Where are those Plexiglas barriers when you need them?
Bentley Nettles, a primary candidate for Fort Bend county attorney, sent out fliers accusing incumbent "Bud" Childers of disrobing to his underwear in front of 250 people -- an episode that occurred as part of a live auction-style show at which Childers sold off his tennis shoes, warm-up suit, Olympic shorts and Special Olympics T-shirt to benefit the Richmond State School.

Bentley Nettles went home in a huff
At the University of Houston's "Great Conversations" benefit, the table assigned to discuss lesbian feminist Camille Paglia was arrayed with jockey shorts and bikini panties as place mats. Some guests wore the underwear as party hats.

Vernon Maxwell had been giving him pointers
Former Houston Rocket Sam Cassell was no-billed by a grand jury after a woman alleged she was forced to have sex with him at a Fort Bend County party.

We have a floral delivery for you from a Mr. Bobbitt
Patricia Lopez was charged with aggravated assault for nearly slicing off her estranged husband's penis with a knife while she performed oral sex on the blindfolded man.

We Are What We Eat

And they made everyone swear not to season with dry rub
During the spring drought, wildfire-minded state foresters asked participants in the Montgomery County Barbecue Cook-off not to haul their lit pits to and from the fairgrounds.

The passengers were extra cheesed
Smoke from an overcooked pizza forced a Boston-bound Continental jet to return to Houston.

They were determined to get lit
A bar patron unsuccessfully sued the Club Crystal after he got first- and second-degree burns from a flaming "La Cucaracha" cocktail, a mixture of creme de menthe, tequila and rum that he and his friends ignited themselves.

It'll be called the Ken Hoffman 12-Step Program
Gary Canion, a concerned citizen, wrote the Chronicle suggesting that the government should initiate counseling for people addicted to such fat- and sodium-besotted fast foods as burgers and French fries.

But River Oaks socialites figured their straws made them immune
A Toxic Tea scare gripped the city after Channel 13 reported that half of restaurant iced-tea samples contained fecal coliform bacteria.

Recidivism plummeted
State officials disclosed that Andy Collins, the former prison system chief implicated in the VitaPro scandal, had ordered prison menus rewritten to provide VitaPro's dehydrated soy protein once a day.

Up next: the lo-cal forecast
To illustrate how hot it was, Channel 2 weatherman Frank Billingsley heated a Lean Cuisine on the hood of his car.

And you should see his refried beans
A cook from Leipzig, Germany, in Houston to train for the new Ninfa's scheduled to open there, conceded that "the hardest thing to learn has been the tortillas. My tortillas are German tortillas. They are square."

Those German tortillas are sounding better all the time
High levels of the carcinogen aflatoxin, a drought-induced fungus, were found in most of the corn harvested along the Texas Gulf Coast.

John O'Quinn cried for days
Houstonians in droves quit eating strawberries when they were suspected in an outbreak of cyclospora, a virulent parasitic disease; after suspicion shifted to raspberries and then to causes unknown, California strawberry growers promised they wouldn't sue Houston health authorities under the Texas "veggie libel law."

Absolutely no polynomials allowed
During a bias suit brought by minorities against the ubiquitous Pappas restaurant chain, workers said that the image-obsessed company required employees to wear starched, 100 percent cotton shirts and memorize the list of ingredients and cooking times for every dish.

Deep Thots

Fortunately she avoided the colon
Lynn Wyatt on the anatomical exhibits in the Museum of Health & Medical Science's Amazing Body Pavilion: "I want to hang out with all those brain neurons. Maybe something will rub off."

The King said, "Go home"
Magician Paul Driscoll on a power blackout at Magic Island, just as he began his Elvis Presley routine: "It was like Elvis was telling me something."

Eckhard is working on it
Carolyn Farb on celebrating the millennial New Year's Eve 1999: "Who knows? Maybe we'll spend it on the moon. With virtual reality, we could be in some computerized fantasy that has yet to be revealed."

Hell, Doug Johnson does that
Nayland Blake, a San Francisco artist who makes bunny sculptures of chocolate and strychnine, and his CAM all-bunny show: "What is Bugs Bunny actually doing. He's dressing in women's clothes ... he flouts convention .... The reason why everyone accepts that from that character is because it's a rabbit, and that's partially what's going on with the exhibit."

Katha Pollitt sent her regrets
KLOL DJ Jim Pruett, after Montgomery County rejected his charity biker rally for fear of nudity: "This is the 1990s, and women in the '90s do take off their tops at times."

Good thing, because Wayne promised him anonymity
Channel 13 attorney Chip Babcock on the source for Wayne Dolcefino's disputed Sylvester Turner scam story: "It probably doesn't matter if the devil himself gave Wayne that story."

Dallas explained
Lisa Loeb, speaking before her first Houston concert: "I was raised in
Dallas, so my first instinct is not to discuss my rage and pain, but just to say, 'Hi, how are you?' "

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