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Dog Bites 

Wednesday, Sep 30 1998
Carroll to Dog Bites: Go Away
A whole week has passed and the silence from the Jon Carroll camp grows ever more deafening. We thought of sending a scout over the hill to see what could be brewing, but none of the Dog Bites staff would volunteer for the job.

Clearly, our public invitation to meet for a spelling bee or trivia contest has been scorned. And it wasn't even like we were planning some serious nastiness, as in the Dan Lungren/Gray Davis matchup. (Not that we found the gubernatorial debate as shockingly bitter as many commentators made it out to be -- just a little unscripted, is all.)

But perhaps Mr. Carroll is feeling somewhat demoralized. This past week he had to devote an entire column to correcting himself on facts on which two other entire columns were based. Jon: Coulda happened to anybody. And anyway, who cares who owns IMAX? Only people who like IMAX films, that's who, and it's not like they sit around with a collection of Calvin Trillin columns, savoring the stylistic similarities between Carroll and Trillin and mentally planning a little chart detailing the same. No. The IMAX crowd are not worthy of mention.

Dog Bites, on the other hand, has devoted countless columns to our appreciation of Carroll, and been met with what can only be described as scorn. And you know what? It hurts. It stings. It's rejection, is what it is. And from a fellow writer, too. In fact, it's exactly like that whole thing between V.S. Naipaul and Paul Theroux, except without any of the spirited correspondence and sparkling dinner parties, or illuminating conversations, or, well, acknowledgement of our existence.

Carroll: Be warned. A tell-all autobiography about our non-relationship is in the works.

Please, Not That Mean Thing Again
It seems someone is always accusing Dog Bites of being mean. Somehow, in Northern California -- even two years after Jerry's death! -- that's, like, the worst epithet people can think of. But we still weren't expecting the broadside we got at this week's Audio Engineering Society convention.

Checking out the rumors that Petaluma software firm BIAS has bought cult audio software Deck -- originally created by San Francisco software developers OSC, whose demise at the hands of Macromedia SF Weekly detailed last December -- we made our way to the BIAS booth. Suddenly, a wine-sipping publicist intercepted us and accused us of all kinds of things, the main one being involvement with the Weekly's story.

Dog Bites: "Did you read it?"
Wineglass-holding flack: "No. I re-fused to."
DB: "I'm sorry to hear that. Is there anyone here from BIAS I might speak with?"

WHF: "It was full of inaccuracies and untruths. Besides that, it was mean."
DB: "How so?"
WHF: "It was just mean. Really mean."
DB: "Could you explain what you mean?"
WHF: "You know, I just really don't want to get into it."

We were eventually able to speak with BIAS sales VP Andrew Calvo, who tells us the company plans to re-release Deck at the end of the month and also to begin development of long-awaited Deck upgrades. Calvo's explanation was somewhat hindered, however, by the publicist, who stood behind us making frantic faces and chopping motions for him to stop talking.

And incidentally, whoever told Dog Bites trade shows were great places to meet guys owes us a drink.

Oh! Streetcar
The San Francisco Opera's world premiere of Andre Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire hasn't exactly opened to universal raves, though the Chron's Joshua Kosman noted, "As Stanley, Rodney Gilfry embodies the part decisively -- he looks phenomenally good with his shirt off ...."

Really? We just can't imagine Gilfry is more suited to his part than The Simpsons' Ned Flanders -- who, we note, is receiving no credit at all for his pioneering role as a singing Stanley several years ago. But then again, maybe Previn should have written a crowd-pleaser on the lines of The Simpsons' "Oh! Streetcar": Stella! Can't you hear me yell-a? You put me through hell-a! Stellaaaa!

Muni Madness Spreads?
Reader Steven Appleton asks, "Is Muni Year 2000 compliant?" Well, right now that's got to be the least of Muni's problems. But it did get us thinking: Now that the transit system is computerized, what's to stop the virus that is Muni service from spreading?

That chilling thought stuck with us as we boarded a CalTrain the other day -- especially when the train began behaving strangely. Just shy of the Bayview station it stopped and began backing up. After a while it arrived back at the 22nd Street station and opened its doors. Save us! we cried (not out loud, of course -- we've learned that lesson). Terrible Muni bugs have somehow invaded the CalTrain control system! There is no safe place!

But just then the conductor came on the PA and, sounding rather sheepish, announced that he'd forgotten to stop at the 22nd Street station, so he'd figured the only decent thing to do was go back and pick up the passengers waiting there.

And with that, the train rolled forward.

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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