"I Know the Band!"
A few weeks ago, Mayor Brown's limo tires screeched to a stop in front of Tosca in North Beach. The mayor exited the double-parked vehicle, stepped inside, and promptly began chatting up some pretty girls. Obviously the day's mayoral duties had already been completed. During the course of socializing, he was introduced to punk collage artist Winston Smith, who lives in the neighborhood and is responsible for the album artwork of Green Day, among other bands. The mayor seemed friendly enough, so Smith handed him a copy of his book Act Like Nothing's Wrong, published by Last Gasp, a collection of collage pieces from the '70s through the '90s.
The mayor examined the cover of the book -- a Jesus Christ crucified on a cross made of dollar bills, an image originally used as cover art for the Dead Kennedys' 1981 album In God We Trust Inc. and noteworthy for almost appearing on an episode of Pat Robertson's 700 Club as part of an evil rock record display, except it was so offensive they couldn't show it on-camera. The mayor browsed through the images with a puzzled expression. Smith mentioned that some of the work was done originally for the Dead Kennedys.
"Oh, I know the band," snapped the mayor knowingly. He rolled up the book in his hand, and after he finished schmoozing the bar, walked out to the limo, where he was spotted in the back seat still paging through Smith's book as the car roared off into the night.
"Now that I'm a close personal friend of the mayor," says Smith, "I can probably double-park anywhere I want!"
O'Greenberg's, a blue-collar bar on Dolores and 29th streets, attracts a healthy crowd every St. Patrick's Day, many of whom partake of the traditional spread of potato salad and bagels. The tavern has also been a convenient and necessary watering hole for students at the San Francisco College of Mortuary Science across the street. According to one student, who was at the time clearly defying the rules by sitting there on a barstool, the school has recently warned its pupils to avoid hanging out at the bar, because after a few cocktails, the apprentice undertakers have been known to loosen the jaw and spin grisly tales of the inner workings of their biz. So remember, the next time you stop into O'Greenberg's for a pop, and the guy next to you starts waxing eloquent about body fluid drainage, or how much the human liver actually weighs, or what a headless torso looks like after being munched on by garfish and snapping turtles, just keep in mind, as you're trying not to lose your lunch, that, technically, he's fudging the rules.
It's All Their Fault
One of the highlights of last week's comedy group summit at the Venue 9 performance space was the reunion of the satirical improvisational revue known as the Pitschel Players. It was the first time they'd performed together in San Francisco in 25 years. Group member John Fromer now works as a free-lance television producer for PBS, among others, but at Venue 9, he charmed the sold-out crowd into a cheery sing-along. Accompanying himself on an acoustic guitar, Fromer led 100 smiling faces through a happy, major-chord tune, the lyrics of which went something along the lines of: "Teen-age immigrant welfare mothers on drugs/ It's all their fault!"
Rush Limbaugh's Dirty Secret
"When your own father, a grossly overweight man, repeatedly sneaks into your room at night to steal your training bra and panties, to indulge his own transvestite desires, something inside of you puts its foot down. One pivotal night, I confronted him. I told him 'No...no, Daddy, no...No more panties. No more lies and masquerades. No more living in the shadows, as the illegitimate, Jewish daughter you never acknowledged. I'm running away, and starting my own media empire. I'm going to tell the world the truth about you!' I ran out of the house, and slammed the front door. The night was cold.
"For a year now, I've been living on the streets, turning tricks, and dodging Daddy's paid assassins."
"Daddy" in this case is Rush Limbaugh, and his illegitimate daughter named Tara Limbaugh is a 17-year-old runaway turned on-line psychic, aka the drag queen alter ego of San Francisco Internet whiz Mark Ewert. Via his very hilarious and entertaining Website "Fuck You, Daddy!" (http://www.ina.com), Ewert has created an entire world for his psychic-drag persona, revolving around Tara's life, tarot readings, and a never-ending series of on-line psychic drag queen events, where Tara may frequently be found to be bathing in fresh milk "and showing a lot of skin."
One recent 24-hour video teleconference hosted by Tara at the Internet Alfredo cafe on Brannan Street attracted 50 drag queens in all their finery, and featured live video hookups with William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, and goth author Poppy Z. Brite. Tara says Burroughs contextualized psychic drag queens in terms of anthropology and transvestite/transgender shamans, and the crowd was, of course, very flattered. "We responded the only way we could, by giving him fashion advice," reports Tara. "We liked the cap but were divided over his schleppy Army jacket."