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Dog Bites 

Wednesday, Jul 8 1998
Oh, His Throbbing ... Biceps?
It's well-known that Giants third base-man Bill Mueller and pitcher Shawn Estes are good friends. They're frequently seen enjoying North Beach nightlife or dining at House of Prime Rib on weekends. In fact, the two are such good friends that local lore has it Mueller even plays better when his buddy Estes is pitching -- so as to help ensure Estes a good win-loss record.

But Chronicle sportswriter Henry Schulman recently seemed to be suggesting -- how shall we say? -- a deeper aspect to the two players' comradeship.

In an otherwise standard game story on the Giants' 6-3 victory over the first-place Anaheim Angels -- a victory made possible by a Mueller three-run homer -- Schulman let loose with this homoerotic imagery: "The homer should not have been a huge surprise. Mueller hit eight of his first 12 career home runs in games pitched by Estes. Estes did not throw last night but he was on base and the mere sight of him seems to make Mueller's forearms bulge."

Aside from the normal questions this steamy passage raises about the quality of editing at the calcified antiquity on Fifth Street, it also raises a host of others, like: Will we see Estes and Mueller sharing a car in the next Gay Pride Parade? Is Estes' uneven pitching the result of some inner turmoil? And does this mean we must redraw our mental map of erogenous zones?

Willie's Hat Trick
Mayor Brown was seen sporting a lavender fedora at the Gay Pride Parade. Sure, it was an obvious fashion choice. But few know the lengths he went to procure said chapeau.

A source who heard the story directly from Hizzoner told us -- so now, being Dog Bites, we are telling everyone. Brown's first call was to Ruth Dewson, the mayor's hatter on Fillmore Street. She told Willie her customers no longer favored purple. Dewson did, however, put the mayor onto a hat source in Harlem. Alas, the mayor was quickly informed by the East Coast hatter that his clien-tele was no longer fond of purple headgear. But, he was quick to add, Puerto Ricans were.

So with a phone call or two from San Francisco to Harlem, and from Harlem to Spanish Harlem, a politically correct hat was obtained. And all the involved parties heaved well-earned sighs of relief.

Line Extension
With the news that Starbucks plans to start serving coffee dosed with liqueurs, and the concurrent renovation of a building near the Weekly's plush offices as a Starbucks outpost, Dog Bites started thinking that Monday morning editorial meetings might be about to get a whole lot more entertaining.

But our excited phone call to Starbucks headquarters in Seattle left us disgruntled. Apparently, the Cafe Starbucks "concept" (and you know you've lived in San Francisco too long when you start referring knowledgeably to coffee shop "concepts") is only a limited extension of the Starbucks brand.

"Cafe Starbucks will serve simple, delicious food in a friendly and casual atmosphere," corporate parrot Cheri Libby told us. "We are currently developing our own recipes for alcohol-enhanced coffee beverages."

And get this: Cafe Starbucks is, for now, a strictly Seattle-only enterprise. The rest of the country will have to do its own enhancing.

Back to the Bunker
Dog Bites' survivalist past isn't something we ordinarily like to discuss, but we're all revved up to take a course called "Beyond Ordinary Earthquake Preparedness: Urban Survival: Lessons From Nature."

Peter Wolf, who's teaching the workshop, will draw on his background in counseling psychology, martial arts, and classical dance to teach his students to "move with enhanced awareness and avoid hazards," as well as find "water, warmth, nourishment, and shelter almost anywhere." Oh, and we particularly like the fact that participants meet by the south windmill in Golden Gate Park, which seems to us to be as scary a location as any in the city.

We Read Jon Carroll, So You Don't Have To
This past week, our favorite Chron item was a headline in the Homes section: "Move Over, Marigolds." How do they do it? Several days later, we still haven't quite recovered.

But once again, we've pulled ourselves together enough to summarize all the actual content of Carroll's column, thus saving our readers the effort of combing through the cat litter of the Chron's feature page to find the -- well, never mind.

Monday, June 29
The comic possibilities of voice-recognition software are practically endless.

Tuesday, June 30
Billie Jean King was a great tennis player.

Wednesday, July 1
Cincinnati has its own kind of chili.

Thursday, July 2
Freeway driving is frustrating.

Friday, July 3
The media don't really have the public's interests at heart.

Muni Reader Poll
A couple of weeks ago Dog Bites complained about Muni -- and was promptly inundated with mail on the topic. One of those letters even took Muni's side: Jenee Gill, formerly of L.A., pointed out that San Franciscan whiners don't know how good we've got it. "The weekly sojourn from my apartment in Hollywood to my shrink in Santa Monica (about 13 miles) regularly took about 2 1/2 hours -- if it went without a hitch," she writes. "Incidentally, the stress caused by that commute alone grew to surpass all my other anxieties, so I quit therapy altogether."

Who says America's infrastructure is failing?
Still, most of our correspondents agreed that public transit is hellish. "I'm always delighted to read Muni horror stories," writes Mark Van Slyke.

"BMD -- Bad Muni Day -- is what I say to my boss as I arrive late for work," he adds. Quick thinking!

Anyway, Mark has a suggestion. And frankly, we're considering it, because we're getting tired of reading Jon Carroll and being roared at by furry ex-hippies for our trouble.

"Here's the thing," says Mark. "And the SF Weekly would be perfect for it: A Muni column. Devote a few column inches weekly to someone's Muni horror story. I'm telling you, this would be a surefire hit." Now, we realize the Ex tried this for a while, but the field seems to be open at the moment --and of course, we print profanity.

So it's reader participation time. Want to share your Muni tales? Want to read others' Muni tales? Let us know -- remember, this is your Dog Bites.

Yeah, right.

As told to Laurel Wellman

Tip Dog Bites -- especially if you're disgruntled. Phone 536-8139; fax 777-1839; e-mail

About The Author

Laurel Wellman


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