By Anna Pulley
By Erin Sherbert
By Chris Roberts
By Erin Sherbert
By Rachel Swan
By Joe Eskenazi
By Erin Sherbert
By Erin Sherbert
Abroad in the Hoochie Nation
How we got the idea it would be a simple matter to show up at Pac Bell Park, buy tickets from a scalper, and watch the San Francisco Demons kick the L.A. Xtreme up and down the field is, now, obscure to us. But when the plan was first proposed we thought it seemed feasible, which was how Dog Bites ended up struggling through the crowds outside the stadium half an hour before kickoff, trying not to lose the people we came with or bump into anyone who looked as though he would take it the wrong way.
"Hey, I'm going to look at the girls," said a guy to his friend, who was stuck in the will-call line that wound around Willie Mays Plaza.
"OK," replied the friend.
There were, doubtless, a lot of girls to look at. "Hoochie ma-mas!" remarked Dog Bites' male companion, and indeed many of the women milling before the gates looked as though they had been surgically enhanced for professional reasons. Of course, it was a record-breaking 73-degree February Sunday, but even so the sheer volume of halter tops, patent leather baby backpacks, fluffy faux-fur shrugs, pink-lensed frameless aviator sunglasses, skintight Earl jeans, gold chain belts, metallic platform sandals, high-shine lip gloss, and deeply tanned cleavage was mildly staggering to Dog Bites, who is starting to think Ms. Donatella Versace and Messrs. Dolce and Gabbana have a lot to answer for. Last spring's designer coke whore look has trickled down to the mass market, and the result is a lot of women who have taken to matching their eye shadow to their turquoise rhinestone-studded tube tops -- for day wear.
Across the street a dozen or so stoked and crew-cutted blond youths disembarked the N Judah, chanting, "Here we go Demons, here we go!" as they charged the crowd.
"That worries me," said one of Dog Bites' friends.
"Extra tickets?" called a man.
"No, but we're looking to buy," we told him.
"Seventy-five each," he answered coolly.
We repaired to the bar at MoMo's to formulate an alternate plan; a round of Bloody Marys later the only alternative plan that had emerged was to repair to the bar at Twenty-Four, where our companions could get shots of Fernet. Dog Bites does not drink Fernet; call us unsophisticated -- many have -- but we think it smells exactly like Scope, which is not a quality we look for in a spirit.
From our sunny table we watched a young man wearing a full-head latex demon mask stroll by talking on his cell phone; hoochie couples strutted under the palm trees, flashing gold chains and Louis Vuitton bucket bags. A little later, two of the Silver Guys, doubtless displaced from Union Square, showed up with their enormous boombox and seemed to be trying to talk their way into the game until a pair of bicycle cops rode up and remonstrated with them.
"What happened?" we asked the cops as the Silver Guys wandered disconsolately away.
"Oh, security called us," said the first cop. "They were trying to get in, saying they had to do a show or something."
"Yeah, they were the halftime entertainment," said the second cop. They laughed.
Though it was warm and pleasant on the patio, Twenty-Four had stopped serving lunch, so -- vowing we'd buy tickets to the next game well in advance -- our party decided to go elsewhere for food, and walked back to the car past a row of immaculate vintage Harleys parked on Berry Street and a tricked-out black Bronco with a garter belt collection hanging from the rearview mirror.
In Cow Hollow, where we ended up, the Hoochie Nation was flying its hoochie flag proudly. A black Range Rover stopped in the middle of Union Street; the man driving it was wearing a Gucci logo visor. "If you're not in the 415 area code ... I'll tell ya," another man wearing a huge silver watch said to his friends, loudly. Pairs of women in tiny halter tops and frameless sunglasses and spike heels and miniskirts paraded up and down the sidewalk looking deeply dissatisfied while the guys at the outside tables nudged each other and sniggered; the vibe was inexplicably aggro despite the good food and the meltingly golden sunlight and the warm cherry blossom-scented air. Everybody seemed angry at everybody else, and nobody liked anybody else's clothes, and everybody was mad he wasn't seated first.
We left to go home and found a woman in pink aviators, high-heeled boots, a calf-length alligator-print patent leather coat, and high-test lip gloss standing by our friend's truck, raging. "Is this your car?" she demanded. "This is my boyfriend's space. He's really pissed off. It says right therenot to park here. Can't you fucking read?"
Dog Bites' friend, who'd parked there because our other friend said we could use the spot, muttered that he hadn't known, and we got into the car, but she charged toward us like a Valkyrie, still yelling, and her boyfriend ran up, yelling too, and Dog Bites' heart was pounding as we drove away. Then we noticed the truck's antenna had been bent over, which our friend rightly observed was extremely uncool, and which could have led to more unpleasantness, but by that time we'd convinced ourselves it was our duty to fight the nasty hoochie vibe at large in the city, so we went home and burned candles and did laundry as a kind of personal hoochie cleansing.