Star fever
If your only sources of information are the Morning News' gossip columns, then bloated Hollywood character actor and part-time Dallas resident Gary Busey's spectacular May 5 drug overdose in Malibu, California, probably came as a huge surprise. While Busey has been a prime source of copy for inveterate press-release regurgitators Helen Bryant and Alan Peppard, who routinely edify readers with information about Busey's favorite area restaurants and watering holes, painting him as a cheerful, childlike omnivore, he's been quietly making another name for himself as a public nuisance.

At an advance screening of the new Meg Ryan comedy French Kiss just a week before his stomach-pumping odyssey, Busey showed up 15 minutes late to the screening, which had filled up completely a good half hour before. Upon being told that his trip was for naught, Busey pitched an embarrassing fit, hassling screening organizers until they convinced a bewildered moviegoer to give up his seat so that Busey could enjoy the show. He didn't see much of the movie, though; he kept noisily leaving every 20 minutes for the concession stand and returning with armloads of junk food. Was he possessed by the spirit of another burly overindulger he'd previously played onscreen, deceased coaching legend Bear Bryant? Or was he trying to cope with an artificially inflated case of the munchies?

Only Gary, who's recovering from his overdose, knows. And if we're lucky, he won't come back to Dallas to tell us.

Call it the Cow Patty Award
The luncheon invitation stated: "For decades, our guest of honor has helped bring tourists to Dallas. Last year, he started a stampede."

Stranger even than fiction, real estate baron Trammell Crow was honored last Wednesday at a fancy luncheon at his Anatole Hotel (you thought it would be at the Adolphus?) for dreaming up the idea of a bronze steer park in downtown Dallas. Never mind that the project bypassed the usual City Hall approval process and replaced a parking lot that was a $250,000-a-year revenue generator for the city. And never mind that it will cost taxpayers about $200,000 a year to wash and wax the metal cows. Such details were obviously of no interest to the 450 Dallas bigshots gathered in the Chantilly Ballroom to nibble on (no kidding) Pioneer Plaza Chocolate Trail Cake and bestow on Crow the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau 1995 Emery Award for bringing tourism to Dallas.

Parting shot
Curt Menefee was a little less than diplomatic last Friday when he signed off from his morning sports talk show on The Ticket (KTCK-1310). As he turned the mike over to the jockmeisters who follow him on the air, Menefee casually referred to his work as sportscaster on Channel 11 News at 9 p.m. "But no one watches it anyway," he quickly added. KTVT-Channel 11 station manager Brian Jones was not amused. "I'd rather not comment, there's nothing I can say," Jones said. As an afterthought, Jones added about Menefee: "It is common knowledge in the market that his contract is not being renewed.

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