"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 22 August 1996. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run XLVIII



Those of us who keep Fast

Company have known since March

that Levi's is changing

everything - their employee

handbook, their org charts,

their skivvies (sometimes twice

a day, as things are moving, you

know, so fast). From the New

York Times comes news of their

big plan for us guys and

butches: trousers that will

"fill a perceived wardrobe gap

between khakis and designer

dress slacks," and bring the

concept of cross-platform

branding about, oh, waist-high.

We figure, with Levi's prepared

to spend U.S. $20 million to

build a one-billion-dollar line

of drawers perfect for the

buttless white guy, to meet

their goal the pants will have

to flatter 250,000,000 buttocks

by 2006. Confidence in this goal

obviously rests on the

Pant-o-meter, and the "big black

hole in [the] hearts and minds

[of normal men] when it comes to

dress pants." If it isn't too

late, we know the perfect




In terms of high-profile hacks,

score one for big people

everywhere. This week, officials

at the Mall of America in

suburban Minneapolis ratified a

policy to prohibit children

under the age of sixteen from

hanging out on weekend nights

without the supervision of an

adult. Seems the world's largest

private shopping center is

intent on exterminating that

most postmodern of pests, the

mall rat. Some observers

couldn't help seeing a parallel

with the world's largest private

online service, notorious for

its not particularly enlightened

"Terms of Service." We're

prompted to ask who'll be the

first to discuss a merger and

sink a shovel on behalf of the

"Mall of America Online"?



If the most advanced chess

computer ever invented can get a

public whuppin' from some cranky

brainiac, then the roiling mass

of humanity doesn't stand much

of a chance, now does it? About

as thrilling (and fair) as a

write-off between Shakespeare

and an infinite number of

monkeys, Anatoly Karpov is going

to take on "the world" via the

Web on Monday. And, like

everything on the Web,

chess-by-democracy promises to

be a lot more scattershot than




Last week's report of a Boy Scout

troop's overenthusiastic embrace

of their more primitive natures

prompted a correspondent to

forward us this new feed (of

indubitably dubious origin):


 HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif.,                
Aug. 19 (UPI) - Responding to           
inquiries from wildlife                 
officials at Yosemite National          
Park and a federal prosecutor           
investigating the death of a            
two-year-old black bear, a              
spokesman for the besieged Boy          
Scout troop lashed out at the           
"liberal media establishment."          

"That East Coast simian                 
temptress nearly coaxes a little        
boy to his death but the press          
lets itself be hoodwinked into          
believing she played Good               
Samaritan," said Richard Jewell,        
public relations director of the        
Huntington Beach Boy Scouts of          
America. "A group of red-blooded        
youngsters get a little                 
overexcited after reading               
Shirley Jackson, and the liberal        
media establishment turns into a        
lynch mob!" Laws prohibiting            
minors from purchasing                  
California Lottery tickets only         
exacerbated the problem, Jewell         

courtesy of the Sucksters