"They should put up a giant wind barrier around the city," commented one of our shivering friends, and although ordinarily weather-engineering projects make us nervous -- we read a lot of science fiction as a child -- Dog Bites would like to throw our considerable support behind this notion. It's not as though there's any agriculture going on in the city anyway, and there would be numerous benefits to the tourism industry that would, we're sure, more than compensate for whatever collateral damage was done to the ecology. Plus, a wind barrier would be an important first step toward an end we personally see as inevitable: the construction of a dome over much of San Francisco.
Listen, people thought the first enclosed shopping mall was a stupid idea too. But while the economy has, for the time being, made snobs of us all -- Mrs. Field's? Try Vivande Porta Via -- when the NASDAQ really tanks, trust us, the traveling public will be searching for a safe, clean, climate-controlled experience with as much fervor as it's now seeking out the gritty, authentic, and ever-so-slightly seedy. In fact, we think the Union Square Merchants' Association could be a real leader here, providing expertise on the private financing of a protective glass cover under which there will be no homeless people, no graffiti, and no temperature below, let's say, 68 degrees.
Meanwhile, now that Kevin Keating has moved to Greece -- where the weather is doubtless much nicer than it is here -- Dog Bites can finally feel OK about drinking chocolate martinis at Blondie's while rubbing shoulders with other young professionals. Though, come to think of it, Sunday morning after 111 Minna we had reason to wonder if humanitarian Supervisor Mark Leno shouldn't expand his Campaign of Rehydration to the legions of San Franciscans who no longer ingest illegal substances. After all, it's not only Ecstasy-addled club kids who need to be reminded of the benefits of liberal water consumption when out on the town. Come on, Mark. We need some leadership here!
And the Winner Is ...
Dog Bites would like to extend our personal congratulations to each and every one of the entrants in last week's Name That Columnist contest. The actual winner of the contest, Marc Fagel, was for several reasons unable to fulfill his responsibilities, so the sash and tiara went to First Runner-Up John Ormsby, who was so excited to score two seats to last Friday's Giants-Dodgers debacle that he told us, "First class all the way. Tomorrow, I wear the Lime Old Spice and read the front page of USA Today first!"
Being somewhat mean-spirited, we were more amused by the wrong answers than the right ones, particularly by the caller who praised what he thought was our wile: "Every one of them is Herb Caen himself," he said. Say, thanks! (See below.) And one Chron insider claimed to be "so glad to see Bruce Jenkins included in the quotes you pulled. He might be the closest to Caen (even if it's only Chron and Ex editors who think so!)." Uh, actually, there was no Bruce Jenkins material in the contest. Thanks for playing!
We think it only fair to note, however, that there was a certain amount of, well, cheating going on, although even those who made use of subscription-only databases needed to get their answers in quickly. "I thought my combination of Lexis-Nexis access and nothing to do made me a sure thing," complained disappointed entrant (and former Weekly cartoonist) Greg Beato, who correctly identified all the quotes but didn't e-mail us till early afternoon, and hence was beaten by several people with government jobs.
For the record, the answers are: 1) Rob Morse; 2) Dave Ford; 3) Herb Caen; 4) "Something so punchy could only be the work of ... Dog Bites," writes Marc Fagel; 5) Scott Ostler; 6) Dave Ford; 7) Herb Caen; 8) Ken Garcia -- comments Fagel, "Boy, they don't get much worse than this one"; 9) Garcia again; 10) Caen; 11) Morse; 12) Garcia.