The Fish
for 15 January 2001. 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]
Filler 01.10.01

Twenty for time at a beach house. Great idea.

You forgot the other option though: Other people's families. Did that one once. The blender was plugged in five minutes into the house. Beautiful moment when one of the elders did nothing but sip, add more mix, blend, sip, add more ice, sip, etc. just to rile his mate. It worked. I think he broke the damn thing fifteen minutes later. We had to switch to beer, limes optional. Shame, they were really really good margaritas. This was just before I was reintroduced to how stinging nettles felt on my legs.

Other people's families are usually more fun at weddings too. The pressure's off. You don't have to prove anything to anyone. Hey, look, free vodka! Sit-down dinner! A fourteen year old dj! No chicken fingers to be found, finally. Not as fun as scraping resin off of the timeshare's glass topped wicker table with one of those brass clamshells that always hang on the wall, I suppose.

Back to the topic. House on stilts or house on the ground? House on ground. Absolutely. Stilts? That means there's a boat around. Love watching boats — especially shrimping boats at night. Hate being in them. No boats. No sir. Stairs too. No stairs. Uh-uh. Nicer to simply stumble out to the beach along the boardwalk and rejoin the ocean on your own terms than risk a sudden drop, no?


Matt Brohammer

Interesting writing style, Matt. I'm gonna have to go with the house on stilts, though. At beaches in North Carolina, at least, hurricanes are common enough that you really don't want to be stuck in a house without stilts, boat or no boat. I do agree about the boat thing, though. I don't mind sailboats in the sun, moving at a steady clip, but overcast and stuck on a sand bar with your friend's parents, whose sailing skills appear questionable at best, shouting orders that include words like "jib" and "bow" and "stern"? Plus, it kind of stinks down below, and they always hand out sandwiches made of Wonder Bread and yellow mustard. Let's not even discuss motor boats slamming over wakes with some drunk teenager at the wheel. Yuck.

Spoiled and wimpy,


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]


regarding this week's filler:

1. I met this woman named anita at a new years eve party and i've had a hard time tracking her down since. think it's on purpose? I'm pretty sure i asked her out, but the nondenominational party punch I was sipping politely has fogged my recollection. do you happen to know her?

2. cello or piano? i mean, if you had to pick.

3. a friend of mine is going to the czech republic to meet his in-laws for the first time. he's leaving this saturday for prague. i'm having him pick me up a new tshirt from Jo's Bar. do you need one, too?

keep up the good...uh...the good...well, you know.

Paul Pavlak

1. Anita Hanjub? I do know her. Listen, I hate to be old-fashioned, but it's up to you to track her down. She's probably thinking you weren't serious about going out. Honestly, you men are so bad at following up, you're like cats. You're fixated on one thing like the world depends on it, and then a fly buzzes by and you're gone.

2. Piano. When I was seven, I spent three hours straight playing my grandmother's piano — we didn't have one. I wrote a song called "Think Deep." I'm not kidding.

3. Jo's Bar, huh? Gee, is that like the new Hard Rock Cafe? I couldn't give a fuck, but hey, thanks for thinking of me.

Thinking deep,


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Transfer of Power

Dear BB:

Have you considered changing your suckname? The more I find out about the real BB, the less attractive he becomes. Anyway...

Normally, I'm reluctant to comment on Friday's Suck, since it generally serves as an excuse to let Terry loose and all comments probably should go toward him. But you're onto something; "political humor" has become an oxymoron in this country. Part of it is laziness, or course, and part of it is cowardice: it's easier and less likely to cause problems if our official court jesters use fat jokes and dumb jokes and predictable jokes that pretend to be about politics but are actually about nothing. (Tim has a funny bit a few years ago with pulldown menus and do-it-yourself "political" humor.) But none of that is new. What is new is the inability of legitimate, opinionated, literate humorists to maintain anything approaching a sense of humor. We've just gone through eight years in which what passed for anti-Clinton humor was nothing but irrational bile; we're about to go through some 4 or more years with similar anti-Bush jokes. The country has become divided into those who don't care at all (and thus think fat jokes are political) and those who care too much to be able to laugh at themselves. There are the rare exceptions, of course, but they're...well, they're the exceptions. It's unpleasant, and it's not funny.

Good piece. Thanks. And thanks to Terry, of course.

Alan Kornheiser

Have you ever considered changing your name, Alan? The more I find out about the Kornheiser clan the more I want to change your name. Horse thieves, wife beaters, Superbowl Sunday bet welchers, lotto cheats — you could change your name to Alan Stalin and it wouldn't hurt any, pal.

So you've broken your long standing silence in critiquing Friday Features, eh, Mr. President? Well, thanks for finally recognizing all the hard work we do and giving Terry free rein. Nope, political humor isn't political anymore. But like it says in the last panel, we don't elect these guys on politics anyway. Likability, debate performance, sound bites, insults — that's what people vote on and that's all they have for a reference point if you want to make jokes about these guys. What's the point in cracking a joke about Bush's foreign policy until he mispronounces Valdimir Putin's name as "Puta" in front of the Mexican Ambassador's wife?

It's a vicious circle — just like the Kornheiser family tree. Change my name because you don't like the original BB? I haven't even begun to tell you what I think of people named "Alan."



[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

I got Mark Russell's phone number out of the DC phone book and tried to pitch him lyrics for a Condoleeza Rice song, to the tune of "Thumbelina" — the Danny Kaye one, not the one by the Pretenders: "Condoleeza, Condoleeza, tenured Stanford wonk/Condoleeza, teach/Condoleeza talk/Though the Cold War's over, and the button you can't push/you can rattle sabers now for Junior Bush." Unfortunately, when Russell called me back, he claimed to be some other Mark Russell who doesn't play the piano, gently joshing politicians in this manner that some would call tuchis-kissing to the extreme. In fact, he pretended to be some guy that works at a Sam's Club in Anacostia who just happens to have the same name as Mark Russell. What's the mathematical chance of that? If he wasn't the real Mark Russell, what was he doing in the DC phone book? Anyway, if you see the next Mark Russell special on PBS — what am I saying, what satirist worthy of the name would miss it? — and he does my song, I just wanted you to know that I wrote it. Me, not him. I know that most people have forgotten the Danny Kaye song, but for those who do remember it, it's a classic!

Your brother in Christ,

Richard von Busack


Of course he "claimed" he wasn't the real Mark Russell, sucker. Just wait'll his next PBS special and see what happens. Don't you know that tape-recorded phone messages are copyrightable material? You gave away pure gold! I'll tell you what the mathematical chance of there being TWO Mark Russells in DC is — a big fat donut hole, that's what. That's why we're running your letter, to screw Russell out of his ill-gotten gains Suge Knight-style and own it ourselves.

And I don't think Christ has any brothers as gullible as you, Richard. At least not any that rhyme "talk" with "wonk."

HAH! We've got to go cash a royalty check, now. See ya!


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Lissen here, I don't know what to make of this spoiled priss who just scammed his way into the oval office, but I do know that I'll be able to buy assault rifles again when he gets things going. It's a small consolation, but sometimes you just have to take what you can get.


Forget the spoiled priss, Francisco. The only real President for men like us is Chuck Heston and you know it.

Bert "Shotgun" Blecht

[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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