In Your Face
by Roger Gray
Sweaty, Fat and Congested – Ahhh – Home Sweet Home ?
Houston has been bombarded lately with a batch of city rankings as long as an Arthur Andersen deposition, and if you take them all at face value, it adds up to one thing. To paraphrase a Northern Civil War general – “the devil must own both hell and Houston and has decided to rent out Houston.” To-whit:
Traffic – “Honey, I’m stuck on the West Loop, but I Should be Home By Bobby’s Freshman Year” –
Yes, we have traffic congestion here, and it has now been quantified by the kind of folks who have nothing better to do. Houston commuters spend 75 hours a year, three days out of their lives (fifth longest in the United States), sitting in their personal transportation modules, creeping along while they listen to the 2,376th playing of “Satisfaction” or Mike Richards’ hayseed analysis of men of great “statue” or the latest “mute” point in a political rant. And if our own Tom “we don’t need no stinkin’ rail transit” DeLay has his druthers, we will try to pour our way out of it, as in concrete. And after all, it’s worked so well so far, and mass transit is somehow vaguely socialist.
Heat – Summer Games in Houston – Winter Games in Siberia – Makes Sense to Me –
The good folks at Old Spice, which started out in the 30s as a women’s fragrance, thus confirming our worst suspicions about sailors, have a Forrest Gump-level mastery of the obvious. They have published their list of the sweatiest cities in America, and Big H ranks third behind D/FW and New Orleans, a pair of hellholes for other reasons as well. Our crime is apparently one of latitude, which makes this list worthy of a collective “Duh!” Uh, let’s see – head south, get sweatier – head north, less sweat. Thanks guys, I thought it was just me.
Fat – Our Suggestion? A Massive Switch to Light Beer –
In an inexplicable response to an article in Men’s Fitness magazine about our city’s lack of tone and definition, the mayor has appointed a “fitness czar.” Without commenting on this trend of naming management positions after despotic Russian aristocracy, we have to wonder about a bug-eyed, steroid-soaked body builder who hawks miracle fat-burner powders as our new paragon of body image. With the leadership skills we have all come to respect when truly trivial issues arise, Mayor Lee Brown named former Mr. Universe Lee Labrada to the honorary post. With Labrada at the helm, no doubt helped out by Ken Caminiti, we can soon expect a WWF-style training and medical regimen that will leave the fourth-largest metro area in America bulked-up, angry and impotent. No doubt that will get us on some other magazine’s top 10 list.
And the Winner of the Tokyo Rose Political Loyalty Prize Is –
Dan Morales! Yes, what could be more delicious for our inept and politically irrelevant former attorney general than to go to work for a Republican after losing to Tony Sanchez in the Democratic gubernatorial primary? And to add to this delicious political soufflé, Morales has been appointed to the anti-crime commission while he is under criminal investigation over lawyer work on the tobacco lawsuit matter. Sour grapes and ethical irony like this are usually reserved for presidential advisors and Serbian dictators. P.S. When you run spell check, the alternative for “Morales” is “Morals.” Even Windows 2000 has a sense of humor.
A Personal Fantasy –
When I read that Ross Perot and Martha Stewart were being investigated for malfeasance of various sorts, it suddenly hit me. I made a quick mental list and, no, it was true. I simply can’t think of anyone I would rather see bundled out of an office building in cuffs with raincoats over their heads. And for Martha, the dilemma is doubly problematic. It is, after all, so hard to accessorize an orange jumpsuit.