The Fish
for 25 February 1999. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Suck Staff

Joey Anuff
Joey Anuff
Editor in Chief


Terry Colon
Terry Colon
Art Director


[the fixin' pixie... ]
Emily Hobson
Production Manager
and Rhythm Guitar


Heather Havrilesky
Heather Havrilesky
Senior Editor


[Ian Connelly]
Ian Connelly
Marketing Manager


[Copy Edit]
Erica Gies
Merrill Gillaspy

Copy Editors

Suck Alumni
Suck Alumni Text

Carl Steadman
Carl Steadman


Ana Marie Cox
Ana Marie Cox
Executive Editor


Sean (Duuuuude) Welch
Sean Welch


Owen Thomas
Owen Thomas
Copy Editor


T. Jay Fowler

Production Manager

& Ass Kicker


[yes, it's a plunger. i'll l
eave the rest up to your imagination ... ]
Erin Coull
Production Manager


Monte Goode
Monte Goode
Ghost in the Machine


Matt Beer
Matt Beer
Development Manager

Filler: Popular Mechanics


Just kinda wondering: Into
what "dork/nondork" pattern
do you fit?

From your current level of
bitterness, I'd assume you're
still sniping on account of
hurts experienced in high
school, à la type 2. Do
cartoon characters go to high
school? Do they go to

I'm tempted to also guess
type 4, the scrapper, but I
just can't imagine you ever
succeeding at being popular
at all. Hey, that didn't come
out too nice. Oh well.

Also, does this guide to
personality apply to humans
or just cartoon characters?

I was trying to figure out
what type I fit into, and
then I realized I'm still in
college, which is
indistinguishable from high
school. I'm still in the
middle of the process. I
shouldn't worry my pretty
little head.


I'm a scrapper. I fully
recognize the dreadfulness of
that, but I cannot tell a
lie. I slowly climbed upward,
then hated everyone at the
top. Including myself.

But you know what? They
weren't so bad. Not as bad as

Here's about where you are:

dork---> semi-nondork--->
popular---> hateful recluse--->
COLLEGE! WOO-HOO! (you are here) --->
alienated asshole ---> big dork --->
bigger dork ---> cartoon character

See how it works?


Thanks for writing!


Fish With Letter Icon
Dear Polly,

I know you guys are always
saying how you hate it when
people write and say, "I
wanna work at Suck; it would
be so cool." But I really
think that I have my finger
on the kind of hip, modern
humor young people today
like, even though I'm in my
30s. For example, the other
night, me and a bunch of my
friends were watching this
show about the rise in
popularity of nontraditional
medicine. They explained that
even some hospitals now
employ holistic healers. At
this point I cupped my hand
over my mouth so it would
sound like a hospital
loudspeaker and said in a
deadpan monotone: "Paging
Doctor Crackpot." Man, we
just fell about the place.

Then a couple of minutes later
this guy in a commercial
said, "Hey kids, guess what I
have in this bag?" Without
missing a beat I shouted out,
"A human head?" My one friend
almost pissed himself

I'm full of quips like that.

John Griffiths

I hope to God, for your own
sake, that this letter is one
of them.


Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: Yeah, I was a geek,

Thank you, Polly, for this
week's Filler. Type 3, The
Tinkerer, might as well have
had my name on it. For years
I was labeled "damned
strange" or even "fucking
weird." After growing up a
little bit, I was surprised
to find out that these are
the qualities that make you a
valuable employee and a good
husband. My life is good.

So why are even the popular
kids from so long ago
suddenly trying to cash in on
the value of being a geek?
They never learned the most
important lesson: Be

They also have no idea what
they are laying claim to. I
blame Christian Slater in
Pump up the Volume.

Richard Still

Um, I think the popular kids
are trying to be themselves -
they're letting their inner
dorks breathe a little.

It's dull being cool.

Still, I wish you'd keep
Christian Slater out of this.


Fish With Letter Icon
Tummy Trouble


Your timing, as always, is

"The corporate name isn't
attached to Ball Park Franks.
How many people know that
Hygrade is a Sara Lee brand?
Almost nobody, I would

How many people know that
Suck is a USA Networks brand?
Almost nobody, I would think,
unless they read today's San
Francisco Chronicle.

Keep up the good work, and
don't switch to QVC.


I didn't know it myself until
I read it in this morning's
newspaper. But it's, um,
really great news. I have
always dreamed of maybe one
day working for Barry Diller.

Act now and receive a unicorn
sweatshirt free with your

Ambrose Beers

Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: Fiber dig off the


I am as cynical as you when
it comes to marketing and to
what passes for information
about what we are eating or
should eat. While I am not a
health-food fanatic, like you I
extend my cynicism to medical
authorities who tell us that
a little bit of this or that
won't hurt us (Generally
Recognized as Safe, the
government dutifully tells us).

However, your cynicism tilts
to the wrong side in your
fine article on food quality
and food companies'
claims about the beneficial
effects of their superlative
products. The huge study that
concluded there is no benefit
from high fiber in the diet
is seriously flawed.

Even the government's meager
RDAs set fiber intake at
between 25 to 30 grams daily.
Unless they're really trying,
Americans typically get
between 10 to 15 grams -
including all the 88,000
Americans tested in
the study. If those who ate
the "highest" amount of fiber
and those who ate the
"lowest" amount were both
below the conservative
recommendation of 25 grams,
should we be surprised that
the so-called high fiber
subjects had no benefit?
It's not until they
conduct studies that track
people who get below
versus above 25 grams daily
that we will have a
meaningful finding.

Oh, and by the way, it was
not really a "16-year study."
It was a study done over a
few years, based on (are you
ready?) questionnaires about
general dietary habits over a
16-year period. Like I know
how much of what foods I've
eaten in the last 10 years.
Like I remember what I had
for supper last Thursday.
That's hard science, man.

Keep up the rants, though;
your embittered heart is in
the right place.

Paul Felton

My cynicism tilts all over
the place - it's like a very
fast car with no steering
wheel. Not surprised at all
to find it wandering to the
wrong side, here. Thanks for
the reality check.

Shoveling kashi,

Ambrose Beers

Fish With Letter Icon

Chris wrote:

How about Aspartame? Time mag
says it's OK. Mark Gold's
site says it's not. Who's
misleading whom?

Love your words.


Aspartame. Hmm. Not sure.

To be on the safe side, I'd
sweeten all beverages with
something safe and proven -
booze, for example. Booze is
always an excellent choice.

Dean Martin manque,

Ambrose Beers

Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: Thanks ...

for writing about something

Amy Brown

My pleasure.

Now, back to the impeachment!
OK, so Monica's all like, no
way did he say to lie. And so
Henry Hyde goes, like, "Duh!
Did so!" And ...

Well, you know.

Seeing parallels between
olestra and media,

Ambrose Beers

Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: Sudanese factory


I was fixin' to write you a
terse note telling you how
much I disagreed with much of
your piece today (Luddite!),
but I just saw this little
nugget and thought I'd refer
you to it, in case you
somehow missed it. There were
- shock! - no weapons-related
chemicals found at the
Sudanese factory blasted to
tiny bits by Our Esteemed
President. I won't be holding
my breath in anticipation of
an apology from the leader of
the free world.

I also sympathize with your
decision to forgo any further
examinations of Bill
Clinton's ethereal notions of
language and meaning. It's
like trying to bail out the
sea. A little friendly
suggestion: I've found that
the only things that dull the
pain and frustration are
recreational pharmaceuticals
and vodka.

Best regards,

Tom Castle


Please send all terse notes
of disagreement to Chuck
Green, c/o the Denver Post.
The address is in the phone
book. I get plenty of those
as it is. And, I mean, I'm
really sensitive and stuff.

Anyway, I am not a Luddite.
Listeria is not a technology.

And diarrhea is not pretty.

As for the stuff on the
Sudanese attack, I would very
much appreciate not being
ashamed of my government. The
line is deeply sad. God
forbid they admit to being
mere mortals, huh? Probably
if I were Sudanese I would
find the bombing more
offensive than the continuing
arrogance, but as it is ...

Oh, and, recreational
pharmaceuticals and vodka? So
this one time, I'm living in
a big old house with a bunch
of like-minded roommates. And
we score a bunch of pills,
and we get all excited. And
we take them and wash 'em
down with a drink or
10.... And then we all go
straight to sleep. There is a
videotape of this somewhere,
and I am drooling in every
shot. Heeeeaaaayyyyy,
maannnnnn, thiiiiissss
iiiisssss ccoooollllll.

So I've cut way back. More or
less. But a welcome
suggestion, still.

Ambrose Beers

Fish With Letter Icon

Maybe Sara Lee can somehow
parlay the Hygrade deaths
into an argument for
irradiation, which, if
approved, would allow it to
put any amount of bacteria
into anything. Imagine the

Paul Spinrad

Wouldn't put it past 'em for
a moment. And I do imagine
the possibilities, believe
me. That's the problem.

Chewing suspiciously,

Ambrose Beers

Fish With Letter Icon

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