The Fish
for 25 September 2000. Updated every WEEKDAY.
[Suck Staff]

[Tim Cavanaugh]
Tim Cavanaugh
Special Guest Editor


[Terry Colon]
Terry Colon
Art Director


[Heather Havrilesky]
Heather Havrilesky
Senior Editor


[Joey Anuff]
Joey Anuff

[Go to the Suck Alumni page]
Summer of Samaranch

Nice one — but did you really intend its publication to coincide with the guy's wife's death?

Blair Pritchard

No — though we do have a special new line of "Bibis Samaranch, Freed at Last From Juan's Iron Heel" T-shirts that are intended precisely for that occasion.

Yrs in ghoulishness,

Holly M.

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Subject: yikes — live evil

a few nights ago i was partially witness to the mind-bending x-rays emanating from NBC's opening ceremony for you-know-what. money and power seems to be a juggernaut the likes of which mankind may never truly escape. thank you for the facts to back up my intuitions about the Olympics...

Mark J. Domino

You witnessed actual X-rays in the act of bending your mind? I'm pretty sure that's going to be an event in the 2004 Games. Meanwhile, anyone can tell you that the most successful strategy to escape the juggernaut of money and power is to be a Suck contributor.

Yours in disempowerment,

Holly M.

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]


Thank you for writing "Summer of Samaranch." I have come to rely on Suck as a source of sane, intelligent commentary — as well as a rich resource of links to supporting documents. Your article is a superb example of what I mean.

Please continue writing for the sake of sanity.


Dan Hale


Thanks in turn for your kind words. I must confess, however, that the notion of anyone relying on Suck as a source of sane, intelligent commentary vaguely alarms me. Does this mean you also rely on Krispin Glover for dating tips? Jesse Helms for art criticism? Tom Frank for stock pointers?

Not writing for my own sanity's sake,

Holly M.

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

A commendable, well-written, timely, and insightful piece on today. Could it be that suck is oozing towards true journalism? Say it ain't so...

Paul Vetter

True journalism? Hold on a sec while I check the registry of writer's fees. Uh, that'd be a no. Definitely not. It ain't so.

Oozing toward true penury,

Holly M.

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Hi Polly,

Today I was trying to cook up a good domain name. After exhausting my own creativity (about 10 seconds into the search), I decided to rip inspired by Suck. I was heading for the 1996 Pitches, but then I remembered your Frictionary pieces from earlier this year. "Good words" I thought, "but they're probably all taken". But lo, when I searched I found them mostly unclaimed.

After exhausting every word in the English language, domain name squatters and naming companies usually stoop to strapping a tacky e-i-my-or the-prefix on a website. More "professional" companies make up words through unknown methods that pipe out gentle and smooth names. (Verizon?) But you, oh magical Polly, through manipulation, came up with some gems in your Frictionary episodes, without even trying.

Unrepentant hedonists would love "",and somebody could keep track of shady nonprofits on ""."" sounds a little nasty, but "" or "" sound just hip enough to be saleable. "" is a good one, but it's already taken. 6,793 domain names contain the word "Slim", and some have gotten desperate enough to register "" or "". But using your "", somebody could lay waste to the rest. "" could be big with marketing types. "" could be the perfect pulpit for yes-men and "Internet changes everything" pundits. And as you know, the market for the disappointed, the depressed, and the maladjusted is booming, creating true demand for "" or ""

Some words are especially good. "Reimagineer". It sounds close enough to a real occupation or service so that a company (say, Disney) can actually offer "reimagineering", but it's vague and distant enough so that the reimagineer wouldn't have to do any actual work. "" could be anything from a free e-mail alias for reimagineers worldwide to a whole new way of padding web design bills. 1,893 domains are registered with the word "Frat" in them, including junk like,, and a slew of undifferentiable domains such as,, and But none of them hit the spot as would "", which lays _unregistered_ (and you could also register, post the same content as but sprinkle in links to remedial spelling courses).

Maybe I'm not thinking clearly and I'm just procrastinating since I'm stumped in finding my own just-right domain name, but I'm guessing you could easily supplement your current pay rate ($10, $15, $25 a word?) with a $60k a word enterprise by coming up with neat domain names for people. Since registering a domain name costs less than...lunch at Burger King, you can basically scribble a word on a post-it note and trade it in for cash. Maybe you're already doing this.

Well, I'm off to see if I can get a Ouija board to spew out my domain name...


Humberto Moreira

Your dedication to such seemingly pointless tasks fits in well with the theme of today's column, don't you think? You remind me of Owen Thomas, but with a mystical, superstitious twist. Plus, most of Owen's ideas are more obscure, less saleable, and usually potentially actionable.

Let's do this: We'll start a business, one that dreams up domain names for people. You can be the marketing genius and business savvy boy, and I'll just think of the domain names.

Ready to do anything for the company, from sitting on my ass to gazing glassy-eyed at our profit sheets,


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Dear Polly,

Here I am, a week later, still talking about last week's news. I thought Heather Havrilesky was Jewish. I thought I read it somewhere, but I must have just made it up in my head.

I gushed about last week's filler, but today's was better. Nothing you write is more incisive than your "psychobabble" rants. Some of your characters are frighteningly real, and yet comically endearing. I know people who would do the hand squeeze thing to their partners and then pay $100 to be pitied and petted by their shrink.

Your Loyal, but Possibly Misinformed Psychophant


P.S. Did you know you have a "fan site"? I promise never to do that to you.

Thanks for the kind words. I assure you that I, too, am frighteningly real, and not nearly as endearing as one might hope, comically or otherwise. Where do you think I get the material for all that psychobabble? Merely by observing others? Anyone who makes fun of other people is far lamer than the people he or she targets. In the world of comedy, being weak and pathetic is part of the job.

As if to prove my point, I'll strongly assert that paying someone to pity you makes a lot of sense. No one pities us enough, you know? What could be better than sitting around complaining and having the other person say, "Man, that must've been so tough for you." However, this kind of royal treatment might be good for your psyche, but it makes you a very dull person. And being disturbed yet entertaining is what it's all about, right?



Disturbed and dull,


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Your Pollyness:

Filler did not make me laugh out loud in my cube; it did make me shit myself.

Leaving work early,

Alex Kienlen

Gee, that reminds me of the sig file on another letter I received a few months back...

Oh, Polly, my Polly,

I'm already packing my bags for Cynical Singles Summer Camp! Even now I'm envisioning days of stitching together mostly-useless leather goods ("so, this is, or a headband or something, right?") and endless pointed, sniping with single folk (nearly) as bitter as me.

This one's actually going to be true, right? You promised once that the bitter would inherit Italy. But I've begun to give up hope on that one. Oh, wait! I've got it. If we can just mobilize our Gay Special Forces we can take the entire peninsula in fortnight! What kind of military can a country that elects porn stars to parliament really have? Then we can have Cynical Singles Summer Camp in Tuscany rather than by some unpronounceable lake in Maine.

Yes, the brilliance of your plan is becoming clear to me.

your bitter, evil henchman,

Phineas X. Jones

"Civilization rests on two things: the discovery that fermentation produces alcohol, and the voluntary ability to inhibit defecation. And I put it to you, where would this splendid civilization be without both?"

--Robertson Davies The Rebel Angels

Alex, Thanks for doing your part to topple civilization as we know it. Continue the good work!

Rebel pantscrappers unite! Crap the good crap! Fight the good fight!


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

 The Shit
Krushchev Remembers, by Nikita Krushchev (authorship disputed), translated by Strobe Talbott
Five-Star Day Cafe
Athens, Ga.
Salon's "Action Figures"
TV ad
Donna's Famous "Long and Short of It," by Donna Anderson and friends
Two-Lane Blacktop, directed by Monte Hellman (The Anchor Bay/Universal letterboxed edition)
George Bush, Dark Prince of Love: A Presidential Romance, by Lydia Millet (Scribner)
King Kong: The Complete 1933 Film Score, by Max Steiner Moscow Symphony Orchestra, William J. Stromberg conductor (Marco Polo)
Eightball #20, by Dan Clowes (Fantagraphics Books)
The ECW's Little Spike Dudley
Stan Kenton, City of Glass, featuring arrangements by legendary weirdo Bob Graettinger (EMD/Blue Note)
Comix 2000, Edited and published by L'Association, 2000
Star Dudes
Do you know of stuff that doesn't actively suck? Things so good they deserve to make the Shitlist? Send your suggestions to us.

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