Only a Fool Would Say (Do) That, Part One

January 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

“A boy with a plan

A natural man

Wearing a white stetson hat.

Unhand that gun, be gone

There’s no one to fire upon.

If he’s holding it high

He’s telling a lie.

I heard it was you

Talkin’ ’bout a world

Where all is free

It just couldn’t be

And only a fool would say that.” – Steely Dan

Now that the “Empire of Dunces” (I use the word “Empire” in deference to those “honorable” [as in “For Brutus is a honorable man”] secessionists who would return us back to the vainglorious days of the Empire of Texas.) is in session again and making a joke of itself, and playing the rest of us for fools, it’s time for me (“us” for the handful of my honorable readers) to have a little fun at the lege’s expense, old school.

November 5, 1866

A number of Tonkaway Indians were on the streets this week in a salubrious condition. We suggest that they now take possession of the Capitol Square and give one of their war dances as an appropriate finale to the closed session of the Eleventh Legislature.

September 25, 1877

Mr. A. Dorris, he of the Twelfth Legislature, was in the city yesterday, and while here he “lit into” a crowd of blacks with a knife and wounded one in the arm. Dorris, it is said, had a little benzine on board and the blacks exasperated the old man by plaguing him. Immediately after he slashed into them with a knife, some one started after an officer to have him arrested, but Dorris got into his wagon and left the city post haste.

June 1882

The Angry Gazette.

The following is what the New York Police Gazette has to say of the Texas legislature: “The small potato legislators of Texas have put a tax of $500 on the vendors of the Police Gazette. If we wished, we could buy out the moral faction of the state, but we would hold them dear at any price, and don’t propose to either purchase them or be blackmailed by the canting crew of political deacons. Such yellow curs may as bay the moon as snarl at us. Both curs and the Gazette will roll on in spite of their howls.”

February 24, 1883

No Extra Charge.

A very loudly dressed female, very much painted up, of the class that is always very numerous in Austin when the Legislature is in session, put in her appearance at the photographic arena of a local artist. She was accompanied by a young puppy, a genuine one, however, with four legs. She stated she wanted a picture of the dog and was told it would cost $2.

How much will you charge extra, if I can take in the picture?” she asked.

There will be no extra charge whatever, I don’t charge any more for one dog than I do for the both of you.”

April 15, 1883

Friday morning, the mayor, for the first time in four or five years, had no cases of any kind before him. By the way, the legislature adjourned Friday morning.

May 29, 1883

It is definitely known to the Evening News that indictments have been returned against many members of the legislature for poker playing. We do not believe these gentlemen are guilty of any violation of the spirit of the law against gaming, and we will have some plain talk on this subject soon.

January 9, 1884

At legislator’s headquarters today at 12, chili con carne.

The pressure on the gas tank needs screwing down, or something to make lights stronger. If the works are inadequate to the demand, attach a pipe to the legislature. [Editor’s note: Austin was then lighted by coal gas, which was known and derided for putting out but little light.]

(More legislative fun to come … )

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