BEST & WORST

Six years of writing our annual tribute to the Best and Worst of Dallas have led us to a revelation of the bigger picture, the inescapable conclusion about what has happened to our city over the years: Dallas is getting better. And worse. There are more superlatives. And there is more sludge. ◆ It’s more difficult to say who has the best croissant or the worst barber shop. That’s partially because Dallas has simply grown. There are a lot more croissants and a lot more barber shops than there were when we began this project in 1977. Dallas has not only become bigger, it has become more urbane, more cosmopolitan. That’s good. And bad. The ever-increasing level of sophistication in Dallas means that there are more artisans – and more charlatans – more originals – and more also-rans. ◆ We are doubtless harder to please than we were half a decade ago. Some of the restaurants we praised six years ago now vie for designation as worsts. Times have changed. And so have we. ◆ That’s why we consider this annual civic introspection one of the most important endeavors this magazine undertakes. We know that as the years pass, Dallas will continue to get even better. And worse. ◆

EXAMPLE OF TEXAS EXCESS



BEST: The attempts at Six Flags over Texas to air-condition the outdoors with hundreds of units strung out to cool those waiting in line. WORST: All-night lighting of Southland Building, making one of the city’s ugliest high-rises highly visible around the clock; and First International Building’s huge night-time X’s, which have given rise to its nickname as the Dos Equis Buildin

MEDICAL TREATMENT



WORST: Dr. Thomas H. Allison, a Dallas psychiatrist who asked one of his patients to check into a hotel and then arrived, drunk, to “treat” her. He beat her across the thighs with a belt, ordered her to strip and then forced her to have sex with him. The doctor admitted he used “poor judgment” in trying to rid his patient of a sadistic sex fantasy. His lawyer explained, “She wanted it.” A Dallas County jury disagreed and awarded the woman $62,000.

JUDICIAL HUMOR



BEST: State Dist. Judge Jack Hampton, who dismissed an indictment against a 34-year-old man charged with cocaine possession because the indictment charged that the defendant possessed a derivative of the cocoa leaf, instead of the coca leaf. Quoth the judge: “I can’t send a guy to the pen for possession of chocolate, can I?”

WORST: Seagoville Mayor Don Smith, who doubles as the city’s judge. On September 1, Smith signed warrants that caused his former political opponent, O.B. Spencer, to be arrested, handcuffed and jailed on charges of failing to appear at several court hearings on whether Spencer had built a 4-foot-high chain-link fence too close to a city street. It probably was just a coincidence, but Spencer was arrested outside a church where he was about to speak at a public meeting against a proposed city tax increase. And, probably equally coincidental, Spencer had called for the resignation of the entire city council one week earlier. The city filed 12 charges against Spencer, and he was jailed, sometimes in leg irons, for 25 hours. Judge Smith said, “It was a clear-cut violation of the law. I didn’t have much choice.” In the other courts in which the cases were heard, they thought differently: All charges against Spencer were dismissed.

MOVERS



BEST: Castle Movers of Richardson. These off-duty firemen are fast, skilled and totally reliable. If you have to leave work early to meet these guys, they’ll be there.

WORST: Wee-Haul Movers. For unknown reasons, Wee-Haul requires you to make an appearance in their offices before a move can be scheduled. And scheduled apparently is a loosely defined term for the Wee-Haul folks. We’ve heard more than one story about late or no-shows.

COMPANY NAME



BEST: Neighborly division: Ron and Jerry Certified Opticians; animal division: Armadillo & Company roofing; automobile division: Dallas Carboys; ambiguity division: Cannon Ball Rental Co.; direct division: El Cheapo Answering Systems.

BILLBOARD



BEST: The three-dimensional ones with The Dallas Morning News coming out right at you.

WORST: That ghastly oversized football that protrudes from a KRLD billboard on Stemmons Freeway. It looks like a brown blimp that crashed into a warehouse wall.



GRAFFITI



BEST: The men’s room at the Lakewood Yacht Club. A sample: “I’m in favor of seal clubbing. I think if seals want to go to bars and discos they have the right to.” Other passages include quotes from Jack Kerouac and a three-part discussion of the talents of the late Belle Starr. You can learn a lot at the Yacht Club by just reading the restroom wall. WORST: Norma’s Topless on Highway 377 in Fort Worth. This is classic tasteless and witless redneck filth, with passages dealing with everything from the anatomical capabilities of the dancers to the proper methods of creating a harmony among the races. It’s not funny.



HEALTH FOOD STORE



BEST: Sunflower Natural Foods, 4524 McKinney. The selection is extensive, the commitment is obvious (Sunflower grinds its own flours, for instance) and – best of all -the prices are noticeably lower than at other health food stores.

ANACHRONISM



BEST: John B. Wells, afternoon disc jockey on KZEW. A smoky-voiced, laid-back devotee of Sixties music and mellow radio, Wells harks back to early FM because, he says, “well, man, because the Sixties were the real thing. They were the real thing with real interests and real talent, and they didn’t have anyone to imitate. So one would rather play the real thing than the imitations, right?” Right on, John.

PIZZA



BEST: Strictly Tabu on Lomo Alto. The Italian sausage entry, with the Tabu-traditional ton and a half of cheese, may be the top bas-cuisine item in town. WORST: Pizza Inn. One of our reviewers calls it “outstandingly putrid.”

COFFEE



BEST: The house blend at La Cave. WORST: The house blend at McDonald’s.

PLACE TO EAT AT 2 A.M.



BEST: Fang-Ti China, 6752 Shady Brook, near Northwest Highway. This may supplant Guadalajara as the late-night eating place of choice. It’s open till 6 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and the radio is always tuned to hard rock. Fang-Ti, Dallas’ only female Chinese chef, is an added attractio

USED-CAR DEALER



BEST: Gene Goss, owner of Goss on Ross at 4527 Ross Avenue. He usually sells cars for $600 or less, and they come with no baloney. “I don’t promise my customers anything,” he says. “I just tell them, ’I hope you get home’.” WORST: One-Way Motors, another Ross Avenue dealership that, mercifully, has gone out of business. It was sued by officials for defrauding Spanish-speaking customers and for repossessing cars without adequate cause. Finally, because of allegations of fraud, One-Way was ordered by a Dallas County judge to surrender title to nearly 100 cars, even if customers still owed the dealership money on them.

MISLAID PLANS



BEST: The Dallas Chamber of Commerce, attempting to defeat the TEA party’s tax-cutting referendum, produced a study of various cities that showed Dallas property taxes being about average. Alas, independent researchers found that the Chamber had been wrong about Indianapolis, San Francisco, Philadelphia, New York and Dallas. Off by as much as 400 percent. The TEA party lost anyhow. WORST: Ten Braniff pilots decided to declare themselves ministers, form their own church in Grapevine and, for legal purposes at least, take vows of poverty and turn all their earnings over to their church. The 1RS was not amused. Their trial on income-tax evasion is set for March.

USE OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE



WORST: An anonymous Times Herald writer who, in a story about the failure of 60 percent of SMU’s freshman class to pass a basic grammar test, wrote: “The 45-minute test included 20 incorrect sentences, which was worth three points each,…” Runner-up honors go to the Morning News for its front-page story that read: “It took the Cowboys, which lives by the computer, an entire day to discover a playoff berth had been clinched.”

ACT OF CHRISTIAN GOODWILL



WORST: At evangelical radio station WJS-FM, DJ Joe Montana hit station manager Jack Rabito on the nose with a manila folder during an argument over Montana’s admitting -on the air, yet – that he liked James Bond movies. Rabito fired Montana. He didn’t like James Bond movies and he didn’t like having his nose thumped, either.

EVEN WORSE: On November 22, a group of Kennedy assassination researchers gathered for a vigil on the steps of Dealy Plaza to offer a prayer for JFK. A crowd gathered as the researchers argued and shouted vulgarities at each other over what really happened eight years ago.

BOOKSTORE



BEST: We’ve never felt the same about Taylor’s since reading owner Henry Taylor’s assertion that basically he’d just as soon be selling widgets. But Taylor’s mass production-inspired qualities also happen to be its virtues -a huge selection at the Preston East location, and an even larger one at the new Prestonwood outpost, which appears to be the size of a football field. Other efficient amenities: shopping carts, bathrooms, water fountains and customer phones. If soul is what you’re looking for, try The Book Merchant, downtown at 1810 Main, for a small, intelligently selected stock and terrific personal service.

PEARLS OF WISDOM



BEST: City Councilman Sid Stahl. Whensome of his colleagues wanted to closecity parks at sunset to control rowdy teen-agers, Stahl objected by saying, “[When] someone robs a bank, we try to apprehend the robber. We don’t closethe bank.”

WORST: State Sen. John Leedom opposedfunding shelters for battered wivesbecause the “love and devotion of afamily” are better than the “prison-typeenvironment” of a shelter. Of course. If only the senator could convince the women’s battering husband to be loving and devoted.

BEST SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD



BEST: Mountain Creek. This Southwest Dallas neighborhood, according to figures compiled in 1981 by the Dallas Police Department, had only 1.4 violent crimes per thousand residents. WORST: Fair Park. Its 1980 violent crime rate was 32.1 per thousand residents. Help.



CRIMINAL ATTORNEY



BEST: A tie, awarded to two lawyers most of us haven’t heard much about. Arch McCall convinced the Dallas County Grand Jury not to indict a 17-year-old girl on a murder charge for throwing her newborn infant out the window of her seventh-floor room at the Sheraton- Dallas Hotel. McCall became an instant expert on medical aspects of newborns, and challenged technical points in a county medical examiner’s report that found that the infant had been alive when his mother tossed him out of her room. George Milner represented the president of Bishop College in a federal trial that ended with a hung jury. Prosecutors then let the defendant plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge and serve probation, as opposed to jail time. Judge Patrick E. Higginbotham said after the trial that the defense had convinced him that the matter might have been better handled with a civil trial. Lots of Dallas lawyers will say, “If I was in trouble, I’d call George.” WORST: Raymond E. Enstam, who was disbarred after a federal court convicted him of conspiracy to defraud the United States Internal Revenue Service. He should’ve called George.

BITE



BEST: The one inflicted on Tom Dickinson last April 18th. Dickinson was among a busload of folks from the Criminal Bar Association out to enjoy the old ball game at Arlington Stadium. A pushing and shoving fight broke out aboard the bus, and Dickinson tried to separate the antagonists. He fell into the lap of one fighter, who took a large bite out of Dickinson’s ear. The biter, Rick Rose, was indict ed on a charge of criminal assault and fired from his job as a criminal investigator in the 194th District Court. WORST:Just about anything at the Bell Pepper restaurant on McKinney.

SNEAK ATTACK



BEST: Former Mayor Robert Folsom, who used last January’s tax-cutting referendum as an excuse to ask the voters one of his favorite questions: Did they want to limit city council members to serving two terms? They did, 2-1.

WORST: Folsom again. He convinced the city council last spring to buy a new $24,000 city limousine, saying that Dallas’ image would suffer if dignitaries were shuttled about in the city’s old 1975 limo. A check of the limo logbook showed that Folsom used the old limo 240 times in 1980, on everything from all-day outings to quickie trips to banquets. All other council members combined used the car 14 times; the “dignitaries” Folsom was so worried about used the car only 24 times. If Folsom is such a fiscal conservative, why couldn’t he just drive himself around 240 times and rent a limo the 24 times a bona fide “dignitary” needed wheels?

SWAN SONGS



BEST: Carl Thomas as Dallas Countysheriff.

WORST: The Dallas Tornado and theDallas Diamonds.



DEDICATION BY NARCOTICS AGENTS



BEST: Benjamin Creig Matthews and Kimberly Ann Ramsey Matthews, who left no stone unturned in their 1979 investigation of drug traffic in East Texas. Eventually, their work helped produce 121 arrests, the largest number of related drug arrests in East Texas history. Among those convicted was Kenneth Andrew Bora, who police said was a “kingpin” in the business. WORST: Benjamin Creig Matthews and Kimberly Ann Ramsey Matthews. One of the stones they turned was perjury. After a six-month federal investigation they admitted last August that they had lied when they accused Bora of selling them an ounce of cocaine, and when they testified to that effect at his trial. Bora was freed from prison, and the state reversed the convictions of virtually everyone else against whom the Matthews’ had testifie



CASE OF KNOW-NOTHINGISM



BEST: Councilmember Max Goldblatt, while holding a copy of the Love Field Noise Control Study, told its author, “I don’t pretend to understand what’s in it, and I don’t want to understand it.”

BODY PARTS

BEST: Pattie Gilmore, a 28-year-old Kim Dawson Agency model, who makes between $75 and $100 an hour having specific parts of her body immortalized on film. What makes her among the most prominent of parts models in town, Pattie says, is that she comes from an unusually “hairless” family and that she can stand still while photographers use her ears for earring ads, her hands for ring shots and her legs for hosiery commercials. Pattie works part by part, not all at the same time. WORST: Cowboy defensive back Randy Hughes. It seems like he’s always on the injured reserve list

BEAUTY PARLOR NAME



BEST: Ike’s House of Glamour. With competitors like Esther’s Happy Hair, Berry’s Hairtique and the Beneath Your Hat Hair Parlor, this one won the race by a, uh, hair. It very well might be glamorous. We like Ike. WORST: The Chatter Box Salon. This name implies everything pink and putrid about beauty parlors. We can smell the permanent waves. But actually the salon is very nice. And busy: We couldn’t get through by phon



KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR

BEST: Clay E. Moore, Brian E. Harvey, Joel A. Theis and Dudley T. Marchetti Jr. of the Dallas Police Department. Their quick action in the November fire at Trinity Methodist Church saved the lives of three transients sleeping in the buildin

WORST: Smith Protection’s Escort Service. It claims to provide an escort service to residents living in The Village, but when one female resident asked to be escorted to her apartment from her car after working late, she was asked if she had a substantial reason. What is considered substantial? she asked. The Smith answer: “Have you ever been assaulted before?” Since the woman’s reply was no, she was refused an escort.

BAGEL

BEST: Bagelstein’s, 8410 Spring ValleyRoad, and Prestonwood Mall. Sevenkinds of bagels, sold in such quantitiesthat they’re always fresh.

WORST: From the frozen-foods section ofSafeway.

MEDICINE

BEST: Dr. Michael S. Brown and Dr. Joseph L. Goldstein, both of Southwestern Medical School’s department of molecular genetics, who made significant advances in the study of inherited propensity to high cholesterol. Their work was the subject of an article, “The Heartbreak Gene,” in the December issue of Science magazine.

YANKEE-DOODLE DANDY



BEST: Eddie Chiles. During the Rangers’ first home stand, he made the fans stand through both The Star-Spangled Banner and Cod Bless America. Then he made them listen to announcements on the PA system supporting “the administration in Washington.” You might say Eddie put his mouth where our money was. WORST: All those soreheads who didn’t go to the Rangers’ second home stand.

DIRTY TRICK ON GULLIBLE YANKEES



BEST: A now-defunct Dallas firm called Employment Resources advertised in the Dallas dailies offering high-paying, low-skill jobs. All one had to do was pay $55 for a referral. The job-seekers were peeved when they found that they had merely purchased old classified newspaper help-wanted listings. They can take some comfort in knowing that the owner of Employment Resources has been indicted.

EVEN BETTER: A company called Job Center did the same thing, but it charged $100.

BEST OF ALL: A man who might be named Jay P. Jones offered assorted Yankees the same service, but he hit them where they live. He ran his advertisements in Northern newspapers, telling folks to send $15 for information on how Texas “desperately” needed help “to fill positions in all trades.” Many sent their money, but Jay P. didn’t send them classified ads. In fact, he didn’t send them anything at all.

MUSEUM SOUVENIR



BEST: The Amon Carter’s brass belt buckles engraved with designs by Western artists Frederic Remington and Charles Russell. Unfortunately, the museum shop has sold out of the buckles. A museum official said they will consider reordering them this summer. What’s to consider? WORST: A ceramic egg with arms at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. Not cute, not art

VANITY LICENSE PUTES



BEST: The Highland Park Porsche 914 with the tag that reads W. Mitty. WORST: The Datsun tagged RUEZ2.

PASTA



BEST: Fettucine della casa at Bugatti, 2574 Walnut Hill. Everything pasta should be -fresh, tender, covered with addictive sauce -in the most unlikely surroundings. Forget that the place looks like an army-surplus version of an Italian restaurant; just con- centrate on what’s on your plate. WORST: Anything at Ianni’s on Greenville Avenue.

AUTOMOBILE REPAIR

BEST: His name is Hendy, he likes to figure out why something isn’t working, he’ll do the repairs the least-expensive way and he knows car engines. Unfortunately, he only works on Jaguars, Mercedes and other exotics, and he isn’t taking any new customers. WORST: Two teen-agers who held up a Fort Worth business and ran to their getaway car only to find that it wouldn’t start. One of them opened the hood and tinker-ed with the engine while the other tried to start it. They were still trying when the police arrived.

UNSUNG HEROES



BEST: Annmarie Beaudoing and the Dallas Better Business Bureau, for putting a stop to a dangerous television commercial. Mrs. Beaudoing was watching Channel 8 on the afternoon of February 25 and saw a cute Calgonite commercial in which a raincoat-clad woman extolled the dishwasher detergent from the inside of a dishwasher. Within a few minutes, her oldest daughter had shut her 2-year-old sister inside the dishwasher. Mrs. Beaudoing rescued the baby before the machine was turned on, but she figured some other child might not be so lucky, and called the BBB. The BBB’s Bill Beckhart called Beechum Products, which manufactures Calgonite, and enlisted the help of the national BBB’s advertising standards division. The ad was pulled within a matter of day.

NEW RESTAURANT



BEST: The French Room. Last year, Café Royal opened and we thought eating out in Dallas had reached its apex; this year, the new Adolphus Hotel eatery proved we were wrong.

RAISE



BEST: Maverick Mark Aguirre went from nothing as an amateur to an estimated yearly average of $233,333 over the next six years.

WORST: A DISD schoolteacher with 18 years’ experience can expect an increase of $34 over the next two years. Let them eat dedication.



CLEANERS

BEST: Glo Cleaning, 4111 Gaston. It’s far from plush, and the help may sometimes have trouble with English, but it’s a boon if you work downtown. Drop off cleaning before 9 and it’s ready by 4. If you’re working late, Glo is open till 9.



PSYCHIC



BEST: Jeffie Murphy on Fleetwood in Dallas. She sees all, and for $25 an hour will tell you how it relates to your life.

PLACE TO SEE A CELEBRITY

BEST: The Mansion on Turtle Creek. You want the Dallas Cowboys? They got ’em. The Queen of Thailand? They had her. Movie stars just about have to go there. Except movie stars without neckties and jackets. The Mansion refused service to James Garner for lack of costume.

LUNCHTIME ENTERTAINMENT

BEST: Charlie’s Bar, 1820 W. Mockingbird Lane. On Wednesdays between the hours of noon and 2 p.m., Charlie’s patrons are hypnotized by the mesmerizing motions of a belly dancer. On Tuesdays at the same time and on Fridays during happy hour, models wear lingerie. Hamburgers and hot pastrami sandwiches are also available. WORST: All those people in the line ahead of you at Hamby’s.

BREAKFAST



BEST: Brunch at Marvins Garden on Sundays, with two provisos. You have to be the kind of person who doesn’t mind bean sprouts. Go for the whole-grain muffins, the fresh fruit salads and the changing specials. And don’t go if you’re hungry to start with; by the time your breakfast arrives you’ll be in food shock. WORST: The Grille at the Adolphus Hotel. Let’s be fair: It’s not that the Grille’s breakfasts are bad; it’s just that the plush, English club-like surroundings lead you to expect food of the same caliber. What you get instead is the most ordinary of breakfasts at the most extraordinary prices. Two eggs and bacon, for example, go for $5.

SOUP

BEST: The clear mushroom soup at Francisco’s. The management is proud enough of this out-of-the-ordinary offering to tout it to indecisive customers. The management is right.

WORST: Shrimp in sizzling rice soup at Szechwan Pavilion. This otherwise commendable little Chinese restaurant serves this one unfortunate aberration, which consists of tough shrimp in soup that tastes just like ketchup and water.

USE OF THE TAXPAYERS’ MONEY



WORST: U.S. Rep. Jim Collins, for mailing his newsletter to thousands of people outside his House district. It may be a coincidence, but Collins wants to run for the U.S. Senate.

EVEN WORSE: State Sen. Dee Travis, Collins’ former assistant, for mailing his newsletter to thousands of people outside his state senate district. It may be a coincidence, but Travis wants to run for the U.S. House. WORST OF ALL State Sen. Dee Travis, for using our money to buy himself lists of Republican primary voters. What could be more useful to a candidate trying to win next May’s Republican Congressional primary? Or more unnecessary to a state legislator trying to represent all his constituents?



GERALD FORD IMITATION

BEST: The 32 members of the Dallas Fire Department who, between April 1979 and March 1981. suffered disabling injuries while taking the department’s physical fitness test. EVEN BETTER: The 18 firefighters who got disability leave after injuring themselves playing basketball or volleyball on duty.

BEST OF ALL: The firefighter who missed 29 days of work after straining his back while picking up pans.

GOODWILL AMBASSADOR

BEST: Frank Tolbert, who has become somewhat of a celebrity on both coasts as well as in Canada peddling Texana and Texas Red. He’s been making chili commercials in New York since 1973 and has appeared on national television touting the Texas subculture. WORST: Frank Tolbert, whose candor can be somewhat chilling at times. When a Japanese business tycoon visited Tolbert’s downtown chili parlor recently, Tolbert, a World War II veteran, remarked, “I once shot a little fella who looked just like you.”

STREET NAME

BEST: Short Circuit Drive. It’s a short street near North Lake in Coppell not too far from Hyperbolic and Parabolic drive

WORST: The streets in the Crossroads subdivision, which apparently was developed by an Oklahoma graduate. Some of the names: Switzer Avenue, Boomer Circle and, for all the fans,BAD JOKE



BEST: Arlington Woman magazine. WORST: After a customer found a scorpion at the bottom of a near-empty coffee cup at Braum’s Ice Cream in McKin-ney, the waitress said, “Well, he didn’t drink much, did he?”



GOVERNMENTAL JOB

BEST: Bill Priest, chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District, at $90,000 a year is the highest-paid public official in Texas. WORST: Linda Patterson, police demolition expert. When dozens of sticks of dynamite were found floating in the Trinity River floodwaters, she waded out with a rope tied to her waist and gathered them up. Wet and wild.

BAD JOKE



BEST: Arlington Woman magazine. WORST: After a customer found a scorpion at the bottom of a near-empty coffee cup at Braum’s Ice Cream in McKin-ney, the waitress said, “Well, he didn’t drink much, did he?”



GOVERNMENTAL JOB

BEST: Bill Priest, chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District, at $90,000 a year is the highest-paid public official in Texas. WORST: Linda Patterson, police demolition expert. When dozens of sticks of dynamite were found floating in the Trinity River floodwaters, she waded out with a rope tied to her waist and gathered them up. Wet and wild.

GUARDIAN OF OUR MORAL FIBER

BEST: Eleanor Hutcheson of Fort Worth, who helped convince State Education Commissioner Raymon Bynum to ban Merriam-Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary as the text for high school seniors. The dictionary contained seven obscenities. Ms. Hutcheson said it was “sort of like a manual for dirty words.”

LAUNDROMAT

BEST: Park Cities Wash N Dry, 5710 Airline. Nice mixture of SMU types, older campus hangers-on and general bohemians. If people watching gets boring, then Tom Thumb and Century Books are just around the corner.

TAILOR

BEST: Olmos Unlimited, 2408 N. Fitz-hugh. He’s good, he’s quick and his prices are reasonable.

USED BOOKSTORE

BEST: Some things don’t change. Five years ago, Paperbacks Plus, 2307 Abrams, was Dallas’ best used bookstore. It still is, for the same reasons: The place is clean, well organized and takes only quality reading material. Paperbacks Plus is also best if you’re selling books. You’ll never make enough to retire to Tahiti from selling your old college textbooks, but at least here you won’t feel outraged by the offer. WORST: Five years ago, Half-Price Books was our worst used bookstore. It still is, for the same reasons: The place is dusty, badly organized and has too much junk to wade through. And selling books to Half-Price is guaranteed to induce outrag

DUMPY RESTROOM



BEST: Men’s room at Sol’s Turf Bar. WORST: Herrera’s knocks out the longtime title-holder, Guadalajara, though waders are recommended before entering either.

75-CENT SUCE OF CHOCOLATE PIE

BEST: The recently remodeled Farmer’s Grill at 807 Park Avenue also has remodeled its menu. And its dessert offerings, while limited, include one succulent highlight: chocolate meringue pie. The quality tends to vary from day to day, but even on a bad day, it’s good. And on a good day, the extra-sweet meringue and dark, smooth filling will all but rot out your sweet toot

SLIGHTLY MORE EXPENSIVE SLICE OF CHOCOLATE PIE



BEST: It’s actually called French chocolate cake, but the consistency is somewhere between pie and cake. It’s sold at Marty’s on Oak Lawn, and it’s guaranteed to sate even the most gluttonous chocolate freak. A slice will cost you two to three bucks, depending on how big you want it, but you only live once, right?

LIQUOR STORE NAME

BEST: Buck & Ruck Liquors. Runner-up: Wimp’s Beer & Wine on South Oakland.

CIVIC EMBARRASSMENT

BEST: The $895 briefcase that Dallas/ Fort Worth Regional Airport Executive Director Ernest E. Dean purchased with our money. O’Hare may be busier and Atlanta’s airport may be newer, but we own the nicest briefcase. WORST: The Dallas Independent School District. (Oh, you guessed, didn’t you?) 1981 figures showed that among the state’s eight largest school districts, DISD spent the most money per student, but had the lowest attendance and achievement records.

DOG STORY

BEST: The Dallas firefighter who missed five days of work after leaving his station to pick up the morning paper and having his leg chewed on by a belligerent mutt.

WORST: The continuing saga of Wide Track II, the Great Dane who stars in television commercials for Bill McDavid Pontiac in Fort Worth. You know, Bill and his brother David make their pitch and then turn to this big brown and tan beast and say, “Right, Wide Track?” And the dog says, “Woof! Woof!” For about a week the local media kept us breathlessly informed of Wide Track’s disappearance just south of Lake Texoma, and of his subsequent recovery and return to stardom. Bill McDavid, at least, never got smarmy sentimental on us. During the height of the alarm, he told a reporter he wanted his dog back because, for one thing, “He’s sold a lot of cars for us.”

WORST APRIL FOOLS JOKE:



A group of writers and editors from the FortWorth Star-Telegram celebrated their coverageof Hurricane Allen with lunch at Joe T. Garcia’ s Mexican restaurant on April 1. The next day 21 ofthem were not. celebrating. They had contractedsalmonenaleod poisoning. The Health Depart. ment made Joe T. remodel his 45-year-old kitchen and stop the traditional parade of customers through it. Employees were urge to bemore diligent about washing their hands afterusing the restroom.

Bureaucratie Sense of Humor



best: The Dallas city officials who allowed a garbage truck to receive (on paper) 17 batteries, nine starters and 20 tires in less than one year. The city equipment services department thought nothing of it. (You know how wild and crazy those garbage-truck drivers can be.) WORST: Eddie Washington, assistant superintendent of personnel in the Wilmer-Hutchins Independent School District, ordered his colleagues in an official memorandum to stop their “office congregating and merriment.” He also ordered them to cease and desist from laughing and “excessive walking.”

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