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April Fool's Specials
City Approves Same-Person Marriage
By Mary N. Jones
As a natural outgrowth of its historic Feb. 12 decision to permit same-sex marriages, the City of San Francisco last month became the first principality in the nation to allow same-person marriages.
"It came to me as I was applying my hair gel during President Bush's State of the Union address, that anyone, gay or straight, who wants to marry themselves should be allowed to do so," said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Winsome in a face-to-face interview. "How could I deny singles their constitutional rights?"
The mayor also pointed out that "in most cases, these people have been together for decades. They are a real cross-section of hermits, nuns, marriage counselors, news anchors, and millionaires like you and me," he said.
Winsome bravely stood alone when he issued the first license at City Hall on the clear, foggy morning of March 31.
Though Mt. Everest explorers and marriage rights groups lauded his action, opponents predicted that the courts would soon put the kibosh on the single-person nuptials, which are illegal in California.
"If these marriages are allowed, more than half will end in divorce. This would tear some people apart," said Norman Templeton, who traveled from Provo, Utah, to protest the weddings. He carried a sign reading, "The Bible says marriage is between two or more people of various sexes. Just think of the children!"
Still, Willhe Brown, who served as San Francisco monarch from 1996 to 2003, was undeterred. Brown stepped up and received the first single-person marriage certificate issued by the county clerk. "The ceremony was so emotional," said Brown. "I actually choked up when I got to the words, 'Until death do me part.'"
After Brown kissed himself and sealed his vows, a single line formed and stretched around the block.
"I unicycled here as quickly as I could," said self-employed outcast Han Solo. "I've always been worried about what would happen to me if I died. I want a right to my spouse's death benefits."
The decision to tie the knot wasn't as easy for others. "It took me all morning to convince myself to take the plunge," said Sarah Tonen. "I wasn't sure I was ready to make this commitment to myself."
Indeed, at least three people left themselves standing at the altar.
"One woman was carrying bouquets of roses--one in each hand--and when she got up to the top of the steps, she stopped and got this scared look on her face," said marriage commissioner Matt Ramoney. "Then she blurted out, 'I can't do this. It's not me. It's me. I hope I'll understand.'"
City Hall was abuzz with so many single marriages that the occasional two-person wedding drew stares.
Happy same-person singles, wearing gold bands on both ring fingers, emerged from the building, as portable stereos played songs like "You're So Vain," "All by Myself," "I'm Still the One," and "You Can Go Your Own Way."
A woman who identified herself only as Willa Walla, said that she would have to have a long talk with herself over whether to hyphenate her last name.
But other decisions were simple to make. "I called my mom right away," she said. "I wanted to let her know I wasn't living in sin anymore."
Jayson Blair, Stephen Glass, and Jack Kelley contributed to this report.
Fido Need His Nails Trimmed? Ship Him Out!
By Ken L. Koff and His Best Friend Elliot
First it was the blue-collar jobs that got sent overseas. Then the white-collar jobs. Finally, the dog-collar jobs have followed suit. In an innovative cost-clipping move, pet-grooming boutique Fang Shui on Comerford Alley has begun outsourcing its work to India. A full trim and shampoo, which used to cost $35, now costs only 78 cents (plus postage, depending on the weight of the dog).
According to shop owner Russell Terryur, the new service is a big hit. "Customers love that they don't even have to come into our shop anymore. They can drop off their pet at any Mailboxes & Beyond as part of their usual errands."
Just six to eight weeks after the pet owner has properly packaged his pooch and dropped it off for shipment to the south Indian city of Prune, the pet is conveniently delivered back home by return mail.
This is actually Terryur's second venture into Offshore Outsourced Pet Services (OOPS). His first attempt last year, a business called Your Unbelievable Mutt, involved service providers in Vietnam and ultimately ended in disaster and litigation. Citing ongoing legal battles, Terryur declined to comment on YUM, except to say that the new system "works much better--our customers almost always get their dogs back now."
But even intrepid entrepreneurs like Terryur need to look over their shoulders. Silicon Valley upstart NetClips threatens to take away some of Fang Shui's business by offering to groom pets as often as they like for a flat fee of $1.99 per month, as long as they only have three dogs out at any given time.
Terryur is hopeful that many of his customers will stick with him rather than defect to this new competitor. "Sure, they could switch to save a few pennies," he admits. "But that's a small price to pay for our impersonal attention to detail."
Praying for Produce
Photo by Gerard Tharp
Since last September, a bevy of protesters has held a 24-hour kneel-in vigil on 24th Street in the hopes that their prayers can bring back the organic fruits and vegetables we all now crave. Camped out in front of the empty storefront that formerly housed the Real Food Company (a subsidiary of Nutrafutile Corp.), the postulants have taken only brief bathroom and lunch breaks, despite foul weather, aggressive panhandlers, and police citations for blocking the street. The vigil appears to be succeeding, however. From this recent photo, it can clearly be seen that the store's overhead lights and trelliswork on the east wall have been restored by prayer. Could the peaches be next?
Noe Child Left Behind
By Amber O'Lert
Neighborhood groups are up in arms, pointing fingers, and trying not to shoulder the blame for the 3-year-old Valley Street boy who was forgotten on a school trip to Juri Commons. The four-hour expedition was arranged by Weepy Meadows University Preschool, a "Baby Einstein" breeding ground.
"We got everybody back in the minivan, and I counted noses," said learning specialist Hortense Grundy, "but one of the little scamps must have had two."
The boy, identified only as crying, was found under a cabbage leaf.
Riding the Wave
Photo by PlumpJack Tipple
Fresh from his recent appearance on the TV makeover series "Queer Eyes for the Straight Guy," San Francisco Mayor Gavin Winsome addressed an adoring crowd of supporters at a District 8 Town Hall meeting at Hairmount School. After the cheers died down, he auctioned off his comb for charity.
Chronicle, Look Out:
We're working for a better Noe Valley
What's not working
A 3,000-pound gorilla, who has been blocking the entrance to James Lick Middle School. The massive simian was spotted Feb. 30 by a City College student on his way to a "Cooking with Bananas" class.
Since then, the great ape has been loitering at the main door of James Lick, according to Look Out tipster Shane Goodall. Goodall noted that in recent years, the same entrance had been blocked by a rhino, a Bekins van, and a herd of wildebeasts. Those crises were resolved peaceably. But in early April, the gorilla was still on site.
Status: On April 1, city workers started construction of a new entrance to the school, as far away as possible from the gorilla.
s Who's responsible: Henry Kissinger
What's still not working:
The War in Iraq
Days on our list: 377
s Who's responsible: George W. Bush, President of the United States; president@ whitehouse.gov.
He Came to Noe Valley. In his first scheduled trip to San Francisco since grabbing office in 2000, President George W. Bush chose the Noe Valley Library for his only public appearance. This photograph was taken moments before the motley crowd, perhaps riled up by a scene from a Mel Gibson film, stoned him.
GOOD COP/BAD COP
Rioting and Orderly Conduct: 6 to 8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 14; 24th and Castro
Gay couples ran wild in Noe Valley on Valentine's Day, apparently in celebration of the same-sex marriage licenses being issued at City Hall. Local police made no attempt to stop the irrepressible suspects as they swept down 24th Street, wielding hedge clippers and rainbow flags. Eyewitnesses said the revelers picked trash up from the sidewalk and rearranged window displays as they sang, "Going to the chapel and we're gonna get ma-a-arried." One witness reported, "They were even harmonizing. They really sounded fantastic." Rioters adjourned for cocktails at Bliss Bar promptly at 8 p.m.
Snake Bite: Monday, Feb. 30, 2 a.m.
A 34-year resident of Dolores Street is in stable condition at S.F. General Hospital following an attack by a Cobra light fixture in the early hours of Feb. 30. While scouting the area for suspects, police found a lone Cobra hiding in the bushes. "I know they don't want my kind here," the aluminum fixture said, "so I bit him."
Vandalism: Between 6 and 7 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 21; Church and 24th
A Noe Valley resident told police she saw members of 21 Grams, a notorious gang of grandmothers associated with the Un Lok Me Senior Center, terrorizing the neighborhood bright and early on April 2. Gang members used washable magic markers to inscribe their well-known symbol, "COOT," on the front windows of businesses along Church Street. Vandals were heard yelling, "Canada, here we come!" The reporting officer speculated that the graffiti attacks came in response to a recent hike in the cost of Procardia.
Verbal Misunderstanding : 11 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 28; Noe Valley Farmers' Market
Okra Winfree of ChewCareful Farms was taken into custody following an assault on a produce shopper at the Saturday farmers' market on 24th Street. Noe Street resident Ruta Bayga had decided to purchase a thistle-like vegetable when suddenly Winfree began to wring her neck with her bare hands. "All I said was 'Give me a choke,' and she sure did," Bayga later claimed.
--Erin Reliant with help from Sgt. Pea Diddy
Big Box Store Moves into Noe
By Creighton Barel
Despite the efforts of neighborhood residents to keep such large retailers out of Noe Valley, a big box store has announced plans to open on 24th Street, in the spot formerly occupied by Dharma.
"It's taken us three years to get our permits," said Rochester Biggantal, CEO of Big Box Stores Inc., Ltd. "But we're hoping the community will now accept us for all their big box needs."
The store will sell three sizes of containers--supersize, grande, and elephantine --and rubber gloves.
"The boxes are great to use as disposable swimming pools," said Biggantal. "One lady I know uses them to store her extra ketchup and soy sauce packets."
Still, there was some resistance to the new store. "We already have little boxes. That should be enough for the neighborhood," said former local folksinger Malvina Reynolds. m
Make Way for Another Small Chain
In other business news, SmalMart, the neighborhood's teensiest trader specializing in postage stamps, safety pins, and plankton, announced it would take over the space between Rudy Vallee's Jewelry Repair and Dry-Vac Cleaners in the Mini-Mall on 24th Street.
'Smoking Gun' Misplaced
The FBI announced today that the infamous smoking gun, which had eluded authorities for a long time but was found last year, is missing again.
City CatShare Just Purrfect
By Ermine O'Katsky
Need a cat for a few days? Want to test-drive a tabby? On March 3, the long-awaited City CatShare program began in Noe Valley. For a $50 deposit, plus a small hourly fee, members can check out a cat for up to one week.
"Our members love the flexibility of being able to have an animal when it fits into their schedule," said City CatShare manager Cy Ameese. "Borrowers aren't responsible for any repairs. They just have to return the cat with a full stomach of kibble." Wallgreen's has donated one parking space to house the shed for the felines available for rental.
City CatShare is innovative. "We have two models: a standard, midsize tabby, which most people prefer, and a few in a larger, orange model as well," Ameese said. "There's also one older cat out back, a scruffy grey manx, but we only bring him out when he's specially requested." Members are allowed to choose which style they prefer, but they cannot select the individual cat. "All the tabbies are named Tabby and the others are all named Morris," Ameese explained. "Except for Dustbin."
City CatShare is a non-profit sponsored by the California Coalition of Cats. "Our goal is to reduce individual cat ownership while giving people access to cats on an as-needed basis," said Board Chair Abby Sinian. "People who don't think they have the time or maturity to own a cat now can experience the best of both worlds."
Not everyone is thrilled with the new plan. Howie Muse, a Noe Valley landlord, says renters are getting around their no-pet lease agreements by participating in City CatShare. "One tenant told me, 'I don't own a cat, I'm just borrowing it.' Meanwhile, these cats are climbing the drapes and shedding whiskers everywhere. It's anarchy!"
Nonetheless, Ameese said he's thrilled with the warm welcome City CatShare has received. "Finally, anybody in Noe Valley can come by and get a little pus-
Only One Employee Left in Noe Valley
By Donald Trump
As of April 1, 2004, Martha is officially the last person in Noe Valley to have a job.
In fact, while all other neighborhood job categories (information technology, education, organic produce retail, non-profits, and marketing) have withered and died over the past few years, only one business has continued to generate any revenue at all: Martha and Bros. Coffee.
At 11:00 on a typical Tuesday morning, the sidewalk in front of her 24th Street shop is jammed with customers sipping their lattes and exchanging business plans.
It's unclear where all these people are coming up with the money for $2.50 coffees, but experts point at the recent upsurge in spare kidney sales on Craigslist
CONTINUED AT THE TEMP AGENCY
Your Mother Warned You. You didn't listen, you thought it was funny, and you kept on schmooshing your face into some hideous contortion or other. The residents at the Asylum for People Whose Faces Got Stuck want to warn careless grimacers everywhere that yes, your mother was right.
Photo by Pamela Grinard
LETTER BOMBS BY Karen Topakian
A Little Blight Is a Good Thing
What on earth is the matter with Noe Valley? Am I the only one who isn't upset about the boarded-up storefronts on 24th Street? I think the street looks great!
More than anything, Noe Valley has needed a central place to hang notices, and the front window of the late Real Foods makes a great bulletin board. I find pennies on the sidewalk all the time. Besides, the refuse and debris give an edgy ambience to the neighborhood.
There's too much to buy in Noe Valley. Do we really need St. Patrick's Day cards?
Les S. Moore
An Ethical Dilemma
My partner and I were married in San Francisco during Valentine's Day weekend. Our families sent us presents and offered to pay for our honeymoon. If the California Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriages are illegal, do we have to give the gifts back?
Name withheld by request
Editor's Reply: Yes, you do. Remember, the state gets to decide everything about your private life. Send the gifts back, every one of them--even the 300-thread Egyptian-cotton monogrammed towels. Now! Stop drying your hands on them.
Voice Goes Weekly, Chucks Content
By Steve Adberg
Readers will be glad to learn that on May 1 a slew of improvements will be made at the Noe Valley Voice. First, at the request of local merchants, the paper will begin publishing once a week, and twice or thrice a week during holiday shopping seasons. "This will really help sales," said Misty Malarkey, owner of Qyzx, a local import and pastry shop. "We're already keeping our stores open late on the second Tuesday, the fourth Friday, and the fifth Monday, if there is one.
The second improvement to the Voice will be the absence of editorial copy. According to Church Street resident Henry Higgins, "There is too much news and reporting in the world anyway. Words, words, words--I'm so sick of words!"
Also, the boundaries of Noe Valley will be changed. The Voice will now be distributed throughout Lower Pacific Heights, often called "Upper Dolores Depths." In '05, we will extend the borders to Santa Fe.
We welcome new advertisers from these areas. Those with proper spelling and decent punctuation will get special placement in the paper. Readers, in the future, please refrain from sending us your news.
DOG IN THE STREET
Q. Hey, dog, what are you doing in the street? You could get run over. Asked at the corner of 24th and Sanchez.
I'm crossing over to A Girl and Her Dog. I hear they have some lovely spring things that are just my size.
--Aunt Pittypat, sheltie, Clipper Corner
I heard some kibble fell off a truck, and I'm here to check it out. You want to buy a watch?
--Mugsy, pugador, Goldmine Hill
Would it be possible to have a little privacy here?
--Mars Rover, shepa-poo, Saturn Street
Wait! You're a cat, aren't you?
No, I'm a dog trapped in a cat's body. It's not easy living a lie. I could just spit, I mean growl.
--Spike, tabby, Sanchez Street
MWM Seeking WMD. Any location. Urgent I find before Nov. 2, 2004; will trade for vice presidency. Call G.W.B., 555-0001.
Depressbyterian? We offer a safe, non-judgmental place to park on 24th Street near Sanchez (daily except Sundays during church services). Feed the lambs in the quiet, fenced minipark. First bagel free.
Black Eye for the White Guy: Boxing classes for welterweights, featherweights, and veritable tubs o' lard begin April 1 at SLUG (The Society of Lanky Uppercrust Guys). No pugilists, please.
Why Clean? It'll just get dirty again.
Amiga Computers! Very collectible vintage machines with original wall plugs. 1-415-555-GATES.
Trade Santa Suit for Easter Bunny, leprechaun, Uncle Sam, or XXL Pilgrim outfit. Desperate. He's not going to make it through another December. Call Mrs. Claus, 555-YULE. If a man answers, hang up.
Same-Old-Sex Marriage is so last century. Join us at Table for Sex® at Toko Home Furnishings and Novelties. Beds also available.
$$$ for Unwanted Family Members. Your tax-deductible donation sought by New Guinea Pig therapy practice. No animal testing.We pay up front. Call 1-800-LECTRODE for immediate pickup.
Tired of Moldy, Cracked Grout? Tired of paying too much for car insurance? Tired of slow service in restaurants? Tired of dating? Tired of embezzling from the boss? Call 1-800-CAYMANS.
APRIL 1: Rocket Dog Rescue will launch a MISSION TO MARS to retrieve Rover, who's been stranded on the red planet since mid-January. Takeoff, 6 pm; reception, 7 pm, in front of Zephyr Real Estate, 24th Street. Bring a freeze-dried treat.
APRIL 20: The SKITTISH COUNTRY DANCERS perform reels, feints, and dodges at a recital of their rarely seen work, "Total Mondophobia." Sanctuary of the Noe Valley Ministry, 1021 Sanchez St.
APRIL 10: See Earth, Wind, and Dufty in concert with Newsom Oyster Cült and the TURTLES at the Noe Valley Music Series. 8:15 pm.
APRIL 6: The Tea Bum leads a discussion, "Hobosexuals: Love in a Boxcar." Noon. Chattanooga Chat 'n' Chew, Mission at 25th Street.
APRIL 7: Noe Valley natives perform their traditional SONGS AND DANCES, including the Stroller Strut, the Produce Bag Swing, and the Volvo Squeeze, in the third annual Ritual of the Fanny Packs. 8 pm. Meet at Chloe's at 10 am, corner of Church and 26th.
APRIL 3: A POETRY SLUM features readings and improvisations by realtors from eight major firms. 7 pm. Lunny House, 24th between Croakedcrane and Tien Funeral.
APRIL 45: Unknown donors are invited to share their identities at the first meeting of Anonymous PRESBYTERIANS Anonymous. Call for location.
THE ALFRED E. NEWMAN VOICE
Now you've wasted another perfectly good 10 minutes skimming the No Value Voice.
Fool's Editors: Karol Barske, Sally Smith
Fool's Photos: Joel Abramson, Ed Buryn, Pamela Gerard, Beverly Tharp, Jack Tipple
Fools from the Get-Go: Heidi Anderson, Suzanne Herel, Doug & Barb Konecky, Erin O'Briant, Elliot Poger, Karen Topakian
APRIL FOOL'S 2004!