Go Figure


Cease-and-desist letters the Texas Department of Transportation has sent in the past year to retailers who have used the slogan “Don’t mess with Texas” without permission. The phrase, introduced in 1986 for Texas’ litter-prevention campaign, is trademarked by the Lone Star State, which is sick of others using it without paying. “We’re not different from any other company that has a slogan or brand,” says a DOT official. “This is an effort to control the dilution of the meaning of the slogan. We want people to understand that we’re talking about litter prevention. We’re not saying, ‘I’m a macho man.’ … We’ve received a few e-mails saying we should get over ourselves. But we have an opportunity to make some money and put it back into litter prevention, which is the purpose of the whole program. It seems fair to us.”


Cost for passengers to rent an elastic band and a squeezable ball to exercise with aboard Song airplanes, in a program set to begin this month. A manual by gym guru David Barton will guide flyers through a workout. “Once, on a long-haul flight to London, I pulled out my band,” Barton says. “I thought people would be annoyed, but they were envious and curious.” The idea tested well. “I did not think that I would get a burn from the short and relatively easy exercises we were doing the other day, but I was wrong,” one guinea pig said. “My bum is still burning.”