The Fish
for 3 November 1999. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Suck Staff

Joey Anuff
Joey Anuff
Editor in Chief


[Tim Cavanaugh]
Tim Cavanaugh
Special Guest Editor


Terry Colon
Terry Colon
Art Director


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


Heather Havrilesky
Senior Editor


Ian Connelly
Marketing Manager


[Copy Edit]
Erica Gies
Merrill Gillaspy

Copy Editors


[Phillip Bailey]
Phillip Bailey
Production Editor

Suck Alumni
Suck Alumni Text

Carl Steadman
Carl Steadman


Ana Marie
Ana Marie Cox
Executive Editor


Sean (Duuuuude)
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
Ghost in the Machine


Matt Beer
Matt Beer
Development Manager


Forsyth, " we're just spanning time "]
Brian Forsyth
Production Editor
& Pool Monitor


Que Viva Filler y Polly!


PS Is it true, que tu eres
una mujer hermosa?

Hermosa Beach? I've only been
there once, and it was pretty
unpleasant. I spent most of the
evening with two medical
equipment salesmen who're
acquaintances of a friend of
mine. They had just gotten
back from Club Med, where
they cheated on their
girlfriends to their hearts'
content. They were reddish
tan, well rested, tired, but
still ready for the comforts
of home — Jägermeister
shots, jalapeño poppers, and
endless games of pool
followed by early morning
DirectTV on a wall-sized
screen. It's a beautiful

Fish With Letter Icon


Here's a loose script for a
Terry Colon cartoon about
Polly Esther. It came to me
while I was smoking the dummy
pipe (surprise), then I got
carried away.

Dame Hex

The Sucksth Sense Filler with
a surprise ending

[Polly is playing a video
game. A cuckoo pops from a
clock.] Yipes, I played
Minesweeper right through
lunch! Filler is due in half
an hour and my commitment to
creating cohesive, original
material is hovering around
nil. Guess it's back to the
old mail bag.

Dearest Ms. Esther,

I just wanted to tell you that I
do a stand-up routine at a
prominent local comedy venue
and I have a thing in my act
(honestly, the only bit that
kills every time) that I
stole straight from one of
your Filler columns. You
remember Mr. Flinchy? I start
with "I have a nickname, and
it's the same nickname I get
from every woman I date:
'Mister Flinchy.'" Then I do
the whole bit. Come down and
see it some time!

(name and city witheld)

PS Are you as short and squat
as you appear in Mr. Colon's

[Back at the desk. Polly is
elongated] Ha ha, that's
pretty good. I'll have to put
that in this week. What else
is there in the old mail

Dearest Polly,

I just needed to say that the
last 10 Fillers have been my
favorite Fillers ever! I've
collected the whole run on my
hard drive and all I've got to
say is: BRAVO! Again! Times
10! I hate it when people who
aren't you write Filler.
Here's to 10 more in a row!

[Polly counts on her fingers]
Definitely goes in the "for
publication" folder. Just the
sort of pop-critical
incisiveness that makes Suck
a leading journal of our
cultural moment. Ah, here's
one ...

Beautiful, sparkling Polly,

I'm your scary obsessive fan,
and I just want you to know
I've been watching you.

[Polly looks disturbed]

[Polly is in Joey's office]
Polly: So then he attached a
panel-by-panel script for a
cartoon about me and him
getting married, and getting
guns and water, and making a
bunker together in Oregon for
Y2K. And if he doesn't see it
posted on Wednesday, I'll
"regret it forever." Does
that sound like a threat?

Joey: Sure, very cute. Use

[Polly back at her desk]
Shit! Clock's ticking and I'm
scared to look in the mail. I
could write about the 37 ways
people in relationships get
on my nerves. Or I could make
a map chart, let's see,
empirical/subjective versus
on television/not on
television. Or ...

[Polly back in Joey's office]
Polly: See, in this week's
Filler, our new character
Belle "Bottom" St. Flare
calls her mom, reads email,
thinks about which guys she'd
never date, and then jumps a
freight train where she meets
a magical hobo who teaches
her the true meaning of

[Joey looks up from his
paper, stares at Polly]

Polly: See, Filler's been too
self-focused lately, a little
too "Polly, Polly, Polly."
I'm trying to take it in a
new direction.

[Joey looks back at paper]
Joey: Your copy's due in
eight minutes.

[Polly back at desk] Um ... I
know! A cartoon bashing
Canadian crack-rabbits and
people who use phrases like
"punk-rock sense of irony!"
Cartoons take up a lot of
space. And in the jokes at
the end of the column, I can
make fun of the jokes I made
at the beginning of the

[Her screen goes black, someone
else has taken control]
Polly ... it's me ... I'm your
No. 1 fan, Polly ... you made me ...
you made me love you ...

[The stalker appears, is
revealed as Mister Flinchy]

Polly: OK! You cornered me!
What the hell do you want?

[He produces metal rectangle]
Flinchy: Will you sign my hard

[POOF: Polly wakes up; it's all
been a dream]

Ahhh. Nobody's after me. I
didn't miss lunch. And I've still
got over 24 hours to fake my
way through this week's Filler.

[Caption: The next day]
[Polly is playing Minesweeper.
A cuckoo jumps out of a clock.]
Yipes! I'm pressed for time and
my commitment to creating
cohesive, original material
is hovering around nil.

[Joey walks by her desk]
Joey: What's so hard? You
usually just do a strip about
you sitting at your computer
writing your strip every week.
Just do that again! People
love that!

Polly: OK, how about one where
I'm sitting at my computer, and
I'm reading my email, and ...
there's no mail except fan
letters, and I could become
tormented by them. Driven mad
by my own success! Sort of a
haunting psychological portrait

[Joey reading paper] Joey: Sure.
Who cares?

Polly: I can't do it.

Joey: Can't do which now?

Polly: I can't write something
so pointedly self-referential
and then put it where hundreds,
maybe even tens of hundreds of
strangers will see it.

Joey: Since when?

Polly: I mean it. I'm no longer able
to deliver the thoughtful analysis
and biting satire Suck pays me for.
You'll have to accept my

Joey: Don't be so dramatic. Just
pick some long-ass letter from
the reader mail and publish it

Words: Dame Hex
Pictures: Terry Colon

Oh God. I need a drink.

Well. Ahem. It would be the best
Filler in months, only I play
Tetris, not Minesweeper.

So I guess we can't run it. Sorry!

Pointy and self-referential,

Fish With Letter Icon

The Examination Table


I am a member of the End of
Philosophical Complacency
Coalition who has
recognized you as one who
leads an examined life.

Our site.

Those familiar with the
humiliating ways of the
intellect have been know to
appreciate it.


Whatever gave you the
impression that we chose this

Humiliating is right. Living the
examined life means subjecting
yourself to your own examination
table, being probed and prodded
and pushed to the limits by your
own unsettled, invasively curious
mind. See also: neuroticism,
obsessive-compuslive disorder,
manic depression ...

We thirst for philosophical
complacency like a tall, icy
tumbler of water with a zesty
wedge of lime perched on the
edge. Unfortunately, we're
dissatisfied, searching,
nimble only thanks to the
constant acrobatic demands
our anxious minds place on our
otherwise lazy existences. If
we weren't so obviously
psychologically damaged, we'd
be happily flipping burgers right

Damn you for reminding us of

the Sucksters

Fish With Letter Icon

Long Live the King

"Second, he was embraced by
the French — no less a
has-been than Jean-Luc Godard
called Jerry 'the only
American director who has
made progressive films.'"

Hey! That's not fair! It's
also untrue.

But I agree with all the
other stuff. All right?

Gary Elshaw

You claim the Godard quote is
untrue? I found it in a
respected Jerry biography
from a major publisher, and
surely their quality control
wouldn't let such a thing go

Thanks for your other kind


Fish With Letter Icon

Nice. Very nice. Of course,
it does beg the question
of what he should do. You've
got to hunt for it, of
course, but in fact (with the
right director and script)
Jerry Lewis can act. He's an
entertainer and a pro —
that's what he does.

Sure, he could direct. He
could produce. He could
retire. But actors act;
that's what they do. Give him
credit for wanting to be what
he is. He can't do the kind
of physical comedy he
invented, so what should he

While you're at it, you might
come up with a future for
Jonathan Winters, surely one
of the funniest men who ever
lived, and even for Mel
Brooks. If comedy is a young
man's game — and it
certainly seems to be —
we need a better place than
the Friars Club to put our
old comics in.

Alan S. Kornheiser

If I could come up with a
Better Tomorrow for Jerry,
Jonathan, or Mel, I'd be a
more powerful being than
God. And then I'd be able to
answer all my email


Fish With Letter Icon

I just want to know why Suck
seems to have such a great
disliking for Lenny Bruce,
but throws laurels around the
neck of The Bellboy for doing
everything badly first.


Because he's not funny?


Fish With Letter Icon

So you listen to Stern, eh?


Sometimes. Hey, did you hear
he and Alison are getting


Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: Jerry vs. Steve

Impressive list of Jerry
Lewis' accomplishments in
today's Suck. But he still
hasn't created as much —
and with as much originality
— as Steve Allen has.

Ya know, maybe Steverino also
doesn't get the same respect
as Andy, Lenny, and Gilda
because he's still alive.

Jim Burrill

At last notice, the accounts
of Steverino's "aliveness"
had been greatly exaggerated.

Mr. M
Fish With Letter Icon

 The Shit
Seeing Calvin Coolidge in a Dream, John Derbyshire, St. Martin's Press, 1996
Peekaboo's Masks, 2492 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco
West Beirut, director Ziad Doueiri, 1999
"The Smartest Cartoonist on Earth," Daniel K. Raeburn, The Imp, Vol. 1/No. 3, 1999
Mad Monster Party, Rankin/Bass Productions, VHS, Deluxo & Black Bear Press, 1967/1999
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill, America's Best Comics, 1999
Hermenaut No. 15: "The Fake Authenticity Issue," editor Joshua Glenn, summer 1999
Guillow's Sky Streak rubber-powered balsa-wood glider (without landing gear)
Very Emergency, Promise Ring, Jade Tree, 1999
Mean Magazine No. 5, summer 1999
Slickaphonics, Replikants, KillRockStars/Rue St. Germaine, 1999
"Cash, Interesting, Summer Holiday", The Young Ones, Foxvideo (BBC Video), 1988
Driver (PSX), GT Interactive, 1999

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