Dog Bites

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like ... Christmas?
Dog Bites was deeply perturbed, if not downright disgruntled, to open the paper one morning this week and discover that Cost Plus World Market was advertising ... Christmas ornaments. Setting our coffee mug down with a thud, we checked the calender. As we had suspected, it was still July. (December is much sunnier.)

For the rest of the day we worried about the significance of one of the ornaments in question, which could best be described as a Santa on a Stick. Who would buy a Santa on a Stick? Who would buy a Santa on a Stick in July?

Finally, we saw that Santa on a Stick bore a message for us all -- in fact, several messages. We reproduce these as they appeared to us after several Dirty Girl Scout Cookies (see Page 8).

Black and White and Read All Over
Magazine world gossip being what it is, Dog Bites wasn't sure what to think when we saw Dave Eggers' name floated as a possible replacement for departing New Yorker Editor Tina Brown. Eggers, the guy who used to edit Might mag-azine and draw SF Weekly's Smarter Feller, is now an editor at large at Esquire in New York.

But no, he's not headed to The New Yorker. Instead, he's launching McSweeny's, a magazine named after a man who apparently wrote long, tortured, and often incomprehensible letters to Eggers' family. The first 200-page, perfect-bound, black-and-white issue, planned for mid-August, features a short story by David Foster Wallace; an essay about the television Yule log by Rick Moody, accompanied by an explanation of why the essay was killed by the New York Times Magazine; and a feature that explains the cultural references behind newspaper headlines culled from the Examiner and the Chronicle. "It's going to be a very weird product," says Eggers. "It makes Might look normal."

Out of the Park
In our heroic ongoing pursuit of bad and silly sportswriting, we offer proof that not only is baseball too often boiled down to its numerical elements, but that even experienced baseball writers can get lost in the dismal bog of digits that support the superstructure of our otherwise soul-inspiring national sporting activity.

The context: Giants pitcher Russ Ortiz's first major-league start on July 20. (Ortiz had previously bounced back and forth between the majors and the minor leagues before his start.)

The writer: Chronicle scribe David Bush.
The offending tangle of numbers: "Ortiz, who had made eight relief appearances in his four trips to the major leagues, went seven innings and gave up three runs, two earned, and only three hits."

Our 100-percent-wool, New Era Authentic Diamond Collection hats off to Mr. Bush, the first-ever recipient of the Dog Bites Excellence in Sportswriting "Say What?" Award.

Great Literature Summarized!
A couple of weeks ago, we invited readers to summarize anything they thought other readers might find useful. And we are happy to report that Mr. Michael McIntosh thoughtfully obliged.

Inspired by your weekly Jon Carroll update and synopsis, I thought I would take the liberty of summarizing some literature for your readers so they won't have to waste time reading for themselves, writes Michael:

* Herman Melville's Moby Dick: The demented captain of a ship battles a large whale, much to the chagrin of his beleaguered crew.

* James Joyce's Ulysses: An ad man walks about Dublin, stopping every now and then to chat with friends and family.

* The Bible: The world is created and an extraordinary man walks about it performing miracles.

Thank you. I hope I have saved your readers some valuable reading time.
No, Michael, thank you. The Dog Bites staff enjoyed your contribution greatly, and hope you will become a regular correspondent, particularly since everything you write saves us from having to write the equiva-lent number of words ourselves.

Any Hour Is Happy Hour
Of course, we won't slack off just because Mr. McIntosh contributed to the column this week. Instead, we devoted the extra time to researching the answer to a pressing reader question.

"I'm not disgruntled (it's still early) but I am intrigued," writes Idrissa Kuhne. "As my best friend is a bartender, I've had a Mind Eraser and an Oatmeal Cookie. Are these the same as the drinks mentioned in your column this week? Please send recipes."

Now, after last week's national uproar over the Abercrombie & Fitch catalog's publication of a number of cocktail recipes (Mothers Against Drunk Driving was especially appalled that the catalog promoted binge drinking as an appropriate lifestyle choice for college students) we are eager to stress that alcohol is not glamorous, that drinking is not sophisticated, and that Dog Bites is most definitely not a role model for anyone.

In fact, far from being a leggy, agreeably vacant 21-year-old sorority girl, Dog Bites is in fact a withered, leathery, chain-smoking 72-year-old woman habitually clad in a mint-green jogging suit who, when not staring glumly at the TV at the local bar, enjoys cruising slowly down single-lane sections of Highway 1 in a large mobile home, tailed by a line of 47 impotently enraged drivers.

This disclosure out of the way, we are happy to provide you with the recipes you requested:

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