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| Buzz |

Al Redux

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Al redux: A few new faces are walking around the Dallas Observer offices, as former staffers have left for new "opportunities" (rehab). Among the newcomers is right-hander Matt Pulle (3.72 ERA) brought over from Tennessee as a reporter. To acquaint Matt with the city, Buzz sent him over to last week's council meeting to check on what Al Lipscomb was up to.

OK, it was a hazing, but you gotta break in the newbies somehow, and the goat we usually make them kiss isn't allowed in our new soulless offices. Here's what our man saw:

"To a fresh political observer, the moment should have been rife with drama. Cloaked in a shiny gray suit, former council member and ex-con Al Lipscomb strode to the lectern during the open mike session. A few feet away sat his nemesis, Mayor Laura Miller, dressed in an all-beige get-up seemingly on loan from a Republican.

"But if anyone expected Lipscomb to deliver a forceful harangue against Miller, they came away befuddled. Lipscomb began his three-minute speech with an anecdote about a friend who was unable to obtain a list of board members from a city employee. Soon after, he talked ominously and earnestly of a strike. This reporter figured he meant a work stoppage of public employees. 'What sort of plan do we have?' he asked the indifferent, unresponsive council members.

"Lipscomb continued to ramble, making a reference out of the blue to Afghanistan, clueing this slow-minded scribe that he was talking about a terrorist strike. Oh. Lipscomb then returned to his friend who was snubbed by a City Hall employee, stuttering as he tried and failed to choose his words carefully. 'You treated him like...' he paused. 'A nigger farmhand.' Then he turned to Mayor Miller and scolded her, in an apparent reference to her latest push for a kinda, sorta strong mayor form of government.

"Miller occupied herself with a stack of papers by her side.

"Lipscomb kept talking, although failing to even accidentally make a cogent point. But when his time was up, you wanted him to continue so he could say something provocative--in the same way you might root for an aging singer to make it through a challenging number."

Note Matt's keen eye for both fashion and bizarro politics. The kid's gonna fit right in here.

At least until he heads off to rehab.

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