Summertime and the living is easy in San Francisco, as the heatwave begins, bringing with it the party season. Thousands turned up for the annual Black and White Ball, a party like no other, which attracts urbanites and suburbanites, each paying from $150 (no supper, no reserved seats) up to $750, for the pleasure of dressing in two-tone formal attire and dancing in the streets in aid of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. "I'm staying a lot longer at this party than I did at that party last Saturday," said Vice President of the Giants, Larry Baer, referring to the birthday do held by 49ers baseball team campaign manager, Jack Davis.

The question that has kept San Francisco talking is, who left first and who stayed on, as the Davis event moved from its inception as a soiree for San Francisco's elite, through several stages of debauchery, finally degenerating into a genuine bacchanalian brawl. Even the city's hip black mayor Willie Brown (a man who thinks nothing of modelling for a GQ fashion spread posed atop a Harley, days after taking office) bunked out. Brown, who is working with Davis to try to persuade voters to support a plan for a new stadium for the 49ers, saw political disaster dawning as the festivities wore on.

Within a few days, the polls revealed that most of San Francisco's women voters opposed the stadium idea. No prizes for guessing whose idea it was to throw another party, this time a women-only bash at the Westin St Francis Hotel, to change the minds of women voters, with the help of a few hunky players.

Party poopers were also present in their numbers at the Bay to the Breakers race the next weekend. The B to the B is really a 70,000-strong moving party scene, which masquerades as a long-distance race. The event features the usual marching centipedes, running salmons, obligatory Elvises and, increasingly, a growing number of people who see the event as their one chance to run naked through the streets of San Francisco. Everyone knows this, except, it seems, a few real athletes, including one man who complained bitterly about having to run alongside a man with a Farrah Fawcett wig and a comprehensive suntan. Another protester agreed. "The front part is a race and the back part is for exhibitionists. By the time it's over, the Kenyans have collected their prizes and are back on the plane."

No one was complaining at the party at the HQ of the campaign against the 49ers stadium. Local attorney Dan Larkosh, who heads the campaign, which is run on a shoestring, succeeded in obtaining clandestinely-shot photos of the Davis party, which he passed on to KGO-TV. Davis was furious. Larkosh and supporters used the $100 finder's fee to celebrate with Mexican food and margaritas.

The only people left out of all the fun this month were the Green Street Mortuary Band. The Chronicle reported that plans for them to perform at Davis's birthday party while Davis himself rose from an on-stage coffin were axed by his staff on the grounds that the act was in bad taste.

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