"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 7 January 1999. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run CLX


[Emily's in Hawaii, so I'll be bringing y'all your daily dose of alt tag goodliness]

For several years, the Jack

Sprats of the diet industry have

been struggling to stay in the

same weight class with fatuous

commentators like Laura Fraser

and Cheri K. Erdman, who seek to

prove that our societal

obsession with trim waistlines

is the result of some massive

propaganda campaign. Though

we're sympathetic to both

literal and metaphoric misfits,

the fat-acceptance herd

mentality of questionable

medical advice, gratuitous

attacks on beloved national

icons, and


anorexic-type zealotry makes for

a pretty indigestible form of

binge-and-purge reporting.

Marilyn Wann's tubbies-rule zine

Fat!So? has always stood out

from the crowd, preferring to

smother its readers with comedy

while the others just bore them

with padded statistics. So we're

pleased that Wann has finally

packaged the work of Fat!So?

into an attractively slender

book. But if a recent spam is

any indicator, Wann's volume may

have arrived just as the obesity

problem is about to be solved

once and for all. Sounding

suspiciously like the Troy

McClure film Smoke Yourself

Thin!, Herbal Therm 777 and Slim

'R Days promise to "raise the

metabolism and create a

thermalgenic response, which in

turn burns fat, not lean

muscle." What this breakthrough

will mean for America's growing

fatness we can't say, but we've

officially given up hope that

the Fat Boys might regroup for

Disorderlies II.


[and what could be more interesting than knowing what I've been listening to for the past 3 days?]

A well-dressed woman never

leaves home without a rod in her

pants. And with women now

boasting ownership of some 10

percent (and rising) of

America's 192 million guns, it

appears that the battle of the

sexes may soon take place on a

truly level playing field.

Unfortunately, though, a good

hand-to-hand struggle usually

leaves even a feisty gal at the

mercy of a sinewy fella. Which

is where the Defense Brush comes

in. "This is a good product for

women who might not want to

carry a gun or a can of mace but

might be interested in something

like this," marketer Russell

Luedke says of the compound

hairbrush, whose removable

handle contains a stiletto that

will turn even the boniest

public library wallflower into a

lethal Doctor No. Luedke

downplays the product's stopping

power. "It's for protection.

This product can't really hurt

anybody." Will it puncture the

skin? "Oh, it'll puncture the

skin. It'll cause pain, which is

what you really want. The worst

thing you could do with it is

probably stick it in somebody's

eye." After years of access to

only compact/sirens and mace

cans that look like lipsticks,

you'd think women would want a

more butch arsenal than these

combination beauty/health care

weapons, but according to

Luedke, "When women see this

product and hold it, they want

it." We'd go in on a joint

venture, but our own

self-defense inventions -

lawn-dart falsies, lye blusher,

and of course, the Defense

Diaphragm - never quite found

their markets.


[this edition of suck brought to you by 'Funkadelic 45's, '69-'76 (westbound records)]

Even after the season of

greetings, there are still too

many ways to say what you really

mean. While our electronic

Christmas, Hanukah, and Kwanzaa

cards have been printed out and

hung over the fake fireplace,

Blue Mountain is still offering

to send someone you love a

virtual Ramadan card, including

a nondenominational greeting in

case you suspect your Muslim pal

might actually be a Jew). All

Blue Mountain cards come with

top-notch musical stylings by

Richard James. But this week's

most intriguing greeting idea is

from Gentlehints.com, which, for

a price, will let your special

friend know that he or she has

halitosis, unsightly facial

hair, or flatulence. The

company's promise of a discreet

hint is tempting, but hygiene

advice, like a holiday greeting,

is usually best delivered with a

big, smelly bearhug.


[ry cooder, liszt, mozart, beethoven, tom waits]

Speaking of greeting problems

... The biggest victim of You've

Got Mail turns out to have been

neither the comatose audience

nor Ron Rosenbaum (the

in-patient columnist for The New

York Observer who suffered the

indignity of being played by

screen incubus Greg Kinnear) but

AT&T WorldNet. Just as the

Hanks/Ryan snooze began lulling

public insomniacs to sleep, AT&T

launched an upgrade to its

online service, featuring

AOL-like phrases such as "Buddy

List," "IM," and most daring of

all, the email greeting "You

have mail." An America Online

spokeswoman told The Wall Street

Journal Tuesday, "These are

phrases that are associated with

our brand and our service."

Shortly thereafter, a federal

district judge refused the

company's bid for a preliminary

injunction. But the lawsuit goes

on, and in anticipation of a

permanent settlement in AOL's

favor, we've obtained a list of

AT&T's proposed alternative




[also worth mentioning: bob dylan bootleg series, music from the movie 'pi', zappa's absolutely free, burning spear's dry and heavy and pharoah sanders' karma]

It's almost a law in the

magazine business: The more

sanctimonious the mission

statement, the louder the death

throes. For readers who get

touched by the inevitable

pre-fold pledge drive ("if you

can make a significant

contribution ... "), there's a

pang of sympathy mingled with a

strong sense of "What are you

looking at me for? I subscribed

at the office." This week,

will-publish-for-food signs are

hanging at DoubleTake, Robert

Coles' so-boring-it's-

good-for-you quarterly of

photography, and at Jewish World

Review, a site devoted to

changing "the way contemporary

Jewry views itself." It's sad to

see anybody go, but JWR seems to

have traded in its goal of

recovering "classic Judaism's

celebration of life," opting

instead to publish (free of

charge, we hope) the crayon

doodles of vanity-press cranks.

And while we liked DoubleTake,

it would probably do better

ambushing a Brinks truck with a

box of tacks than asking for

more money from readers whose

just-renewed subscriptions now

appear doomed to unfulfillment.

Membership doesn't always have

its privileges. Meanwhile, all

your ill-wishes still won't make

Suck go away any time soon,

though contributions are always


courtesy of the Sucksters