A Mysterious Absence Keeps Us From Leveling Out.

Welcome to D-Rated, in which we try to determine if the quality of life in Dallas and its surrounding areas is moving up or down by arbitrarily awarding and subtracting point values to our living situation based on current events.

Not-So-Smooth Criminal: My favorite stories to read are the ones involving stupid criminals. And they don't get much dumber than this: Charles Troutman was out cruising around 4 a.m. Wednesday when he decided to flash his illegal red-and-blue lights at a cop. The officer pulled over and called 911 (an important tip if you ever think the officer pulling you over isn't legit) and then Troutman went on his way — only to later get pulled over by some on-duty officers and arrested for impersonating an officer. Oh, and drug possession, too. If you've been pulled over by Troutman before, you are urged to call Dallas police. Minus 1.

What-A-Time-To-Be-Alive: This is both great and terrible news. DoorDash is now testing Whataburger delivery in parts of Dallas. As someone who has an (almost literally) unhealthy obsession with the Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit, this is a very dangerous service. The delivery fee is a flat $4.99, which almost isn't worth it — at least until you find yourself craving some spicy ketchup after a drunken night out (or in). I'm still salivating at the prospects, though. Plus 2.

The Case Of The Missing District Attorney: It's certainly one of the stranger events to ever happen in Dallas politics. Until this week, no one seemed to know where Dallas County D.A. Susan Hawk was. She hadn't shown up for work in weeks, and her staff had only given some variation on “she's taking time off” when pressed. On Tuesday, she announced she'll be taking a four-week, unpaid leave of absence to treat a “serious episode of depression.” That will make nearly seven weeks out of the office for Hawk. This raises more questions than it answers, especially since Hawk has admitted struggles with prescription drugs in the past. We wish her a speedy recovery, but the lack of communication until this week makes something seem amiss. It's not the vibe you want to get from the county's top prosecutor, anyway. Minus 1.

If You Can't Stand The Heat: Talk about a heated situation. On Monday, Dawson Mills rolled up to a Mesquite Pizza Hut armed with a propane tank and a lighter, and demanded cash from the person behind the counter. He got away with the cash, but was quickly apprehended with his getaway driver. That's some scary stuff, but you have to give the guy some points for creativity. Minus 1.

Begging For Trouble: Break out the world's tiniest violin for Tanya Ragan. She lives near the Farmers Market, and she doesn't like that so many homeless people live there, too. Now, she's urging her neighbors to use social media and publicly shame any panhandlers or people sleeping on the sidewalks. Ragan and her friends are also trying to put pressure on Dallas police and 7-Eleven to crack down on beggars and loiterers. OK. Listen: Sure, some of these folks can occasionally be a bit too aggressive when asking for spare change, but they're mostly just looking for a meal or a comfortable place to sleep for the night. Plastering their photos on social media and whining to the police and 7-Eleven's corporate offices about it when these people aren't actually threatening or harming you only reinforces the worst stereotypes about Dallas. Don't be those people. Have a heart. Minus 2.

I'd Rather Have Dog: Fletcher's, the biggest name in corn dogs, is branching out again. This year at the State Fair, the brand will be offering a vegetarian corn dog option at its permanent location across from the log flume. I personally thinks this concept sounds pretty unappetizing, but I suppose it's nice to know that even people who don't eat meat will get the chance to gain 10 pounds in one sitting just like the rest of us. Plus 2.

This Week's Total: Minus 1.
Last Week's Total: Minus 2.
Running Total: Minus 3.

Cover photo from Susan Hawk's Facebook page.

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