Just call him Al
With three distinctly different mug shots topping his column in just a week, it looked as if an identity crisis had befallen gushing Dallas Morning News gossip writer Alan Peppard. (To stay on Al's good side, pronounce his name like "peppered," not like that other puffy, blondish--and dead--A Team guy.)
But which of these guys is Al? The devilish rounder, grinning like an SMU frat boy plotting his next panty raid? Or the second picture--a pale corporate lawyer type who could pass for Rush Limbaugh? Or might it be Buzz's favorite, the sophisticate with the rakish tilt of the head, Dallas' own version of The Wanderer?
Responding to our inquiry about his visual split personality, Peppard, clearly the frat boy, said he had nothing to do with the mug shot makeovers. "My picture appears in three different sections of the paper, which means it has to go through three different copy editors. It was just a screw-up."
But then we apparently asked one of the many DMN taboo questions: Which mug shot might Al himself prefer? Peppard abruptly clammed up, claiming to be "skating on thin ice" for talking to the Observer at all. He referred further questions to executive editor Ralph "Freedom of Speech" Langer.
That had to be the humorless corporate Al.
I came. I saw. I pandered.
Buzz was perusing D magazine's hyper-exciting--not to mention confidential--marketing plan the other day. It seems publisher-editor Wick Allison is seeking a few investors to prop up his glossy Park Cities-centered mag--and the memo is intended to show why putting money into D really won't be like throwing cash into a black hole.
Despite some insufferable Wick-ed moments--such as describing D's strategy for success as "straight out of Caesar's Gallic Wars"--the zany marketing scheme is actually more entertaining than the magazine.
D's target, according to the attack plan, is the "affluent, actively involved citizen." Careful there, Wick. Wasn't it affluent, actively involved citizens who knifed Julius after his triumphant return?
If D readers really want "news you can use," we'll share this tidbit from the Caesarean strategy: The key to victory is jacking up subscription rates. "Our strategy is to stair-step our subscription pricing upward through 1996 and 1997 with both new business and renewals...For example, by 1998 our average net per subscription will have reached $26.15 compared to $10.08 under the old D strategy.
"As of September 1, the basic rate has already been raised to $29..."
"This strategy depends on many factors and entails some risk. Consumers may resist the higher pricing," the plan says. But, presumably, the villagers will come to realize that resistance is useless.
Will Spuds Mackenzie head the business school?
News tip for Playboy magazine: It's time to update your annual Best Party School picks. The legendary list of the best colleges for keggers, tailgaters, chuggin', huggin', and other ivory tower pursuits, which usually leads with places like University of Hawaii, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, and University of Miami, may face a challenge this year from none other than the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
According to the UNL student newspaper, former University of Texas at Arlington president and world-class partieee! animal Ryan Amacher is a candidate for chancellor in Lincoln. You'll remember that Amacher resigned after an unflattering state audit of UTA finances, including his spending on parties that included an 18-month $10,000 liquor tab.
Unconfirmed word has it that, if appointed, Amacher will establish the Rob Lowe Chair For Party Excellence in the UNL phys ed department.
The smell of caps
in the morning
In one of those events that reminds you of why peaceniks have such a hard time being taken seriously, the Dallas Peace Center is holding a gun buy-back this month at Midway Hills Christian Church Fellowship.
The problem here isn't that gun buy-backs are useless publicity stunts for politicians that have no effect on crime. It's that the Peace Center is buying back toy guns.
"Children are invited to bring a toy gun to exchange for a new, non-violent, constructive toy that has been donated," according to the press information.
Well, listen up peace boys: You'll get our Super Soakers when you pry our cold, dead fingers off them.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Observer's biggest stories.