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Dog Bites 

Wednesday, May 5 1999
Etiquette for the New Millennium
Life in the Mission is just more exciting than it is in other parts of the city. Um, that's provided "exciting" is defined in a certain way.

Chatty anarchist Nestor Makhno checked in Friday with word of the latest graffiti bomb attack on Mission condos, this time at 2170 Harrison St., where the words "More Lofts/Yuppies Go Home/This Is the Epitome of the Elite at Its Fullest" appeared last week. (As usual, he couldn't say whether he'd had anything to do with the vandalism.)

But this wasn't news to Dog Bites. The day before, one Phaedra Edwards had called to tell us that she'd been walking to lunch at a nearby Vietnamese restaurant when she'd spotted the graffiti. Finding the message amusing, she'd invited her lunch companion to walk back with her the same way. But this time a man -- they presumed he was one of the condo-dwellers -- was out front with a can of spray paint of his own, desperately attempting to change the word "Yuppies" to "Hippies."

The two women paused to watch and giggle, whereupon the man dropped his paint can, picked up a video camera, and rounded on them to demand if they knew who was responsible for the graffiti.

Edwards replied, "Haven't you read Dog Bites? It's the Mission Yuppie Eradication Project." She and her friend, Lea Barton, also asked him to stop videotaping them.

The man -- whom they described as being in his mid- to late-40s and wearing a baseball cap -- got angrier and "demanded to know if we were artists. He said, 'Did you go to Burning Man and videotape it for free?' "

This mind-boggling non sequitur induced more amusement in Edwards and Barton, which in turn induced more rage in the man, who "started cursing us and basically accusing us of either putting the graffiti there ourselves, or of knowing the people who did, and of course, we don't.

"Basically, he was accusing us of being obnoxious young people, and he isn't [young]," said Edwards. "He was still videotaping us, and my friend spit on him."

Well! This is the kind of social situation that just isn't covered in Emily Post, so Dog Bites really doesn't feel qualified to suggest what a more appropriate response might have been. However, we feel the incident is perhaps worth noting as an indicator of the zeitgeist: If there remained any doubt on the subject, it is now clear that Burning Man is no longer cool.

Oh Mitch, Mon Petit Chou!
Four weeks ago now we indulged in some (gentle, of course) mockery at the expense of Mitch Marks, whose Potrero Hill vegetable garden is to be the subject of an ongoing Chron feature called -- what else? -- "Mitch's Garden."

Mitch writes:
Thanks for the very nice mention in your April 7 column. The garden is doing well ... flowers appearing on the strawberry plants, and the broccoli and cauliflower are doing especially well. A few disappointments, but I guess you'll have to wait until the next installment of "Mitch's Garden" to find out about those.

As to whether I am a "babe" ... I guess that is in the eye of the beholder! I do have most of my hair, seem to get some attention when I walk down the street, and regularly sling weights around in addition to the rototiller. But, is it cool for a true babe to consider himself a babe? I think not, but I guess it matters more what others think. Maybe you should have a "who is the babe?" contest between me and Don Johnson.

Oh, and my publicist asked me to ask you to plug my book. Do you want the details?

We, of course, replied in the affirmative, but -- oddly enough -- Mitch hasn't answered. Checking the latest installment of "Mitch's Garden," we learned that the cold weather has ruined the man's squash crop, which may explain his (presumably grieving) silence.

Meanwhile, Dog Bites' garden, which is getting no media attention whatsoever except what we ourselves bestow upon it, is doing fine.

Best Of San Francisco Raises Fundamental Question: Has Democracy Failed?
As Dog Bites' mother occasionally used to say [see last week's column], we are very, very disappointed in you. Apparently a few San Francisco merchants somehow missed out on one of the more basic principles of democracy, which would be, "One man, one vote," later updated, of course, to "One person, one vote," at least in these parts.

For the benefit of these merchants, we will explain why ballot stuffing in the Weekly's Best Of San Francisco Readers' Poll is wrong. Let's take the example of, oh, say, this column. Now, the multitudinous Dog Bites staff, who are, for the most part, bone idle, could have filled out ballot after ballot voting for Dog Bites

as "Best Newspaper Column." But that would have meant that the readers' real favorite -- which is either Cothran or Savage Love, and we're not telling which right now -- would not have won. Which would mean that the results would be meaningless.

So to the two Mission restaurants, and to the North Beach business that actually distributed a memo to other North Beach businesses in order to organize their collective employees into a veritable fake-voting cartel: You know who you are. You're all disqualified.

And, oh yeah: Your pizza sucks.

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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