By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Isn't it ironic?After nearly a decade of traffic-snarling construction, work on widening Central Expressway is completed, $6 million under budget and 10 months early.
And what did the city do to mark the opening of the freeway and the end of a 10-year traffic jam? Why, they shut it down and had a parade. People in cars driving slowly, celebrating the fact that other people in cars can now drive quickly, if only the damn road were open. Whoopee! What's the city going to do when the new police headquarters opens downtown in 2003? Declare a "Go Shoot Someone Day"?
Sorry. We don't really mean it. The men and women who did the work on Central should be proud of themselves, and they deserve a parade, no matter how ironic. Since we moved from East Dallas a few months ago, we take Stemmons to work. That's enough to make anyone bitter.
So what have you learned, Dorothy?This is the point where Buzz is supposed to wrap it all up, step back, and offer up some gentle lesson garnered from the past year, some optimistic greeting to the year to come.
Give us a minute...
It's right there on the tip of our tongue...
Ah! How about: "Every silver lining surrounds a dark cloud." Wait. That's not exactly optimistic, is it? Forget it then. Who do you think we are, Norman Vincent Peale?
Instead, let's just turn out the lights, load up the shotgun, and spend New Year's Eve waiting to see whether Y2K really does mean the end of civilization as we know it. (We should be so lucky.)
Before you go, we here at the Secret Society of Embittered, Cynical People would like to give you our choice for Dallas' Person of the Year, that one cranky creature who best embodies the society's philosophy, which is: "If you can't think of anything nice to say, please send your résumé and samples of your published work to the Dallas Observer, 2130 Commerce St., Dallas TX, 75201."
Whom to pick? Chris Beamon certainly knows how to scare the hell out of purported grown-ups. So does Robert Melton, plus he knows how to spell. Bill Rojas? You gotta love any man who takes a post at a record-setting salary and spends his first few months on the job telling his bosses to go screw themselves -- especially when those bosses are DISD trustees.
No, they're too obvious. Instead, our choice is the unnamed customer of III Forks restaurant who, according to The Associated Press, last week ordered a $35,000 bottle of wine only to send it back because it was bad. "Why, I wouldn't wash my pet pig in this swill! It's worth 20, 25 grand tops!"
God love him, whoever he is.
So, as 1999 becomes 2000, let's all pour a glass and raise a toast in his honor and to the year that was.
Then spit it out.