By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
The stadium in Milwaukee was filled with Cubs fans. It would have been filled with more of them, but there wasn't time to schedule enough workers to open the upper deck.
How bad was this decision? There are few people whom Houston Chronicle columnist Richard Justice loves more than Drayton McLane or (especially) Bud Selig. Maybe his wife and kids, maybe not.
But even Justice was appalled:
"Neutral field? Are you kidding me? There's ridiculous and more ridiculous and whatever this was supposed to be.
"Commissioner Bud Selig should be embarrassed to have thrown a team in the thick of the playoff contention into this situation. If the Astros miss the playoffs by a game, remember this one.
"Drayton McLane shouldn't be given a pass, either. He refused to believe predictions that a monstrous storm was headed for Houston. He wanted those three home games against the Chicago Cubs so badly that his judgment was clouded."
"His judgment was clouded" is, in terms of Justice criticizing a local franchise owner, about the equivalent of him calling McLane a child-raping, murdering pornographer.
Most of Houston didn't really catch all this, of course, what with being without electricity and trying to secure ice, gas and food. Whether the Astros lost the home-field advantage in a series they no doubt were going to choke away anyway wasn't exactly on top of anyone's priority list at the time.
But just think — we were deprived of the chance to see every network in the world rhapsodize about how the Astros, had they won that series and kept winning, were rejuvenating the spirits of a battered, but not beaten, Houston area that was seeing its spirits lifted by these scrappy, magnificent men in their brick-red uniforms.
On second thought, Drayton, thanks. We might have wished our power had stayed out for another two weeks if all that had come true.
Ike was a high-pressure situation for the public officials who were in charge of dealing with it. Some thrived under the pressure; some didn't.
Perhaps the most famous incident involving politicians concerned Mayor Bill White. He released a few F-bombs at some workers from the Georgia Forestry Commission (don't ask) when he felt trucks weren't being dispatched fast enough to needy areas.
It wasn't a big deal, until Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue complained to fellow Republican Governor Rick Perry. Perry, knowing that White possibly has designs on the Governor's Mansion, unctuously apologized to Perdue for the apparently unheard-of horror of an F-bomb.
Some White critics said he only let loose with the barrage because the employees were female; although we're not the hugest fans of Bill White, we somehow don't see him bullying women and then Uriah Heep-ly asking male truck drivers to please, at their earliest convenience, if it's not too much trouble, maybe they could possibly move their supplies.
White ended up getting great press out of the deal; Perry ended up with a reputation for prissiness (partisan prissiness, no less). But it did open a new gig for the governor; he's now a noted authority on etiquette, as these excerpts from his syndicated column show.
Dear Governor Manners: I'm the mayor of a town that was recently pummeled by a hurricane. Whilst tending to my mayoral duties, I noticed that people were standing in line for hours in 95-degree heat to get basic necessities that should have been delivered earlier. What should I have done?
Dear Mayor Black: One is often frustrated when one believes that a bureaucracy is perhaps not moving with as much alacrity as one would like at a time of crisis. The proper way to deal with this is to ask who is in charge, wait 45 minutes for an answer, discover that the person you've been told is in charge is not actually in charge, wait an additional 45 minutes to be told who the correct person is, wait for that person to get off a break and then politely inform him or her that several additional police units will be required to handle the riot that's broken out because people have reached their breaking point. Remember, those who sully with profanity the tongue the Lord gave them are doomed to suffer. Suffer such things as riots, for instance.
Dear Governor Manners: Some might say, "Take a chill, B." But fuck that shit, there's a nigga trying to kill me...I'm staring at the woman on the corner — It's fucked up when your mind is playing tricks on you.
Dear Geto B: I'm sure it is, but that's no reason to resort to profanity.
Dear Governor Manners: I have just been interviewed by a guy who, politely and humorously, ever so slightly implied that I didn't quite answer the questions he asked as directly as I might have. What should I do?
No Need To Be Offended Interviewee
Dear NNTBOI: "Adios, MoFo!" is always a good, classy way to indicate that the smallest imaginable "offense" has really gotten under your skin.
Dear Governor Manners: I have been trying for years to get my hair to stay in place. I notice that yours is absolutely perfect all the time. I'm dying to find out — what is it you use? Shellac? Varnish? Enough Aqua Net to burn a Texas-sized hole in the ozone? Please help. Unfortunately, my schedule does not permit me to spend 90 minutes a day on my hair like you, so any shortcuts would also be appreciated.