By Ian S. Port
By SF Weekly
By Ian S. Port
By Ian S. Port
By Ian S. Port
By Ian S. Port
By Tony Ware
By Emma Silvers
Why do we find fluffy fat things with big eyes cute (like kittens), but not creatures with sharp features and bony frames (like lobsters)? Some folks say it has to do with the way human infants look, all chubby and big-headed with wide eyes. Our brain is wired to see babies and think, "Cute!" so that we'll take care of them even though they keep us up all night and don't clean up after themselves. (Actually, that also explains the attraction to my last boyfriend. Badumbump.)
At any rate, I'm a sucker for cute, which explains why I just took in another cat. This new cat looks like a Keane painting. She's a Persian with snowy white hair and green eyes as big as gumballs. She should have her own calendar, in which she poses in various cute settings next to sayings like "Hang in there, Friday's comin'!" and "Friends are like potato chips: You can't have just one!"
As it turns out, there's a funny thing about "cute." When cute gets pissed off, it can turn into a demon from Hades. Once I approached my new pet for some lovin', her dinner-plate eyes turned into gleaming butcher knives, her sweet mouth upturned to reveal fangs, and she emitted a growl that would keep the ferryman on the River Styx away. Then the little shit bit me. Hard. Down to the bone. My hand swelled up and got infected. Bad Fifi!
The only thing good that came from this was a month's supply of Vicodin, and of course a lesson that cute comes in many different packages. Just look at the "Silly Pink Bunnies" skateboard pack that invaded Thee Parkside the other night.
I had been wanting to go to the "new" Parkside for a while. It's under different ownership and has apparently been cleaned up a bit, with fresh paint and less-sticky floors. I got all ho'd up and arrived just as the beginning strains of Metallica's "Seek and Destroy" came on the jukebox.
There is something about Thee Parkside that makes you want to get drunk and rip your shirt off. When I walked in I was the only female in the room except for the two bartenders. The bar contained a mix of hipsters, rockers, bike messengers, and various other types that own Uriah Heep records. Thee Parkside is hands down my favorite place to hang out, especially out back where you can smoke and play ping-pong. And there is always tons of parking in Potrero Hill, another plus.
I sat at the bar and chatted up a few peeps, keeping my throbbing hand elevated. Asia's "Heat of the Moment" was playing and the lyric " ... and when your looks are gone and you're alone ... " came on. The chaps to my right and I both realized that since the song was almost 25 years old, the babe the band was singing about had probably actually lost her looks by now and was sitting alone in some ramshackle Paris apartment eating canned sardines.
I went outside and saw my first Silly Pink Bunny of the evening. The Bunnies are a skateboarding "gang" founded by S.F. illustrator Jeremy Fish, whose artwork is what I would call "urban snuggly." I suppose you could say the same for the guys in the SPBs. I watched this particular member lock his bike to a tree (yeah, no skateboard) and then shake the tree for several seconds, looking up into its branches, making sure it wasn't going anywhere. "Silly rabbit," I thought to myself. He caught me looking at him bemusedly, and he laughed at himself. I liked this guy.
Slowly the bar filled with Bunnies, each one getting more markedly wasted. These guys could really down the PBR. But here's the thing about skaters: They are probably the only group of males who get together and act rowdy, loud, and vaguely homoerotic with one another but still remain nice, decent guys at heart. Women needn't fear them. In fact, I welcomed their attention.
"First," said one who stopped me in his path, "I like your lipstick."
"Well, what do you like second?" I said seductively (I thought).
This sort of threw him for a loop.
"Uh," he said, searching searching searching ... "Your lipstick."
There was a drunken tussle behind us and I turned to see one guy playfully ripping off the T-shirt of another guy. "Shirts are for work!" he pointed out, rightly so.
Another Bunny entered my airspace and wobbled a bit, adjusting his beer goggles. "You are so fine that I could stand here all night," he told me. I didn't quite believe him. I made a mental note to return to that spot in an hour and see if he was still there.
Most of the crowd at Thee Parkside that night seemed to be there to see Thrasher-approved metal band Hightower perform. A tall guy who had been stage-diving all by himself with no one to catch him, I might add during the previous act was nursing his wounds by the women's room. I gave him a kind pat on the chest and asked how he was doing, and he replied with an aw shucks sort of "I'm OK." These guys played hard but weren't dicks.
Standing in the crowd waiting for Hightower to start, I felt like it was 1984 all over again. One guy was wearing a "Nazi punks fuck off" arm band. Another guy had painted JFA on the back of his jeans jacket. I just sighed.
By the end of the night I had a chestful of SPB stickers and the idea that I was some kind of Hot Betty, a feeling probably helped along by all the booze that they were drinking and all the Vicodin that I was downing. At any rate, I felt good. Like a woman. "You're cute," I said to the guy with the handlebar moustache. He was my favorite. He reminded me of someone who should be piloting a hot air balloon whilst listening to UFO.
Once I was safely ensconced in bed later, my only company the newly adopted cotton ball of destruction, I fell into a deep sleep. I can't fully remember, but I think I dreamt of bunnies and kittens and lil' baby chicks. Oh, and getting it three ways in Thee Parkside's bathroom with a skater dude. But I can't be sure.