Highlights from Hair Balls

COURTS

Ex-Employee Says He Was Fired for Not Taking Clients to "Titty Bars."

By Craig Malisow

Editor's note: U.S. District Court Judge Lee Roseinthal ruled in 2013 that Michael Vackar's claims were false, and she later ruled that Vackar engaged in fraud, libel and slander, and business disparagement. Rosenthal also granted Superior's motion for sanctions. Superior Steel and its employees have been vindicated.

There seems to be a spate of strip-club-related lawsuits lately. This one has a bit of a twist: Salesman Michael Vackar is suing is former employer, Louisiana-based Superior Supply and Steel, saying he was fired because he didn't heed his boss's demands to take potential clients to strip clubs and procure strippers' special favors. Yikes.

According to the suit, Vackar's boss "told Vackar explicitly to take his customers to 'strip clubs... like Treasures'....[His boss] also mentioned on more than one occasion to Vackar that 'once you bring a customer to a place that has cameras, you have a customer for life.'"

The company's lawyer, Barry Godlen Golden, told us in an e-mail that "The lawsuit is meritless and without factual basis. Superior Supply & Steel maintains a strict policy against the conduct alleged in the lawsuit, and [the company] is confident that it will prevail. The individual making these false allegations was terminated previously by Superior Supply & Steel for misconduct, and his filing of a frivolous lawsuit appears to be an act of retaliation."

In a curious turn of phrase, Vackar alleged that, during a sales meeting, his boss "told him in no uncertain terms: 'I told you to get your customers bred.'" Eew. "Shocked, Vackar responded that his customers were not 'into that.' Vackar also told [his boss] 'I'm not going to take customers to whorehouses and get them involved with hookers. They are family men, and it's not right.' [His boss] then departed the meeting in a huff and said nothing further to Vackar on the issue."

We like the part about the boss leaving "in a huff." It's simply good jurisprudence for attorneys to paint a mental picture for all parties, including the judge, and we think that Vackar's attorney, John Ghezzi, succeeded in this respect.

We're anxious to find out who will walk away in a huff at the resolution of this case. We'll keep you posted.

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FOOTBALL

Why Won't the Texans Open the Roof?

By John Royal

The Reliant Stadium roof cost approximately $48 million to build. This includes the equipment used to open and shut the roof. You might not know that the roof actually opens, since it is shut for every event. You might also not know that the Texans have a set of rules for when they will open the roof.

The Texans state that if there is no chance of rain, and the temperature is between 50 and 80 degrees, then they will open the roof. Only they don't open the roof on days like that, which makes one wonder just why it is the taxpayers actually had to pay the extra costs for a retractable roof that is never retracted.

This past Sunday was a beautiful day. One of those rare days that actually make living in Houston worth it. The temp started off cool but warmed as the sun came out, though the temperature never got above 80. Yet the Texans kept the roof shut. Despite their own rules on when the roof should be open or shut.

We have some suggestions:

15. Gary Kubiak was afraid the wind would mess up his hair.

14. The place is supposedly noisier when the roof is closed. However, the loudest stadium in the NFL is supposedly in Seattle, an outdoor facility. Which means maybe the fans should just try shouting a little louder.

13. They wanted Shayne Graham to have perfect kicking conditions, and they were afraid the slightest breeze might cause him to miss field goals.

12. The Texans were using some of USC's deflated balls, and they were afraid Matt Schaub would throw the ball out of the stadium if the roof were open.

11. They were wearing all-blue uniforms and were concerned birds might fly in and crap on them.

10. The Astrodome filed a noise complaint.

9. They will only open the roof for Paul ­McCartney.

8. It's their roof and they'll do what they want to, do what they want to, do what they want to.

7. The Texans heard that Jim Deshaies might be leaving, so they thought closing the roof might force their radio voice, Marc Vandermeer, to stay. On second thought, that might have been a good reason to open the roof, so that he could leave.

6. After Jacoby Jones lost the football in the sun in the playoffs last season, they figured there was no need to take a chance on anybody else ever losing the ball in the sun.

5. Matt Schaub's sinuses were really bothering him, and they didn't want to expose him to any outside air.

4. Because, quite frankly, Texans fans are wimps and they whine if they don't get to sit in perfect climate conditions. Even Astros fans can handle a few outdoor games a year, you babies.

3. They were afraid that, if the roof was open, J.J. Watt would fly out of the stadium and try to fight crime, and they really, really needed him to stop the Jaguars instead.

2. They forgot where the "open roof" button is located.

1. Hey, it's not like the Texans paid for the retractable roof, so why should they care if it's ever open or not?
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WHATEVER

Houstonian Wins Swimsuit USA International Title

By Jeff Balke

The Texans are 9-1. The Rockets have a new, exciting young team. The Dynamo are going to the MLS Cup. It's fall and hurricane season for the Gulf Coast is over. The holidays are upon us. It's a great time to be alive and living in Houston.

We'll give you another reason to be happy: Kendra Carroll. The young Carroll walked away with the crown in the Swimsuit USA International competition last weekend in Cancun. Congrats to her and to all a good night!

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