Buzz

Hey, wanna paddle your boss?
Are we the only ones who look around the office sometimes and ponder the relative mental stability of our co-workers? Buzz doubts it. You've done it--checking for suspicious bulges under jackets, or wondering why the guy at the next desk is plotting shotgun spread patterns on a diagram of the executive office suite. Haven't you ever watched a colleague twitching in the coffee room, and figured it was a time to duck out for a long lunch?

Naturally. Which is why Buzz is more than a bit alarmed by the latest development in workplace technology. An outfit from Redmond, Washington, is now pitching what it calls "state-of-the-art automated external defibrillators" to companies and office-building owners. The device is a kind of home version of the machines hospital emergency rooms use to deliver electrical jolts to people in cardiac arrest. You know, like on television when someone yells "CLEAR" and then slaps the paddles on a poor schmo's chest.

The company is touting the machines as a potential lifesaver (and, we're sure, employers will soon figure out a way to work them into your insurance co-pay). Specially trained office workers can use the devices on heart-attack victims while waiting for the paramedics to show up. So far, Texas Instruments is the biggest local company to start buying the machines.

Buzz sees this one heading into that terrifying realm we know as the Land of Unintended Consequences. Sure, these things will probably save lives. But look around you. Which of your colleagues would you like to see coming at you with a box that can deliver a jillion volts of electricity?

Figure it this way: If you're ever in a post office and someone in the back yells "CLEAR," don't hang around too long waiting for your change.

Smile, kids
After years of dedicated bachelorhood, the Attorney General of the State of Texas is getting married. Must be time for another gubernatorial election.

According to press reports, AG Dan Morales, 40, is engaged to a woman he met two months ago at a Better Business Bureau meeting in Abilene. The woman, 28-year-old Christine Glenn, works at an employment agency and has two children from a previous marriage.

Buzz has no doubt this is true love, that in their brief, two-city courtship, Dan and Christine have each found the lifelong soulmates they've been longing for. Or, we could be talking instant family.

Early betting is that Morales--after eight years as the state's top civil lawyer--will be chasing the Democratic nomination for governor next year. A wife and kids will nicely round out those campaign brochure photographs. Dan, we're sure, remembers what happened to the last bachelor attorney general who ran for governor. Do you know where Jim Mattox is today? We didn't think so.

Dan's impending nuptials put him one up on John Sharp in early pre-election manuevering. Sharp, state comptroller and another likely candidate, is already married. The best he's managed to muster so far is proposing free college educations for the children of Texas schoolteachers.

--David Pasztor

 
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