The Fish
for 13 November 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]
The Desperate Hours

Dear Ladies and Germs:

How can I write for suck?

Basically, I rock. And I can write like a Mexican sans green card can mow lawns.

So, how do I?

Mike Miller

Dear Mike,

Sadly we mostly roll here at suck. And, alas, we work like Mexicans in Mexico City.

Mr. M

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

I really think Mr. Baldwin's onto something here (or at least he used to be). Everyone and their brother (no pun intended) seems to be worried about how we could improve voter turnout. I'll be voting at the given hour, but I'm not terribly excited about it. My guy won't win; do you have any idea how pathetic it feels to be rooting for the guy who is desperately hoping for even 5%? It's not pretty, let me tell you. If only more celebrities (or better yet, companies) were as bold and laughable as Mr. Baldwin! If I knew for a fact that by voting for a given candidate, I could eliminate from the social fabric of the country such outdated anachronisms as Keanu Reeves, Microsoft, or the entire literary staff of Rolling Stone, I'd pimp my vote faster than Ed Bagley Jr.! It would completely revitalize the electorate! Wow, the possibilities...

Ryan Punt

Dear Ryan,

Please, call him Alec. And if you want to pimp Ed Begley, Jr., you'll have to get in the back of the line, pal.

Mr. M

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Yo Mr. M,

A real howler this time and perfectly placed, too. Nearly crapped my slacks thinking about Tim Robbins blowing up the Nuart in support of excising certain elements of girlfriend Susan "Touch-A-Touch-A-Touch Me" Sarandon's film career. One question though: "Lou Grant ... decades ago fully displaced Asner in America's collective unconsciousness". Either you're getting sloppy ("collective subconscious", eh?) or the venom level just got subtly turned up. I like number two better...

Rob McMillin

Dear RLM,

Venom, shmenon, as long as it works! Lou Grant was the best damn newsman this country has ever seen and I think it's a damn shame that he never won that Pulitzer Prize for unmasking the guy claiming to be Trapper John, M.D. for the fraud he was.

Mr. M

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Subject: AARRGGHH!!

As the one fan of the movie "Howard the Duck", I really resent all the abuse heaped upon this modern classic of filmmaking.

O.K., so it's not a modern classic, but I still like it.

Albert A. Freeman

Dear Albert,

Thanks for the choice (was it Jane Roe who once said, "choice is good"?). I'll opt for the latter.

Mr. M

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

The Basket Case

"Hipsters who couldn't afford Doc Martins"? Apparently, they couldn't spell the brand name either. Some Seattlite — can you at least spell "flannel"? Or "Monorail"?

Brian E. Kassof

Hi, Brian:

I swear, I own a pair. My middle name and one of my writing aliases is "Martin," which may explain why I typed it that way originally, if not my complete failure to see it going back over the text. This inattention to detail is one of the reasons I didn't get into UVA.

As The Stranger has explained in full, "Monorail" around here recently has been spelled "S-C-R-E-W-J-O-B." "Flannel" is slightly before my time, but I can definitely spell "dot-com collapse."

Thanks for reading the piece, and for sending a note along.

40th Street Black

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Dear Tom —

Nice essay. I stayed in the hotel this year, my daughter attends Denison in Granville. It was the closet place we could get into on short notice.The town was having some sort of hot rod car weekend.The streets were lined with souped up trucks, vintage vehicles and some bizarre people.Not being a basket person, I was curious about the town and the company.How did you happen upon it?

John Stickney

Hi, John:

Thanks for reading the essay, and thanks for sending a note.

I discovered the Longaberger people through the wife of an artist with whom I do a comic strip. Because of his flexible work schedule, he accompanied her on a tour and site visit, and suggested I do the same next time I drove through Ohio. I visited Dresden on the same drive-around I visited Fort Necessity in Southwestern Pennsylvania (a previous Suck essay). I had a grand time, and really enjoyed talking to the world-weary, seen one tour/seen them all merchants in downtown Dresden.

40th Street Black

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

You forgot the < in < HTML > although I'm probably the nth person to tell you now :)

Martin Barnard

Hi, Martin:

If you and the other readers don't leave me alone about my ability to edit copy, I'm going to stomp the crap out of someone in my Doc Martins.


40th Street Black

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Dear 40th,

Having just seen a meeting of the Longaberger basket cult last weekend, I am so glad to know that I'm not the only person on the planet who finds this all slightly insane. After 2 hours I was almost convinced something was wrong with my upbringing (or at the very least, my femininity). The other women in the room were completely entranced by the "limited edition collector" baskets and some were even arguing(!) over the pros and cons of plastic protectors and fabric liners. An initial internal reaction of "$45 for that tiny thing?! I could get a really cool bowl from India to hold my loose change for that money," melted into a mantra of cooing "very nice" and "oh, how cute!"

What I haven't been able to figure out is this: why do these women, who obviously have the cash to blow, buy *this* stuff? and how the hell do they block out any other hot topics of conversation, such as the riveting presidential race, the 1,000th rape movie on "Lifetime" last night, or even good ol' fashioned husband/boyfriend bashing? What's a thinking woman to do at one of these things except smile vacantly and ask for a Coke? My dad used to say that you could always distinguish yourself with a sense of style. I pray that Longaberger will start losing out to the Liberace in all of us. He may have been weird, but always kept his own unique sense of style. Which is more than can be said for the Stepford wives who swapped basket ideas last weekend.

Thanks for providing a psychiatric couch for my tortured soul!


I would never have guessed Suck's readership and potential Longaberger sales victims would have even one person in common, so I was delighted to receive your note. I agree with you that "baskets" is not high on my list of attractive home design themes, although I admit that the extra roll holder basket for the back of the guest toilet makes for a better-looking room than my current strategy of stapling them to a wall.

I think I know what you mean by the Liberace in all of us. There was an older lady my family visited when I was a child whose entire home was decorated with frog-related knick knacks. She'd be a prime basket-pusher target were she still in her acquisitive prime, and my world would be poorer and only slightly less tacky if they had somehow managed to capture her heart.


40th Street Black

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

 The Shit
Physical Strength and How to Obtain It, by Eugen Sandow
Bamboozled, A Spectacular New Film by Mr. Spike Lee
G. Beato's all-new Soundbitten
William Demarest, Sultan of Snarl, in The Lady Eve (1941), The Palm Beach Story (1942), and The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944)
George Wallace: Settin' The Woods On Fire, directed by Daniel McCabe and Paul Stekler
Bobby Darin, Darin at the Copa (Atlantic)
Shinji-San in the floating world of indeterminate duration, by Peter Richardson
American Pharaoh: Mayor Richard J. Daley: His Battle for Chicago and the Nation, by Adam Cohen and Elizabeth Taylor
Neutral Milk Hotel, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (1996, Merge)
45, by Bill Drummond
Cliff "Ukulele Ike" Edwards, Singing in the Rain (ASV)
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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