One of the more intense but little-known rivalries in Dallas is a conflict of the curvaceous: the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders vs. the Playboy Bunnies. Although both groups make promotional appearances throughout the Dallas area, you’ll never see Bunnies and cheerleaders prancing in tandem.
Reason: Cowboy management feels that the Bunnies would tarnish the cheerleaders’ wholesome image. Cowboy officials, who are very thin-skinned about sexist remarks concerning their girls, prefer to think of their leggy sideline squad as something akin to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir – the major difference, of course, being that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir does not make public appearances in halter tops, short shorts, and vinyl knee boots. Nevertheless, Cowboy management has a list of stringent rules governing what types of appearances the cheerleaders may make.
They may not appear where alcohol is served. If you want to rent a cheerleader to jump out of a cake at a party, forget it. They don’t do private parties. They don’t do business meetings. They don’t make overnight trips for an appearance (with rare exceptions like national television tapings).
And they don’t, under any circumstances, appear with Playboy Bunnies. “Our cheerleaders are 37 nice girls,” said Cowboy official Susan Mitchell. “We’ve got a reputation to protect.”
Cowboy man-agement can af- ford to take a tough stance, since they have more appear-ance requests than they can possibly meet. They command a healthy talent fee of $75 per hour per girl for the 250 or so appearances they agree to make each year.
Playboy officials, who once tried to recruit cheerleader rejects to become Bunnies, are obviously offended by the Cowboy put-down.
“They really take a stuffy attitude, which is totally unwarranted,” said Playboy promoter Tom Finn. But every taboo means more bucks for Playboy. The Bunnies, who will appear where liquor is served and charge only $25 an hour, get a lot of promotional appearances which are off limits to cheerleaders.
Plunging into the high-priced flesh war in Dallas is a group of former Cowboy cheerleaders, Texas Cowgirls, Inc. The girls (one of whom is shown above) are making numerous appearances, including a semi-nude photo spread upcoming in Playboy magazine.
● Sales of Perrier, the French bottled drinking water, are soaring in Dallas. A spokesman for the local distributor said sales are climbing about 20 percent per month. Dallas liquor stores are expected to sell 4,000 cases during August and grocery stores will probably move four times that much, said a spokesman for Julius Schepps, who was lucky enough to get the liquor store franchise. W. L. Gordon has the grocery franchise.
●Republican gubernatorial nominee Bill Clements obviously has a warm spotfor reporters. He tried tohire Dallas Morning Newsinvestigative reporter Earl Golz recently. Golz, whoseduties would likely have beento dig into Atty. Gen. John Hill’s past, said no.
●When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that police agencies, armed with search warrants, could search newspaper offices, journalists across the country responded with predictable alarm. But management at the Dallas Morning News didn’t stop at mere head shaking; the News formed a plan to defy the intent of the court’s ruling. A few days after the court decision, a memo instructing reporters to hide their rotes and files was posted on Morning News bulletin boards. An anonymous Morning News executive, who might have been suffering from overexposure to “Lou Grant” reruns, issued these instructions: Notes containing sensitive material should be destroyed or kept at reporters’ homes or other places away from the newspaper offices. If police come to search the newsroom, reporters should volunteer no information, should not aid the search in any way, and should stall for time until the newspaper’s attorneys can arrive. Desks should be kept locked at all times. The newspaper’s attempt to turn its newsroom into a fortress has caused some journalists to chuckle; many feel that the News is unlikely to have any information that a police agency might find useful. The Dallas Times Herald, which does most of the investigative reporting in town, has no plans for hiding notes.
●It’s usually the Chinese restaurants that play musical chairs with their chefs, but lately the French have been doing the local chef shuffling. The illustrious Jean Lafont, the original chef at Oz, is back in Dallas, now working for Universal Restaurants; Lafont is currently biding his time in the kitchen at the Old Warsaw while Universal prepares a new restaurant for him in the site of the old Sailmaker in Turtle Creek Village; it’s expected to open in September. To be working with Lafont is Christian Gerber, formerly of the Pyramid Room. Meanwhile, Guy Labouyerie, formerly chef of Le Bistro, then briefly at Baron de Rothschild, is now with Kuby’s. And Jean Bit, formerly of Chablis, is now in the kitchen at La Truite – temporarily, until Chablis reopens in a new Oak Lawn location. Michel Rothschild, who bought Chablis and opened Chez Michel there, is also reopening Marcel’s Restaurant. Stanislav Slawik, the original owner of the Old Warsaw, is readying his new restaurant in Highland Park Village, La Polonaise, for a late August opening. And Guy Calluaud is soon to be moving Calluaud’s to more spacious quarters on McKinney near Routh. Voilà.
●Our favorite quote ofthe month comes from the mouth of State Comptroller Bob Bullock, who was recently arrested for drivingwhile intoxicated; he was celebrating his 49th birthday.”I had the finest birthdayI’ve ever had,” he said. “I’mjust disappointed other people didn’t enjoy it as much asme.” If only Bullock were asadroit at fulfilling the dutiesof his office as he is at cracking one-liners.
●The final settlement in the consumer fraud caseagainst Nautilus Fitness Centers comes to $40,000, aspokesman for the state attorney general’s office says.Checks were mailed to 650 claimants who said that they were deceived about Nautilus benefits when they purchased health club memberships. The consumers received 88 cents on the dollar for their claims against the centers.
●Readers of W, sisterpublication of Women’s Wear Daily, might wonderwhat New York designer Karl Lagerfeld meant whenhe was quoted in a recent issue as saying “Dallas reminds me of Hungary.” Wewondered also. “We don’texactly know,” a W staffmember said. “It just seemedlike an expressive quote, sowe used it.”
●The Sun Belt-Frost Beltbattle is not abating. Thelatest combatant in the struggle for federal dollars is Bernard Weinstein, director ofthe Southwest Center for Economic and Community Growth at the University of Texas at Dallas. Weinstein will spend the next year in Washington, D.C., on a Southern Growth Policies Board fellowship, lobbying for Congressional funds for the South.
●Fort Worth Star-Telegram EditorJackTinsleyobviously believes that onegood misspelling deservesanother. Tinsley recentlyposted a memo chastising areporter for writing “expa-triot” when he meant “expatriate.” The memo saidthe error was “inexcuseable.”
●While consumers complain about paying a fewcents more for lettuce, DallasPower & Light Co. is havingto live with a three-digitmarkup on the constructioncost of its nuclear plant nearGlen Rose. The latest estimate, $1.7 billion, represents218 percent of the cost thatwas projected when construction started four years ago.