Spank and Friends

zine review:

Spank and Friends

This is surely the highlight of my Expozine haul. Spank and Friends is a rare find, not only because its goal is to be humourous–an uncommon enterprise on the zine scene–but also because it actually achieves that goal. In it, “Spank Douglas” and a few friends send e-mails to businesses and aspiring Craigslist merchants, inquir­ing about their products. However, each e-mail is meticulously designed to be as inane, baffling and outrightly hilarious as possible. Spank tests de­termined salespeople with obtuse and esoteric questions such as “do u have food that is safe for yuong boy aleg­ric to lupus” and “do they hnave fa­lavours for old people.” Each message is adorned with obviously intentional spelling errors, grammatical indis­cretions, and incompetent penman­ship, lending the proceedings a sense of tongue-in-cheek absurdism. As if Spank’s e-mails weren’t enough, also included are the clueless customer ser­vice reps’ feeble attempts to respond to the inanity. My favourite moment features Spank’s trademark barrage of nearly indecipherable questions: “i wnat do dress my dog oup ina pink out fit im thiniking something with glit­ter. 1do the dogs like it 2how do iget the shit on 3how do i get the shirt off 4can they ware pants 6what is the bset dog. thank s, spank.” The baffled reply, coming from the doubtlessly confused owner of a custom cookie decorator, is suitably straight-laced: “Dear Spank, We do not make dog clothes.” Label this performance art, cultural subver­sion, or just flat-out fun, what’s most important is that it’s one of the most engrossing and, in spite of itself, intel­ligent zines I’ve encountered in recent history. (Michael Tau)

Zine, Issue 1, spanky.douglas@gmail.com, $2

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