The Rewards of a Good Buzz

Special thanks to those who made 2011 so very, very special.

It was at this point that we totally meant to tell Robinson that Minora didn't write that headline. But we forgot. Probably because we became distracted after we mislaid our car keys again. Definitely not because we wrote the headline.

But let's not be distracted by minutiae over who wrote or didn't write something. Let's just forgive Leslie and move on.

The point is that Robinson did something that won him a ton of admirers and quite a few critics: He found a house whose original owner had stopped paying his mortgage and departed to parts unknown, a house that had not been placed in foreclosure. He then filed some paperwork with Denton County and moved in. He contends the law says that if he lives there long enough before the mortgage-holder, Bank of America, gets around to seeking the title, the house will become his. His plan just might work, because mortgage lenders are busy oiling their paper shredders.

Does that make Robinson's move right? Some say he's gaming the system, legally or not, to weasel his way into possession of a house. But with a glass house, a 22-percent Internet-porn brain and a lousy shoulder, Buzz's moral stone-casting days are long over. And as moral philosopher Immanuel Kant wrote in his lesser-known treatise So's Yer Old Man: "Gotta git yours, homie." You could say much the same about the entire home finance industry, in other words. So whom do we root for?

Robinson would rather we just shut up. It's just a real-estate transaction, he insisted, and he's experienced in the real-estate business. Novice home-seekers still call him daily seeking advice on how to follow his path, and he worries innocent people are getting misinformation from the news and face trouble with the law.

"They think it's just about going down and signing a piece of paper," Robinson said. "That's far from the truth."

Well, sometimes.


The No Good Deed Goes Unpunished Award

Charles Allen (Trinity Outfitter)

Our conversation with Charles Allen, owner of Trinity River Outfitters, went much better.

"Have you decided where you're going to hang that medal or plaque or whatever it is the city gave you for keeping them from killing people?" Buzz asked.

Allen laughed. "I haven't gotten any slaps on the back or attaboys," he said. "I got threatened with arrest."

Oh, yeah, that's right. In this warm glow of positive feeling, Buzz forgot: We're in Dallas, where Allen, who has equipped and guided canoe tours on the Trinity for decades, is just the sort of blabbermouth the city would want to toss in a cell. He's the guy who pointed out that the city's $4-million-and-counting "Dallas Wave" should more accurately be called the "Dallas Wave Bye-Bye."

The wave, a stretch of fake rapids downriver from downtown, was built to entertain whitewater kayakers. It includes a bypass channel meant to allow canoeists to pass through safely.

"Safely" is a relative term. In this case, though, "potentially-lethal-but-far-less-so-than-going-over-Niagara-Falls-in-a-beer-cooler-oh-don't-be-such-a-pussy" might be more accurate.

In May, Allen told the Observer's Jim Schutze that the city-built bypass was too narrow, short, steep, turbulent and, you know, deadly to allow safe passage by canoeists. That month, city officials held an "opening" ceremony for the Dallas Wave and then closed it the same day.

Allen continued to guide trips down the river, avoiding the Wave Bye-Bye. In late May, he took a group to a city-owned boat ramp below the wave and entered the river about a block upstream from where construction crews were at work on a new river trail. The City Attorney's Office awarded his entrepreneurial perseverance with a letter threatening to arrest him for criminal trespass.

"It's just a big mess," said Allen, who fears that even if the city fixes the bypass — they're supposedly working on it — the wave's damns will to lead to silting upstream and higher water levels, which might worsen floods or kill off aquatic life.

Still, he refuses to let the city's threat put him out of business. He has trips down the same stretch of river scheduled this month, and contends that federal and state laws don't allow the city to block movement on or portaging along the Trinity. He's even heard rumors that he won't be arrested for trespass.

See? There is reason for optimism in Dallas. Not only is City Hall not actively trying to drown its citizenry, it might not even illegally jail the man who warned them about the danger. Granted, a tiny, persistent voice in Buzz's head keeps thinking we should lend Allen our copy of Deliverance. But we can never remember where we left it.


DISHONORABLE MENTIONS


The Dallas Is Not And Will Never Be Portland Award

Teresa O'Donnell

How much does it cost to paint bike lanes on city streets? Somewhere between $0 and $8 kabillion, depending on whether you believe bicycle advocates or O'Donnell, the director of the city's Department of Sustainable Development and Construction. For now, it looks like the city's going with the lower estimate, as O'Donnell was left brushing skinny tire tracks off her suitpants after she informed a council committee the city has no money for bike lanes. That sparked outrage among bike advocates who pointed out A.) O'Donnell exaggerated what the lanes cost and B.) City Hall promised to install them.

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12 comments
Naaa
Naaa

Bikos? Move to Brooklyn.

VivlianWozz
VivlianWozz

Another restaurant cliaimed to use fresh mozz arella cheese,where it's dishes were actually made with economy cheddar.the "fresh pasta"advertieshed on another meau tumed out to be frozen.--Agedate. ℃⊙M--a nice and free place for younger women and older men,or older women and younger men,to interact with each other.

Krego nana
Krego nana

As a Texas resident, I want to know why Craig James killed those 5 hookers-NOW!

Willie
Willie

I saw him kill tose hooka by Yale and Mockin'byrd. He hat a nife.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

Love the picture of JWP. Reminds me of a song that goes to the tune of “someone’s in the kitchen with Dina:

John is in the slammer with Lee RoyJohn is in the slammer I know oh oh ohJohn is in the slammer with Lee RoyyyyyyyyyDown on cell block row.

John is in the shower with Lee RoyJohn is in the shower we know oh oh ohJohn is in the shower with Leeee RoyyyyyyyyPicking up a bar of soap!

The Credible Hulk
The Credible Hulk

That stirring that you feel in your gut isn't *Hope*, it's IBS.

Also, somehow I don't think JWP plays "catcher". (ifyaknowwhatimean)

Patrick Williams
Patrick Williams

You are the wind beneath my wings, Hulk. Well, actually, that wind is methane, so you're probably right.

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

Please, please, please, I'm begging you, let's make a New Year's resolution to never display JWP in his hot pants ever again. Ever. Seriously. Pretty please with sugar on top.

Rangers100
Rangers100

Celebrating America's prison rape culture? No thanks. That should be a serious source of embarrassment for our nation.

 
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