Well, it's finally here, after a two-year wait: the fifth and final issue of Scumsquat. That's right, I'm sorry to announce the end of one of the most influential zines ever produced. It's certainly been a hell of a ride.
As some of you already know, there have been a number of things keeping me from putting together this issue (mostly caused by my psycho ex-girlfriend, Janine--more about that later), but I'm here to say--no, shout!--that I WILL PREVAIL, and someday, though it may be a long time coming, JUSTICE WILL BE DONE.
It started with Scumsquat #1, and the now-legendary "secret" photos of Janine giving me head in the kitchen at my mom's house (which inspired the name of the zine: Scumsquat. Get it?). Only after I published the pictures did Janine claim she had no idea my video camera was on, which is TOTAL FUCKING BULLSHIT. Her only "proof" of this was that she hadn't signed a release form allowing me to use the photos, which is a fucking technicality and exactly the kind of sneaky thing she would do. (I mean, she was MY GIRLFRIEND--what kind of "release" did I need besides the hot and creamy one I shot down her throat, right?)
That first issue really put Scumsquat on the map, and I sold out the entire 300 copies in a matter of months. I also garnered the prestigious One to Watch in '99 award from the editors of You Ain't Zine Nothing Yet. Of course, this was back in the glory days of zines, not like these lame-ass losers doing it now, back when getting a One to Watch was quite an honor, I assure you.
Jealous, petty jerk that she is, Janine was not amused, and she proceeded to write me a series of angry letters and left threatening messages on my answering machine (disproving her claim that she was the "innocent victim" in all this), all of which appeared in Scumsquat #2 (which owing to the popularity of issue #1 was printed entirely on newsprint, with a color cover, 600 copies). This led to some ugly and almost violent confrontations between me and Janine at various coffeehouses and clubs in Denver, after which Janine, trying to take the high ground, got a restraining order against me.
That led to my putting the groundbreaking (and I should add, often imitated) "Wanted: Dead" poster in Scumsquat #3 (the "Revenge" issue, an entirely ironic joke that was later misinterpreted by the prosecution), offering a $500 reward to anybody who would--well, you know. Of course I wasn't serious, but I realize in retrospect that this was a critical error. Because Janine, being the spiteful little monster she is, then went all legal on my ass and started proceedings against me. Looking back, I probably shouldn't have included her home address and phone number, or that $200 bonus for using a shotgun.
Things got so crazy that I decided to dedicate an entire issue of Scumsquat to this remarkable unfolding drama. So for Scumsquat #4, which I aptly called "The Confrontation Issue," I decided to record a face-to-face meeting with Janine, to get absolute proof that her claim that I was harassing, embarrassing, and stalking her was complete BULLSHIT, and also so we could put aside our problems once and for all. Because, insane as it may sound, I still felt something for her. Even if it was only a kind of twisted pity. Also, you know what they say about crazy women in bed, and I can tell you Janine was no exception. (But then, what else would you expect from a slut who once sucked my dick in my mom's kitchen? I mean, MY MOM'S FUCKING KITCHEN. 'Nuff said.) In fact, I wanted a reconciliation between us so much that I was even willing to apologize to the stupid bitch. Besides, the lawyer's fees had left me completely broke and I was hoping to make her see the light that this was a useless and destructive path she was on.
Scumsquat #4 was also meant to be the first Brian Smelt Legal Defense Fund issue, and I was really excited about it. I got my friend Barry to boost his dad's video camera for the night (having sold mine to pay for legal fees: thanks, Janine), and then we smoked a nice fatty and drove in Barry's Chevette over to Janine's place. Barry got into position with the camera behind the bushes by her front door and I rang the bell. Janine came to the door. She was not happy. In fact, she was downright rude and nasty. She wouldn't talk to me, and reminded me I was violating the restraining order. I asked why she had to be, yes, such a fucking bitch all the time and why couldn't we just talk it out like reasonable adults? Unfortunately, that was when Barry lost his footing behind the bushes and made a noise and Janine totally busted him.
Well, she tried to slam the door but I got my foot inside just enough and pushed my way in. I had no way of knowing, of course, that Janine's stupid bitch of a sister was staying with her for the weekend and was in the kitchen calling the cops. Janine began hitting me and trying to claw my eyes, and I made a few punches in her direction, which were ENTIRELY IN SELF-DEFENSE, but Barry, dumbshit that he is, only taped the part of me punching Janine in the face and not what she did immediately before that to deserve it. When the cops came, instead of running at the first sign of noise LIKE I TOLD HIM TO, Barry froze like a fucking deer in the headlights and that's how they found him, still crouched in the bushes, with the camera in his hand. Dumbass. My supposed friend became the prosecution's best witness, and his videotape, which I had planned on putting up on the new Scumsquat Web site when it was finished, was taken as evidence and pretty much sealed my fate.
Issue #4, because of all the legal hassles, never went to press, but I have been releasing a VERY SMALL NUMBER of signed and numbered photocopies, for the very reasonable price of $20, considering its instant collectible status. Unfortunately, the video stills cannot be included in the limited edition, although I am working on getting a copy for my future Web site, which will document all the hypocrisy, bullshit, and total persecution I have been undergoing since this all began.
So, with good behavior I will be out in 18 months. Depending on the appeal, of course. The judge completely ignored some compelling evidence that Janine was not so terrified of me as she lyingly claimed in the court (which I cannot expose here because it will be a cornerstone of my case, but let's just say it involved plenty of offers for SEX during the time I was supposedly "harassing" her, which she later said was only to get me away from her because she was scared, but which I have PROOF is bullshit and which anyway doesn't make any sense when you think about it. I mean, trying to fuck me because you want to get AWAY from me? Right.). Anyway, naturally they take a woman's word over a man's every time, and none of this came out in the trial. But I'm not bitter. I will face my fate stoically and am already working on a zine that will document my time behind bars and hopefully prove that Janine Price is not the innocent little "victim" she claims to be but a truly screwed up, dangerous psycho that everybody in Denver can't stand and is afraid of and won't even deal with now.
Meanwhile, I need to give props and some serious shout-outs to my homeez, who have been on my side through this whole thing. So listen up. First, thanks to Ned Trini, who interviewed me for Twattle! #6 and who produced the amazing "Brian Smelt Tribute Issue" (available for two bucks from Ned at Box 16-34, Yakima, WA--check it out!!). Second, I have to give props to my mom, who has been totally understanding. There, mom, you happy now?
Also I need to say a big FUCK YOU to the following perps, twerps, and general scumbags: first, to Tory T., the prick behind FonDooDoo, that shitty, unoriginal zine from Syracuse, who completely ripped off my idea of doing record reviews with little icons (don't deny it you little fuck, that was MY IDEA), and to Marcy Blum of Shmagel Times in Cambridge, the cunt who claimed I stole her essay "Why Only Assholes Wear Ray-Bans" for my own essay "Why Only Assholes Wear Foster Grants," which is TOTAL FUCKING BULLSHIT, and anyway, if you think your ideas are so precious that you're afraid of influencing other people's ideas then why are you putting out a zine in the first place, huh? Besides which your precious fucking essay SUCKED. All I can say is, you're lucky you live in Massa Two-Shits, baby.
Finally, to all you assholes who have criticized Scumsquat and written me stupid letters claiming that I brought my problems on myself: FUCK YOU. I'm not crying, I'm not complaining, you've all wanted me to fail because you yourselves just SUCK so much that you can't take it.
As of February 2, please send checks, stamps, and cigarettes to Brian Smelt, #440119471 c/o Dept. of Corrections, Denver.
I will be back, and you all better watch out!
Editor, Publisher, Writer, Designer, Creator
(Entire contents copyrighted and trademarked by Brian Smelt. All rights reserved.)
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Paul Koob.