"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 21 January 1999. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Hit & Run CLXII



Fresh on the heels of the

Virtual Holy Land and Jerusalem

tours by homicidal millennialist

wackos comes On Sacred Ground,

your gateway to authentic,

original Holy Land artifacts. In

addition to an In His Footsteps

tour, the site offers such

indulgences as Jerusalem

business card holders and

Armenian ceramics. And we sprang

for an international phone call

in the hope that they might be

interested in buying some

stateside relics:


Suck: Would you be interested in

a piece of Mary's belt?


On Sacred Ground spokesman Amos

Eale: Of her what?


Suck: Mary, the mother of

Christ. I used to go to this

Greek Orthodox Church, and they

had a piece of her belt. I might

be able to get it for you. Your

customers would definitely be

interested in this, because it's

supposed to be pretty potent.

The orthodox don't emphasize

Purgatory, but there was

definitely an idea that it could

earn you some time off.


Eale: That sounds like something

we might be interested in. Why

don't you send us a fax

describing the piece, and then

we could talk about a price?


Suck: I notice you have Bibles

for sale on the site. I can get

Gideon Bibles at a low, low



Eale: Well, we're mainly

interested in handicrafts.


Suck: How about a piece of the

cedars of Lebanon? They were

used to build King Solomon's

house. I have a branch but it's

pretty rotten. I also have a

cedar key chain that says "I

[heart] Lebanon." It's like one

of those "I Love New York"

bumper stickers where instead of

"Love" it has a heart. Like a

picture ...


Eale: I understand, a picture of

a heart. We may be interested in

some of these things. We sell a

wide variety of products.


Suck: Prince of Egypt CDs?


Eale: Excuse me?


Suck: The soundtrack to the

movie. People in the United

States find the music very

spiritual, and I could get you

CDs in almost mint condition. I

think your customers would

really like them.


Eale: No, we wouldn't be

interested in selling CDs.


Suck: Well the thing is, I

really need some money. I mean,

I'm definitely interested in

selling some of this stuff

because, you know, I really need



Eale: I see. Well, again, why

not send us a fax or an email

describing what you have.


Suck: OK, thanks.



It was probably just a matter of

time before the JenniCAM spinoff

industry inseminated the

national fetish for looking

behind the scenes of the porn

trade, producing


full-penetration Spy Cams.

Still, the promises being made

by Gay Frat House Voyeur Cam

seem a little too good to be

true. In addition to pics for

sale, members only hard-core, and live

movie feeds, the spam we

received from the service

promises some 12 hidden camera

angles, at least three of which

- "butt cam," "dick cam," and

"tan line cam" - would seem

beyond the capabilities of even

the most state-of-the-art

arthroscopic technologies. Frank

Thomas, a Gay Frat House

representative, acknowledges

that no pledges will be forced

to wear hidden cameras in their

cloacal regions and blames the

mix-up on an overzealous

marketing department. He does

confirm, however, that "toilet

cam" and "couch cam" will be

operational in a few days,

providing full coverage of a

three-guy apartment "located in

Southern California, where the

hottest men live." No word yet

on who will have to take the

unenviable Puck role, and what

he would have to do to get

himself kicked out of the house.



The most painful thing about

'80s genre novelist Jay

McInerney's main detractors

being out of business is that

McInerney himself is still

around, inflicting his

unleavened brand of

sign-my-yearbook prose on

periodicals great and small. In

his most recent piece for The

New Yorker - a memoir of his

mother's infidelity that must

have really thrilled his

siblings - the veteran literary

stalwart comes up with some

sparkling prose: a meditation on

his first brie, a thrilling

stance against "the bullshit of

Catholicism," and some phrases

of emotion recollected in

tranquility and apparently not

revised afterward ("I was sick

to think that she had to

struggle against her own

conscience as well as the

disease"). But the highlight of

the article is surely the

following Burnsian simile: "Her

love was like a decoder ring."

Now there's the kind of poetry

that inspires lesser-known hacks

like us to pick up the feathered





Elsewhere in the same issue of

The New Yorker we find an

intriguing story by Michael

Specter about the mapping of

Iceland's conveniently limited

gene pool. This is just the most

recent example of a spate of

interest in all things Nordic,

from sponsored voyages in a

Viking knarr to Westworld-type

dystopian potboilers to Michael

Crichton's movie The 13th

Warrior, scheduled for release

this fall (after a deft title

change to avoid confusion with

the Kirk Douglas/Tony Curtis

saga The Vikings). But we're

beginning to suspect the

sustained interest in the

genetics described in The New

Yorker story and a recent

front-pager on Viking height in

The Wall Street Journal has more

to do with an unwholesome

fascination with the blue-eyed

blond master race than with our

love of Isolde horns. While

we're all fussing over the

purity of Scandinavian genes,

nobody has pointed out that the

Crichton movie will feature

Spanish loverboy Antonio

Banderas in the role of an Arab

- an against-type masterstroke

on the order of having "Iron Eyes"

Cody appear as an American

Indian or Dolph Lungren play a

lovable mick. As Kirk Douglas (a

genetic wonder, certainly,

though definitely not a Teuton)

exclaims, "Odin! Augh!"



President Clinton has perfected

the art of the disarmingly

tedious speech to the point

where the only thing we have to

look forward to is the

inevitable Republican rebuttal,

just to see what trickery the

party of Lincoln employs to

appear more inept than the

president. Though MSNBC analyst

Howard Fineman earned our

affection in the post-speech

wrap by comparing Clinton's

tobacco proposal to "shooting

fish in a barrel," it was

Oklahoma Seahawk Steve Largent's

statement - "True liberty and

freedom come from God" - that

really made us yearn for the day

when all televisions will come

equipped with a G-chip.

(Largent's admission that he

didn't know what "GOP" stood for

until after his inauguration

reminded us that we have to look

up "NFL" when we get a

chance.) But Representative

Jennifer Dunn (R - Washington)

took top counter-argument

honors. Not for her tale of a

constituent's zany "I'm not

dead" mix-up we heard first on

an episode of The Odd Couple,

but for her long description of

how she is, at heart, not really

a politician at all, but a

gardener. At last, we seem to

have arrived in the land of

botanical aphorisms that

American politics has been

inching toward for 20 years.

It's almost worth bringing

Chance the Gardener out of his

post-death retirement.

courtesy of the Sucksters