Dog Bites

You Like Us! You Really Like Us!
Dog Bites has arrived, and we have the mail to prove it: a note from troubled Guardian Publisher Bruce Brugmann asking one of our staff writers, "Can you help get your new ME [managing editor] into the great SF Weekly/New Times fannywhacker tradition?"

We're a little puzzled. Is it better to be a fannywhacker, or a fannywhacker manquee? And, assuming one aspires to fannywhackerdom, is there a way to evaluate one's own progress toward this goal, or must one wait for Brugmann's updates? Fortunately, these arrive almost weekly (as you'll see in our coming online feature, "Letters From Bruce Brugmann"), so we shouldn't be in suspense too long.

Can I Get That to Go?
Clement Street merchants were outraged recently when an outpost of the Casket Store came within a hair's breadth of opening near the intersection of Fifth Avenue, right next to the Taiwan Restaurant.

Luckily, before sales of deep-fried menu items could be seriously affected, it turned out the casket outlet lacked a necessary business permit, so the store closed before it ever opened. But to make sure it doesn't happen again, the city Planning Commission may amend its definition of "mortuary" to include "casket stores and other retail establishments that sell ... exclusively funerary goods." We're pretty sure the resulting ghettoization of casket stores will officially qualify these retailers as a disempowered group, but we will leave it to the Guardian, already so practiced at ferreting out oppression wherever it lurks, to address the issue.

And Just to Clarify...
Dog Bites, running-dog-slave-lackey-of-and-capitalist-mouthpiece-for-the-conscienceless-empire-that-is-New-Times (hint to a few recent humor-challenged correspondents: This is a joke), would like to set the record straight. The corporate headquarters from which we take our "marching orders" is not in "Phoenix Fucking Arizona."

Show Him the Money
High-living Wall Street financier Paul Tudor Jones, who owns Providence Equity Partners, Tudor Securities, and other enormous concerns, was recently revealed to be the secret investor who bailed out Wired Ventures last January to the tune of $21 million. The Tudor Securities Christmas party is legendary in New York for its lavishness -- last year, guests got $1,000 play money each with which to play poker and craps, and the top winner scored a trip to Roswell, N.M.

But even though he's got a great sense of humor about things like alleged alien landing sites, Jones apparently wasn't entertained by what one former Wired employee described as "the monthly dog and pony show," at which a select team of staffers was supposed to update him on the company's progress toward its financial goals.

Besides, it was never clear that Jones was completely on-board with Wired's mission. Penthouse Senior Editor Gerard Van der Leun, a longtime and especially vocal critic of the San Francisco-based magazine, took the opportunity to do a little more ragging on Wired: "It could not be determined whether or not Mr. Jones attended Burning Man last fall, or owns any Grateful Dead records, or is exchanging hot e-mail with Nick Negroponte," he told the WELL Wired conference.

He went on to note, "Reports that Mr. Jones had changed his e-mail .sig file from 'Change is good' to 'Show me the money' could not be confirmed."

Recycled Sex Scandals!
Just when we were fretting that we didn't have a good local angle on the Monica Lewinsky Affair, a Washington Post reporter revealed that Ms. Lewinsky was (gasp!) born in San Francisco. But the city can't really take credit for Monica -- her family moved to the southlands when she was only a toddler.

Meanwhile, local arts zine Wasted Space is distributing a leaflet titled "Impeach Clinton?" It details presidential sex scandals though history, starting with Thomas Jefferson (mistress), Alexander Hamilton (mistress, blackmail plot), and Andrew Jackson (possibly illegitimate) and ending with Lyndon Johnson (womanizing), Richard Nixon (mistress), and George Bush (mistress). James Buchanan makes the list -- "probably the only gay president" -- along with Dog Bites' personal favorite former president, Warren Harding, who "had two lifelong mistresses."

John Kennedy "we all know about," says the flier, arguing that we should "repeal the 22nd Amendment and elect [Clinton] again."

Yet More El Nino News
Corporate headquarters has instructed us to report that, in what might be termed "The Seattle Effect," local coffee retailers have found that our recent torrential rains have been great for business. One Royal Ground outlet said people are streaming in for coffee, tea, or anything hot, while staff at the Daily Brew on California Street noted that the harder it rains, the more people need caffeine.

And a slight case of Seasonal Affective Disorder seems to be plaguing many patrons of Jitters, the coffee joint beneath our swanky new offices, where by-now-chronically-sunlight-deprived office workers, looking for the buzz of a serotonin fix, are gobbling carbohydrates in the form of bagels, muffins, and coffeecake in such quantities that many goodies are sold out before lunch. These are dark days indeed.

-- Laurel Wellman

Dog Bites welcomes tips. Write to Dog Bites, c/o SF Weekly, 185 Berry, Lobby 4, Suite 3800, San Francisco, CA 94107, or e-mail dogbites@sfweekly.com.

 
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