By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
Once again Nooky's Erotic Bakery -- without a doubt the finest place in Fort Bend County to purchase a dick-shaped cake -- is finding itself in the crosshairs.
This time it's their reprehensible decision to actually put up a billboard advertising their store. A billboard with no pictures, and nothing racier than the words "naughty" and "erotic" on it.
This appalling move set off resident Larry Pullen, who promptly launched an e-mail blast that has swept the city.
"This will markedly hurt our property values and contribute to prurient behavior," wrote Pullen, who didn't return our phone calls. What kind of behavior? "Curious children with access to the Internet may very well visit [the store's] website," he writes.
While we're not quite sure every young man in Sugar Land with a computer will bypass all the free hard-core porn on the Web in order to ogle some baked goods, Pullen demanded action from County Commissioner Andy Meyers.
Meyers has led the county's efforts to curb sexually oriented businesses, and he e-mailed Pullen back to assure him that he's doing all he can.
"I sought to have [Nooky's] closed...The County Attorney's office claims that the 'primary' business of the erotic bakery is food, not sexual titillation," Meyers wrote. "I still disagree with that interpretation."
(In Meyers's world, a bachelorette party's cock-shaped cake saying "Wishing You Much Hap-Penis" is not only titillating, but not meant to be eaten.)
Meyers's e-mail, which was published in the Fort Bend Sun, also noted "the only thing my complaints accomplished is the bakery frosted its windows so kids walking by could not see the images on the cakes, etc."
Which was news to Nooky's co-owner Jackie Spears. "Our windows were frosted by our own decision long before we ever opened because we thought that was the prudent thing to do," she says. "He's taking credit for our good judgment on that and making it seem to his constituents that he's taking action against us."
Meyers admits the bakery frosted its windows "on their own" and says...well, he basically says he wouldn't have made his claim if he had known someone other than Pullen was going to read it.
"Had I known he was going to put it in the paper, I would've rewritten it and made it a little more clear," he says.
In war, truth is the first casualty. Even in a war over boobie cakes.
Another Adickes Attack
Houston sculptor David Adickes, who has given the world a giant Sam Houston, a giant George Bush and a giant telephone, has a new piece of art on display.
It's a woman's head. (Giant, of course.) Sitting next to the light-rail line at Leeland and Main, the sculpture graces an abandoned drive-in bank now used as a parking lot.
The critics at the Houston Architecture Forum are, it's safe to say, not impressed.
The discussion boards at its Web site have an official name for the piece: "Big Head on Main Street." The general feel of the online conversation might be indicated by the fact that it includes pictures of The Simpsons' Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel.
"In fairness, I just got a glimpse of the thing, but got the impression that it was the sort of sculpture one might buy at the airport as a last-minute gift, but on a grander scale," one poster wrote.
"It's The Corpse Bride! Yikes!!" wrote another, obviously more a fan of Tim Burton than of Adickes.
After the Houston Chronicle quoted passersby calling it "gorgeous" and "peaceful," a poster wrote, "That's not what the dude standing next to me at lunchtime said. 'What the f*ck is that' were his remarks...He thought it was a monument to drive-in banking."
The perennially misunderstood Adickes could not be reached for comment, but then again we weren't using a giant phone.
Lick It Good
Lick It Good
A mere five years after his company went south, Ken Lay finally took to the witness stand and testified about Enron. Which, as it turns out, was one helluva company in terrific shape until the liberal media started writing nasty, untrue stuff about it, according to Ken.
The prospect of seeing Lay being cross-examined was too much for one Houstonian who worked at Enron back in the day and knew the energy traders. She still works in the industry and therefore didn't want her name used, but she offered a report we hadn't seen elsewhere.
Namely, Lay has one freaking huge tongue. A huge tongue that he incessantly swiped across his mug whenever the questions got a little tough, which was often.
Sitting in the media overflow room watching a closed-circuit broadcast, she became mesmerized, eagerly anticipating the next appearance of the wet, pink, flapping organ.
"We saw every pore of that thing," she says. "I've been on the ranch and I've seen cows with better manners." And smaller tongues, apparently.
If you're thinking the overflow room is a glamorous gig, think again. Bleary-eyed after weeks upon weeks of tedious testimony, the veterans there are a gaggle of coughing, pale hostages who guard their personal territory like some POW in the Hanoi Hilton.
Our correspondent found a seat next to someone who chomped loudly away on a bag of tortilla chips. Nearby someone else was snoring. (Even the chance of seeing The Big Tongue wasn't enough to keep him awake.)
And in case you're wondering who's the Best Dressed Reporter, it's no contest -- the winner is clearly Bethany McLean, co-author of The Smartest Guys in the Room.
"She's worn a different outfit every day and they're all amazing," one trial veteran said.
The room is open to the public, but you better hurry. The trial is expected to wrap up sometime this decade.
Hasbro, the makers of Monopoly, have announced a new version of the game that will feature locations from 20 U.S. cities, including Houston.
As part of its promotional effort, the company is asking Houstonians to pick one of three "landmarks" to be used in the game. And by doing so, they've exposed just how lame a tourist destination Houston is.
One of the choices offered is obvious: NASA's Johnson Space Center. The others? "Kemah Boardwalk" or "Museum District."
Has anyone outside the Houston area ever heard of the Kemah Boardwalk, much less wanted to go there? We're just surprised Tilman Fertitta didn't figure out a way for the Monopoly folks to put an ad on there for Joe's Crab Shack.
If you're going to put Houston on a Monopoly board ó and not just those cheap knock-off versions that go unsold in bookstores ó you have to do it right. Click here to play!