"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 1 September 1999. Updated every WEEKDAY.


The summer's over, which means it's time to buy school supplies and be filled with dread over the coming year. But maybe you're done with school! Maybe each lame newspaper ad, with its red apples and pencil cases and dorky denim ensembles, is just another reminder that you never have to do pointless homework again! For you, it's time to feel smug about how far you've come in life. Even if you really haven't come that far at all, at least you don't have to build little mobiles or rewrite encyclopedia entries or bruise your forearms playing volleyball badly.

But just remember, boys and girls, you're never too old to learn new things. So sit down, shut up, and read these Fillers. Polly's guide to Urban Hipster Mantras will help you gain a deeper understanding of the young urban hip so you can avoid them like the plague. Find out what those little white homeboys are actually saying in the dictionary of Gangsta Speak. You'll find a wide range of options for satisfying those overly dependent friends with numerous, detailed gripes and very little of interest to say in the catalog of Ways to Placate Tedious Friends. And if you're wondering how to meet, woo, and pander to the irritating whims of my friend Steve (and who isn't?), be sure to read The Complete Guide to Dating My Friend Steve. Steve: The name says it all.

While you're at it, why not dedicate yourself to reading the complete Filler archive in all its glory? Think of all the valuable knowledge you'll gain from all that Filler! (Hint: Start with the most recent Filler you haven't read and work your way back. The early stuff is 99 percent useless references.)

Now do your reading, knowing that the next time you read a new, fresh, updated version of Filler, you'll understand at least one-tenth of the useless references in it! You will be expected to demonstrate your knowledge of them at a later date.

Filler: Fully committed to lifelong learning, educating dim-witted adults with bad attitudes for more than three years and four months!

courtesy of Polly Esther