family with a knife, then surrendered when it started to rain, telling officers that he didn’t want them to get wet.
How About “Well Read?”
The San Antonio Express-News held a contest to name the color of the city’s new central library that drew almost one thousand entries (such as “Bleeding Heart Liberal Red”), in which the winner was “Enchilada Red.”
Next Time, Try McDonald’s
Asking for $1.48 million in damages, Annie McNeil of Gurdon, Arkansas, sued a Texarkana, Texas, Whataburger outlet for burns she suffered when hot coffee spilled on her.
Big Deal. Where Was He in Desert Storm?
Elbert Lewis of Odessa received a notice that he had failed to register with the Selective Service System on his eighteenth birthday as required by law. Lewis turned eighteen in 1932 and served in World War II.
First There Was Two-na Fish, Then Nine Lives, And the Rest Were Easy
Linda McManamon of Galveston won the Texas lottery with numbers selected by her cat, Skipper.
Make That “Iglesia la Oscuridad del Mundo”
Hundreds of people flocked to the wall of a home in East Austin to pray to an image of the Virgin Mary cast by a light from a nearby church, but they were disappointed when Pastor Pablo Perez of Iglesia la Luz del Mundo ordered the light turned off.
Whaddaya Mean “Somewhat”?
In Beijing to address food- production executives at the same time that the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women was being held in the city, former president George Bush said, “I feel somewhat sorry for the Chinese, having Bella Abzug running around in China.”
With Texas’ New High Standards, Those Kids Shouldn’t Have Gotten More Than a B Plus
The principal at Sunset High School in Dallas was demoted following the discovery that he had authorized hundreds of students to receive A’s for a phantom course that had no teacher and required no work.
And If It Were in Demand, We’d Use a Straw Mushroom
Women readers of Houston Life magazine protested a doctor’s ad touting breast-reduction surgery that featured a pair of pendulous eggplants. One caller asked why the magazine didn’t have an ad using a cucumber for a penis, to which magazine spokesman Charles Eldred replied, “We would, but penis reduction isn’t in great demand.”
Retraction Noted—But We’ll Never Buy Raisin Bran Again
Following complaints by cereal companies, the University of Texas retracted a press release containing a professor’s warning that “everyone who eats breakfast cereal has swallowed his or her share of rat droppings.”
“We’re Safe. No One Here Is a Legionnaire”
In an effort to persuade El Paso city officials to repair the ventilation system at Tillman Health Center, the City-County Health and Environmental District ordered that the air-conditioning water be tested for the bacterium that causes tuberculosis. The tests revealed that the water contained the bacterium that causes Legionnaires’ disease.
Fortunately, Both of New Hampshire’s Union Workers Are Teetotalers
The New Hampshire AFL-CIO distributed a newsletter at its convention that said, “Hope everyone had a great convention. Drive home safely, and remember: If you must drink and drive, try to do it when Phil Gramm is crossing the street.”
Mr. Crawford, You Have The Right to Remain Silent— And We’d Appreciate It If You Would Five
Louisiana youths were arrested after they drove up behind a car on Houston’s North Loop, flashed red and blue lights to make it pull over, and identified themselves as police officers to the driver, Lieutenant Phillip Crawford of the Houston Police Department.
“Fuchsia Road” Finished a Close Second
After repeated thefts of the signs for Lovers Lane near Jacksboro, Jack County commissioners voted to change the name of the route to Red Road.
The Scales of Justice Are Off-Limits Too
The Texas Board of Criminal Justice voted to provide only photocopies of law books to prisoners who were confined to their cells, because many of them were binding the books together so that they could keep up with their weightlifting.
Today’s Special: Asphalt Relleno
A belt securing cargo on a flatbed truck traveling through El Paso snapped on a curve, causing 17,000 pounds of New Mexico green chiles to fall off onto Interstate 10.
She Hid So Many Children, She Didn’t Know What to Do
Agnes Anderson of Missouri City surrendered her registration to state child-welfare caseworkers following an inspection of her day care center, during which they discovered that she was hiding fourteen children in the attic so that she would not appear to be taking care of more children than are allowed by law.
He’s From the Postoperative School
Surgeons performing a liver transplant on Dallas actor Larry Hagman collected his gallstones and gave them to artist Barton Benes of New York, a friend of Hagman’s who specializes in using strange objects in his work.
The Last Straw Was The Banner That Said “The Rangers Can’t Score But You Can”
Responding to intervention by Congressman Joe Barton, three airplane banner-towing companies agreed to stop flights over the Ballpark in Arlington touting topless clubs during Rangers games.
Bud . . . Wise . . . Not
Phillip Brian Terry was arrested in Galveston ten minutes after robbing a NationsBank branch of $7,000 in $100 bills after he walked across the street from the bank and bought a six-pack of beer with one of the bills.
Just Like Prince William Sound
Laredo oilman Tony Sanchez, Jr., a former Texas Parks and Wildlife commissioner, defended his right to operate wells on state park land by saying, “There would be no greater joy than to see a beautiful park that our children and adults can go to and learn about the oil and gas industry.”
And Sure Enough, They Beat SMU This Year
Asked before the start of the football season about Texas A&M’s chances for a national championship, Aggie wide receiver Chris Sanders said, “We’re like Mike Tyson. When Mike was in jail, he knew he was better. When we were on probation, it made us hungry.”
Off the Road Again
Grammy nominee Willie Nelson did not attend the ceremony in Los Angeles because he remained in Waco to attend a pretrial hearing on charges of possession of marijuana.
Fun Couple of the Year
During dinner at a New York restaurant called Pomp, Duck, and Circumstance, Prince Rainier of Monaco slapped a waiter doing a comedy routine when a thrown object landed near his dinner companion, Lynn Wyatt.
Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Stardust
A Houston-based company, Celestis, announced an offer to transport cremated remains into orbit around the earth, so that the ashes will blaze up like shooting stars as they fall through the atmosphere.
Where the Deer and the Antelope Aren’t the Only Ones Who Play
A buffalo belonging to Joe Embro of Commerce twice jumped over a fence and ran away seeking romance with Bonita, a cow in a nearby pasture.
But He Set a New Record Time for the Event
Authorities in Grand County, Colorado, charged rodeo champion Ty Murray of Stephenville with harassing wildlife after they found photographs of Murray sitting on a cow elk that he had chased down with a snowmobile.
Thank Goodness IBM Wasn’t in the Article
Accepting changes suggested by the spell-checker in a computer program, the Dallas Morning News referred to Intel as Until and Microsoft as Microvolts.
The Other 23,522 Got Their Money’s Worth
As a goodwill gesture to their fans, the Houston Astros gave away all 54,350 tickets to the May 12 game against the Phila-delphia Phillies, but only 30,828 people showed up.
Right. Like Going to Jayle
After receiving a speeding ticket in Llano County, Charles L. Duncan of Waco wrote a letter to Llano County justice of the peace Corkey Virdell saying that “being a J.P. in Waco . . . has really taken the time away from this matter.” After Duncan’s subsequent arrest for impersonating a public servant (he had lost a race for McLennan County justice of the peace in November 1994), he explained, “It was a typo.”
Surf ‘N’ Turmoil
An animal rights activist rescued a twelve-pound lobster that was about to be given away as a prize in Decatur and returned it to the ocean in Kennebunkport, Maine.
Starting at the Top
John Cunningham, the son of University of Texas chancellor William Cunningham, enrolled as a freshman at Texas A&M after losing a bet on the 1994 Aggie-Longhorn game. “I couldn’t be happier,” the younger Cunningham said. “It’s a totally different environment. The people are much nicer.”
The White House Blamed It on Newt
An elevator at the Four Seasons Hotel in Houston shut down for twenty minutes, trapping Vice President Al Gore and actor Tommy Lee Jones inside.
Sometimes They’re Good For Population Control Too
Corpus Christi mayoral candidate Tom Nix criticized a proposed city contract to buy 76,000 acre-feet of water from the Garwood Irrigation Company, suggesting that a “good hurricane” might be the solution. “In coastal regions like here,” Nix said, “hurricanes have always been a great source of water. It’s an alternative source that I don’t think the city has given much thought to.”
Medium Bare Would Have Been Okay
Protesters in Longview forced the closure of the East Texas Chicken Ranch, a totally nude steakhouse.
Hi, I’m Bonnie. I’ll Be Your Server Today. For Our Salad Course, We Have Cucumber Flea Beetle. Our Entrées Are Deer Fly and Filet of Silverfish Dusted in Flour Moth and Sautéed in Butterfly. Each Entrée Comes With a Vegetable Medley of Harlequin Cabbage Bug, Squash Bug, And Potato Beetle. For Dessert, You Have Your Choice of Fresh Fruit Fly or Peachtree Borer. How About a Botfly of Wine?
The Insect Expo in Dallas, sponsored by the Entomological Society of America, featured an insect cuisine booth staffed by Texas A&M scientist Bonnie Pendleton, who served visitors stir-fried mealworms and crickets.
Th-th-that’s Not All, Folks
A contestant at the Tyler County Fair was disqualified after he put a garden hose down his pig’s throat and turned it on in an effort to add weight to his entry.
Hecho en Mexico
Darlene Axberg of Kilgore requested a Texas flag that flew over the state capitol on her father’s birthday, Texas Independence Day, and received one that was inauthentic, with the red stripe incorrectly on top when the star is pointing upward. Horse 54, Where Are You? A fugitive in Amarillo evaded sheriff’s deputies by stealing a bicycle, only to be apprehended when a citizen on horseback roped him with a lariat.
Officers, Employers, and Founders Excluded
Darrell Frank of Fort Worth, whose criminal record includes convictions for burglary, larceny, and aggravated assault, founded an anti-crime organization called Dead Serious. It sold memberships for $10 and offered a $5,000 reward if a member defending his family, home, or personal property killed a criminal.
Except for Having Sex With Madonna
San Antonio Spurs coach Bob Hill said of forward Dennis Rodman, “You go beyond the hair, tattoos, and the earrings, and he’s like you and I.”
If You Don’t Fix, We Do Nix
Just before the jury verdict in the O. J. Simpson case was announced, 24 inmates in the Bowie County jail refused to do kitchen duty because their television set was broken.
The Rest Were Calling Long Distance From Nashville
Houston Oilers owner Bud Adams signed an agreement to move the team to Nashville. When Adams first indicated that he was talking with Nashville officials, more than 80 percent of the callers to the Houston Chronicle’s comment line said they would like to see the team leave town.
The Blue Ribbon Went to the Cute One Who Could Roll Over And Play Dead
Kinney County sheriff Norman Hooten was fined $2,500 and put on probation after he attended an illegal pit bull dogfight that he said he thought was a dog show.
Just Add 110 Gallons Of Water and Stir At Your Own Risk
The San Antonio Police Department called in the bomb squad to disarm a 55-gallon drum filled with fermenting tomato paste that was on the verge of exploding.