Turkeys of the Year 2011

We combed through an abundance of riches this year to bring you the best of the worst

We look forward to the 2012 Houston Beer Fest, which we'll bet will be staffed by two people, on the vast treeless parking lot of Reliant Stadium, in the middle of August.

Given what happened at the first one, the two staffers will probably be all that's necessary.
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Turkey Weather:
The Drought

Rick Perry: There could be no other.
AP Photo/David J. Phillip
Rick Perry: There could be no other.
Even on his way out, Drayton McLane found one last way to screw Astro fans.
Marco Torres
Even on his way out, Drayton McLane found one last way to screw Astro fans.

We know, we know: We complain about the Houston weather when it rains too much, like with Tropical Storm Allison or Hurricane Ike.

It's been awhile since a significant drought has hit Houston, and it's been since time immemorial, it seems, that anything like the current drought inflicted itself on us.

We aren't suffering as bad as the state's farmers and ranchers, to be sure, but still there are effects.

Here are five:

5. You find yourself looking at Memorial Park and wondering what it will look like with half the trees.

One good windstorm, and the dead and dying trees of Houston will be toppling over like flies, assuming flies topple over like dead trees. We're not saying it's going to look like a WWI No Man's Land, but it will look different. And even without a windstorm, the city will be trying to cull out as many dead trees as possible.

4. You get pissed if some other neighborhood gets one of the rare "scattered showers."

"Fuck the Heights! They got an eighth of an inch last week!!! They're practically drowning out there!!"

3. You actually care about weather reports even when there isn't a hurricane in the Gulf.

Sign you're becoming drought-crazy: You follow the progress of one little greenish blob on the radar that looks like it could, with a little English and some luck, quite possibly get within spitting distance of your lawn. Don't bother: It won't.

2. You try to imagine making the cracks in your ceiling and by your door into an art project.

Call it "Je ne suis pas une foundation problem."

1. You start thinking Rick Perry's call to pray for rain wasn't really crazy after all.

This is when you have to take a deep, long look at yourself in the mirror. You can get through this. There's no need to go batshit crazy, like Rick Perry.
_____________________

Turkey Mayor:
Annise "Red-Light Camera" Parker

The story of how the previous mayoral administration agreed to red-light cameras is a tortuous, shady one that we told in a feature story, one in which previous mayor Bill White declined to participate. (Cough-cough.)

The story of how removing them could be done so poorly that it became a political albatross even as she did something most people agreed with, however, is all Annise Parker's.

Red-light camera haters got enough signatures on a petition to force a citywide vote on removing the money machines.

The vote succeeded, mostly on the basis of people who'd been forced to fork over the $75 for daring to incur the cameras' wrath, not to mention the wrath of the company that shared the revenue with the city and was quick to mention collection agencies and blotted credit scores in letters to violators.

So, cameras off, right? Not so fast.

The camera company, American Traffic Solutions, was quick to point out that they had a valid contract with the city that lasted until 2014, and that the referendum on turning the cameras off came years after a city charter deadline for such things.

Nevertheless, the cameras went off once the vote became effective. In July of this year, Parker ordered them turned back on — without getting approval from city council — because of the fear of losing millions in breach-of-contract damages.

A month later, she asked the council for a resolution authorizing the cameras to be turned off yet again. She thus nicely opened herself up to charges she'd made the latest "turn 'em off" decision because of the filing deadline for the upcoming election. (7,700 tickets were handed out during the time the cameras had been back on, meaning 7,700 possible new anti-Parker votes.)The two sides will negotiate a buyout on the contract.

Just spitballing here: Is there any way Parker could have handled this worse?

Possibilities:

• Changed her mind just one more time in the course of events. (Sure, that would have done it, but it would almost be humanly impossible for her to do so without violating every rule of physics.)

• Personally signed every red-light camera ticket, complete with a picture of her holding a sign saying "Pay up NOW, you law-breaking, child-endangering scofflaw with ugly kids!!!" (Possibly might have made matters worse. Possibly.)

• Decided not only to turn the cameras back on, but added a 20 percent surcharge "for having offended American Traffic Solutions."

Nah, let's face it: There's really no way she could have handled it any worse.
_____________________

Turkey Zeitgeist:
This Effin' Economy

And finally, we have the vague but ever-present, always looming in the back of everyone's head, dread feeling of these modern times: The economy.

Few people are secure and comfortable in their jobs, knowing they'll have them until coasting off into a nice, well-funded retirement spent on cruises and visits to grandkids.

Now they get to see their grandkids whenever the youngsters order a Happy Meal from granddad at McDonald's.

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5 comments
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Lan
Lan

I am a 27 years old doctor,mature and beautiful. and now i am seeking a good man who can give me real love, so i got a sername Andromeda2002 on  Agedate.СòM, a nice and free place for younger women and older men,or older women and younger men, to interact with each other.Maybe you wanna check out or tell your friends.

Lan
Lan

I am a 27 years old doctor,mature and beautiful. and now i am seeking a good man who can give me real love, so i got a sername Andromeda2002 on  Agedate.СòM, a nice and free place for younger women and older men,or older women and younger men, to interact with each other.Maybe you wanna check out or tell your friends.

Lan
Lan

I am a 27 years old doctor,mature and beautiful. and now i am seeking a good man who can give me real love, so i got a sername Andromeda2002 on  Agedate.СòM, a nice and free place for younger women and older men,or older women and younger men, to interact with each other.Maybe you wanna check out or tell your friends.

Jrtentlaw
Jrtentlaw

Wow, so according to your "story" someone loses their shirt trying to bring quality shows to Houston and decides to get out of the business and has to cancel a few shows in the process and this is how the Houston Press treats them. No wonder the Houston music scene is the national joke that it is. Instead of going to the source you quote people who refuse to be identified (probably because they are full of shit). Talk about Journalistic integrity..I remember working the door for several of Mike's shows and Houston Press people always begging to get in free. Were they covering the shows? no, they just couldnt be bothered to support their scene. Those who cant do, write.

Gaff in a Head Act
Gaff in a Head Act

OK, I was in the mood for turkey this week, but after reading this, I am sated. Or is that sickened? Nice roundup of a bunch of fowl folks.

 
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