The Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame in the Stockyards recently announced its batch of new inductees for 2009 (the ceremony will be held Jan. 15). Two of the six inductees are known more for acting than cowboying. Tommy Lee Jones and Barry Corbin both had major roles in what is the greatest made-for-TV western movie ever, Lonesome Dove. Corbin is a beloved Fort Worth resident who donated the lead steer for the Fort Worth Herd.
The Academy Award-winning Jones, on the other hand, saw his credibility fall in these parts when he allowed his face to be plastered all over town in a marketing blitz for Chesapeake Energy’s urban drilling mania. His antagonistic TV commercials commanded everyone to “get behind the Barnett” and pooh-poohed any rational debate on the environment or neighborhood issues. The supposed tough-guy actor showed a big yellow streak by refusing to respond to Fort Worth Weekly’s numerous interview requests to discuss drilling. But thanks to Google, the Weekly uncovered a Jones gem given to Parade magazine on Jan. 20, 2006, reported earlier this year in our Best of 2008 issue, but worth repeating, considering his new honor. When asked about his youth spent working in the oil fields, Jones replied, “It was dirty, noisy, dangerous.”
Gee, Tommy, who couldn’t get behind that?

Deck the Department Store Grinch
Static tries not to be a sucker. Never buys anything off late-night TV ads. Has never owned a Ronco anything. Doesn’t believe in miracle diets, miracle drugs, televangelists going straight, or politicians’ promises. But when the nice “$25 off!” card arrived in the mail, from the department store where Static has had a charge card for decades, it seemed like a decent deal. You had to buy $100 or more for the $25 to kick in, understood. Had to use the store credit card (that would be the one bearing the word M-a-c-y’s) for the purchase – not surprising. But all in all, a pretty good enticement.
So, the first mall trip of the Christmas season seemed in order. Static waited ’til late one night and then hit the store. Rounded up presents for some of the relatively good children and adults on its list, piled them all on the counter. Looked for the discount card. Had forgotten the discount card. Ascertained that the discount could be applied if the card and receipt were brought in together. Made the purchases. Brought card and receipt back the next day. Waited while very kind and diligent saleswoman went through the receipt, checking to see that all the purchases were actually legit for the offer.
End result: a lump of coal. Seems that, between things that were on sale and other things “excluded,” the total savings would be … a penny. No lie. A penny, on about $125 worth of purchases. Checked the back of the card. And there, in tiny (duh) print, a list of exclusions that seemed to cover half the store’s departments and most of the brand names. No “specials,” no “Everyday Value” items, no cosmetics, fragrances, watches, nothing by Lacoste, Louis Vuitton, Coach, Polo, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Bahama, no designer shoes or handbags, no furniture or accessories, no Waterford or Lalique, no electronics. (Static’s shopping sins must have come mostly in the “Everyday Value” items, since it doesn’t know most of those other folks.)
This is why a good Christmas is one in which the internet, catalogs, homemade efforts, and local retailers trump the call of the mall – an old rule, learned painfully once again. Yes, Static is thankful to have had $125 to spend on its friends and family in the first place. But if they make another remake of Miracle on 34th Street – could they send the Santa to Target instead?

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