She wrote her first column for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in February 1992 and faxed it to the paper at around 5 p.m. After the fax went through, she called the newsroom.
"Hon, this is Molly Ivins. I'm making sure my column is there. And hon? Can you talk to Ken Bunting? I'm not sure he wants me to say dildo."
She had written about archaic Texas laws involving "lifestyle accessories" and whether or not you should be charged with a crime for owning a certain number of dildos. Bunting, the managing editor, brought the column to editor Mike Blackman. Blackman told people that he felt his newspaper career flashing before his eyes.
"This is crazy, this can't run this way," he said.
Bunting decided to change the wording in the lead to "phallic sex toy." He and Blackman called her and told her they were making the change.
"Molly, I just want to be sure we want to say ‘dildo' in the lead. I'm a little worried," said Blackman.
She didn't argue. Blackman assumed the worst was to come. That Ivins would ultimately resign, that he would get caught, that several other heads would be chopped once the readers came with the torches and sticks.
The new column read this way: "Should you happen to contravene a law made by the only politicians we've got, this too will become a matter of some moment to you. For example, if you happen to possess six or more phallic sex toys, you are a felon under Texas law. In their boundless wisdom, our solons decided that five or fewer of the devices make you a mere hobbyist."
Pub date: 11/09/10
Price: $15.95/20.00 Canada
6 1/8 x 9 1/4
8 pp b/w photos
Selling Territory: WxUK,CW
Pub history: 978-1586487171
Pub date: 11/23/09
Price: $26.95/33.95 Canada