FISH OBITUARIES:an anti-bloggers's blog


August 31, 2014

Illinois? Indiana? Iowa? Kansas? Nebraska?


The First in a Series of Road Trip posts, warm up for the Sidewind Across America Tour , this one with Mac and Cindy in Indiana, concerning Clear Vision, Drifts toward Ditches, Perils of Vitamins, Abundance and Bad Seed, Inter-state Rivalry, the Miracle of Going Home.

Cindy: Hey, watch it! The ditch!

Mac: It's just the rumble strip.

Cindy: Ok, but you're driving.

Mac: I'm just trying to fix these sunglasses, Cindy. I sat on them, God-damn it. Kim's Christmas present.

Cindy: It's not even sunny out. (more…)


August 27, 2014

Poor Poor Sasha


The First in a Series of Cat Obits by Secret Guest Blogger, Kate C (who is looking for a scintillating pen name) concerning Inner Turmoil, Procrastination, Feline Under-Representation in the Blogosphere, Barn Yard Hanky-Panky, the Omnipresence of Death, and the Perils of Napping in Laundry.

Hi Robin,
We met during your second class on blogging (my first) at Grub Street and I understand that you are conflicted about blogging; I am here to support you in any way I can. I too have reservations about this whole thing so I thought I’d take you up on your kind invitation be a guest on your blog page so I can continue to engage with my inner turmoil a little longer; but even more importantly, so I can put off learning the actual mechanics of setting up my own blog for at least another week. But once I create one I will be totally asking you to add a link to my new blog page to this post.

So anyway, after reading your blog and ruminating about it, what I have concluded is that you need more posts about cats. (more…)


August 26, 2014



The first in as series of posts by Lucifer, this one Talking Back to the angelic ANTI-BLOGGER'S MANIFESTO, on Accepting Desire for Fame and Fortune, Hyper-Linking as Internet Survival, and Unexpected Hook-ups, by a familiar contributor, Cousin Rob.

Oh, you're just hiding behind your desire for worldwide fame, global recognition. Here's the key to google status: links. Foist of awl, I wanna know you. And you are who/what you link to. So with that in mind, a parabola. Or a parapet. A pair of bulls:

I did a secret blog once, called Satan's Secrets. I did this to gain notoriety as an anonymous blogger who was shaking things up. The devilishly clever plan was to link to other people's blogs, click on those links, make reference to those blogs in my own blog, and assume that the authors would eventually find their way to me. Took a couple weeks, but then it worked. (Things fell apart when a guy who was using my computer inadvertently realized who my alter-ego was. And I became concerned that another guy I knew thought I was a girl and I was worried he might be beginning to chat me up.)

Moral of my story, (more…)


August 24, 2014


Open Letter: An Anti-Bloggers Manifesto Blog-List. Thanks to Becky Tuch and the Grubstreet Blogging class for their backing on this one.

Blogging is democratic, economically fair, a powerful tool for social and political change, a way to make intellectual and artistic connections, and today I learned it is a way to improve exercise habits. Despite all this, I do not want to blog. And despite not wanting to blog, I'm blogging anyway. At least for a while. Here's why:

1. The world is going on-line. The world does not look each other in the eye anymore. We look each other in the eye online now. I am blogging to look you in the eye. To shake hands through pixels. (more…)


August 23, 2014

Sea of Fish Obits


The First in a series of Emergency Meetings of the Fish Obits Staff (Cousin Rob, as well as Margaret and Robin) concerning disappointing Google Ratings, The Big Picture, Digital Slavery, Sex and Home-Makeovers, the Omnipresence of Death and Second-Fiddle to the Many.

Rob: ....yeah, I know we have a great blog, but in this world QUALITY is so often overlooked. People want sex and home-makeovers.

Margaret: Then maybe we do some home-makeovers. Swim with the current, with an eye, always, on the Big Picture.

Rob: Are you suggesting we lower our standards? (more…)

FAMILY BIZ #1 / Fish Obits Editor Appears in Baltimore Sun

August 22, 2014

Wedding Night / Uncle Bob (Rob's dad) and Aunt Ursie (Glam-girl).


In the first of series of Brush with Greatness posts, a link to a post in today's Baltimore Sun by Cousin Rob McLean(cousin) -- an (imagined) Fish Obits editor -- concerning ALS, Social Media, Lost Fathers, Pain Held Close, Movie Stardom, and Provocation by the Digital Age.

Read Rob's Baltimore Sun post HERE.

Go, Rob. We are so proud of you!

If you would like to contribute a fish (or reptile) obituary to this blog, please post a comment below, OR email us at, OR BETTER YET, go to my CONTACT PAGE. Don't forget to filling the ANTI-ROBOT window at the bottom of the window or else I will NOT get your message. And I want to get it very much!

Robin McLean also blogs at Mike's Maze.

Lance: Swim to the Front of the Run

August 20, 2014


The First in a Series of Self-Interviews of and by the Editors Fish Obituaries (Cousin Rob, as well as Margaret and Robin) concerning the first three months of Blogging, Successes and Failures, Collaboration, Tom Sawyer, Vegetarians, and the Omnipresence of Death.

Interviewer: So, Rob let's start with you. You've been going three months at Fish Obits. Where do you generate your best ideas?

Rob: Well, as you know, we don't divulge sources.

Margaret: What do mean "best" ideas?

Interviewer: Ok, where do you get "your ideas"? "Any" of them?

Margaret: We have tons of ideas, pretty much constantly.

Robin: We don't really "get" ideas. (more…)

You - Fish:

August 20, 2014

The Spawn -- Alaska / Photo by John Vinduska


A Fresh Fish Obit by Guest Blogger and Novelist
Kara Lindstrom (also at Sparkle Life, her first novel) concerning Rule-Making as Self-Deception, the Hierarchy of the Beasts, Useless Analogies, RSVPs, Grief, Second-Thoughts, and Apologies.

Writing a fish obituary forces me to rethink one of my food rules: Do not eat what you can’t kill yourself. Well, I’ve done it, kill you – fish -- so I can eat you. Can’t kill a cow. A chicken, either. Well, this is stupid. Rules are there to stop you from doing things that you’re able to do, not allow for them. I mean it’s easy for Pay-Day Cash to charge a gazillion percent interest. Doesn’t mean it should be in the rulebook – go ahead, charge away, it’s easy! So, all this time, I’ve been eating you – fish -- proud as shit of my credo. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Writing an obit, it turns out, is heavy. Rethinking gets to the meat of it all. (more…)

East Meets West / Inter-Species Dialogue #1

August 18, 2014

International Art


The first in a series of Improvisational-Epistolary-Inter-Species Dialogues with Fabulously-Talented Guest Bloggers Claire Burdett, Susan Tacent, (cameo by Cliff Johns) -- concerning Unwanted Roadtrips, Car Sickness, Budding Friendship, Blind Prejudice, Blind Forgiveness, Back-Room Deals and Movie Stardom.

You don't know me but I'm friends with Robin. Maddy and I are really excited about road trip next spring! We talked with Claire and she won't/can't commit to part of the ride. But she said that we could offer you a floor, and Robin a bed and a shower, and fresh produce, and maybe we can figure out some readings on the west coast. She's a dumbhead for not joining in on the trip, but then you know her! Come west and Maddy and I will show you the ropes out here.
Woody Burdett

Brush With Death #1

August 18, 2014

Tiger in Cast


In the First in a series on Near Death Experiences, Guest Blogger Debbie McLean explores the relationship between Cruelty to Animals, Bureaucratic Follow Up, Vet Bills, and the Persistent Desire to Roam Free

While we are on the subject of animal welfare, I thought I would give an update on Tiger (AKA “Tigie- Baby”), our cat that was shot multiple times by a pellet gun earlier this summer by some low-life scumbag in the neighborhood. Two of the bullets broke his leg. Two other bullets hit his back and chest. We discovered him injured one night while Marshall was cramming to finish his 12-page historical biography on Uncle Al, due the next morning and in need for substantial editing. It was not a good time for a pet emergency. (more…)

Sad, Complex Story #1

August 17, 2014

Traffic in Prague / Photo by Rob McLean


The First in a series of Response Blogs -- a reader's comments to a previous post -- Guest Blogger Cousin Rob McLean (from Prague, over there in Europe) responds to Tony, The Goundhog, and the Shovel., concerning Fragility and Fatigue, Talking to Animals, Arrogance among Readers and Dieties, and Succumbing to the Digital Age.

I was like, running, yesterday and was listening to a book at the same time. Not that I'm going to mention the title because you'd accuse me of literary snobismus. I'm near the end of the run, meaning I don't exactly have full control of my limbs, as in, fine motor control. So it can be a bit disconcerting when a hedgehog scuttles (looks like it sounds) right out in front of me. (more…)

Succumbing to Modern Life #1

August 16, 2014

Summer in New Hampshire


The First in a series of short dramatic works by Guest Blogger John McLean, this one concerning Modern Medicine, Modern Aging, Modern Memory, Lost and Found Objects and Artificial Flavorings. (This is the piece that many of you were hoping to hear read this summer at The New York State Writers Institute at Skidmore. Enjoy.

Where is that stuff asked Marsh?
What stuff answered Cindy. You know that jug with the powder in it that we have to mix with water and then you drink it to clear out your bowels (more…)

Groundhog ReDUX

August 14, 2014

Red Patent Leather Penny Loafer


The latest in a series of inventive dialogues between Fish Obit Editors Cousin Rob, as well as Margaret, and Robin, concerning Complaints, Ambiguity, Editorial Disagreement, Crowd-Sourcing, Migrational Topics and Weekend Sales.

Rob: So we've gotten some pretty grumpy calls about the groundhog story. People don't get what happened with the poem.

Margaret: Bummer, but oh well, hey, this is Art. (more…)

Elaboration #1 / Mac and Cindy / New Hampshire

August 14, 2014

Little Spider


The first in our series of ELABORATIONS, this one dealing with Lost and Found Objects, Boredom, Dirt and Size as a Factor.

1. Cindy finds Mac's missing address book in a junk basket behind the couch -- missing for several months -- walks it over, offers it to Mac, who is reading The New York Times and drinking coffee:

"Thanks Cindy, that's great. I've been looking all over for that."

Mac takes the address book upstairs. Hides it. Returns to reading.

2. Cindy finds a dirty tin-can lid (more…)

BOOK REPORT #1 / Big Progress / 4 Items

August 13, 2014

BOA Image by Roberto Labron


I promised some of you a Report on the Book(s), so here goes:

1. After a years of dreaming of my first book cover, I got the draft design of Reptile House in my inbox today. Wow can't express it. My dad was trying to talk to me about a fleas in their rental house in North Carolina -- more dogs, yes or no? -- and I just trying to feast my eyes.

I'm biased, but the book is going to be so beautiful. It will be up on this site soon. The designer is another of those geniuses from Rochester, Sandy Knight at Hoopskirt Studio .

Progress! (more…)

Tony, The Groundhog, and The Shovel

August 12, 2014

Tony with beets.


The latest in a series of inventive dialogues, this one between Cousin Rob and Margaret (while Robin is in the bathroom), concerning Farm Yard Pests, Crossroads and Dictatorships.

Margaret: I have to say, I'm really not into this groundhog story.

Rob: Come on, Margaret! People are begging. It's got everything. Drama. Death. A complex inner story.

Margaret: I feel we are at a Crossroad with the blog here.

Rob: So, you want a cotton candy blog?

Margaret: Does shying from murder make me a sell out? (more…)

TRUE CONFESSIONS: Death of the Newts

August 11, 2014



A guest blog (already) by Debbie McLean on the subjects of Divorce, Canniblism and strategies for ridding yourself of the Pets with Long Life Spans.

Ok, the Newts...I have been tormented (a little) with guilt since they died. So the best thing to do is come clean and process my feelings with close family and friends (who I know care -- a lot!)

I'm not sure when they died. It was July (I think). I found them in their tank one day waterless and sort of crunchy. I know--a horrible way to go. And here's thing--I was relieved! Maybe even a little happy. I hated those newts. They ate their babies...and by the way, (more…)

Sidewind Across America Tour -- Pencil Yourself In

August 10, 2014

Sidewind Across American Range


Hey as some of you know, next summer, after Reptile House comes out in May, Pearl and I are taking ourselves on a Sidewind Across America Tour. The SAA Tour is intended to squeeze as much fun out of this book as possible. (You never know if it will happen again.) The idea is go visit all my favorite friends/writers, to read in bookstores or living rooms or campgrounds (reptile houses at a few zoos, if possible). To act like famous writers together. To have a blast together. To SEE AMERICA together.

My dreams is that all my pals will drive a leg of this trip with me. Some of you have already penciled yourself in. (more…)

Where are the Newts? Where is 'Lil Jimi? Sweet Arlene

August 9, 2014

Attach Dog


An inventive dialogue between Cousin Rob, as well as Margaret and Robin (also Debbie McLean as guest) on the Blogging Classes, Animal Violence, and Big Brother.

Rob: So Debbie, where is your piece on the dead newts? You promised it weeks ago.

Debbie (robin's sister): Do you think I'm just sitting around doing nothing? I've been fighting off attack dogs and creepy neighbors with web cams.

Margaret: We all have to deal with attack animals sometimes. There was a bear in our neighborhood in Fairbanks this week, for example. William left dog food on the porch.

Rob: But we do need those newts. We promised everyone. People will think this is an all-talk-no-action blog. We should take a class or something.

Robin: I just went to a blogging class at Grubsteet in Boston. Seven hours of blog shit with the famous blogger, Hollis Gillespie. My head is still spinning.

Margaret: Impressive. Did you tell her about Fish Obits? (more…)