The Fish
for 28 December 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]
Hit & Run 12.21.00

Hey kids — nice job with the investigative journalism, coming up with all them discarded XFL names. But you fell victim to that bane of rock-smoking cub reporters everywhere and forgot to check the OTHER dumpster, on the opposide side of the loading dock. Had you done so, you would've learned that XFL expansion teams will likely include the Rocky Mountain Oysters, the Minnesota Nice, and the Berkeley White Liberal Guilt. Good reportage, like the laundry, is never finished.

6-time winner, Nobel Peace Prize for Advances in Hungry Hungry Hippos Theory,

Sean Smith

Don't forget the New Orleans Goths, the Brooklyn Draft Dodgers, the San Francisco Giant Wienie-Heads, the Portland Heroin Blazers, and the LA Fakers.

You'll never bring peace to those hippos, by the way. They're just too damn hungry!

Dumpster dwelling,


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Nice plagiarism job stealing our XFL team name ideas, assholes.

You'd think with a huge staff and budget of wits you'd be able to do more than steal from a Russian newspaper.

Fuck off and die,

Mark Ames, Editor

Dear Mr. Ames,

Here at our posh headquarters in the great metropolis, we paused for a moment over our in-house cappuccinos and fine pastries to chuckle at your allegations before they were rushed off, in hushed tones, to our team of high-priced lawyers on the third floor.

Off the record, just between you and me, it's true. While we employ scores of young writers straight out of school, the brightest talent of a new generation, and continue to employ multiple floors of aging comic geniuses, we still find ourselves stooping to sniffing around unknown Russian newspapers in hopes that those delightful Vodka-swilling Caca-heads are dreaming up more entertaining concepts than our scores of minions can manage despite their 6-figure salaries. But last week we hit the jackpot — XFL names! Now there's an idea so fresh and original no 2 people on the planet with mediocre to below average brains could think it up at once. So we promptly stole that gem and passed it off as the work of one of our handsomely paid creatives. We can offer you no compensation for this theft, our lawyers tell us, but we will send you a company pen inscribed with our logo "It's All Your Fault."

Actually, we're thinking of changing that logo to "Fuck Off and Die" — do you want to wait for one of the new pens, or would you be content with the old one?

Let me know either way. Keep up the good work! Don't change that url without telling us, now!


Hank Ripshaw - CEO, Suck Enterprises

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Just wanted to point out that the XFL team name for the Tri-State area in which I live is the New York/New Jersey Hitmen (not the New Jersey Hitmen). It's worth noting because of all the yammering on about some New York football team that doesn't even play here. Now everyone can be happy!

I don't follow the NFL too much (being a native of Cincinnati causes me to be unable to effectively root for my home team), but I certainly will follow the XFL. I think the second best thing about it is the enforced time limit. No more 5 hour games keeping me from being able to watch Futurama. That will be the best gift of all. Oh yeah, and the cheerleader-cam. Go Vince!

Alexia C. Henke

Well, good to hear that the XFL will be giving you the gift of Futurama this year. Now everyone truly can be happy!


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

What the hell is this? Two screen scrolls of Suck doesn't cut the mustard my friends. Are you guys so hung over from the Christmas Party that you can't deliver more than 20 lines of content? You are going to have to do better if you want me to keep reading this shit every weekday. Lay off the Jack Daniels and put down the bong, as that is my job!

Sam Harvey

Sorry to disappoint you, Sam. Maybe you should drink a little less and get some fresh air and the world wouldn't let you down as much. We should know.

Drunk but still agoraphobic,


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Filler 12.20.00

My god Polly, you and Terry transformed from the cranky pragmatic writer and pastel web-safe color artist to, to, to... this Dr. Seussian tale? I hardly recognized you guys! Though I'm duly impressed by both your and Terry's dynamic range of skill, kudos, could you please go back to your making fun of people with pathetic, needy, whiny personalities and their matching lives? I need a fix of squirrel!



I thought that Yinch was all about a pathetic, needy, whiny personality and a matching life. You object to the rhymes? The lack of squirrels? The happy ending? You'd prefer unrhyming, clumsy prose with squirrels and tragic endings?

Ah, well, who wouldn't?


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Dear Polly,

My friend Heidi always says "If you can't stick to 'the man,' any man will do." I never bothered to ask or check if she's quoting someone else.

Hopped up on cheap coffee,

Patrick Moore

I like that. Stick it to men!

But men have it pretty bad as it is, though, don't you think? Lusty thoughts, too much body hair, and no way to express those few emotions that do blow through their shallow souls, unexplained, like unexpected bad weather. You poor guys. We women should do something to make it up to you, like put you in charge of everything under the sun and watch as you fuck it up, big time.

Oh, well, I guess we already did that. Maybe we could send you a nice scented candle instead.

Ooo, stick it, ah-ha-ha, stick it,


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Wow, that was a really great Filler. Your rhyme and your prose couldn't be better. The theme was about what I'd expect, The presentation was near perfect, And its message was real and blunt and correct.

But now that I think about it, the Yinch didn't really have to work all that hard. He was just being a typical Yinch in December, getting some skincare when this love of his life bumped into him, decided she liked him despite his yammering, and they were happily ever after until they started fighting.

But the message was good, anyway. Maybe some chick will bump into me on my way to get some mocha.

Bring on the good sex!


Well, instead of sitting and stewing in his own juices, he took a ride down to Mooville and bought some lotion. Like most Yinches, he desperately needed to get out of the house. Then, when he met the Moo girl, he didn't judge her based on her cheesy appearance — he loved her for HER, see? Sniff.

So, will a chick bump into you on your way to get some mocha? I don't think so, because you referred to her as a chick. Also, you said, "Bring on the good sex" but forgot about the TexMex and the beer, which may not be nearly as important as good sex, but are still quite significant, in the big scheme of things. So, get some balance in your life and get back to me.

Blunt and correct, like a dull knife in the ass,


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

It's Christmas, and
Usually Cranky Miss Polly
is suddenly quite unexpectedly jolly!
What happened, you ask,
to make Polly so silly?
Was it good German beer?
Or a lover in Philly?
Or a robust, reliable
e-commerce portal
That shipped every gift
right on time with a chortle?
Or is LA so lovely
and sunny and bright
In December (we know this!)
that it's simply one's right
To forget all the angst
that The Holidays bring
And just sit on the beach?
Not a bad kind of thing!

Well, the cause notwithstanding,
your column was fun.
Merry Christmas, Miss Esther,
and happy '01!


Andrew Sullivan

Polly is jolly
but don't be misled!
Christmas still makes
the poor fool lose her head.
Nostalgia, dysfunction,
resentment, and stress —
How we get through it
is anyone's guess.
But no need to freak out
and start to act shrewish,
and lay blame and break things
and wish you were Jewish,
Because this magical time
that we fear,
thankfully only comes 'round
once a year.



[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Dear Polly,

What is it about Christmas that leads people to wrap up so much of their hopes into it? And when people are somehow bereft of hope, an easy substitute wrapping is bitterness, as the stories of the Grinch (and your Yinch) portray. (And, as so often happens when I read the Filler, I took one look and said to myself "I know that Yinch!"). While I have never felt as disaffected as the Yinch, it is easy enough to feel left out and alone at this time of year, and both the Grinch and Scrooge myths highlight the value of having a strong emotional support network. (But how does one "get" one, if one doesn't have one?)

And yet there lurks another danger for folks who have come to rely too heavily on the emotional release afforded by the standard give and take of 20th century American Christmases. It is the angst that comes with towering expectations, followed by the emptiness, guilt, and dread that one did not give the right thing or give things to all the right people or give to all in fair measure, until the whole thing is about not getting and not giving and not at all about being together and sharing and healing.

Perhaps we have come to listen to our own advertisements to the point where we all really believe we should feel good all the time. Maybe we could lower our expectations, just a tiny bit.

I hope that you are safe and warm and surrounded by people you love during the holiday season. But even if you are not, and even if you can identify with the Yinch, please trust my knowledge that it will not always be that way for you.

Merry Christmas, Polly.

Richard Banks

How the fuck do you know that? You don't know me! You never knew me! You never even tried to know me!

Just kidding. I think the problem lies not in expecting too much, but in translating your expectations of one thing into expectations of other things. Christmas offers a cathartic experience of whatever sort you're needing — the gifts and the traditions become a conduit for larger issues. Control freaks and martyrs spend the entire season sending out long letters and baking cookies and trying to do it all while talking about how guilty they feel that they didn't do it all sooner. People with repressed emotional problems spend the days leading up to Christmas in cheery denial, then once Christmas Day comes along they feel let down, because all the stuff in the world can't make up for the lack of closeness they feel toward their family. People with problems dealing with regrets feel regretful about every choice they made — "I should've gotten her a bigger present." "I shouldn't have come home for Christmas."

Sometimes I think Christmas allows people to confront the problems that they manage to ignore the rest of the year because they're too busy and distracted most of the time. You think of Christmas as a pleasant break, it turns suddenly into a stress-filled nightmare, and you emerge feeling thankful for your every day life — just in time for the new year, when you're facing a whole new year of every day life. It's not such a bad system, when you think about it.

Well, there's one of the most self-involved "meaning of Christmas" treatises ever put forth, huh?

'Tis the season to be Polly,


[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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