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[whitespace] The Untold Stories of 2000!!

By Will Harper, Dan Pulcrano and Genevieve Roja; Edited by Kelly Luker

Naked Dancing Ron Friends Blame Mayor's Diminishing Profile on Anorexia!!

Beloved hometown Mayor Ron Gonzales has friends terrified that the formerly roly-poly pol may be the victim of anorexia, an eating disorder common among teenage gymnasts and insecure sitcom actresses.

Although Ronito will only admit to dropping two suit sizes, City Hall pundits believe that the mayor is in denial about his self-enforced starvation, most likely triggered by professional and personal woes.

Voters were shocked when Gonzales' affair with a young office mate was exposed, leading wags to hypothecate that Cupid's Arrows had punctured a once promising political career.

But Gonzo was able to power his BART plans through in November's elections, proving that his political muscle remains taut.


Thousands Nauseated by Treacherous Silicon Valley Adventure Ride!!

Emergency rooms overflowed this year with patients vomiting and trembling uncontrollably following a death-defying ride on the valley's most infamous adventure experience, the NASDAQ.

Rivaling Great America's Drop Zone and the Hurricane for sheer terror, the NASDAQ outdid itself as it continuously scaled dizzying heights, only to plummet abruptly with no warning.

"Thrills, chills and spills," chortles a jovial Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve Board and architect of another nerve-wracking ride, Interest Hike. "That, my friend, is what makes a killer attraction!"

What draws amusement park aficionados from around the country--and the world--to the high-tech hair-raiser is the NASDAQ's uncanny ability to zig and zag when hapless riders least expect it.

Adreneline junkies line up side by side with hayseeds too stupid to analyze short- vs. long-term risk for a chance to hang on tight while tech stocks whiplash back and forth like a skewered king snake.

However, as casualties mount, some of NASDAQ's former enthusiasts have begun to question who is responsible for their recent trauma. One fallen day trader admits that he has contacted famed ambulance chasers Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach to explore the possibilities of filing a class-action suit against someone--anyone--on behalf of all the morons who believed that they could make easy money really, really fast.


Babe the Pig

Hey Babe, Feel like Italian Tonight?

Diners were outraged to discover that chef Gary Kjolhaug was subbing pork in an Italian eatery's veal dishes. His employer was fined $60,000 and also found itself the target of a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of all victimized diners.

"I don't know that I'll ever recover from the trauma," admits one tearful patron. "I expected my veal parmigiana brimming with flesh from force-fed young calves imprisoned in tiny crates and deprived of any exercise and fresh air before they were brutally slaughtered. Instead," the patron continued, "I was tricked into eating the hormone- and antibiotic-laden skin of pigs kept in filthy little pens until their throats are slit and they scream and squeal with agony.

"Whatever happened to ethics?"


D.A. Fears Brain Tumor Epidemic

District Attorney George Kennedy apparently fears he could be the next victim of the West Wing's mysterious brain tumor epidemic.

Kennedy insisted on hiring a public health-safety officer to monitor conditions in the D.A.'s offices on the west side of the County Government Center. Entrusted with approving Kennedy's budget, county board of directors demanded why the county's top prosecutor needed a health watchdog.

Kennedy calmly explained, "We have a high incidence ... of cancerous brain tumors."

During the '80s and early '90s, at least eight county employees working in the West Wing at 70 W. Hedding St. developed brain tumors. Panicked state health investigators immediately declared a cancer cluster in the building.

A humorous, but tumorless East Wing dweller unsympathetically remarked after Kennedy's public plea, "That [the high number of brain tumors] would explain a lot of bad decisions that get made over there."


Flamboyant Ellison: On Collision Course with Disaster?

Worried friends are begging Oracle founder Larry Ellison to mend his dangerous ways before the troubled titan meets tragedy. In his latest escapade, Ellison apparently defied powerful Department of Motor Vehicles bureaucrats by avoiding smog-control fees for his new McLaren F1 automobile.

Although investigators refuse to point an accusing finger directly at the lion-maned database magnate, questions swirl as to how, exactly, the fishy smog certificate ended up in Ellison's possession.

The DMV snafu is only the latest in a series of misadventures to befall "living large" Larry, as the ostentatious head of Oracle is known. A furious yacht salesman sued Ellison for stiffing him $700,000 in commission fees. In addition, San Jose Airport has been ducking the high-flying billionaire's late-night demands for clearance to park his Gulfstream IV after hours.

Oracle honchos denied reports that an intervention is planned to force the CEO into getting help for his bizarre behavior.

"Mr. Ellison is suffering from exhaustion, nothing more," insists an Redwood Shores insider. He also denied rumors that Ellison has threatened to purchase the Washington, D.C., Lincoln Memorial for a teardown in order to construct a Vegas-style monument to his accomplishments.


Grampa Doug wants more kids!

Longtime KNTV anchorman Doug Moore, 58, already has a couple of grandkids, but the wily newsman says he wants to sire more Little Dougies with his newly wedded 31-year-old bride, Kim Nguyen!

Moore gave up his anchor seat earlier this year so he could devote more time to Kim and babymaking. "I got married again last year and we want to start a new family," Moore boasts, adding mischievously, "I want to be home at night."

Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.


Knight-Ridder To Give Yarnold-Harris Duo Own Column!

Due to the unexpected popularity of "Dear Reader," serialized humor pieces written by Mercury editor David Yarnold and publisher Jay Harris, the parent company of the Contra Costa/San Francisco/San Jose/Silicon Valley newspaper is rumored to be toying with the idea of giving the editing couple their own daily column.

Sticking with the winning format of "Dear Reader," Harris and Yarnold would continue to take turns writing front-page essays about the foibles of the venerable daily paper.

One of the most popular "Dear Reader" pieces was Harris' recent firsthand account of staying up all night to stuff inserts in his paper, all because of the zany antics of striking delivery-people. Readers howled as they imagined the executive duo fumbling with stacks of advertising, looking like Lucille Ball and Vivain Vance in I Love Lucy trying to keep up with chocolate bonbons on the assembly line.


Barry Bonds: Spoiled Superstar or Major League Jerk?

Despite an intense public relations effort to improve Giants slugger Barry Bonds' spoiled superstar image, a contractor who helped build his home says he's really the same old Barry!

Over the past two years, Bonds has assumed a high-profile role raising money for charitable causes to combat his selfish image. He even made himself more accessible to the media, appearing weekly on KNBR with hosts Ralph Barbieri and Tom Tolbert.

But a building contractor who worked on Bonds' new 10,000-square-foot mansion in Los Altos Hills says that Bonds would yell at crewmembers, bark orders and once left a rambling four-minute complaint on a company answering machine.

"I liken him to a 6-year-old child," the disenchanted contractor says. "If he doesn't get his way, he throws a tantrum."

As for how the hard-hats viewed Bonds, the same source said, "Let's just say a lot of people are Dodgers fans now."

Bonds got into a financial brouhaha with several subcontractors earlier this year, who filed hundreds of thousands of dollars in mechanics liens against his property. Most of the disputes have since been resolved.


Foolishly Dressed Drugstore Cowboys Wail, "Now Where?"

As its doors slammed shut for a final time after 25 years, country & western venue Saddle Rack rode off into the sunset of fond (although somewhat delusional) memories.

In its dusty trail the venerable nightclub left herds of heartbroken, fringe-clad barflies wondering where else west of Arizona could they could have drinks poured in their mouth while lying in a dentist's chair or appear in public looking like extras from Hee-Haw.

"It's difficult to live in urban San Jose and convince women that my job demands spurs, a ten-gallon hat and furry sheepskin chaps," said one former patron.

The stomping grounds that hosted many a low-rent rendezvous and boot-scootin' shuffles will be torn down to make way for condos.


Water Illustration

Consultants recommend building major body of water

San Jose's failure to achieve urban greatness--despite having a population larger than many countries (see chart) -- is due to the absence of a major body of water, a consultant retained by the city has concluded.

Working with a 33-member citizen Task Force and the community representatives, consultants Burweil and Martstadtler undertook the three-month study of San Jose's urban prospects and discovered the obvious. "All great cities have a major water feature. New York has the Hudson, Paris, the Seine, London, the Thames, San Francisco, the Golden Gate," observered Thurston Howell III, who presented the findings to stunned city officials.

"I always thought there was something missing," commented San Jose's redevelopment director, Susan Gillette. "I just couldn't put my finger on it."

Gillette immediately announced plans to begin excavating the Golden Triangle, an industrial area near the intersections of all major freeways that is named after a notorious heroin trading region in Southeast Asia. It will be connected via a high-tech system of canals to the Alviso Slough, and the designers of Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay resort have been hired to create realistic sand beaches and waves.

"Sure, eliminating all those tax-paying high-technology companies will cost the city revenue," Gillette admitted. "But we will make up for it with waterfront hotels, catamaran rentals and floating casinos."


San Jose: Bigger Than Entire Countries

Population of San Jose compared with ten of our favorite travel destinations.

San Jose909, 100
Fiji832,494
Cyprus758,363
Bahrain634,137
Equatorial Guinea474,214
Luxembourg437,389
Brunei336,376
Iceland276,365
Belize249,183
Micronesia133,144
Liechtenstein32,204
Source: The Web


Arena Accepts Geeks Bearing Gifts

Sharks fans whining over the newly named "Compaq Center at San Jose" should thank their lucky stars this season that their team won't be knocking pucks around Trojan Arena, Playtex Park or Rotten Robbie Ice Center.

For that they can thank the Houston computer manufacturer, who plunked down a landmark $47 million to buy the naming rights in late October. Under Mayor Ron Gonzales' plan, Compaq will pay the city $3.13 million annually for the next 15 years, but more importantly, keep the Teal and Black in San Jose by extending their lease until 2018.

Next the city plans to sell naming rights to the Convention Center. "Imagine the San Jose Yahoo McEnery Convention Center," Gonzales enthused.


Dotcom Company Announces That It's Really an Infrastructure Play

VirtualMango.com, a Mountain View Internet firm renowned for its early embrace of press release buzzwords, has announced that it is now an infrastructure company.

"We started as a pure web play that evolved into B-to-C, then clicks and mortar. Despite our compelling business model of capturing eyeballs and converting them into E-commerce customers through advanced Big Brother-like profiling techniques, pension fund managers have failed to recognize the true value of our powerful brand," Chief Mango David Phyllodough told analysts Monday.

The company, which acquired the U.S. Postal Service when its market cap overtook that of the federal government last March, will now focus on delivering "anything, anywhere, anyhow," according to Phyllodough.

"We have an early-mover advantage in the last mile," he added. " We intend to enhance shareholder value by creating synergies in the lonely housewife space."


Bold Election Strategy Backfires on Campbell After Potheads Forget to Vote!!!

Congressman Tom Campbell's effort to court drug war casualties through a pro-legalization stance in his race to capture the U.S. Senate seat held by Dianne Feinstein failed because many marijuana users forgot to vote, a post-election analysis has found.

"I was gonna vote for that dude," said one long-haired woman who was interviewed at Shoreline Amphitheater, where she was selling braided hemp anklets at a Phish concert. "But I forgot."

"Yeah, I couldn't remember which day it was, either," a dreadlocked companion chimed in.


Gravestone Flea market tycoon's son buries the hatchet at graveside

Jeff Bumb, the estranged oldest son of late Berryessa Flea Market founder George Bumb Sr., surprised friends and relatives by attending the old man's burial.

Bumb Sr., who had long battled heart ailments and eccentricity, stopped speaking to his son years earlier after a family sex scandal tore the two apart.

As many expected, Jeff didn't attend his father's nighttime rosary service at San Jose's Darling & Fischer Garden Chapel.

But the following day, Jeff sat right next to his mother, Lorraine--with whom he had also not spoken with for years--at his father's burial service. A family friend says Lorraine pleaded with her son to come to the service.

"Jeff and his mother sat together," a witness recalls. "She had her arm around Jeff, and Jeff had his arm around her."

Bumb Sr. started the Berryessa Flea Market in 1960 and turned it into the largest outdoor market in the state.

Bay 101 visionary Jeff Bumb had a falling out with his father, court records indicate, after Jeff and his wife reported a case of incest to police. According to Jeff Bumb, his father--who allegedly demanded that his children and grandchildren go to the Catholic church he started and attend the family school at the flea market--wanted to keep the molestation a secret. In court papers, a relative recalled the Bumb patriarch saying that if it was up to him, "all the grandchildren would marry each other.


Dotcommer Nabs Firehouse; Life-Size Replica of 'Main Street' Almost Complete!

Mountain dwellers of Los Gatos breathed a sigh of relief as high-tech exec Brian L. Hinman rescued the Alma Fire Station from closure by purchasing it for his private collection.

In existence for almost 50 years, the rural fire station faced an uncertain future when its lease expired and the property was scheduled to go on the market. Fortunately, do-gooder Hinman stepped in and snapped up the rustic firehouse and surrounding four acres, then gifted it back to the state.

Although whispers have circulated for years that the quirky millionaire is reconstructing the famed Disneyland thoroughfare behind the secluded mountain property, Hinman insists that he has no plans to move his new firehouse (complete with a pole to slide down, a Dalmatian and brawny firemen) next to his other recent acquisitions: a dry goods store, Ye Olde Ice Cream Shoppe and a miniature police station.


Monster House Terrifies Young Children

Enraged parents are demanding that Silicon Valley executive Brian "Crazy Old Man" Hinman cease exhibiting plans of his 11,000-square-foot monster house to unsuspecting children.

Already, dozens of tots have been traumatized by the hulking behemoth that Hinman threatens to unleash upon the San Mateo coastline overlooking Año Nuevo state reserve.

The CEO of 2Wire, Inc., keeps Silicon Valley watchers guessing as he unexpectedly shifts from bighearted do-gooder to cruel prankster. Hinman won accolades in the Santa Cruz Mountains earlier this year for stepping in at the last minute to save the rurally based Alma Fire Station from closure. But now the daffy dotcommer appears determined to build a Gothic mansion where he can witness the X-rated sexcapades that draws thousand of tourists annually to the famed Año Nuevo elephant seal breeding grounds.

Although it is 4,000 square feet smaller than originally proposed, the monster house is still causing nightmares among innocent children, the elderly and anyone with modesty and good taste.

Marine biologists are also concerned that the eccentric millionaire's voyeurism will wreak irreparable emotional damage on the two-ton pinnipeds below. Joining with environmentalists, the marine biologists have formed a non-profit coalition, Save Our Seals from Peeping Toms.


Ruins

This Just in ... Whole Village Disappears Overnight!!

Puzzled investigators are sifting through rubble for a once-thriving village known as "Town and Country."A fixture on Stevens Creek Boulevard, the quaint township vanished without a trace virtually overnight, leaving tuxedo shoppers and Hobee's restaurant fans shaking their heads in disbelief.

"It's like the Anasazi or Mayans," says one baffled bystander, referring to other ancient cultures that have mysteriously disappeared. "One day you're ordering tofu scramble and cummerbunds; the next thing you know, it's a vacant lot."

Researchers believe there may be some connection between the purchase of the property in 1998 by Federal Realty Investment Trust and the advent of huge bulldozers within a year or so.

Others, however, aren't so sure.

"It's a little too convenient, is all I'm saying," sniffs a former patron. "After all these years, Valley Fair across the street suddenly changes its name to Westfield Shoppingtown. Language abuse followed by disappearance of quaint shopping center.

"You connect the dots."


Chambers Meets with Decorator, Remodels Coyote Valley

Freewheeling Cisco CEO John Chambers celebrated another roller coaster year on the Internet and his appointment as a George W. Bush technology adviser with a mad shopping spree, filling his Ralph Lauren shopping bag with title and keys to trendy new digs in South San Jose. The billionnaire decided to expand his base of operations--and namesake--throughout Coyote Valley, one of the county's last open spaces. Looking to set up shop for 20,000 serfs, the router tycoon is hoping to have bulldozers and builders all done by mid-decade.

Cisco reps hotly deny rumors that Chambers plans to theme his new campus along the lines of a Louisiana plantation, complete with cotton fields, a replica of the Tara mansion and Christian LeCroix--designed uniforms.

Both Harris and Yarnold have brought tears of laughter--and sadness--to the eyes of nostalgic readers who long for a simpler, sunnier time in the world of news. A time when a newspaper did not consider the 17 largest nearby metropolitan areas part of its hometown beat.

"We expect Harris and Yarnold to be as big as Herb Caen one day," confided an anonymous source, referring to the late, legendary SF Chron columnist. "It's not like those two will ever run out of material."


"Artist" Prince Warns viewers About Evils of Hell

The artist formerly known as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince and now once again known as just Prince entertained a full house at the San Jose State University Event Center with what was undoubtedly one of the tightest shows of the year on December 8. His message of unconditional love and polysexual indulgence, however, featured a bizarre and heavy-handed commercial in which he informed his audience in unambiguous terms that the only path to heaven was through Jesus Christ. It may have come as a surprise to the Jews, Sikhs, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Pagans and atheists in the house that one of their favorite musicians believes that they are condemned to burn in Hades for eternity for neglecting to accept the identical belief system as the musician they paid $65 to see. Fans nonetheless overlooked Prince's abuse of his microphone privileges to advance his personal religious opinions, since the music was so good. And luckily, there are many great musicians in hell to entertain those who choose another path to spiritual enlightenment or self-actualization.


Ron Gonzales

Mayor Unruffled By Departure of Entire Staff and Support System

Since assuming office two years ago, Mayor Ron Gonzales has witnessed the departures of the city manager, the redevelopment director, the city attorney, his chief of staff, his wife and his girlfriend. Still the mayor insists he is not lonely and that the departures were part of a normal pattern of attrition.

"They all had excellent opportunities for advancement," the mayor observed. "I wish them all well."


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From the December 28, 2000-January 3, 2001 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.




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