"Journalism in San Francisco is a lot of things," writes Weitzmann in his "editorial." "It is entertainment. It is fashion. It is drama. And there are very few exceptions. This is nothing new -- it should not cause a violent and unhealthy obsession, but it does. Maybe I feel too much."
There is something about reading a parody of your work that makes it difficult to, um, do your work. It's like when you're sick with what's probably walking pneumonia and you feel as though you're not quite in your body and you keep dropping things and then when you go to pick them up it seems like the floor is really far away, and even the J. Crew sale catalog is incapable of providing you with any amusement. Are we making any sense?
Luckily Mr. Weitzmann contented himself with describing Dog Bites as a "frustrated writer" on the cover of his 12-page effort, or we think we would have been too paralyzed with self-consciousness to write this column at all. Still -- frustrated writer? Well, coming up with stuff for this column week after week is pretty frustrating, but we do feel left out: Mecklin, Night & Day, Side Dish, and Riff Raff all got their very own parodies but all we got was a lousy cover box.
Cranky Dog Bites! Cranky!
We want to warn everyone now that this column contains little or no actual "material," because we've been sick and our contact with the outside world has been extremely limited, unless you count going to Trader Joe's and standing in line and looking at the contents of other people's shopping carts and thinking, Man, that's a weird selection of stuff. Who eats that much hummus?, which is scarcely the kind of thing from which a writer of less talent than, say, Jon Carroll can get a full 800 words.
Also, apart from a lingering virus, bronchitis, or whatever it is, we have been thoroughly disheartened by the realization that we have failed to take advantage of a major business opportunity -- which, in the New Economy, is tantamount to admitting we don't deserve to pass on our genes. We speak, of course, of the chance to sell Dog Bites' vast influence over the reading public to mayoral candidates, pre-merger businesses in need of good press, and anyone else with a checkbook.
Recent events, however, have made us sensitive to the need to avoid any appearance of underhandedness -- in other words, we don't want all this coming back to haunt us in some deposition -- so we have decided to publish our price list up front:
Endorsement of questionable business deal between two large, rival corporations already benefiting from special agreement allowing them to share profits: $500,000, or boost into elective office.
Endorsement of mayoral candidate who owes innumerable political favors to developer buddies: $250,000, or healthy chunk of friends and family stock in pre-IPO Internet start-up.
Favorable word for troubled garment manufacturer Levi Strauss & Co.: $3,000, or much-needed weeklong spa vacation.
Endorsement of plan for new eastern span of Bay Bridge, provided someone can actually come up with one: $6.95, just because.
Chicken Soup for the Stomach
Finally (finally! Now we can go home and lie down on the couch!), reader Bob Muzzy writes to correct our Greek. "Your recent column uses the term 'hoi polloi,'" he notes. "While it's probably acceptable to precede it with the article 'the,' it is redundant because hoi is the Greek article 'the' (nominative plural). Therefore 'the hoi polloi' translates to 'the the many.'"
Hmph. Well, we guess it's not too late to acquire at least some of the gloss of a classical education.
And on a more surreal note, one Andreas was kind enough to send us a lengthy poem of his own composition, which we excerpt here:
to stay or to go
maybe if i write
then i just might
less solemn --
yes that column
Oh, yes that column. And if we can just get some really powerful antibiotics, we swear we'll do better next week.
Tip Dog Bites -- especially if you're disgruntled. Phone 536-8139; fax 777-1839; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.