We've already noted the five biggest local deaths in 2008; now it's time to look at the five deaths that leave the smallest amounts of sympathy or significance.
5. The Playoff Chances of the Texans and Astros. Insignificant because really, did anyone expect anything different? The teams blew when they least could afford it, then threw in a bunch of wins late in the year to look like they could be actually getting it together and therefore didn't need much improvement in the off-season. Expect more of the same next year, with the added attraction of Drayton McLane whining about money like he was living in a FEMA trailer.
4. Delgo. Former Houstonian and KTRK intern Marc Adler seemed like a nice guy when we interviewed him about his finally realized dream: the opening of his animated film Delgo. Years in the making, the result of countless hours raising funds, the movie opened December 12 and quickly became the bomb of 2008. It was Ishtar and Battlefield Earth for the animation crowd. The Onion's A/V Club absolutely ripped it a new one:
At this point I was so bored that I decided to start running laps inside the theater as a way of passing time and getting some exercise. It was oddly liberating. Besides, I have a reputation as a ridiculous, ridiculous man to live up to. The other great thing about seeing the movie in an empty theater was that I didn't just have to think, "Oh man, when will this fucking thing end?" when I could say the same thing out loud without anyone looking at me askance.
3. Various and sundry misconceived real-estate projects. The economic crunch caused Houston's developers to re-think several "exciting," "edgy" and "new urban" projects that were supposedly going to turn Houston into....we don't know, San Diego or Portland or something. On hold are a massive project just inside the Loop at Westheimer and various quirky variations of the standard strip mall planned all over town. We guess Houston will have to wait yet another year in its attempt to become a pedestrian city.
2. Chuck Rosenthal's DA career. See our Turkeys of the Year issue for further information.
1. The reign of Shelley Sekula Gibbs, Stateswoman. She won our hearts with her promise to clean up Washington, find an honorable end to the Iraq war and lower taxes during her two weeks as a newly elected lame-duck U.S. Representative. She made history by being the only Congressperson to ever have a write-in vote successfully count for her even though it said "Shelly DraculaCunt Gibs." (At least two of those names are misspelled.) Sekula Gibbs was ousted in the GOP primary this year. A nation did not mourn.
-- Richard Connelly