It was a nice gesture. DISD board members, who've come under fire in the past for their supposedly excessive travel at district expense, received rather handsome green travel bags from the Dallas Rotary Club at a luncheon last week in Union Station.
When Don Venable got home, he dug inside his bag to survey the goodies. There was a set of bed sheets, a "very nice terry-cloth bathrobe," a toothbrush and toothpaste ("I already own a toothbrush," Venable assured Buzz), a YWCA pass, and a pen and note pad.
But it was Venable's wife who found something else: six Trojan-Enz condoms tucked in a front pocket.
Venable was struck by the "totality of everything that was there," particularly the combination of the bed sheets, the YWCA pass, the condoms, and the "pen and note pad to take notes."
"My first gift as a public servant--a half-dozen Trojans," Venable said. "Do I have to report that on my election report?"
Well, yeah--now that you have one. (Venable recently turned in his past-due campaign finance reports, according to DISD board secretary Bob Johnston.)
When Buzz contacted Dallas Rotary Club president Howard Matson, he expressed shock that Venable's bag contained condoms. "I didn't know they were in there--absolutely not," Matson said. When he looked into the matter, he found out that the condoms were part of a packet donated by a medical supply company. Rotary Club members were supposed to remove the condoms from the packets--but apparently missed Venable's travel bag.
"We are really embarrassed," Matson said.
Venable, however, appears immune to embarrassment. "I haven't been on a board travel trip yet, but maybe this is something I should look into," he said. "Darn--they're not even extra large."
Just call us Heloise
Several weeks ago, we told readers about a sign near a house north of LBJ Expressway on Hillcrest Avenue that said, "Honk if you believe Paula." Then someone promptly took it down. Not to worry, another sign has appeared in the same place. This time, it's "Honk if you believe Monica."
Here's a money-saving suggestion for the anonymous sign painter: Get a sign with removable letters. Given President Clinton's alleged zipper impairment, you could save a bundle.
Does Flip Wilson know about this?
There's nothing like a stretch in the pen to get one thinking about the metaphysical. So Buzz wasn't surprised to see in The Dallas Morning News that former DISD Superintendent Yvonne Gonzalez was blaming "the forces of evil" for her downfall. "I've stared down into the eyes of the devil, and I'm still standing," Gonzalez said.
(Gonzalez apparently drives a lousy bargain. Faust sold his soul for knowledge and power. Gonzalez swapped hers for a bedroom suite.)
But we sympathize. We know how strong the Evil One can be when it comes to influencing retail decisions. Buzz once purchased a milk-chocolate-brown leisure suit with matching paisley shirt.
--Compiled from staff reports by Patrick Williams