Best Of 2006 | Dallas | Dallas Observer | The Leading Independent News Source in Dallas, Texas

The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.
-Oscar Wilde

THE SUBJECT of today’s sermon is sin. No, wait! Don’t turn the page just yet. We’re talking about good sins, the kind of vices we like.

You say you didn’t know that vice can be a good thing? We didn’t either until we started planning this issue. Our advertising staff thought devoting this year’s Best of Dallas® to a theme of “Dallas vice” would be a fun idea. The editors, a literal bunch, thought that tying the word “best”to a term the dictionary defines as “moral depravity or corruption; wickedness” might be off- putting to the dozens of our more morally stalwart readers and advertisers.

So of course we said, “Yes, let’s have a vice theme.” This is the Dallas Observer, after all, and if our staff of reprobates led by a devoutly religious editor couldn’t find something nice to say about vice, no one could. We like a challenge. We love being contrary.

It wasn’t that hard. Think about it: Which part of your past puts a smile on your face as you daydream? Which gives you the better anecdote to tell your drinking buddies? Was it the Sunday morning you slipped an extra fiver in the collection plate, or the time you had one too many Saturday night and woke up trying to recall exactly what it is you can’t believe you did the night before? Would you really rather be responsible and save that money for a rainy day, or buy your 20th pair of bitchin’ shoes?

We have quite a few poker players in our office, and the morning after a game there’s more talk of the hands they didn’t bet but could have won than the pots they took home.

All this thinking about the wages of petty sin prompted us to come up with a game for y’all to try out as you visit any of the fine drinking establishments praised in this issue. Instead of playing “Who would you rather do?” (Bill O’Reilly or Rush Limbaugh, for instance) play this one: “Who could you have done but didn’t?” Make sure you start it well before last call, though. You’re going to want a few drinks.

Maybe we’re wrong, but we suspect that when the day comes that we lie in bed drawing our last breaths, regrets for the sins we didn’t commit will haunt us way more than those we did.

Like we said, we’re reprobates. But even ol’ Abe Lincoln, a paragon of virtue, understood what we’re talking about: “It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues,” he said.

We lifted that quote from the Web page of the Dallas-based Vice Fund, by the way. It’s a mutual fund that invests in tobacco, alcohol, gaming and defense industries. Its historic average annual return is right around 16 percent. How’s your 401(k) doing?

So sin a little, we say. You deserve it. Spend a little too much. Embarrass yourself. Put down the hymnal and dust off that old copy of Back in Black. And consider this Best of Dallas a guide to how people indulge their naughty natures responsibly—or sorta responsibly, anyhow.

Remember: Everything in moderation is wise, but abstemiousness is a pain in the butt. —Patrick Williams

Not so long ago, down the highway apiece in the town of LaGrange, there was a place called the Chicken Ranch that had nothing to do with laying eggs but a whole lot to do with getting laid. For decades it operated as an illegal bordello where bad-boy politicians could get done to them what they were doing to constituents, where college football players could pay to score with professional sure things.

The Chicken Ranch offered a friendly spot for a horizontal hoedown with some down-home hos. Local law enforcement let it be. Then along came a screaming, toupee-wearing, crusading-for-morality Houston TV reporter named Marvin Zindler, whose exposs on the brothel got the Bible brigade to force the authorities to shut it down.

The story cracked the headlines for a while in the 1970s and might have faded into the annals of Lone Star State history were it not for Texas writers Larry L. King and Peter Masterson who, along with composer Carol Hall, scrambled the facts of the Chicken Ranch scandal into a sexy theatrical fry-up called The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

Choreographed by Texan Tommy Tune, the show opened on Broadway in 1978 and played more than 1,500 performances. The campy but less successful movie starring Dolly Parton as Miss Mona (the madam), Burt Reynolds as the sheriff and Dom DeLuise as the Zindler character, Melvin P. Thorpe, came and went in 1982.

Its been a good while since any Dallas theater mounted (tee-hee) a full-sized production of the musical, but its a nice fit at Contemporary Theatre of Dallas, where its onstage through October 29. CTD founder and Whorehouse cast member Sue Loncar plays one of nine Chicken Ranch chickies and says she remembers watching the real story unfold on TV when she was growing up in Houston. And did this Highland Park mother of five have any reservations about playing a prostie? My kids just think its funny. Anyway, how cool is it to be 40-something and get to be in this show! I consider it a privilege and an opportunity to try to lose some weight!

Husband Brian Loncar, the Strong Arm lawyer on those TV commercials, is making his theatrical debut as The Governor, singing Dance a Little Sidestep and spouting political doubletalk: As I was saying just this morning at the weekly prayer breakfast, it behooves the Jews and the Ay-rabs to settle their differences in a Christian manner. Loncar says hes bringing to the role what he tries to bring to the TV adsMy motto is maximum cheese.

Whorehouse was risqu Broadway fare in the 70s, but by todays Pussycat Dolled-up, G-String Diva-fied standards, its pretty tame stuff. Its definitely not The Life, says Sue Loncar, referring to the much edgier musical about streetwalkers. This show puts a sugar coating on prostitution. Miss Monas is less like a brothelmore sorority house.

Whorehouse may be a bit of a museum piece but still has some things to say about the society we live in and the way the media blow things out of proportion, especially things of a sexual nature, says director James Paul Lemons. But its not message-heavy. Think lingerie and big hair, Lemons says. Were going over-the-top Texas style, walking the line between camp and authenticity.

For the actress playing Linda Lou, one of the scantily clad, by-the-hour hoochies who works for Miss Mona (played by Jenny Thurman), its the latest in a series of R-rated roles on Dallas stages. Cara Statham Serber gave audiences the T and the A as the cheerleader/prostitute in Kitchen Dog Theaters production of Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical and stripped down to her bra and half-slip as Janet in CTDs Rocky Horror Show.

Someday no one will want to see me in lingerie, so I have to capitalize on it, says Serber, who recently co-starred in WaterTower Theatres Into the Woods and describes her offstage persona as Frisco hausfrau. I spent all of my 20s doing Maria in The Sound of Music and Marian the librarian in The Music Man. I have to say, playing a whore is more silly fun than being Laurie in Oklahoma!

Actor Joey Oglesby pawed Serber as a football player in Debbie and gets to do it again as one of the dancing Aggies visiting the Best Little Whorehouse. When director Lemons told Oglesby hed be wearing a jockstrap, and little else, for one of the numbers, the actor headed for the gym. I have my 10-year high school reunion coming up, too, so I guess thats a good thing, he says. Ive never been opposed to taking off my clothes for laughs.

A Baylor grad whos also part of the Second Thought Theatre company, Oglesby says his Southern Baptist parents are pretty open-minded but refused to see Debbie Does Dallas, which was several notches raunchier than Whorehouse.

Maybe best not to tell them, or Zindler, whos still on the air at Houstons ABC station, that CTD occupies a two-story building off Lower Greenville Avenue that formerly served as a house of worship.

Says Sue Loncar, Yep, weve put the hos in church. Were probably all going to hell for that. Elaine Liner

Researchers have discovered that chocolate produces some of the same reactions in the brain as marijuana. The researchers also discovered other similarities between the two but cant remember what they are.
Today Show co-host Matt Lauer

Chocolate has been called a psychoactive food, an obsession and an addiction. Its been referred to as the food of the gods and the food of the devil. The Mayans associated chocolate with fertility, while the Aztecs believed it imparted wisdom and virility. The melting point of chocolate is slightly below human body temperature, the root of its smooth-melting sensuousness. In truth, chocolate isnt really that much different from sex, which is precisely the point.

Chocolate is made from beans culled from the pods of the tropical cacao tree, which are fermented, dried, roasted and ground. The resulting residue, cacao powder, is intensely bitter. And its the substance from which Pam Eudaric Amiri draws her sustenance, if not her life force.

For me this is not about chocolate, she says sitting at a table in Chocolate Secrets, her chocolate, wine and gift shop on Oak Lawn Avenue. To me this is about total indulgence. Happiness. To me this is not a chocolate store. To me this is I want to come in the door and LIE down naked and wallow around and be totally happy.

Though there isnt any evidence of rampant nudity in her spacious shop, situated in a former Persian rug store on Oak Lawn, there is lots of chocolate. Glass cases hold truffles and various chocolates containing walnuts, macadamias and cherries; chocolates flavored with peppermint, orange and butter rum; chocolates with toffee and caramel, some of them created by chocolate manufacturers around the world to Amiris own specifications. A display case on one wall holds chocolate tasting kits and bars from French chocolatier Michel Cluizel. The bars are arranged from lightest to most intensethe most potent being a bar that is 99 percent cocoa with just 1 percent cocoa butter. The darkest chocolates, Amiri insists, pair best with wine. Red wine.

Wine is the reason Amiri ended up in this spacious and towering Oak Lawn location, a chocolate temple really. After opening Chocolate Secrets in the West Village in late 2003 as a chocolate and gift shop with a dramatic water wall, she says she discovered that because of the way her lease was structured, she wasnt allowed to serve wine. When you pair chocolate and wine and it pairs right, it lifts you out of your chair, she says. Its a little poof.

And that poof is what she craved. With the help of one-time Mansion on Turtle Creek sommelier Kent Rice, Amiri is attempting to pair a tight selection of wines with each chocolate she serves. Robust wines, such as Zinfandel, Shiraz, Argentinean Malbec or even Cabernet Sauvignon, link best with the darkest chocolates, while lighter wines, such as Merlot or Pinot Noir, dally best with milk chocolate. Chardonnay or Champagne utterly fail in their couplings as does white chocolate (made strictly from cocoa butter), which muddles wine. Though Amiri adds that Chocolate Secrets hand-dips its chocolate strawberries for plopping into a flute of bubbly, romance smoothing over any rough flavor pairings. You do it all together so that it fuses in your mouth, she says mimicking chocolate plop between her lips. Its an unexpected burst of pleasure.

Born in Saint Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Amiri is an unlikely sweets hawker. Shes a highly competitive lawyer who went on to forge a 20-year career as a corporate litigator before she dropped out to raise her three sons. She says she was addicted to the power rush generated by successful legal brawls. She was addicted to the winning. I was really wired in the wrong direction, she admits. I dictated through labor.

With Chocolate Secrets, she simply swapped addictions, although she says chocolate cravings do not necessarily stem from chocolate. Theyre stoked by the sugar.

You know theres a joke that chocolate is like an aphrodisiac, she says. But what it really does, for women in particular, is it affects the parts of your brain that trigger pleasure and relaxation. So its almost like a happy pill tranquilizer.

Amiri merchandises her happy pill tranquilizers with custom jewelry, hand-crafted gift cards, contemporary art, custom-blended coffees, French language lessons on Wednesdays and live jazz on Saturdays. I didnt open this to sell M&Ms, she says.

Still, she says, you dont need chocolate. You dont need it to breathe. You dont need it to keep your heart pumping. If you feel a chocolate urge, its probably because of some hidden stress fissure in your disposition. You dont need that chocolate. You simply need love.

Then she catches herself and reverses course. We need chocolate. We need wine. We need jewelry. We need romance, she says. I would like to go and bathe in chocolate.

Let the chocolate commerce commence. Mark Stuertz

Not long ago, a young newlywed couple came into Sara Lee Goffs Plano store looking for the first piece of furniture for their new apartment. They needed a couch, and Goff had just the thinga large, softly curved number, more a huge cushion than a sofa, but its ergonomic design was exactly what they were looking for. It was just made for screwing.

No, really. Thats literally what it was made for; its S-shaped curves provide backor maybe front and sidewayssupport for the different positions so loved by limber young couples. Ring up another sale and another (presumably) satisfied customer for Goffs Condoms to Go. Heres hoping the couples marriage outlasts their furniture. (While were at it, lets hope theyve heard of Scotchgard. Eww.) What they may lack in taste, they appear to make up for in enthusiasm.

Taste, hope, satisfaction, comfort and sex: Its all part of the romance business for the diminutive Goff, a 60-something grandmother who left a career in landscaping design to open her first shop for sexy Dallasites in 1992. Since then, her chain of prophylactic, lube and novelty shops has grown to a chain of stores, the latest called Saras Secret, a name she adopted to avoid a repeat of run-ins she has had with religious folk who would rather not see the word condoms glowing in red neon letters on suburban storefronts. Its the same merchandise, minus the picketing, the protesters writing down her customers license plate numbers and the visits from local cops. Well, cops still visitin fact, Goff says she works closely with local police chiefs to allay any community worriesbut they come in as customers these days.

If I went in under Condoms to Go, I guarantee you theyd be picketing me, Goff says of the new name.

Of course, that which we call a dildo would, by any other name, get you off, but some people would just as soon not know that. In a way, you can include Goff among their number. Since its illegal in Texas to sell anything intended to stimulate the genitals, dont go into a Condoms to Go store and ask the clerk for a vibratorin the same way you dont go into your local head shop looking for a bong. Condoms to Go doesnt stock dildos. They do have a wide, multihued variety of novelties, which sometimes just happen to be shaped like big penises.

Battery-powered penises. That vibrate.

I just sell them, Goff says. I dont ask them what they use them for.

Ah, Texas. It may be 2006 in other parts of the worldEurope, say, or New York. Here, were still creeping up on the new century, sexually speaking. Not that its slowed down Goffs business any. Two years ago Condoms to Go was named one of the top 100 fastest-growing businesses in DFW by SMUs Cox School of Business.

Heh-heh. We said Cox.

Sorry. Went all Beavis on you there for a moment. Where were we?

Time was, to find a selection of condoms, youd have to go to the mens room at a bowling alley or filling station or risk embarrassment at your local drugstore. At Goffs stores, you leave your blushes outside in the parking lot. She aims to make her shops as unsleazy as possible. She doesnt sell porn, for instance, though if you buy enough other items, the clerk might toss in a racy DVD for free, to provide inspiration for the perspiration.

Goffs own inspiration came from her sonsort of, and not like that, you sicky. Shed been divorced several years and had raised her two kids when she decided to re-enter the dating scene. This was the age of AIDS, however, and her college-age son had some advice. If youre going to be promiscuous, you need to be safe, he kidded her. Not long after came her first store on Greenville Avenue. Since then, its been a long, sometimes bumpy ride to create a place where customers can be comfortable shopping for lovemaking aids.

Comfort is key for Goffs business plan. She carefully trains her staff about various products. She will sell to teens but only provided they first stop by with their parents, and she makes sure that some of the racier products dont end up in window displays. That care helps explain why the majority of her customers are womenparticularly in her suburban shops, where sometimes as much as 75 percent of her customers are female.

They can go into any of my stores, and they feel comfortable, not like drugstores, Goff says.

Oddly, its often men who get most embarrassed perusing the goods. Theyll eye a novelty but figure the missus wont want anything to do with it, Goff says. They say, My wife would not like this...She wouldnt let me bring this home. Id be divorced. And often enough, the women come back to close the deal.

Who says housewives are desperate? Patrick Williams

There is a place in Dallas called Redmansor The Redmans or Redmans Lodge or a host of other monikersthat is legendary amongst poker players. It is not terribly hard to find, should you know its general location, which we would not presume to give away here lest Dallas police read this. No, once a years quite enough for poker players, about 80 of whom were arrested or cited in June when the cast of A&Es reality show Dallas SWAT wham-bammed down the door at Aces on Irving Boulevard. They showed up well prepared that night, with full diagrams of the jointdown to the number of tables and the seat positions at each, to better keep track of the players popped for playing Texas Hold Em. The raid even received mention from the Cato Institutes Web site, which referred to the bust and others like it across the country as examples of frightening militarism. All that force used on people playing cards. Bret Maverick would not have approved.

So we will leave Redmans alone, save to say its hallowed ground for would-be rounders and wanna-be pros whove heard tales of T.J. Cloutier, Doyle Brunson, Amarillo Slim Preston, David Williams and other players shoving big stacks across the famous felt. Redmans has been around forever and feels like itsmells like it, actually, its aroma that of a locker room used as an ashtray. Its as much an essential and vital piece of Dallas history as any of the citys few remaining landmarks, yet it cant be celebrated out in the open because what happens in therepeople playing cards for money, just like they do on TV seemingly 24 hours a dayremains illegal in the state.

As Kinky Friedman puts it, We invented Texas Hold Em, and we cant play it, which is true: In Texas, any game in which the house takes a cut of a winning pota rakeis considered to be breaking the law, which is why places such as Redmans exist beneath ground, its low rumble audible only to those tuned in to the frequency of the clinking of chips being stacked between flops and folds. Aces got popped because it was too out in the open, advertising its doings on the Internet. Says a friend who once sat at a table there, It was asking for it.

Yet not so long ago, many of Dallas underground poker rooms played the same loose-aggressive game. By some counts, there were about 200 card rooms in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, with almost a quarter of those in the 214 or 972, and many of them posted their schedules on the Web, begging you to come buy into their low-stakes games. Now comes word that but a fraction of a fraction of them remainthree or four, says Dan Michalski, whose Pokerati blog has for several years detailed the rise and fall of poker rooms in the area. (Michalski also now runs, and for a long time he ran the Sunday-afternoon free-roll tournaments at The Lodge.)

Which means Dallas has lost some of its best roomsplaces such as the Murfield, the Platinum Room and Stagecoach, the latter of which was in northwest Dallas and boasted the big-screen sheen of any decent casino, served up a decent meal, allowed no booze, sent smokers to a private room and boasted stellar players keeping polite company (except for the son of a bitch who called my $10 raise holding nothing more than 9-2 off-suit and hit two pair on the flop). Thats not to say Dallas still doesnt have a scene; far from it. In fact, in his new book Hunting Fish: A Cross-Country Search for Americas Worst Poker Players, Jay Greenspan writes, Dallas is said to have the best underground poker scene in the country, and he visited a few spots that did little to disabuse him of that notion.

But Michalski, who was Greenspans tour guide of Dallas poker joints and receives copious mentions in the book, says theyve been replaced by underground games that are well above-groundwhich is to say, in apartment complexes and office buildings and other far-outta-the-way places that hold only two or three tables and fewer players than the old-fashioned card rooms populated by rounders up to their asses in cards and other rounders.

The scene is clearly back, Michalski says. The games still exist, theyve just gone more underground, and theyve gone small. You have a lot of three-table rooms where someones rented out a loft. I just got an e-mail today that says the Platinum Room is back. It doesnt say where the location is, and thats because theres also a tougher screening process. Indeed, only a year ago all you needed was to know a places location to buy into a game; today, youre invited by e-mail, given a contact number and usually only if you know somebody connected to the game.

Theyre calling them home games now, Michalski says. The truth is, theyre still taking rakes and making money. But theyre treating them like home games, as opposed to these people who were actively promoting and throwing big tournaments. Trust me, the scene is fine and dandy.

So, somebody deal me in, already. Robert Wilonsky

Placing his first wager at 15 and his most recent one likely before you finish this sentence, Norm Hitzges knows there is no such thing as a sure winner. He can, however, spot a certain loser.

Thats why, despite everything in his prodigious nose and Polish values telling him no, he finally said yes to The Ticket (KTCK-1310 AM).

When I was at KLIF, The Ticket annoyed the hell out of me, says Hitzges, who grudgingly made the intra-company radio move in 2000. I did not want to come downstairs.

Betting on the lesser of two evils, however, was a five-star no-brainer. Joining the shtick-filled, 13th-floor station that delighted in mocking his numerous idiosyncrasies was, in the wake of KLIFs decision to dump sports, a more appealing alternative than sitting silent six months because of a non-compete clause in his contract.

I wanted to explore my options, Hitzges recalls. But it was made very clear to me that if I did that Id have a legal problem.

Six years later, chalk up another winner onto Norms gambling ledger.

Americas first full-time sports-talk radio host at a time when P1s and sound drops were just a twinkle in some program directors vas deferens, Hitzges is these days more prominent, powerful and popular than ever. He raises money for the Austin Street homeless shelter, vacations in the Galapagos Islands and can walk into any bar this side of Cheers and be serenaded with Norm!

Listen carefully; the 63-year-old has even befriended his 13-year-old enemies.

I hear some stuff on The Ticket and think to myself, My Lord, Id never put that on my show, Hitzges says. My tolerance has softened, but I also finally realized these guys have a work ethic as diligent as mine. They just work on different things. Far different things.

Norms ultimate acceptance of radios dark side was made easier after decades living nefariously through sports gambling. For the last 30 years Hitzges on-air Picks of the Polewhich debuted on KERA radio in 75 as an alternative to Jimmy the Greekhave both revved his adrenaline and caused civil war between the little Norms on his opposing shoulders.

As a Christian, Ive been in a moral wrestling match since the day I started, Hitzges says. I understand people listen to me, take my picks and go gamble. But I dont like that.

Seems a strange sentimenthypocritical evencoming from a gambling guru who gives out his weekly selections for free on the radio and at his Web site ( but charges $30 a month to join a Clubhouse that offers detailed analysis of games and consensus picks gleaned from his network of handicappers. But Hitzges has evolved into a legendary personality grandfathered above accusation, evidenced by pro teams coaches and owners appearing on his 10 a.m. to noon show and tempting league rules by tiptoeing around the fuzzy line between being interviewed by a radio icon and associating with a known gambler.

The business of analyzing sports may be populated with thieves at a higher percentage than any other business, Hitzges explains. I call them scamdicappers. If youre going to bet, Id rather you get real information and real research. Thats what I provide.

To understand Hitzges seemingly twisted rationale, realize that gambling was always woven into the fabric of his family. When his father passed away in 99, Hitzges went to New Yorks Saratoga Springs Race Track. Later, at the funeral, he placed the un-redeemed winning tickets inside Dads jacket.

When he got to where he was going, Hitzges says, I wanted to make sure he had a ticket to cash.

Hitzges says he has never been a bookie, doesnt have an online gambling account and makes his occasional bets through a liaison. While admitting a negative lifetime balanceIm down, without question, he sayshes kept his habit from deteriorating into an addiction.

There are times when Ive said, Wait a minute, youre betting eight games. This is crazy, says Hitzges, whose biggest payday was a $17,000 cash take-home from Lone Star Park in 2001. But this is my hobby. Some people drink $200 bottles of wine. I analyze sports.

A far cry from going 22-1 in the 2003 NFL Playoffs or 19-8 during last years college bowl season, Hitzges picks were 48-53 through September 17, including a horrific 8-23 week that spawned a tense on-air exchange climaxed by Ticket personality Gordon Keith offering to make better picks flipping a coin.

I work on my picks, but sometimes my work is wrong. Brutally wrong, Hitzges says. Im not picking games out of a hat or reading tea leaves. In 30 years Ive had only five losing seasons, so I must be doing something right.

Through excruciating gambling defeats, a hip replacement and surgery to remove a spinal tumor thats left him with minimal nerve sensation below the knee in his right leg, what Norm hasnt lost is his passion for radio and wagering. Gambling is why Hitzges studied trends while in intensive care and once phoned in picks from Peru. Radio is why Hitzges says to bet against him retiring anytime soon.

Strange as it is to have my identity tied to a microphone, I dont know what in the world Id do, he says. I guess Id play golf and fish and pick some games, but I do all that now. I am what I am.

That, you can take to the bank. Richie Whitt

The final resting place of notorious outlaw Clyde Barrow and his brother Buck is located just west of downtown on Fort Worth Avenue, mere minutes away from the glittering, soulless faades of the New Dallas (cough, cough, W Hotel, cough, cough). Sure, Old Clyde wasn't the best behaved of fellows, but living in this town you have to admit that our outlaws--Barrow, Oswald, Ruby and the like--are some of the most fascinating characters Dallas ever produced, morals or not. After Clyde was killed in Louisiana (alongside his beloved Bonnie Parker) in a ruthless law enforcement ambush, his body attracted hundreds of curious Dallasites, both before (his remains were displayed in the Belo Mansion, which at the time housed the Sparkman Funeral Home) and after burial. Access to the cemetery is extremely limited, and the neighborhood is notoriously sketchy (though the Belmont Hotel might change that), so we wouldn't suggest visiting old Clyde without permission. Just knowing he's there is good enough for us.
When it comes to catfish, we're a picky bunch. Sure, anyone can batter up some fish and throw it in a fryer, but not everyone can make it taste good. Thankfully, the boys at Hook, Line & Sinker know exactly what they're doing. Served in the customary basket-and-paper set-up, their catfish is a dish to behold--never too greasy, always perfectly battered and cheap, cheap, cheap. You can get it to go, but it tastes so much better when enjoyed on one of their outdoor tables, where you can admire the kitschy collection of boat engines out front and make hungry drivers on Lemmon Avenue salivate with envy.
Hard to argue against Avery Johnson pushing the Mavericks to the brink of the NBA Championship or McKinney's Hank Haney re-sculpting a swing that allowed Tiger Woods to win four straight tournaments over the summer, but here goes. Over the last four years Southlake Carroll High School's football team has two mythical National Championships, a 63-1 record, a 32-game winning streak and Todd Dodge as its head coach. While we're being brainwashed by Bill Parcells' mind games and monotone game plans, Dodge is suddenly the most creative and productive offensive football mind this side of Texas Tech's Mike Leach. Since arriving in Southlake in 2000, Dodge is 82-11, and his Dragons have won three of the last four state championships, the only loss by one point in the '03 title game. Last year's team set a Texas Class 5A record with 764 points. This year's edition should again be fun to watch and impossible to beat. Argument over, we win.
Kids these days. Always listening to that goldurned rap music. Drinking their mojitos and wearing them dee-signer jeans. Getting "crunk." Back in our day, there weren't no "crunk." There was two-steppin' and Wranglers and ice-cold Lone Star. That's why we like Cowboys Red River. You could call an over-decorated, under-air-conditioned room filled with 20-somethings rubbing together butt-to-crotch a dance club. But you'd be wrong, pardner. You'd do better to call a place where people go to dance a dance club. Cowboys Dance Hall is just such a place. There's just nothing like a giant warehouse with an expansive, round dance floor and a live honky-tonk band to get our boot heels a-tappin'. We'll go round and round with the "Cotton-Eyed Joe" or wow our lady friend with a mean schottische. Then, we'll do her right and buy her a beer and a shot o' whiskey from the bar. After that she'll be ready for a go on Cowboys' mechanical bull. And then, if we're lucky, a ride of a different kind. You know how the saying goes, right? Save a horse...

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