For Whom the Poll Tolls
A recent American Medical Association poll shows increasing numbers of parents are walking out of movie theaters and turning off their televisions because of excessive violence. Another poll released by the National Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse says most baby-boomer parents who smoked pot expect their children to follow their lead and smoke pot. Yet another poll by Mervin Field predicts the passing of a state ballot initiative to legalize the medical use of marijuana.
We can deduce a few truths from these surveys.
One, sick people who smoke pot are not as likely to attend a Van Damme motion picture. Two, today's parents would rather their children stare at computer fractals and spill bong water on the carpet than enjoy 90 minutes of Bruce Willis firing handguns. And three, if you crave your violence, don't have children and don't smoke pot — it apparently dilutes the experience.
Show Time at the Kit-Kat
An abbreviated audience survey of a recent Cocktail Nation Combustible Edison show at Bimbo's: fake ocelot, fake snow leopard, fake Bengal tiger, fake cheetah, fake lynx, fake African lion, fake panther, and vinyl zebra (with profuse apologies to Diane Cantwell).
Chiggers and Maggots and Fleas, Oh My!
One of the more disgusting tomes ever published slithers its way into bookstores this month as a reissue. But the day Furtive Fauna: A Field Guide to the Creatures Who Live on You, from Berkeley's Ten Speed Press (originally published in 1992 by Penguin Books), is reviewed in the Sunday paper will be the day Chronicle Book Editor Patricia Holt vomits all over her stacks of detective novels.
Pick up your copy immediately; it is one of the best books of the year. Biology professor Roger M. Knutson, also responsible for writing the droll roadkill guide Flattened Fauna, takes the reader through an illustrated, amusing, and informative tour of those tiny creatures that live and feed off our bodies — from ticks, flies, mosquitoes, and chiggers to fleas, pubic lice, and face mites.
Among the fun facts you won't want to be without:
* Most ectoparasites don't carry disease, and when they do, they often die of it before they give it to humans.
* Young bedbugs don't use us for food, but find sustenance in pizza, old potato chips, and the partially digested blood defecated by their parents.
* Fleas are able to copulate for up to five hours at a time, and even earned a street named after them south of San Francisco — Alameda de las Pulgas.
* Head lice use their claws and clamps to hang onto hairs even through a thorough washing.
* After burrowing her head into your skin, a mother chigoe may grow to the size of a pea, filling up with thousands of eggs.
* In 1977, the mites that grow and live on your face were verified not to have a genuine anus!
Buy this book for those you love, before it's too late. If you can't find it in stores, write Ten Speed Press at PO Box 7123, Berkeley, CA 94707.
Pins That Needle
Just in time for Round 2 of the Trial of the Century, the Cinema Shop at 606 Geary is offering an exclusive one-of-a-kind color portrait of O.J., exquisitely rendered on an official-size, natural-wood bowling pin. Art patrons should note that the Simpson piece is the only full-color painting available in the store's collection of celeb pinheads, which also includes black-and-white likenesses of Adolf Hitler, Jack Nicholson, Humphrey Bogart, and Bela Lugosi. The tag team of Ron and Nancy spices up the window display to the delight of passing tourists and prostitutes alike. Each can be yours for a cool $65, but don't ask for Robert De Niro; he's already sold.
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By Jack Boulware