Dog Bites

And Bonds Spanks Another One ...
It's no secret that Giants left fielder Barry Bonds can be, and frequently is, an arrogant jerk -- as well as an annoying crybaby to boot. What remains unknown by many is why.

The Hall of Fame-bound ballplayer may have dropped a fairly big clue Sunday, when describing why he didn't mind getting beaned by a pitch to Chronicle sportswriter Henry Schulman: "I got spanked worse than that," said Bonds. "I'll take one shot with a baseball over my dad spanking me for 20 minutes." (Emphasis added by Dog Bites.)

Now, seeing as San Francisco is fast filling with Starbucks/Pasta Pomodoro-loving arriviste yuppies whose sense of the city's history is limited to the length of time they've held a Pac Heights neighborhood parking permit, Dog Bites is compelled to point out that Bonds' father is former Giant great (and current Giant minor-league batting coach) Bobby Bonds, whose arms are probably in pretty good shape.

And Dog Bites is also compelled to scream, to the very last upper reserved seat in Candlestick Park: 20 minutes?

We Go Back to Reading Jon Carroll, So You Won't Have To
Dog Bites was all set to give up summarizing Jon Carroll's column, on the theory that enough was enough, and also because we were scared of all the women who kept e-mailing us from Oakland saying things like, "You leave Jon Carroll alone!" (We're not making this up, either.)

But then we got this note from one John Poultney, and it was just enough to make us backslide. John writes:

Please, please keep reading Jon Carroll's column so I don't have to. Since you stopped doing it a couple weeks back, I've been trying to read it, and I just can't do it anymore. I was only able to get through one sentence this morning.

You're performing a real service here, and I know I speak for millions when I say, "We're all counting on you."

Well, John, since you ask so nicely, we will give it another shot.

Monday, July 27
Bridges are convenient ways to cross water.

Tuesday, July 28
It's hard to choose a seat in a movie theater.

Wednesday, July 29
Some of my readers coughed up $35,000 so a theater group called WOWER Power could put on a play. (Bonus: Carroll uses word "yowsa.")

Thursday, July 30
Everybody liked the WOWER Power play.

Friday, July 31
Civic politics is awfully political.

We hope that does it for you. But it doesn't do it for us. Because after our enforced reading of the columns, Dog Bites got an idea: The Jon Carroll Drink-ing Game.

The suggested beverage is coffee, since the Chron comes out in the morning, but feel free to improvise according to the effect the column has on you. If you've never played a drinking game before, don't worry -- our proposed rules are extremely simple, though we invite additions from other interested parties. Essentially, every time you notice a certain condition has been met, you take the prescribed number of mouthfuls of coffee.

The Jon Carroll Drinking Game
Every time Jon Carroll ...
1) Mentions Tracy: Take a drink.
2) Uses a run-on sentence: Take a drink.
3) Capitalizes words midsentence for humorous effect: Take two drinks.
4) Mentions his cats: One drink.
5) Mentions cats are named Archie and Bucket: Three drinks.
6) Discusses cats' sleeping habits and/or fuzzy bellies: Chug cup!
7) Begins sentence with words "So I was": Two drinks.
8) Begins column with words "So I was": Four drinks.
9) Deplores trend toward incivility: One drink.
10) Ends sentence with words "ha ha ha": Two drinks.
11) Tells heartfelt anecdote: One drink.

12) Tells heartfelt anecdote about an experience he had while traveling: Three drinks.

13) Includes cryptic one-sentence paragraph: One drink.
14) Mentions that someone e-mailed him: One drink.
15) Mentions he heard something on the Well: Two drinks.
16) Column's tag line includes phrase from '70s pop song: One drink.

17) Tag line includes phrase from song recorded within past five years: Two drinks.

18) Uses semicolon: One drink
19) Uses semicolon more than three times in one column: Three drinks.
20) Uses word "yowsa": Chug cup.

Note to Researchers: Clinton's Already Done This
Finally, we would like to draw your attention to one of the most promising-looking medical developments we've run across in years. Technology-trend trackers Thomas J. Frey and Darby L. Frey, whose job titles alone are enough to reduce Dog Bites to several hours of regret over our choice of courses in college, have an article in the latest issue of The Futurist. (What, you don't subscribe?)

Along with predicting such inventions as meat-producing plants and spherical computer monitors, the Freys foresee something they call "therapeutic amnesia." "It will be accomplished through a technology that methodically reverses the memory distribution algorithm used by the part of the human brain known as the hippocampus," they write, and Dog Bites is intimidated enough not to argue. "In effect, memory will be 'overwritten' to cancel out days, months, or years of a person's life. Therapeutic amnesia will become a unique mental-health treatment."

And on that note, we return to reading Jon Carroll.

As told to Laurel Wellman

Tip Dog Bites -- especially if you're disgruntled. Phone 536-8139; fax 777-1839; e-mail

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