The Year of Living Anxiously

Are We Having Fun Yet? Or is it just the jangly buzz of advanced urban stress syndrome?

An Arizona law school refused to grant a diploma to parolee Michael Lee Davis, who participated in the notorious 1979 murders of Houston's Wanstrath family, on the grounds that he failed to disclose he had attended South Texas College of Law years before.

Guess What He Has On His Powerbook
An attorney who kept a log of droning laser-printer noises he heard accused state District Judge Scott Brister of using his computer and printer to prepare campaign literature while he presided over a trial. Asked a day later if he had been working on his campaign while on the bench, Brister claimed not to remember.

But He Granted The "Motion To Exclude Mean Adult"
Attorney Norman Riedmuller, annoyed by the presence of opposing counsel's four-month-old, breast-fed baby during a deposition, made a "Motion to Exclude Gurgling Infant" that was denied by the judge, who said, "I wasn't going to rule against the child having breakfast."

DEPARTMENT OF LAST LAUGHS

Guaranteed to have a happy New Year:
* Warren Moon, who had the quiet pleasure of watching the playoff-caliber football team from which he was so unceremoniously dumped slide straight into the cellar. What made it even sweeter was that his new team, the Minnesota Vikings, won its division.

* Exiled coach Buddy Ryan, whose new team, the Arizona Cardinals, whomped the hapless Oilers 30-12; afterward, Ryan took a few more shots at the run-and-shoot offense he loves to hate and called the Oilers "a team that never had any discipline."

* Wayne Dolcefino, who, though reviled by many, sued by a few and considered the scariest face on local TV, wound up winning a regional Emmy.

* Socialites Snubbed By Nicola Bulgari during his Houston visit, who savored a recent New York magazine expose of allegations that the tony jeweler overcharged assorted celebrities for their gems.

In the spirit of Bob Lanier -- whose sacred mayoral mantra is "Just look at the math" -- we invite you to match the numbers of '94 with the people, places and things that spawned them. (Answers upside-down below)

____1. Number of Jehovah's Witnesses who scrubbed the Astrodome clean for the Astros' opening day.

___2. Pennzoil's nasty-surprise, IRS-adjusted tax bill for its megabucks lawsuit settlement from Texaco.

___3. Weight of the Greco-Roman frieze looming above the hottest tables at the hot new Anthony's restaurant.

___ 4. Estate-tax dollars Houston oilman John W. Mecom finally had to fork over to keep the IRS from entering his mother's River Oaks mansion and seizing her furniture.

___ 5. Dollars coughed up per vote by Gene Fontenot, the conspicuously Christian doc who poured more than $2.1 million of his own money on his futile congressional campaign.

___ 6. Bucks paid by businessman Mike Anzilotti for the one-month residential electric charges that won him "highest bill" honors in a local contest.

___ 7. Parking-fine dollars paid by state District Judge (and City Council hopeful) John W. Peavy Jr. after word leaked that he had 47 tickets outstanding on three cars.

___ 8. Number of wayward industrial barrels recovered from the San Jacinto River after October's great flood.

a.542,366
b.50
c.3,528
d.950
e.1,200
f.956,500,000
g.3,000
h.2,170

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