bad head job. Forgive me. Sometimes
you just can’t hold back. They beg for it. They know better
than to leave the press alone with an unlocked liquor cabinet.
They should know better than to throw out a year’s supply of
sexual double entendres inside of 20 minutes in a Board of
Supervisors’ Finance Committee meeting and expect the less
tasteful of us to pass up an easy spike.
Subject was the DPW’s unauthorized repairs
to the Infamous Doggie Diner head out in Leland Yee’s
domain. Just a few direct quotes to give you an idea:
Chairman Mark Leno:
“We didn’t live up to our responsibility
and as a result … the head fell.”
“This head has a lot of fans.”
“There is also … lead paint in the head.”
“We’re doing everything we can to get it
Then Supervisor Yee said something like he
thought Supervisor Aaron Peskin was against taking care of the
obligatory head job due to “class distinction.” I thought
Leland was about to break into a verse or two of Randy Newman’s
“Short people got no reason to live.” I poured another
bourbon, lit a joint, and turned up the volume for Lord Peskin’s
response. It was good.
“Supervisor (began Peskin in his most
sonorous tone), this is a very expensive nose job.” Then he
commented on Yee playing the race card on behalf of the doggie
head. “You’re being disingenuous.” That’s the way
polite people call other people a big ole liar. Webster’s
disingenuous; lacking in candor; giving a
false appearance; calculating
Boy, that’s Yee all over.
And that set me to thinking. Was Yee trying
to hide something else in the item the committee was voting
on? I dug through the notes. … Ah, here it was. While the
head job for the poor dog was only 25 grand or so, there was
an item for 60 thousand that Yee described as “planning”
for how to clean up a couple of toilets on the ocean.
“Planning?” I thought. Sixty grand.
Hell, I can get them cleaned & painted for 50 easily.
There was something else to it that the
other supes seemed to miss in the turmoil over the doggie
head. Yee said that there were bad things going on in those
toilets, and the way to stop it was to increase “activity”
around the toilets by perhaps “butting a clubhouse against
them.” There it was. You got it? For 60 grand I’m betting
we get a plan to build a couple of beach concession stands,
for which we’ll be asked to pay a couple of million and
which the mayor will give to some campaign contributors for a
dime a month on a 50-year lease. Y’all watch.
It wasn’t all funny this week. At the same
Finance Committee meeting, the Department of Elections came
asking for money to pay off some voting machines. There just
isn’t anything funny about D.O.E. these days. They’re
kinda like the guy who drew the black rock in “The Lottery.”’
No one wants to stand too close to them. Warren Hinckle
confirmed in this week’s Independent that the 3,600 ballots
in question in Former Acting Temporary Much Maligned D.O.E.
Director Phillip Paris’s charges against the Brown Machine
are, in fact, missing. I wonder if one of them was your
Let’s take a worst case scenario on this.
I’m betting they knew how to “game” the machine results
before they even bought the machines. A source told me that on
election night members of the Citizens’ Advisory Committee
went around the counting area in gaggles, carrying keys to all
of the “secure” areas.
There are lots of rats jumping off this
sinking ship. Hinckle, again, described Controller Ed
Harrington calling Nick Driver of the Examiner to confirm the
“election-night chaos in the Elections Department.”
Speaking of Ed Harrington…
The cock had not sung thrice on Controller
Harrington’s drive-by on the D.O.E. before Ed was standing
before the Finance Committee telling them that the city had
written a Request For Proposals “designed to make only
the Independent eligible.” Hey … that doesn’t sound
fair. Surely, a paper like the Call could use some of that
city ad cash. I suggest that we could handle the added
distribution by contracting with the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
They’re everywhere! That way you can get the “good news”
and the bad news all together.
Caliban ponders Satebo. Ever
know a gorilla? I did. His name was Phil and he lived at the
St. Louis Zoo for around 30 years. I used to sit by his
outdoor cage while I read the morning paper, and we got to
know each other. One thing you learn right away is that
gorillas don’t like being stared at. It’s considered poor
form. What you do is sneak peeks.
Covering City Hall is kind of like that. At
a typical board meeting there will be around 50 people in the
audience and 49 of them know each other. But you’d never
know it. Oh, there’s interaction. There are some amazingly
intense love/hate things going on. And humor abounds. (Aaron
Peskin is the funniest by far. I could spend a whole column
just quoting him. For instance, after drawing out a staff park
person on the condition of the city’s parks, Peskin
summarized his findings: “Then, what you’re saying is … all
of the district parks have been neglected … equally?”)
Fashion statements. Since
my wardrobe is mostly stuff my tenants threw out, I’m always
interested in sharp dressers. Biggest turnaround award goes to
Matt Gonzalez, who is now dressing more like Niles Crane &
less like Soupy Sales.
Big Matt paused in the aisle before us
during Monday’s board (they come out in the crowd to press
the flesh when particularly boring people are talking). Matt
kindly put a hand to Doug Comstock’s shoulder and gently
arranged Doug’s shirt collar in back so that the tie was
actually under the collar instead of the other way round. It’s
good to have people watching your back.
Then, there’s Sophie Maxwell! Lord, is
that a gorgeous female. (Can I say that?) She makes the last
board’s female members’ wardrobes look like … look bad.
She has this kind of Grace Jones look going. Tall &
powerful with a clear eye and a solid posture. She wore a kind
of gold outfit to Monday’s board with a sort of spotted
leopard thing cape.
I called in Kudzai, my son-in-law from
Zimbabwe, and asked if women dressed that way there. “Yes,”
he replied. “She looks very African.”
All that in a woman who is wrestling with
giant power companies and the federal government to
clean up the air, earth, and water in her district.
Peskin is urbane, articulate, and a perfect
player for any movie featuring a medieval English court. Chris
Daly decided against the Van Dyke, which is a shame because I’d
have enjoyed seeing it contrasted with Peskin’s Henry VIII
style (they sit adjacent to one another at board).
“I’m glad I’m moving cause if you
keep writing like this you’re gonna get shot.”
— Platonic friend/roommate Deby
It’s always good to be noticed.
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