Tow to tangle: Buzz would like to offer the following advice to former DART board member and current Dallas Councilwoman Maxine Thornton-Reese: Next time, take the bus; it's better for your blood pressure.

Our counsel comes after learning that Thornton-Reese was "livid"--her word--because her car was towed while attending a VIP picnic at the State Fair of Texas. "Major, volcanic hissy fit" is another way to describe her reaction, according to rumor.

Thornton-Reese's purported hissiness came after fair organizers threw a "family picnic" for members of Dallas and Fort Worth city councils and the Dallas park board earlier this month. In addition to free admission, city council members are given choice parking spots at the fair--provided they can find them. Thornton-Reese apparently couldn't. She entered the wrong gate, a fair spokeswoman says, and parked in an unauthorized space after getting the OK from an attendant. (We tried to reach the councilwoman for comment. No luck.)

Now, Buzz can understand how even Thornton-Reese, who holds a doctorate in education, could get confused in the traffic and maze of streets around the fairgrounds. But what sort of fool takes the word of a parking attendant on anything? She was, of course, towed. This, apparently, was a disaster.

Oh, the humanity.

"My family and I enjoyed the picnic because there was much fun, food, and fellowship. However, my evening ended in disaster because my car was towed. I am livid because of this incident," Thornton-Reese wrote in a letter to fair President Errol McKoy. It's good to know that something can get her juices flowing. As near as Buzz can tell, she hasn't shown this much energy since she joined in an effort last year to punish the city auditor for issuing a report unfavorable to a political crony.

"I feel this incident was uncalled for and embarrassing to me and my family," Thornton-Reese wrote. "I hope this situation never happens to any other individual or Councilmember again."

Nancy Wiley, vice president of public relations for the fair, says McKoy apologized to Thornton-Reese, whose car was simply moved to another parking lot on the fairgrounds at no cost to her. (That's fair policy for everyone who parks illegally.) Still, Wiley says, "We try not to invite people to special events and tow their cars."

So that's good news, Buzz supposes. We'd hate to think that directionally challenged city council members might have to rough it with us plebeians. They might have to subject themselves to Buzz's trip to the fair this week, which included a 30-mile trek with our family--and roughly 9 billion other people--through a driving rainstorm to find our car on an "official" parking lot, plus an hour's wait in traffic to get off it.

Why, if very important people like Thornton-Reese weren't allowed to park wherever they damned well pleased, they might get wet too.

That would be a disaster.

Ho-ho-ho: Ordinarily, Buzz opposes even mentioning Christmas until around December 23, but we couldn't help offering this shopping tip for those of you who might have any incontinent winos, taggers, or Sharon Boyd on your gift list.

If you act now, you could be the proud possessor of a limited-edition miniature lead cast of the Henry Moore "vertebrae" sculpture that sits in front of City Hall. It's available on eBay, or, at least, it was. Bidding closed this week, and no one made an offer, though the owner's e-mail address is still posted.

It's a steal at the offering price of $11,000; that's $389,000 less than the amount the city and donors paid four years ago to restore the original, which had become a canvas for graffiti and an open-air urinal. For roughly 1/36th of that amount, you could have your very own Moore to whiz on in the privacy of your own home, allowing you to simulate doing what so many--and especially Boyd--dream of: taking a leak on some small part of City Hall.

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Patrick Williams is editor-in-chief of the Dallas Observer.
Contact: Patrick Williams

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