Can It

To avoid any unnecessary angry letters that even vaguely anti-hunting comments tend to stir up in this state, allow us to say this up front: Buzz doesn't hunt. We find it distasteful.

Whoa there, big fella, put down that pen. We said distasteful--as in not our cup of tea--not immoral. We don't like the taste of coconut either, but feel free to eat macaroons till you bust. We won't judge you, you deviant. Same goes for hunting.

But say you are a hunter; let Buzz ask you this: How proud are you of the fact that Texas is No. 1 on the list of the 10 states with "the cruelest canned hunts," according to The Fund for Animals? Heidi Prescott, national director of the animal protection group, says the state weighs in with 247 game and exotic animal "ranches," many of which allow "hunters" to shoot game animals, some of them imported species, in relatively confined spaces for a fee. The next state on the list, Michigan, has 20, according to the fund's database, which Prescott says may not include every venue.

Go, Texas, go.

The ranches in Texas range in size from 100,000 acres to less than 500 acres, Prescott says. Some are fenced. Some of the pay-for-kill hunts more closely resemble summary executions. Some of the non-native species raised for hunting harbor disease.

In the interest of fairness, Buzz supposes we should track down some representatives of the industry, but we're just not that interested in being fair here. Neither, apparently, are the canned hunters.

Prescott notes that she often finds that hunters--the good kind, presumably who give animals a sporting chance, support conservation, etc.--are on the same side on the issue.

"Most of the hunters I talk to don't like canned hunts," Prescott says, then adds, "but someone's going to them."

Yankees, no doubt. Damn Yankees.

Running on full: Has our former mayor, Ron Kirk, put on a few pounds on the Senate campaign trail? Do you like that breezy, gossip-columny use of a question to raise a catty point, even if we don't know the answer? It's a cheap device for an equally cheap shot; nevertheless, a Dallas Observer staff member saw Kirk at Love Field recently and reports that he appeared to be carrying a gut.

Buzz called Kirk political consultant Carol Reed to try to get the scoop. (No fooling. We actually did that. Lord, someday Buzz has to get some pride.) Reed, frittering away her time helping get the man elected to the U.S. Senate, said she hadn't really noticed whether Kirk has put on some pounds. Maybe. Maybe not.

In any event, Buzz, a recovering fatty ourselves, has some advice for Kirk to help him maintain--or regain--his usual natty form: Remember, Ron, just because the food at a fund-raiser costs $10,000 a plate, that doesn't mean you have to eat it all. Oh, and watch yourself around that Big Mac-munching Clinton fellow. You wouldn't want to pick up any bad habits.

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