"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 2 March 2000. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Hit & Run CCXVII



"Show, don't tell," was the

first and last piece of good

advice we ever got in a writing

class. A similar kind of

invective is currently being

hurled at Grapevine, CBS's

bright new relationship sitcom,

which mercifully transplants its

moping singles action from the

usual New York location to what

the producers, who apparently

don't know Nutley, New Jersey,

call "Miami — America's

sexiest city." TV critic par

excellence Tim Goodman

hysterectomates the show as "a

hyper-bad recreation of what

happens on Sex and the City," in

which all of the "so-called plot

is told directly to the camera

in what constitutes the runaway

winner for Most Annoying Use of

an Overused Device." Meanwhile,

Harvard Man David Chesler

protests, "About 10 minutes in

we were asking each other, 'OK,

when are the short-cut previews

going to end so that the show

can begin?'" As a special

service to you, we shell out for

the Home Box Office channel, and

we can attest that both

Grapevine and Sex and the City

make us laugh at an equal rate

of Never. But if these assorted

couch potatoes are going to

object to voice-over and

talking-head narration in the

clone, they should have objected

when this sort of thing showed

up in the original. Call us

old-fashioned, but voice-over

narration is used best when it

is used least, with the

spectacular exception of

narration that speculates

on the Great Soul of Man

and asks why the sea

contends with the land. What

Goodman and company should

really find rude is the way

Grapevine leaves poor Kristy

Swanson all alone in the eye

candy department. Heads up,

fellas: These shows don't catch

on because of their deft

narration, and Grapevine's

Achilles' heel is that you can't

get all that jiggy on a network.

Which reminds us of a more

pressing question: Whatever

happened to Sex author Candace

Bushnell's more legitimate

daughter, Courtney Weaver? We're

long past second-guessing

Salon's editorial decisions, but

really, in this golden age of

Chatterotica, isn't it time to

swallow your pride and

ask her to come back? She's even

got her own book. This is a

battle that will be waged on

cable, not network TV, and

Courtney's got the moxie to win

when the Salon/Showtime

Entertainment Channel makes its

inevitable debut.



Back in 1972, the father of one

Suckster registered to vote in

the Democratic primary, not

because he was a Democrat but

because he was certain his

primary vote for George McGovern

would help ensure an easy

November victory for Richard

Milhaus Nixon. Or so he has

claimed. True or not, even when

we were in plastic pants, we

recognized Pop's delusions of

grandeur for what they were.

Thus it has been comically black

to see the return of the

"Mischief Vote" as a

contemporary issue. Now that

George W. Bush has managed to

scare up a big win in Virginia's

damnably open primary, he might

for a few minutes stop whining

like the pampered pussy he is

and get back to acting like a

potential President of the

United States. As a result, we

may hear somewhat less about the

Mischief Vote theory, which

posits that winning-ugly

Democrats are coming out in

force to vote for John McCain in

the surreal belief that McCain

will be the weaker candidate

against their chosen champion Al

Gore. But it's worth noting that

the idea of a Mischief Vote or

Straw Man vote has a long

pedigree in the American

political process, and belief in

this fanciful idea helped

construct our current system of

closed (or, as they're called in

California, "nightshirt")

primaries, in which your vote

doesn't count if you're not a

party member. Is it possible

that such widely organized

shenanigans could flourish from

state to state and coast to

coast? Isn't it pretty to think

so? As Johnson said of the

existence of ghosts, "All

argument is against it, but all

belief is for it."



Theoretically, the universe of

available .com domain names

should be as inexhaustible as

Lotto. But if you need evidence

that the universe of ideas for

domain names is both finite and

curved, look no further than the

story of Suckdotcom.com, which

had set for itself the tall goal

of selling t-shirts labeled




The owners of Suckdotcom.com,

Nutley, New Jersey's own MET

Computers, appear, like GW Bush,

to be lacking a certain

catholicity of taste. At the

moment, the only t-shirts you

can order are ones that claim

either Republicans, Democrats or

Rangers suck.com.


Nevertheless, we're always

looking for new business ideas.

We tried calling the home office

in Nutley, but the WHOIS-listed

number just rang and rang, while

an information operator assured

us no such company was listed

within the Nutley limits. We

sent out a few emails, and

although our message was more

curious than litigious, we

immediately got a reply from one

Brad Jesperson of i-netmall.com,

the Salt Lake City company that

provided Suckdotcom.com with a

server. "This site has been

removed and we are currently

undergoing the necessary steps

in permanently removing this

site from our hosting services,"

said Brad. Quick response, Brad!

Just for that we urge our

readers to shop with the fast

and courteous people at

i-netmall.com. As for

Suckdotcom.com, we already had

'em beat. Their shirts weren't

nearly as nice as ours, and they

cost more. And as you may have

noticed, we have already taken

steps toward permanently

undercutting their price.


Subsequently, we spoke with Mike

Tukes of Suckdotcom.com. Mike

assured us that he had "had the

idea [of marketing "Suck.com"

t-shirts] kicking around for

about a year," and had been

unaware of our site's existence.


Had he sold any t-shirts?


"Not really."


Did he have shirts available for

purchase? The site featured only

a crude drawing of a shirt, not

a photograph.


"We have a company who can make

them up if people order them."


Where did the idea of saying

so-and-so Suck.com come from?


"There's a chant that goes up in

the arena here, where people say

'Rangers suck!' or 'Flyers



Was he telling us that people

were chanting "Flyers suck.com?"

That would truly make us happy.

(And we repeat it here: Mike, if

you can get people in arenas

chanting "Suck.com" we will give

you the juiciest, most

electrifying open-mouthed kiss

you've ever experienced).


"No, they weren't chanting that,

but we're trying to move into

the political arena, with

'Democrats Suck' and

'Republicans Suck,' and that's

the only way we can make the

word a little less risque."


Had he gone down to the

Meadowlands on game night, and

done his utmost to move his





Did he ever go to games?




Had he ever worn his shirt at a

game? Ever tried to get some TV

time showing off his Suck.com

t-shirt? Tried to get a Suck.com

chant going?


"No," "No," and "No."


So what the hell are you waiting

for, Mike?


"We have the shirts available

for people who request them. And

as I said, people have had

trouble finding our site, where

they typed in the wrong address

and got your site."


Do you have any inventory?


"We have a company that can

print them up when people want

them. They print them in 24



Do you really expect to sell

shirts at those prices? $27.95

for a t-shirt?


"That's the sweatshirt price.

The t-shirt is less than that."


Oh, well let's go see... Oh

wait, we can't because the

site's down.


"That's why I'm calling you.

I-netmall took the site down

until we resolve the matter."


That's between you and your ISP.

If you can find a way to get out

there and sell Suck.com

t-shirts, then good luck to you

and we'll continue this

discussion at a later date. But

we're not lifting a finger or

talking to anybody to help you

get your site back up.


"So you're not going to help



Why should we help you?


"We're not infringing on your



So we should help you? Even if

that is true, the fact that

you're not ripping off our stuff

means we should help you? What

are you, out of your mind?


Thus, it ended on a sour note.

But we're optimistic that we

have not heard the last of Mike

Tukes, or at least of the guy

who plays Mike Tukes on the

phone. And when we meet again,

Mike, maybe you'll answer the

one question you didn't answer

this time: Why didn't you ever

call us, just to say hello?

That's what really hurts.

courtesy of theSucksters