Do you know the Muffin Man?
Audiences who attend radio station-sponsored film screenings wait in line for hours to pick up the free passes, figuring they'll get more than a movie in return: a hyped-up crowd and, if they luck out, tie-in gewgaws.

But when KEGL disc jockey Russ Martin introduced an Eagle-sponsored showing of Mad Love at the AMC Grand on May 23, viewers got a real bonus: a heapin' helpin' of nostalgia, Dallas-style. "We have a very special guest here with us tonight," Martin crowed, using his mike to point out a tall, thin, sixtyish gentleman. "I grew up watching him as a kid and so did a lot of folks here tonight...I'm talking about Jerry Haynes, a.k.a Mr. Peppermint! Stand up and take a bow! Awwwwwright!"

Haynes--who plays the straw boater-topped, pinstripe-suited, cane-toting kids' show host on WFAA Channel 8--stood up, smiling and waving, to tumultuous applause from the predominantly twentysomething crowd.

"This guy is a legend in broadcasting!" Martin continued, sounding genuinely awestruck. "He's been on TV for, like, 700 years or something [Actually, since 1961.]!"

Nevertheless, Martin couldn't pass up having a bit of fun at the pinstriped idol's expense.

"Hey, whose hand was that up in Muffin, anyway?" the disc jockey asked, referring to the TV legend's sidekick, a raccoon puppet with an adenoidal voice. "Okayyy, you know I'm just playin', Mr. Peppermint--I don't want you to send Muffin down here to kick my butt or anything!"

Later, Haynes (who is also the father of Butthole Surfer Gibby Haynes) confessed to being moved by all the attention--which seldom comes his way these days. "This is the first time something like this has happened to me. It's a little overwhelming."

High-caliber applicant
Texans itchin' to pack a heater under the new Texas concealed weapon law might want to take a lesson from a Farmers Branch woman who nearly drowned in red tape during her quest just to own a gun.

Six days after the woman (whom we won't identify) applied to purchase a handgun at a Plano gun shop in April, the Farmers Branch Police Department denied her application, based on misdemeanors she was charged with in 1975 when she was a juvenile. The woman was shocked to learn that a couple of youthful indiscretions could deprive her of the right to own a handgun after 20 years of being a law-abiding adult.

To whom can a wannabe gun owner with a Second Amendment problem turn?
Get serious. She contacted the National Rifle Association, which sent her to Dallas Attorney Joseph Barbknecht.

Barbknecht quickly enlightened the Farmers Branch Police Department. "As I understand, a juvenile record should be kept confidential and not affect adults," says Barbknecht, a former police officer. "And the police department finally figured that out."

Chastened, the department still made the woman go through the entire application process again.

She persevered, became a gun owner, and--surprise!--joined the NRA, albeit with a lukewarm endorsement: "The NRA couldn't help unless I was a member, so I joined.