Pats and Pans was a lot of fun for me. It
started off as a consciousness-raising
tool — a quick pat on the head for deeds
well done, or a kick in the pants for miscreants. It also allowed me to indulge a
weakness for puns. (That's one reason it
remained anonymous for almost a year.)
But it was also limiting. The format precluded any indepth treatment of issues,
and besides that, after a couple of years
I started running out of words that contained Pat, Pan or facsimiles thereof.
So I quit. Here are a few samples.
A poison PAN letter to Lynn Ashby,
Houston Post columnist, for his perennial
chauvinism. In his Awards for '75: "it
was the year of women's rights, giving us
Patty Hearst, Squeaky Fromme and Sara
Princess Anne is fourth in line for the
British throne. Under the ancient law
of succession, which favors the male line,
she comes after her older brother, Prince
Charles, and her two younger brothers,
Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. But
Labor Member of Parliament Robert
Kilroy-Silk believes that Britain's new
Sex Discrimination Act should put her second in line. (Apparently he disapproves
of royal heir-brushing.) Give him a princely PAT for bucking 'em at the Palace.
Battered women beware. The stench of
Macho (son of Brut) now comes in
cologne, spray cologne and soap-on-a-
rope; all penis-shaped and sold at Jocke's
...er, Joske's. "So bold it reflects his
personality and life-style perfectly. It's
ba-a-ad and that's good" read full-page
Joske's ads in local dailies. PAN Joske's
phallacious reasoning that "macho power"
is "strong and so alive, and it belongs to
today's young contemporary man - the
man with macho." It's ba-a-ad, and that's
Our samPAN award (for the worst
looking Chinese junk in town) goes to
City Councilmember Frank Mancuso. On
behalf of the city, he accepted a bronze
the city, Mancuso accepted a bronze
statue of Confucius from representatives
of the Republic of China. Fine. Except
that the inscription on the base of the
statue reads "When the Great Principle
prevails, the world is a commonwealth....
men have their respective occupations
women their homes...."PAT Women's
Advocate Nikki van Hightower who objected strongly, saying "This city would
not tolerate a statue....with a racist statement at its base."
Tempus fug it, except in Uvalde. Governor Dolph Briscoe has just reappointed Dr.
Maynard S. Hart of El Paso to another
three-year term on the State Health
Advisory Committee. The governor personally makes all such appointments to
state agencies and committees. The only
problem is, Dr Hart died in 1975. A
timesPAN to the governor.
PAN AM America for inviting two male
medical experts on "Face Off to debate
the safety of breast feeding. Can you
imagine two women experts called on to
discuss the safety of vasectomies? Can't
see it would make such a vas deferens.
That PANcake make-up on the reporters
is being spread a little too thin around
2 Country. We're tired of seeing Ron
Stone pop out of elevators and Sara
Lowry standing in check-out lines, being
swooned over by adoring fans. How do
they find time to report the news between all these testimonials? PAT
Channel 26 (K-DOG) for hounding them
a little; they have a lovely spoof on the
whole thing where a viewer spies the
K-DOG mascot leaving the station and
excitedly asks, "Hey aren't you the K-
DOG?" Thanks, K-DOG, for the paws
PAT Jacqueline Means who, on New
Years Day, was ordained the first woman
priest in the Episcopal Church. Means,a
high school dropout at 16, who eloped
with a truck driver, says she wants to become a bishop. Could be. Where there's
a Means there's a way.
A peanut butter PAT to the Girl Scouts
of America, who last month, in their
first ever political statement, came out in
favor of the ERA. Two Girl Scout leaders in Austin were so burned up at this
that they set fire to their uniforms. It
is not known whether they were wearing
them at the time. A group in Savannah
chewed it over for a while and then voted
to boycott all Girl Scout cookies, even
By December of 1978, Pats and Pans had
become Media Matters. That month, we
asked the burning question, . "Can
Barbara Walters find happiness as a mil-
lion-dollar-a-year voyeur?", the neckline
on T.M/s cover model was plunging and
so was the morale of city desk staffers
at the Houston Post
Since then, we have tackled some serious
issues: the Guyana tragedy, the American
coverage of the Iran situation, human
rights violations in South America,
Margaret Thatcher, the censoring of
Death of a Princess by Channel 8, coverage of environmental issues by Houston's
dailies. And then there's the pope, and
Dan Patrick, and Bob Hope. Some
things never change.
When John Wayne died the eulogies came thick and fast. He
was a hero, a role model, the personification of American values.
One of the most interesting, if crass,
observations came from Bob Hope.
"We've lost a big one, a jumbo in this business," said Hope, as if bemoaning the demise of a Big Mac.
In a way, it was the most honest remark of all. Wayne was a commodity, a
quintessential example of the American
way of selling. When we buy toothpaste,
we buy sex-appeal. When we buy a Big
Mac, we buy the wholesome family image.
When we buy John Wayne, we buy the
Whether he realized it or not, Hope
said a mouthful. (July/August, 1979)'
Channel 11 sportscaster Dan
Patrick has apparently never
heard of separation of church
and sports. Inspired no doubt by his
interview with Terry Bradshaw on how
Jesus helped him win the Superbowl,
Patrick devoted—and we do mean devoted—a whole week recently to a series
called Sports and Religion.
Jocks for Jesus would have been a
better title, or Athletic Supporters of
Christ, since it was composed of testimonials to fundamentalist Christianity-
no wide world of religion here.
"The relationship between Christ and
athletes is growing rapidly," said a baseball player. "The movement to Christ
is growing," affirmed an NBA enthusiast.
And just for good measure, Patrick
played his Bradshaw interview again.
The station, which built up the series
with several spots throughout the week,
seems to be promoting Patrick as its answer to Ch. 13's Marvin Zindler. If
that's the case, they forgot the question. (March 1980)
Popes Say the Darndest Things:
"The simple joys of the poor, in
the humble shacks of the peasants, the Indians, the immigrants" are
still present in the midst of suffering,
Pope John Paul II told a crowd of
200,000 in Puebla, Mexico. He had just
swept in from Mexico City, down 80
miles of super-highway reserved for the
day just for him. It's a wonder he wasn't
too pooped to pope. (Feb. 1979))
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