For Sale: the Remains of Burt Reynolds's Career, Plus: An Odd Couple of Entrepreneurs

Highlights from the Blog at HOUSTONPRESS.COM

Crime

From Hookers to Nannies
"Houston's Heidi Fleiss"
has a new gig

For years, Debbie Turbiville allegedly made a living knowing how to recruit prostitutes — or at least that's how the woman referred to as "Houston's Heidi Fleiss" has been painted ever since police shut down her so-called high-class hooker ring.

But recruiting is recruiting is recruiting — the skill set required to find a gal capable of floating a good hummer is the same as finding a nanny for your toddler, or a home-care worker for your grandma.

And that's Turbiville's line of work now — she's recruiting nannies through her new business, The Home Angels.

"As a mom and someone who...had to find child care at different stages, I...understand how difficult it is for people to find child care, especially going through the agencies," Turbiville told Hair Balls. (She really did. This is no spoof.) "It can be quite expensive. It's basically a service to working moms that I can provide relatively quickly and very cheaply [to] help them in locating reliable and responsible health care. And it's something I can do from home since I don't have a car anymore."

When Hair Balls asked if she anticipates any trouble from parents skeptical that a woman accused of running a house of ill repute has any business finding nannies, Turbiville said, "I think if that's an issue, then obviously....As far as I'm concerned, it's just a service I can offer to families. And if that's an issue for them, that's fine."

Hair Balls appreciates Turbiville's candor. Although she referred us to her attorney for a question about whether a date has been set for her pending trial, she was completely up-front about the services she's trying to provide.

We also appreciate the fact that there is apparently a strict screening process. Per Turbiville's ads on backpage.com and Craigslist, "All of our contractors are throughly vetted and have passed a background and drug test."

We assume any other "special arrangements" you want to have with your nanny can be worked out in private. And by "special arrangements," we mean sex. Because she's accused of running a brothel. Where women had sex for money.

Just so we're clear.

Craig Malisow

Spaced City
Even Burt Reynolds in That Black Trans Am
Own a piece of dubious movie semi-history

Houston is once again proudly claiming its mantle for all things classy. For it is here — not in Paris, not in Monaco or Palm Springs — where Burt Reynolds's legendary Bandit will be auctioned off next month.

What is the Bandit, you ask, obviously putting down your dog-eared copy of À la Recherche du Temps Perdu to do so?

It is a replica custom-made for Reynolds of the Trans Am immortalized — and one does not use that word lightly — in his epic Smokey and the Bandit.

The car will be sold at the Houston Classic Auction May 2, at the Lakewood Yacht Club.

In the glovebox you will find the remains of Reynolds's career, we're told, although we might be misinformed on that matter.

But here are some other items that, if they are not included with the car, damn well should be:

1. The alternative lyrics to Jerry Reed's song from the film, "Eastbound and Down," best known for its "We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there" line. The line in the song that now says "The boys are thirsty in Atlanta and there's beer in Texarkana, and we'll bring it back no matter what it takes" was originally "Your faith was strong but you needed proof; you saw her bathing on the roof. Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you." He later gave the lyrics to Leonard Cohen, who used them in "Hallelujah."

2. A well-thumbed copy of Stanislavksi's My Life in Art, in which the creator of the Method school of acting discusses his philosophy. The sections Jackie Gleason used to develop his Buford T. Justice character are heavily notated.

3. A case of Aqua Net, somehow still left over from Sally Field's hair-prep sessions.

4. Pictures of Norm Macdonald doing his killer Burt Reynolds impression, with bullet holes in them.

5. Outtakes. Lots of outtakes. Because we've got this movie to thank for years and years of shots of actors breaking up as they're trying to deliver their lines. The "Special Edition DVD" industry would be nowhere without Burt.

Richard Connelly

Spaced City
A Gift That Keeps Giving
A husband's strange gift to his wife

After more than 40 years of marriage, there are few gifts a husband hasn't already givenhis wife. But local man Shelly Neider has managed to find one.

"One year ago Shelly Neider of Houston wanted to give his high school sweetheart and wife of over 40 years a gift to express his love," Becky Lewis of Danielides Communications, Inc. in New York writes in what has to be one of the best press releases ever sent to Hair Balls. "Over the course of their lives together he had purchased enough jewelry, chocolates, clothing, and flowers to last her a lifetime. Mr. Neider needed to find a gift as meaningful as the years he had spent with his wife."

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