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Dog Bites 

Wednesday, Oct 7 1998
Amos Brown Is Gandhi!
Rescue Muni -- the citizens' group that wants to reform San Francisco's transit system -- held a candidates forum for eight of the city supervisor hopefuls, following which the group announced its endorsements in the upcoming election.

Noting that city policy specifies that supervisors, like other civic employees, should ride Muni to work at least twice a week, an audience member asked Amos Brown if he did. Brown said, "I don't have leisure time," and that Muni "was not functional" for his demanding schedule.

But he doesn't have to actually ride Muni to sympathize with Muni users, Brown added. "Gandhi himself was not an untouchable. Yet he was able to help those who were untouchable to overcome their problems and achieve freedom and independence."

Brown later explained to Dog Bites that he had not actually been comparing himself to Gandhi -- or comparing Muni riders with untouchables. "It's a gross, diabolical misrepresentation," he said. "In my estimation it [the candidates forum] was a setup meeting for a group with its own agenda, and there were hostile people in the audience."

C'mon Baby, Eat the Rich
There are even more hostile people over in the Mission, where Nestor Makhno's Mission Yuppie Eradication Project seems to be gaining sympathizers -- or perhaps we should say comrades-in-arms. Recently, bus stop benches in the 16th and Valencia area have been dotted with stickers reading, "You've had your dinner. Now go home."

Which is very witty, but at the same time almost touchingly naive. After all, Dog Bites doubts the yuppies' demanding schedules allow them the leisure time to take Muni, even to dinner.

Arise, Ye Workers, From Your Slumbers
Meanwhile, Nestor Makhno himself weighs in with a fax calling our own George Cothran a "lackey" of the rich.

"Apologists for yuppie predation write badly defending opinions formed for them by others, but this is predictable, since yuppies are servile, vulgar, parasitic cowards. This also applies to George Cothran's disgusting cheerleading for the Mission District shenanigans of the Cort family ["Mission Theatrical," Cothran, Sept. 16]. ... Cothran admits he's a sucker for anachronisms, and this is true of his gushing over the illusory glories of the market economy and his confusion of vital urban life with the profit needs of the exploiter class."

Illusory glories of the market economy: Dog Bites asks that we all observe a moment of silence in honor of a brand of political rhetoric we have not enjoyed so much since hearing, at the impressionable age of 8, a particularly fiery speech by the leader of the Communist Party of Canada, who had a bit of a heat on at the time.

Anyway, Makhno continues, "In a class society we are not one big happy family: bosses, landlords, cops, journalists and politicians are the violent enemies of wage workers and poor people. ... They don't hesitate to use violence in pursuit of their goals; it's time for the rest of us to return the favor -- with interest."

Now, we're thinking Makhno needs to get together with Amos Brown, who could potentially lend his Gandhi-esque presence to some kind of Mission satyagraha. Maybe they could persuade Muni workers to disrupt the bus schedule so that no one could get to work ... oh, wait.

I Enjoy Being a Girl
When we started writing this column, we couldn't have known it would come to this. But it has. Jon Carroll, sensitive Chronicle columnist, has publicly called us ... male.

Yes, in a posting to the Well -- where he is as ubiquitous and inescapable as he is in other Bay Area media -- Carroll referred to Dog Bites as "a coy little chap."

Ever since then, Dog Bites' colleagues have been stopping by to, um, inquire. The general feeling is that, if we are indeed a "chap," then have we ever been coy.

Obviously, it's time for us to come out of the closet.
Dog Bites is a girl.
Sure, the name "Laurel" is misleading. And we could see how all those mentions of our lipstick obsession could have fooled Carroll.

Dear Jon: Now you know. Please don't be angry. We had to be honest. Really, we felt we owed you that much after all we've been through together. But we just couldn't go on living a lie. And maybe, after we've had some time apart, we can still be friends. Call us sometime, OK?

Or at Least, I Used to Enjoy Being a Girl. Now It's Kind of Starting to Suck.

In fact, at one point Dog Bites had been going to be featured in Cosmopolitan, as the real-life counterpart of television's Suddenly Susan. Apparently Brooke Shields' character works at a weekly, writes a column, and, well, is just generally so much like us that when Cosmo decided to do a feature on "Women Who Have the Same Jobs as Actresses on Network Television Pretend to Have" (or something like that), we were the natural choice. This of course was very exciting, and we even didn't mind when the free-lancer who's writing the story called our own George Cothran to check with him whether we were "cute."

Nevertheless, after we had told many people of our upcoming national exposure -- complete with a promised "photography team" -- the Cosmo free-lancer left us a message on our voice mail saying that "for a whole bunch of reasons" she had decided to go with someone else. (At press time, we could not confirm rumors that it's the Guardian's Tim Redmond.)

So we've been walking around with that kind of hollow, just-been-dumped, what-did-I-do feeling for days now. And not even a new lipstick (note to Carroll: That was a clue) helped.

Sex Tips for Modern Girls
Our own Dan Savage is running a Savage Love trivia contest whose questions may cause even the brazen to blush, but we found a sex tip in Angel Animals -- the newsletter that shows readers how to "Create a Better Life for Yourself With the Spiritual Lessons Animals Teach Us" -- that goes well beyond blushing territory and into the land of eeew.

As a disclaimer, let us preface this anecdote by saying that most stories in the newsletter are quite tame -- "A Rabbit Helped Me Take My Next Spiritual Step," for example -- but there's always someone who has to tell you more, much more, than you want to know. This time it's Tara Katrena in Marysville, who writes that she was having trouble conceiving:

"Then I got the idea to watch Trish" -- note: Trish is a cat, OK? -- "when she and her feline husband, Alex, mated.

"After doing the deed, Trish would walk away from Alex, lay on her back, extend her feet into the air, and roll back and forth for several minutes. ... Trish's technique never failed to produce many litters of show-quality kittens.

"So one night, my temperature had risen and I was ovulating. After my husband and I completed the act, I grabbed my feet, held them and my backside up in the air and rocked for several minutes, imitating Trish's actions.

"Well, believe it or not, this is how I conceived my son Justice, now sixteen ...."

No word on whether Justice has ever been voted best of breed.

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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