Dog Bites

Taking the Fun Out of Fort Funston; A Tale of Two Cities (and One Swedish Furniture Emporium); Spin the Bottle?

Taking the Fun Out of Fort Funston
On Sunday, somewhere between B&B Pet Supply and Oil Changers, Dog Bites decided the day was way too nice to waste on errands, and stopped off at Fort Funston. The place is a latter-day hotbed of dog politics, we hear, but since we don't own a dog, and we weren't working, we thought we'd just hang out on the multilevel wooden deck overlooking the Pacific, where small groups of people were sunbathing, congratulating themselves on the view of blue sky, blue ocean, and blue Marin hills, admiring the aerobatics of the hang-glider pilots launching themselves off the cliff to the south, and recovering from the previous night -- not that we're judging; we were more or less in this category ourselves.

(Interior, a certain North Beach/Chinatown nightclub)

Dog Bites: Can I have my arm back, please?

Huge, incoherent, khaki-clad dot-commer: Whassa? Hey ...

Dog Bites: Let go of my arm.

Huge, incoherent, khaki-clad dot-commer's friend: Hey man, let go of her arm. Her arm. Let go of her arm.

Dog Bites: OK, now how about my purse strap?

So anyway, basking, reptilelike, on the warm concrete of one of the old gun emplacements, we were just achieving a state of relaxation that had eluded us all week when behind us a man barked, "Fuck! I'm shorting Krispy Kreme. I'm totally fucking shorting it! I mean, there's no way a doughnut shop should be doing $40, $45."

Startled out of our near-trance, our daydream -- which had something to do with a spa vacation, if you must know -- in ruins, Dog Bites listened, trying to fight a flood of not-being-in-the-market-dying-broke-and-alone-panic-terror adrenalin. "It's hype," the man continued. "It's total fucking hype. I'm shorting it."

"They just opened one in, like, Fremont," said one of his companions, adding, "You know, my fucking ex-husband bought Cisco before it split."

"Fremont!" spat the man, as though this confirmed his entire hypothesis. "Fuck!" [NB: The new Bay Area Krispy Kreme is actually in Union City.]

Someone's cell phone began ringing, but Dog Bites was already fleeing back to the car.

Luckily, Nordstrom had these really great earrings, so an hour or so later we were feeling much better -- although come to think of it, maybe we shouldn't continue in this vein, as reader Josh Norem writes, "I regularly read your column, and usually enjoy it. Sometimes though, you go off on 'girly' things like how cute Don Johnson is, thereby turning off a large percentage of your male audience."

Say, thanks for the tip. But just to set the record straight, Dog Bites has never, not ever, called Don Johnson "cute." In fact, we believe the only adjectival phrase we have regularly applied to the actor is "crepey-skinned." We mean, eeeeew. Don Johnson? John Cusack, definitely, but Don Johnson? Eeeeew!

We trust that was girly enough for Mr. Norem.

A Tale of Two Cities (and One Swedish Furniture Emporium)
Like the People's Republic of Berkeley, Moscow does not believe in chain stores. Readers of the New York Times (including Mr. Charles Ware -- thanks for the fax) may have noticed a story about how no one -- not even Vladimir Putin! -- has been able to help get Moscow's government to loosen up and allow the city's brand-new IKEA to complete a much-needed overpass to its parking lot. "On opening day, traffic was backed up for three miles by noon as cars tried to turn off the main highway," writes Times business reporter Jonathan Fuerbringer. Apparently, civic leaders are retaliating because the new store is several miles outside city limits, meaning the city can't collect tax on IKEA's sales.

Now, a couple of months ago Dog Bites received an urgent communiqué, which we've since lost, so you're just going to have to take our word on this, from a disgruntled Berkeley merchants' group complaining that neighboring Emeryville is siphoning off all their business by allowing stores to be built there -- chain stores, like Home Depot and Good Guys! and God, Jamba Juice and Barnes & Noble. Actually, wait -- those two are on Shattuck. But still! Something must be done!

We suggest street barricades, and little checkpoints manned by guards empowered to search people's spare-tire wells for contraband Toys "R" Us merchandise. It's for their own good; after all, citizens must be made to realize that consumerism is counterrevolutionary, except when it takes place in a Berkeley-based store within the Berkeley city boundaries, at which time it is laudable, especially if it involves the purchase of bulk echinacea.

Luckily for the rest of us, though -- especially the rest of us with serious furniture deficiency problems -- big-box happy Emeryville is alwaysready to do business. "Emeryville has been a joy to deal with," says IKEA East Bay Manager Mike O'Rourke. "In all of my life I've never seen a civic body move so fast to get things done for us. They were out there widening the road, putting in turning lanes, putting in traffic lights -- whatever we needed."

Spin the Bottle?
We try to print actual news in this space, but, well -- sometimes things just don't work out. For instance, when a friend who frequents the Mission boîtes favored by the politically connected called us to report he'd heard political consultant Jack Davis had thrown a birthday party for the Guardian's Tim Redmond, we were all over the story like, uh, whiskey on the rocks.

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