By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Remember when sleazy politicians and unscrupulous businessmen--not to mention Dallas Cowpersons--quaked when Marty was near? (That's Marty Griffin for readers out there who have already forgotten last year's journalistic outrage, and its star.)
To refresh your memories: After scooping the rest of the media with the now-infamous Cowboy rape hoax, Marty was roundly denounced (presumably for causing an embarrassing media stampede) and jerked from the airwaves--though we like to think of it as a hiatus. Meanwhile, we watched in horror as a kinder, gentler KXAS-Channel 5 nose-dived in the next ratings sweeps with breathless stories on whether folks in Fort Worth and Dallas had poorer manners than the microbes on the average bachelor's kitchen counter. (It was something like that.)
It goes without saying that Buzz was, at first, delighted to see Marty return. But it's a different Marty. Oh sure, his hair is as spooky as ever, and he used the good ol' hidden camera. But the subject of his report last week was the perils of leaving your kids in the childcare facilities at workout spas.
With dramatic hidden-camera proof, Marty showed us that a large rubber ball, thrown by a child, "came dangerously close" to the head of another child!
Buzz has been studying the videotapes to detect lobotomy scars. We know they're there.
A Buzz reader sheepishly brought to our attention a self-described "sniggling item." Stop right there! To quote our journalism/animal husbandry 101 professor: "There Are No Sniggling Items, Only Sniggling Writers."
Steve DiGiacomo (presumably his federal witness protection program name) tells Buzz that he posted signs for a Farmers Branch friend's garage sale only to find them disappear. Being slow learners, Steve and his friends posted more signs, only to check back later to find that they--and every other yard-sale posting--had mysteriously disappeared.
Buzz quickly confirmed that the Free State of Farmers Branch--such a classy place--does not allow its citizens to post garage sale signs on the city's telephone poles, medians, or those grassy strips next to sidewalks. Building official Jim Olk told us that the signs could pose a liability to the city and, thus, were in violation of the sign ordinance.
Steve, of course, thought that it was pretty ridiculous for Farmers Branch's security forces to be running around on Saturday mornings tearing yard sale signs off telephone poles. "The only successful garage sale sign poster I noted that weekend was someone who tacked said signs 20 feet up on the telephone poles and trees, foiling Farmers Branch's finest," he says.
Ha ha. What a prankster. From what Olk tells us, that unnamed person might want to avail himself of a change of identity, too. The building guy says having the cops tear the signs down "is better than citing the people for the violation." The fine is $200 a day until the sign comes down.
So, while we're on sniggling things, Stevie Di--it might be time to go underground again.
Shine an apple
The Local Political Candidate Society was kind enough to send Buzz its latest report card on the Dallas City Council. Each council member was assigned a letter grade for performance in nine areas ranging from streets/alleys to educational opportunities. (For some reason, the Society combined public health and property values.)
The Society is a tough audience, and nobody did real well; not a single A was issued. Max Wells was at the head of the class with straight Bs. Don Hicks scored a 2.6 average, Mayor Ron Kirk got a 1.3 (a big fat F in zoning), and class clown Chris Luna would have gotten his hide tanned by voters when he takes home his straight Fs. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), Luna has retired from the council and is beyond the voters' reach.
But we had to really scratch our head over Big Al Lipscomb's scores--a 2.4 average with a D in zoning/ordinances. Al, of course, isn't noted for cramming (other than North Dallas fat cats' money into his pockets), so the score didn't surprise us. What did is that that dismal 2.4 came with the fix in: Al is a charter member of the Society.
What's society coming to?
Recently, Buzz was enjoying the DMN news briefs column--the daily summation of minor mayhem in the Metroplex--when we came across an appalling item. It seems a couple picking wildflowers stumbled across a dead body. Buzz was disgusted by this insane outrage.
What could they have been thinking--picking Lady Bird's wildflowers!
A while back, if you remember, D editor Wick Allison was insulting his readers by telling the Dallas Business Journal that his circulation was down because Dallasites are frightened off by hard journalism. Alas, says Wick, service articles--best doctors, pet groomer ratings, etc.--are what folks really want.
You and Buzz were confused, of course, because we couldn't remember a D that wasn't stuffed with service crap, including an issue with a cover plugging a nationally syndicated restaurant rating publication.
On this month's cover, thank God, we see that Wick has fine-tuned the formula. Under the headline "The Best Spas" is a photograph of a shapely model, nude except for a covering of therapeutic mud packs. We get it, Wick, it's a cheesy cliche, but it's a cliche that the drooling hoi poloi never tires of.
Now, let's sit back and watch D's circulation shoot up.