Torts for tots
If you've heard any of Windle Turley's recent radio ads, you know there's more than one jolly geezer in a bad suit loose this holiday season. Famous plaintiff's attorney Windle and his litigator elves are using the airwaves to offer advice to anxious moms and dads about potentially unsafe Christmas toys. Windle, in soft-sell radio spots that could be confused with holiday public service announcements, invites parents to call if they have any questions or concerns.

The Turley gang also is available, of course, to talk liability should little Brittany inadvertently become the entree in her new Easy Bake Oven, or an overly enthusiastic Austin manage to insert a Lego into his sinus cavity.

We can see it now. "Good God!--what kind of a negligent monster is Santa Claus Inc.?" (And--more to the point--with all that North Pole real estate, he's got to have very deep pockets in those crimson pants.) At the very least, Turley will own a third of Comet, Cupid, Blitzen, et al.

But Windle's compassion doesn't stop with just watching out for the tots on Christmas and Hanukkah; he's there for those adult (more or less) holiday revelers, too. In another radio spot, a caring Windle advises hosts not to let their friends and loved ones get bombed and drive home. And, if hosts--or abruptly hospitalized guests--have any questions about liability, they know right where to find the answers.

And remember, with Windle Turley, it's OK to cry and pout--even better to moan and limp.

Excuse us running dogs
Chambers of commerce are, of course, boosterish business groups that not only are incapable of seeing flaws or problems in their fair cities, but do their damnedest to make sure no one else does either.

Which means they are organizations to which self-respecting journalists give a wide berth. So it was with some bafflement that Buzz pondered the agenda for the Greater Dallas Chamber's annual Leadership Dallas program. The monthly seminar series' purpose is "increasing the leadership pool for present and future community activities" and "overall training in community responsibility." What the Khmer Rouge used to call "reeducation."

So, you can imagine our surprise when we saw among the "Class of 1996-1997" indoctrinees--which includes the usual real estate executives, retailers, and bankers--none other than The Dallas Morning News' deputy managing editor, Gilbert Bailon. Gil apparently wants to be a part of the chamber's infallible vision of excellence and the city's coming sphere of prosperity through correct thinking.

This month's day-long session was devoted to government and politics, and the chamber comrades were treated to a special learning experience with a panel discussion that included columnist and political consultant Rufus Shaw, PR wiz Carol Reed, and Observer columnist Laura Miller. Not surprisingly, the panelists touched on the too-often incestuous nature of the DMN's coverage of local business and politics.

Even less surprisingly, deputy M.E. Bailon, who attends and participates in the leadership sessions religiously, was nowhere to be found.

--Glen Warchol