By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Dan's party line
Unnoticed amid the ongoing DISD school board ruckus, former trustee Dan Peavy has moved from his far East Dallas home at 2440 Peavy Road to what he must hope is a more peaceful abode in Plano. Peavy, you may recall, resigned from the board after a racist, profane, and practically universally offensive tape of excerpts of his personal phone calls was made public. Peavy's neighbor, Charles J. Harman, who has acknowledged that he used a police scanner to tape 60 hours of Peavy's phone conversations, has pleaded guilty to a federal charge of intercepting a phone call--though he says the school board tape was not his handiwork. Harman's tapes helped land Peavy in federal court on felony charges of being involved in a school insurance kickback scheme. It's a testament to blind, stupid justice that Peavy was acquitted.
(It's only fair to note that Peavy has filed invasion-of-privacy suits against Harman; WFAA-TV, Channel 8; and, yes, the Observer for stories he claims are based on illegal interceptions of his conversations. The Observer obtained its transcript of the Peavy tape from DISD.)
Last week, in a phone conversation with Buzz--we'll happily provide Harman with a transcript for his collection--a sadder-but-electronic-surveillance-wiser Peavy offered a bit of hard-earned homeowner advice for Buzz to pass on to the folks who bought his house, a few short yards from that of Harman's: "Beware of Bearcat scanners--stick to 900-megahertz-and-above [portable] phones."
Peavy says he feels secure in his new Plano house. "I've got some great neighbors here," he says. "They seem like good people."
Still, he admits, "I'm strictly a plug-in phone user now."
At least that's what kids are reading in the "NFL Adventures" series of books for young readers published by Scholastic Books. Buzz eagerly followed the adventures of Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Deion Sanders in the appropriately named--considering their dismal season--The Lost Cowboy Ghost. (We should point out that we are not making this up.)
It's painfully obvious that the adventure was written during a happier time, with quotes like this one from Smith (after saving a kitten from a cattle stampede):
Or this excruciating-in-hindsight comment: "Nothing wrong in being scared once in a while," Emmitt said. "But the only thing I'm scared of right now is not making it to another Super Bowl."
Nothing wrong with continuing to be scared, Emmitt.
The high point of excitement--not to mention fashion commentary--comes not with the appearance of the ghost, but with the arrival of Deion Sanders:
The chopper's spotlight lit up the entire campground and everyone could see the superstar defensive back/wide receiver. He wore a bright silver leather vest and dark blue pants. His boots were made of some sort of lizard.
Reconnecting us with the original meaning of dude.
Though the plot is as predictable as a Super Bowl game, we did suffer a moment of parental anxiety at this bit of dubious advice offered by superstar Troy when he and a young friend are trapped by a landslide in a cave: "There's always another way to do things. If we can't get out this way, we'll just keep on going into the cave until we find a way out."
The book contained one segment that little cowpokes everywhere pray isn't prophetic. Troy was telling the kids about his dismal rookie season.
"We were one and fifteen. And I was the quarterback. It got so bad I almost thought of quitting!"
Troy Aikman, a quitter! No way!
The ghost was forgotten as everyone thought of the Cowboys without Troy.
(Special note to Skip Bayless: Troy does not ride sidesaddle on the cattle drive.)
We won't tell you the end of The Lost Cowboy Ghost, but let's just say it makes an episode of Scooby Doo look like the Iliad.
All of which makes it obvious to Buzz that there's a killing to be made in kiddy lit--especially with NFL players as characters. We're already working on an outline for a Cowboys sequel, Get Along Little Ladies. This rollicking Western adventure includes NFL superstars Erik Williams and Michael Irvin who ride into town looking for fun--Williams on his well-oiled saddle and Irvin in a pair of white sable chaps and a derby. Whooped up on loco weed and "trail dust" and in search of some serious cowboy fun, they head over to Miss Kitty's Long Branch saloon, where they intimidate the piano player, Barry Switzer, and the town's table-dancing daughters.
We're still working on a romantic ending.