VACUUM

for 7 October 1996. Updated every MONDAY.

 

 

SURREAL PERSONAL MAIL! Be a
Suckster's friend or family member
and see your personal email
paraded in front of the masses for
a few cheap laughs, at best! All
mail edited to enhance its
ability to entertain and/or
provoke disgust. Many, many names
have been changed to protect both
the insouciant and the guileless.

Well, gentlest readers, it seems
the usual insight, humor, or - at
least - mockability of our mail
bags has dwindled this week. So,
as usual, desperation forced us to
resort to indulgently
self-referential garbage: Namely,
crafting this week's Vacuum out of
the self-important,
semi-intelligible reams of
personal email we spend the vast
majority of our time reading and
replying to.

It may make you sick, but sometimes
we really don't care about you.
Suffice it to say that, if you've
ever had a vague feeling of
annoyance with the individuals
behind Suck
before, this should
send you over the edge into
full-blown hatred and contempt. But
don't worry, we hate us, too -
welcome to the party!

Let us begin straightaway with
letters from parents, since parents
are well-known masters of getting
straight to the point. Ana's father
writes:

Linda left yesterday for Texas.

I am home alone but tomorrow I
leave too. For Texas and a
consulting assignment in Dallas.

I am staying with the Rickys again.
Rick and I are going to the TCU vs
Kansas game Saturday. The last
time I saw TCU play KU they
trounced us. Gale Sayers ran all
over Amon Carter Stadium. It was
the first time blacks played
there, maybe the first time blacks
played at a SWC home field. 1960
or 61 mabye. But this is not what
I wanted to write about.

I really like what you write. I
read Happy Meduim every once in a
while and love it. You should do
more of this.

Will suck have audio? Or does it
and I am missing it? A button to
punch to hear suck voices, or
voice suck?

I love you.

Sam

 

And note the impressive efficiency
with which Heather's mother,
Mommy, corresponds:

Subject: Hurricane Fran

I was able to snag a tree cutter
this morning on Sprunt who will
have a crane today. (Someone in
his office suggested I try to grab
him at 7:30 this morning - and I
did). He says he will get the tree
off my roof and I should go to
work and not worry about it.
Sounds like a good idea. If the
rains come this afternoon, I'll
have to redo the tarp solution.

I have 3 piles of stuff on my desk
that my kind fiscal specialist,
Terry, has sorted for me: URGENT!
VERY URGENT! and IMPORTANT, so I
will talk to you soon.

- Mommy

P.S. I read your Suck piece. I
didn't really understand it. But
it was funny!

 

Owen's aunt beats around the bush
more:

Is Suck a homosexual
organization/magazine or does it
just love/hate everybody?

 

T. Jay has weird friends. Witness
the lyrical, somewhat affected
grace of this effort:

Sad oreo, spherical chicken
cleaning your glasses waiting for
Lincoln. Many happy ellipsis
kisses. i was waiting when i
realized that slowly rushing
oneself looses time like details
of a carride and the snow slushed
wetly into my feet as i realized a
dreamt submarine below the
staircase. it occurred to me,
however, that i must first
understand the turkey in more
elastic terms

so last night we're at Moughal's
and T.Jay thinks he's tough so he
orders dubble medium and then
T.Jay gets said dubble medium and
mike and i get to watch as T.Jay
begins to burst into flames, and
then T.Jay says:

"Oh man, I'm going to have to keep
my toilet paper in the
refrigerator tonight."

i mean, isnt that disgusting, T.
Jay's so disgusting (i think it
has to do with that childhood
accident in his sandbox - or maybe
it was that incident with the hot
asphalt?)

 
[]

T. Jay responds:

cubby,
i swear you are a pure disaster
area. I look at your
underdeveloped cranuim, and think
about the first conversation that
we ever had. It was on that
evening, walking on the the
romantic coast of the mississippi,
hand in hand, smiling, and
dreaming of the things that we
each felt important, our fears and
desires, and dreams again.

I think it went something like
this:

You: Would you ever fuck a giant
mouse?

Me: Male or female?

You: Female, definitely female, and
brilliant to boot. I mean, this is
one fucking smart mouse. So, would
you?

Me: Smart, huh? Hmmm, well if it's
smart.....Is it book smart or
street smart...? I mean, if i'm
gonna fuck a mouse, it's gotta be
smart...but a special blend of
book and street...ya
know.....where did it go to
school, what part of town does she
live in?

You: Oh, very smart, book smart and
street smart, in fact, she has an
intimate relationship with the
street - seeing as, you know, she
split her head open on it. so, you
know, what do you say? yay/nay?

Me: Ok, yes, i'll do it, does she
have a phone number?

t. jay

 

Heather's friends may be abusing
substances. Kent writes:

I do now know the future! I just
did Exhausting Battle with my
first Huge Brooklyn Cucaracha.
It's all New York! Same size as a
big "Sandwich-Sized" Texas roach,
but entirely non-tactical: The
bastard came in the door and just
slowly walked toward me. I jumped
up on the chair. I gathered my
wits. I put on shoes, grabbed the
Village Voice, walked over to him
and gave his ass the works. I was
brushing it over towards the
trashcan when he started kicking.
I gave him the swift, honorable
mercy-kill. (The front edge of the
sole of the shoe guillotine
neck-sever.)

It took him a minute to realize
that was my offer. He laughed
openly and tried to walk off. I'm
aghast, but thinking; this is
unkind; I should just get over the
squeamish and simply stomp the
fucking bug. (Not to mention the
primordial
"gotta-save-the-neighborhood"
response)... So I do. I'm
delicately trying to get all the
chunks and goop into some old
wrapper when he kick-vaults off
the stretcher and blows off a huge
wing trying for an air launch.
Visibly shaken, I scraped the stew
into a plastic bag, crushed it
thoroughly, and sealed it up. And
taped it into a box. And glued the
box to the middle lane of the
Queensboro Bridge. Then repaved
the Queensboro bridge.

 
[]

Ana's friends are supportive. Here,
Jon writes to Ana, inquiring about
the unbearable glare of the
spotlight she must endure day in
and day out:

can i ask you a personal question?

i imagine it's one sort of ego
boost to see your name in the New
York Times
, a thrill of another
kind to know that your work is
ensconced in thousands of copies
of Hustler for all time, and an
honest-to-goodness kick to be
involved in a magazine that has
made a name for itself by sparing
the rod to no one. these joys i
think i can pretend to understand.

but unless you employed a stunt
double (you mean the entire suck
staff doesn't look like Divine?),
that was your disembodied head
suspended Jombie-like on hotwired
yesterday. they used your face as
a drop-quote. not that you don't
have a drop-quoteable mug, but i
would think anyone (in their right
mind, which may or may not apply)
would be a little distressed,
perhaps more than a little, to see
themselves abstraced into a design
element (d.siegel excepted of
course). it's just so... weird;
your face as marketing tool seems
to me a bit like courtney love
covering fleetwood mac; i suppose
there are some ideological issues
in there, but most of all i am
just like, um, come again?

so, my question: is the price of
fame costing you sleep yet? cause,
you know, i worry.

jon

 

Ana responds:

"i am not a design element, i am a
human being" will be my next sig
file.

the current one ["i don't like most
people, but i like you."] comes
courtesy of a note i recieved from
a boy with a very drop-quoteable
mug, but who ultimately didn't
seem interested in my designs.
perhaps i was out of my element.

i'm sorry, what was the question?
oh, yes, the price of fame.

fame is trading heavily on the
nasdaq, i understand, but i have
very little invested in it,
preferring to keep my assets more
liquid, in the form of opaquely
complimentary emails and small but
growing backlog of work-related
anecdotes.

thanks for caring,

amc

 
[]

Carl doesn't have any friends. But
once, someone sent him this epic
tale:

Four years ago I had a revelation
that pulled me out of my suicidal
depression.

Two years ago I graduated from
Northwestern majoring in theatre
and creative writing for the
media.

A year ago I was waiting tables
pursuing my career as a director
and a playwright.

A month ago I planned a trip to San
Francisco to check out the theatre
scene.

Two weeks ago I got online.

A week ago I was told to check out
Suck.

Three days ago I checked out Suck
and Ferndale which led to the
biggest revelation since the first
one I mentioned.

Two days ago, I gave two months
notice at work.

Yesterday, I determined I will be
pioneering a new art form in
interactive multi-media.

Today I am writing you.

Tomorrow I will begin educating
myself and playing catch.

A month from now I will be in San
Francisco hopefully talking to
people like you and the creators
of Ferndale.

Six months from now, I will be in
the process of putting my project
online.

A year from now, I will be running
my own company.

Two years from now, my company will
be running multiple projects.

Four years from now, I will be
kicking back on the beach at my
second home in San Francisco.

Please reply.

 

Carl had laundry to do, so he did
not reply.

 

Someone else sent Carl these words
of encouragement:

Subject: Poor Baby

Reading your shallow biography
makes us old folks realize that
there is no hope for the future.
No, I take that back. A great many
of the Xers are reverting back to
basic values. There is ultimate
hope. Your lost generation will be
just that. Lost - not mourned or
missed - just lost. a footnote. a
bypass on the way to the future. a
glitch. a bug. an aberration.

 
[]

Carl tells us how he would have replied:

Gee, it's nice to be young and
spry, not old and achy and pissed.

If he didn't have laundry to do.

 

On, to more flirtatious waters, in
which every word is carefully
chosen and brimming over with
double meanings. Claudia writes to
Joey
:

Yes, Suck has many an unkind word
for lovers of pleather pants,
Urban Decay, and expensive shades,
but was that you I spotted not
only scanning the $100 sneakers at
Villains, but actually buying some
freaky-styley doodad at the
uber-hip, raveKids-R-Us emporium
The Dinostore? On Haight St., I
might add. Where yours truly is
even loath to tread unless dragged
kicking and screaming by my
Wasteland-obsessed mother.

Don't think I didn't consider an
expose or letter to the editor.
Piss me off and you'll never work
in multimedia gulch again, buster.
Send my regards to Urban
Outfitters.

P.S. I didn't acknowledge your
presence because I decided to
renounce you after you didn't
answer my flirtatious last email.
hell hath no fury, muthafucka.

 

Joey responds:

Have you been sampling crack? You
must be mistaking me with some
other orange-clad,
knit-cap-sportin' boob. And if it
was me - which it wasn't, of
course - I was probably just
conducting first-hand demographic
research. I'm sure I could think
of more discreet ways to pleather
myself, anyways...

Are you sure you're not confusing
me with Greg?

 
[]

Claudia responds:

Yes, I am "on the pipe" as they say
in Comptom, but that is another
story. The ire and paranoia my
simple question has raised is only
more circumstantial evidence in my
favor. Of course I'm not confusing
you with Greg. See chart:

Joey 

tall and slim 
Puerto Rican
glasses
short, stylish haircut
parted on left
permanent sneer
good posture
energetic, talkative
cute

Greg

short and rounded
Filipino
different glasses
short, stylish haircut
parted on right
nervous smile
slight slump
painfully shy and quiet
smurfy

Besides, I ordered the store's
security videotapes and have
already posted the incriminating
evidence on my homepage, right
below my nudie pix and first
person account of my 12 step
"crack is whack" program.

 

Unlike Joey, who seems to elicit
playful cynicism from random
acquaintances, Carl seems to
inspire heartfelt confessions from
total strangers. Someone writes:

Read your page. Thought you might
like these.

Milk.

Your gentleness eludes me.. The
glitter in your eyes.. Make make
believe the future cant be so
dim.. Soft lips.. Like velvet.. I
am compelled to run my fingers
over them.. Feeling your warm
breath on the tips of my fingers..
Trying to realize you are real..
You came to me on an angel's
wing.. A dream in reality..

 

Uhm, right. You know, Joey's
friends recommend this terrific
crack program...

 

We'll end with some gentle thoughts
from another of T. Jay's
hostile/insane friends:

FER CHRIST SAKES, MAN!

All I wanted to do was offer some
sandwiches. I mean, I was just
trying to be a nice guy and all,
inviting everyone over for some
ham and swiss. If you don't like
it, and that makes you sick and
stuff, then you can stay home, but
why does that mean I'm sick and
twisted and belong in the
treatment center? Big deal,
everyone escapes from there
anyway. Yeah, and it has nothing
to do with any Libertarian
movement, I mean they're just
sandwiches. Maybe you think ham
and swiss is a bad combo, and you
like gouda or chedder with your
ham. Well then bring your own damn
gouda! You can give me the swiss,
I don't mind having two slices of
swiss with my ham. But if you
don't like sandwhiches at all,
then kiss my sausage. Maybe you
like sausages and not sandwiches,
well forget it man, it's a
sandwich party - get it, not a
sausage party. They're sandwiches,
and they're free, and if you're
gonna be picky about it, then may
your gonads one day meet head on
with a juicer. Yes a juicer, I
like juice with my sandwiches. And
another thing, if your're not
gonna read this because it's only
two lines or because it's as much
as three pages, then piss on ya.
Wait a minute, I take that back -
there's nothin' better than being
showered with warm yellowish
urine, so instead may your cat one
day meet head on with a
potatoslicer. Yes, that's right a
slicer, I like chips with my ham
and swiss, and there're too many
damn cats out there anyway. Yeah
that's right I don't like cats,
and I aim for them when I'm behind
the wheel, and if that bothers you
then the joke's on you, because
you don't like sandwiches and here
I am chompin' on a nice big ham
and swiss with cat chips and gonad
juice.

bear. lala

 
[]

T. Jay responds:

I'd love to meet you for lunch,
however the time zones would only
allow a late lunch, and after two
they stop serving those delightful
cantaloupe wedges that make the
lunch seem that much more filling.
And besides, you know that i am
ALLERGIC to cats, and i DON'T eat
MEAT. What, is it your personal
prejudice to taunt me like no
other? Cat chips? Sheesh. I need
some sleep and another valium. NO.
NO, I'll call you.

 

words
Polly Esther

pictures
Terry Colon