Foxworthy, a former IBM repairman, has not been spoiled by his Cinderella story. "I had always done this," Foxworthy says. "I just didn't know you could get paid for it. It sounds corny, but that first night I went up, two minutes into it I knew this was what I wanted to do." When his parents found out, he says, "We had to have the conversation -- 'Are you on drugs? What's wrong? We'll get you help, honey.' Which all changed the first time I was on The Tonight Show. Then Mother says, 'Lord, why did you waste all those years with IBM?' " Those years don't seem to have held him back. Since he quit IBM in 1985, he has gone from working clubs to selling out concerts, he's sold a million books, his recording is doing well on the country charts and he's got a TV deal. Which, of course, he thinks is just jim-dandy, but as he explains in his signature Georgia drawl, "If it goes it would be great. If it doesn't... When I started, all I wanted was to be on Johnny Carson. After that, the rest of this is gravy." Jeff Foxworthy will generously share all this. Reserved seating. Doors open at 7, Foxworthy goes on at 8. Bayou City Theatre, 6400 Richmond, 977-5495. $18.
Westheimer Colony Art Festival The best place to buy swamp-ivory jewelry. Swamp "ivory," according to Abbeville (Louisiana) artist Kathy Richard, is recycled alligator teeth. With every earring, necklace, pin and bolo, buyers get the numbers from the Louisiana hunter's license and alligator tag, so they need not fear that they're wearing illegally obtained animal parts. The festival, of course, has more than swamp goods: something like 300 artists and craftsfolk will be selling art of the wearable, useful and wall persuasions.
Proceeds from the festival benefit Lawndale Art and Performance Center, Texas Hearing and Service Dogs, the YMCA and the AIDS Foundation Houston. Saturday and today, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 1800 Main, 521-0133. $3.
Fidonet chat Electronic Frontiers Houston presents an afternoon with Tom Jennings, creator of the world's fastest-growing network of computer bulletin-board systems. Fidonet is a decade old now and has only one purpose: to allow BBS users to network their friendly social systems. No vast databases, unless you count the endless file directories of shareware and GIFs. No online information services, unless you count the endless postings from ordinary users. Fidonet links boards and their users in Eastern Europe, the former U.S.S.R., much of the Third World and
of course the U.S.A. If this is all geek to you, maybe you should go and find out how to have some real fun, cheaply, with your modem.
Jennings wants to educate the online public about Fidonet and such. (He also asks that we "mention somewhere that I am a fag anarchist nerd troublemaker activist.") Jennings doesn't jibe with any stereotype, and neither does his network. "Every BBS was completely different," he says, each one "run by a cantankerous person who ran their board the way they saw fit. Period. So Fidonet had to fit that environment." There is a possibility that Jennings will be autographing eight-by-ten glossies of Fidonet. 3 p.m. University of Houston-Downtown, room 1099-N, One Main Street, 661-1561. Free.
Copier art In one well-known Xerox, on Monday Snoopy is all but comatose. This days-of-the-week mood index probably hangs on at least one corkboard in every office building in Houston. There are
others -- the duck with a sledgehammer over his computer, captioned "Hit any key"; the ever-popular "You want it when!"; and so on. People have been playing with copiers since the machines were introduced. Some people, like Sandy Tramel, have gone beyond playing and started exploring the artistic possibilities. She does collages of medical illustrations and images from women's magazines of the '40s and '50s -- decoupage, as it were, with a color copier. This is the sort of art where, although the inspiration and execution may be beyond one's means, the supplies and technology
Sandy Tramel's untitled exhibition is on view at the Carnegie Regions Branch Library thru April 30. 1050 Quitman, 227-9177. Free.
Tin house fireside chat "Rain on a tin roof chats" might be more
apropos. Those of us who remember corrugated tin as housing material can't help but associate it with sounds ranging from the soothing patter of a light drizzle to the hellish life-inside-a-drum effects produced by violent storms. Recently, however, galvanized sheet iron has been used for designer homes -- not just for those out in the sticks. This trend, seen in Houston's West End, is the focus of the Rice Design Alliance's 17th annual architecture tour. As a prep for that adventure, the architects and owners of tin houses will participate in a chat covering the pros and cons
of dwelling in an industrial-looking building. 7:30 p.m. Rice Media Center, Rice University, entrance 8 off University, 524-6297. Free.
'90s reconstruction We of this decade can do just about anything with what we were born with -- pin ears back, bob noses, boost busts, nip and tuck and peel to, as one Dr. Scott A. Cohen puts it, "combat the signs of aging as well as correct some of nature's flaws." Cohen offers the suggestion that Mother Nature makes mistakes, and that they can be corrected. "More and more people," the doctor says, "are discovering that plastic surgery is a safe and viable alternative." After the excesses of some Jacksons, one little ol' cosmetic procedure doesn't seem all that extreme. The American Business Women's Association-Astrolite Chapter sponsors a seminar on options for the curious and the committed. Reservations recommended. 7:15 p.m. Guest Quarters Suite Hotel, 5353 Westheimer, 797-0085. Free.