By the Book
When it comes to tackling something new, Ross Perot does his homework. A Perot employee was seen checking out a stack of about 10 books at the Dallas Public Library just as the Perot-for-president movement was perking up. Among the titles: Public Relations and Presidential Campaigns, Common Sense and Other Political Writings, Volunteers and the Making of Presidents, Third Parties in Presidential Elections and (of course) Winning Elections.

But Not by the Tube
Speaking of Ross, the author of the bio Perot is one of the most sought-after guys in town. TOOD MASON, a writer in The Will Street Journal’s Dallas bureau, wrote the only comprehensive book on our most visible billionaire. It was published two years ago while Todd was still at Business Week. Nat onal TV types were after him to spill, but camera-shy Todd initially said no. Now, underpressure from his publisher, he says he’s "slowly losing that battle. "

Day of the Living Dead
Even in death, the controversial AIDS researcher Dr. TERRY PULSE continues to cause a stir. Rumors are circulating in Dallas’ gay community that Pulse, who had AIDS and died last October, is healthy and cavorting in Morocco with a million dollars fraudulently obtained from insurance companies. Grand Prairie-based Pulse gained notoriety a few years ago with claims of a miraculous aloe vera treatment for AIDS, quickly denounced by the FDA. Pulse’s former business manager BRUCE WERTZ and Pulse’s relatives say the rumor is preposterous and that Pulse has been unfairly villified. Nonetheless, fans and foes insist it could be true. Says one: "If anyone could have devised such a scheme and carried it out, Terry was clever enough to do it."

Emperor Ron
Tough times; at radio station KVIL. Key players are jumping ship with increasing frequency. In quick succession, program director MICHAEL HEDGES and music director STEVE EBERH ART quit. It looks like the program director job won’t be filled soon: Station star RON CHAPMAN has taken over those duties. One source of discontent is a money crunch; The station’s ratings slipped in the first quarter, and the wad KVIL blew on obtaining Dallas Cowboys broadcast rights is taking its toll.

The Russia House
Ambassador BOB STRAUSS arrived in the Soviet Union just in time to watch the Evil Empire crumble. But he could have stayed home and watched a similar breakup at the Dallas office of the law firm he helped found-Akin, Gump, Hauer & Feld. (Strauss’ magical name was removed when he entered government service. ) The firm has suffered a steady stream of defections; especially bitter was the loss of crack recruiter and partner ROBERT CROTTY to McKool Smith. In all, the downwardly mobile Dallas branch is in danger of falling under 100 lawyers-about half its size during its heyday under Strauss.

Earth Angel
JOSE ANGEL GUTIERREZ, who as a founder of La Raza Unida organized Chicano workers in the Valley, has been toiling quietly as a lawyer in Dallas for the last few years. Now he’s about, to make himself a little more visible. His new project, Chicano Youth Leadership, will aim at developing self-esteem in Hispanic youths between the ages of 15 and 18. Local Hispanic leaders will serve as mentors and examples. It should get under way in August.

8 Is Enough...
Wondering whatever happened to Channel 8 news anchor PHYLLIS WATSON? She’s living
in Chicago, selling Mary Kay cosmetics and looking for a new broadcast gig. In the meantime, she’s changed agents... How about ex-8 anchor LISA MCREE? Only night owls get a glimpse of her: She’s working ABC network overnights in New York.

We Three
Used to be that a black candidate needed the endorsement of the Progressive Voters League to be a contender. But PVL, drained by a lawsuit, is no longer the power broker it used to be. Observers say the leadership gap is being filled by an informal group of three African-Americans: state senator-elect ROYCE WEST, former school board member THOMAS JONES and Councilman DON HICKS.

Safety First
Dallas didn’t get the first condom boutique in the country, but the Condom Sense store on Lower Greenvile has became the franchise’s top-selling outlet, outpacing ones in Atlanta and Miami. Most popular models here include the "camouflage" design, flavored condoms and glow-in-the-dark.

Call Waiting
No one is following George Bush’s re-election bid more closely than thirtysomething jurist SIDNEY "SID THE KID" FlTZWATER. AUnited States district judge, Fitzwater has been tapped by Sen. Phil Gramm for promotion to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. But... he still must be confirmed by the Democrat-controlled Senate. Ordinarily that wouldn’t be a problem, but the Dems may put the brakes on a host of GOP appointees in this election year, especially if Bush appears vulnerable in the fall.

Don’t Believe It
Latest story making the rounds from people who say they heard it from a friend of a friend: An out-of-towner visits the West End for a night of fun. A woman picks him up in a bar, they go to a hotel room, then, boom, he’s out like a light. He wakes up two days later with a neat surgical incision in his back. One of his kidneys has been removed, to be sold for a transplant. The Dallas Police say they’ve gotten queries, including one from a Tulsa TV reporter. No, it’s not true. But it does sound a lot like a recent episode of "Law & Order."