In a turbulent electoral season full of distasteful political ads -- does anyone out there really want to be forced to think about Carole Keeton Strayhorn's love life? -- there is one man who stands as a shining beacon of common sense.
He is Steve Hoyland, and he is running for Galveston County Dogcatcher. Or he would be running for that position, if it were on the ballot.
Nevertheless, Hoyland has produced the campaign advertisement of the year, partly pictured here. Until we see Rick Perry sitting with his shotgun, dog and liquor bottles -- and perfectly coiffed hair, of course -- Hoyland is the official Hair Balls candidate of 2006. And not just because he promises everyone who votes for him will get a six-pack, although we'd vote for Tom DeLay if The Hammer made that offer.
"If I can catch a fish, I can catch a dog," the ad reads. "As long as Winchester makes shotgun shells I can and will rid the county of our ever-growing animal problem. My motto is 'Cat, the other white meat.'"
Sounds sorta like our solution to the chronic chaos and incompetence of Houston's animal shelters (See "The Fido Solution," February 3, 2005). But we didn't have the guts to run for office on such a platform.
Hoyland is a retired chemical worker who publishes the Bay Area Seabreeze, a community paper in the, ummm, bay area.
What kind of reaction has he gotten?
"I'm telling you what, they called me names I haven't even heard before," he says. "This one lady...she called me and said, 'You are the vilest human being I ever knew.' And I said 'Well, I don't know what that means, but it doesn't sound good.' And that's when she said, 'Well, what I'm trying to say is: Someone oughta kill you.'"
Maybe things will get better with the next issue of his paper, in which he gives an interview clearing up matters. "I'm going to tell them why I'm qualified for the job, you know -- I used to work in Alaska clubbing baby seals, things like that," he says.
Yeah, that ought to calm them down.
For the humor-impaired, Hoyland is kidding. He just wants to point out that Galveston County, like other area counties, is doing a shitty job controlling the animal population.
The dog in the picture, Ged, is decidedly not dead. "That's my hunting dog laying there, and he's very much alive...Just got through eating two McDonald's cheeseburgers and a package of Black Hawk weenies, and he's very content." (Maybe Hoyland should run for Galveston County Dog Dietician.)
Hoyland has run joke ads before. During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, he offered free breast exams -- he told women to send in photos of their breasts, and he'd examine them.
"Some people thought that was in bad taste," he says. (Really?)
His best response from the dog ad? "I had an e-mail that said, 'My wife and I, we were real confused -- we didn't know if you wanted to be a dogcatcher or if you're a breast doctor, so we sent you a picture.' And they sent me a picture of their dog's tits," he says. "My wife, she just shakes her head."
Shake away. You have our vote. If we lived in Galveston County. And if you were running for an actual elected position...
One More Acronym to Fight Crime
As first reported on Channel 13, the Houston Police Department has yet another bold new plan for dealing with crime in New Orleans West, the areas around the southern end of Fondren.
The plan is called PACT. And we could give you 50 guesses as to what that stands for, and you'd never come up with the answer: the Police Apartment Clergy Team.
The Fightin' Fathers!! Cue up the Baretta music and the clips of priests and pastors bustin' down doors!! "My first commandment is to kick your drug-dealin' ass!!"
Sadly, PACT does not feature crucifix tasers. It apparently involves moving married, churchy couples into high-crime apartment complexes, where they will help residents secure jobs and services and act as liaisons with the police.
We say "apparently" because details are few. We tried to ask an HPD spokeswoman about such things as whether the couples' rent will be subsidized, or how the hell they hope to operate without being tabbed immediately as snitches by everyone else in the complexes.
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"In the next month or so, we'll have more information to give, but right now we don't have those details yet," she said.
So there's still a chance we'll see rosary nunchuks or mace-laced holy water? We can't wait.
Tales from the BBB
There are a million sad stories in the files of the Houston chapter of the Better Business Bureau. Well, maybe not a million, but there are quite a few. And this time around, they involve The Peoples Champ! This editions subject is complaints to the BBB about TV Jewelry, rapper Paul Walls Sharpstown Mall store. We love Wall, but some folks dont. To view this week's Tales from the BBB graphic, Click Here.