Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Dog Bites 

Wednesday, Sep 9 1998
Nob Shill
For several years now, Dog Bites has devoted long hours to studying the Nob Hill Gazette, hoping to find tips on cozying up to San Francisco society types like OJ Shansby, Daru Kawalkowski, and Kimberly Bakker. After all, it's a safe bet none of them spend their evenings moving their cars from the Tuesday to the Thursday side of the street, crossing "Cling Wrap!!!" off the list on the side of the refrigerator, and obsessing about Jon Carroll's probable retirement package.

But till now, our careful perusal of the paper of social record has availed us nothing -- or, at least, nothing but heartache over our wardrobe (Banana Republic? Hmph!) and apartment decor (undeniable lack of antique rugs, Venetian glass, and SubZero kitchen appliances).

So we were thrilled -- thrilled! -- to find the latest issue of the Gazette featuring Sylvia Thorpe's not-entirely-tongue-in-cheek guide to social climbing in San Francisco. Like, did you know you can basically forget about ever joining Marin's ultra-exclusive Lagunitas Club, unless you are born or marry into a family blessed with hereditary memberships?

Anyway, literal-minded as we are, we always appreciate having rules laid out for us, and were thus quick to extract what seemed to us to be the article's most pertinent guidelines and record them in our planner:


1) Quit being a renter: Buy a condo on Nob Hill or a home in Pacific or Presidio Heights.

2) Trade in small bland car for Jeep Cherokee. (Jeeps "say simply and eloquently that you don't need a fancy car to be a powerful person.")

3) Trade in current friends for those with better connections. ("A-groupers prefer not to socialize with anyone but their own, and the only way you get to be 'their own' is to snub the same people they snub.")

4) Get a better purse. ("Invest in one handsome bag and take it everywhere.")

5) Also, invest in one handsome boyfriend and take him everywhere -- but carefully monitor his wardrobe. ("Ties should be soft-colored silk and preferably by a recognizable designer.") He must also not wear a leather jacket with metal trim or an overcoat with a velvet collar ("strictly New York").

Help! Help! I'm Being Oppressed!
It had been so long since Dog Bites was among the cc'ed of a Bruce B. Brugmann mass-mailing that we were actually beginning to wonder whether something might have ... happened over at the Guardian.

You know, like a photocopier breakdown.
But Thursday's mail delivery put an end to all our amateur Kremlinology -- or, at least, gave us something to discuss besides the rumor that our Slow Club-lunching journalistic colleagues are about to sell out to the Village Voice chain.

Not only did everyone on the Weekly's staff receive at least one copy of B3's latest missive/package, but we were also apprised of the reason for his long silence.

It turns out B3's been wrapped up in filing a lawsuit against the city, alleging that his annoying "Read my paper. Dammit."-tag-lined ad campaign was the target of official suppression.

The evidence of this suppression? Some of the ads went missing.
Now, if we had to guess, and based purely on the number of parody Guardian ads Dog Bites received -- "Beat my pecker. Dammit." being one of the few we can actually quote -- we'd say a lot of the missing Brugmann-adorned placards ended up in the possession of people with exacto knives and significant amounts of spare time, but we'll understand if he doesn't feel comfortable taking this description to the police.

In a story based on hard-hitting interviews with the Guardian's own attorney (Robert Links of Berger, Nadel & Vanelli), Mike Yoffie of BigMouth (the paper's own ad agency), and its own editor and publisher, Bruce B. Brugmann himself, Guardian contributing editor Randall Lyman alleges that Transportation Displays Inc. Worldwide, which handles advertising on Muni buses, secretly removed particular ads from city buses.

"One set of ads depicted Brugmann brandishing a baseball bat in front of City Hall, along with the words, 'City Hall is full of crooks. I want them exposed.' " (Dog Bites had been under the impression the implement was meant to be a broom, as in sweeping the place clean, not a bat, as in kneecapping democratically elected officials, so we were a little disturbed when this was clarified.)

"Halfway through the four-week campaign, however, Mike Yoffie of BigMouth ... noticed that the City Hall ads were missing from the sides of Muni buses," continues Lyman.

TDI general counsel Tina Haut says the ads had been the target of vandals because they offended people, and that the damaged ads then had to be removed from the buses, as damaged ads routinely are.

Now, ordinarily we dismiss B3's output as paranoid rantings, -- albeit entertaining paranoid rantings -- but just this once we actually find the Guardian's argument persuasive. After all, if people were going to vandalize bus placards on the grounds that they found them offensive, wouldn't they have destroyed the ads featuring Brugmann about to engulf a piece of sushi?

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


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"