Dog Bites

Where Have All the Doc Martens Gone?; Special: IKEA Labor Unrest!; Silicon Valley Gold Digger: "I 'Fess Up."

Not everyone working at IKEA was as happy about the crowds. Dog Bites was sitting in the store cafeteria as behind us two employees -- make that "IKEA co-workers" -- cleared a table. "I'll tell you, this is not my calling in life," said one, darkly. In fact, significant numbers of Emeryville store employees have already quit, angry at having to work extended hours under such stressful conditions. Meanwhile, IKEA has flown in workers from its stores in L.A. and Seattle to help serve the huge numbers of customers here.

So IKEA, like every other employer in the Bay Area, is going to have to try to keep its employees happy. What's next, we wonder? Six weeks' annual vacation? A unified currency? Socialized medicine?

Emeryville IKEA Store Cafeteria 4400 Shellmound, (510) 420-4532. Spectacular view of Bay and Golden Gate bridges somewhat overshadows food in this airy, moderne temple to beechwood-veneer consumerism. Meatball dinner ($5.95) is flavorful, though lingonberry sauce seems unintegrated with other components of dish, while smoked salmon plate ($4.75) won't impress those spoiled by sushi-grade fish; open-faced shrimp sandwich ($4.75) is a better choice. Dessert menu features delightful mixed pastry plate ($1.95) and cheesecake ($1.95) topped, of course, with the ubiquitous lingonberry sauce. Skip the lingonberry beverage. (L.W.; 4/00) $

Silicon Valley Gold Digger: "I 'Fess Up."
One of the best things about being a columnist is that instead of just getting drunken voice mails from your ex-boyfriends, you get drunken voice mails from all kinds of people. Last week, one woman called us to explain what she felt Harper's Bazaar had missed in its article on Silicon Valley gold diggers: "What this magazine obviously doesn't understand is the concept of the social divorce," she slurred. "If you're going to marry serious, serious money, you have to marry your way into meeting serious, serious money. So then, you know, your second or your third or your fourth husband ..."

She paused to collect her thoughts and continued. "I will indeed 'fess up to being a Silicon Valley gold digger. Yeah, they're boring. Yeah, they make chimpanzees look like Beau Brummel." Beau Brummel? we thought. Well, she has an education.

She sighed. "But what's amazing about these dot-com boys is that they've spent so long in these completely female-free environments that you show up in their life and you pretty much just have to be female, and that's all. You don't need all the other accoutrements of gold-diggerness. You don't need the manicures, you don't need the hair, you don't need the clothes. You just need a snatch."

Now, as charming as this sentiment may be, Dog Bites wonders if perhaps our caller was selling herself a bit short; clearly, other qualities -- such as cunning, for instance -- must be required for, uh, success. "I would imagine this magazine was just totally incapable of finding these women," she concluded. "Because they don't look like your average post-30, going-to-the-opera, you know, just-out-of-the-Junior-League kind of gold digger we all know and love."

Hmm, we thought. Sure enough, the number our caller had (weirdly) left got us to an answering machine which cheerily announced, "Hi, you've reached Frank and Christine [not their real names]. Please leave us a message at the beep."

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

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