Why a Naked SunFish?
Back Issues

“Self Portrait”
by Abbey Suelter

Abbey Suelter is a high school junior and honor roll student in the greater Columbus, Ohio area. Her artwork has been on display at The Columbus Museum of Art, The Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition, The Short North Arts District of Columbus, and her “Self Portrait” won first place at the 31st Annual Arts in the Alley Festival.

The Non-Fiction Theater of the Truly Mundane
proudly presents:

Parking Lot

by Rick Brown

Scene: A parking lot in front of an enormous “family style buffet” restaurant. Two small community center buses are parked parallel to each other in the fire lane, about 15 feet apart facing the front of the stage and in front of the restaurant. Seniors are slowing climbing into each bus. Drivers Stan and Rick stand beside their respective vehicles helping folks up the steps. There is a 4 door sedan parked in an angled spot in front of Rick’s bus stage left. A very little old lady is barely visible above the steering wheel. Other seniors are milling around the lot going in and out of the restaurant.

Little old lady in car (pushing her head out of the car window looking at Rick.) - Are you gonna MOVE that BUS so I can get OUT of here?!!

Rick – No. You’ve got plenty of room to get out.

Little old lady in car – You mean you’re NOT gonna MOVE that BUS?

Rick – You have room. (begins waving her back with his hand trying to help her out)

Little old lady in car – I can’t SEE! Move your BUS!

Rick – just follow my directions. (begins signaling her to back up again.)

The little old lady begins backing up very, very slowly.

Little old lady in car – I CAN’T SEE!

Rick – Just keep coming back. You’re good.

Little old lady – Just MOVE the BUS!!

Rick (holds his hand out flat to signal her to stop) OKAY!

Little old lady – (still slowly backing the car) Does that mean STOP? I CAN’T SEE!!

Rick (beginning to lose his patience, tersely) Yeeeeessss…it…does.

Little old lady (still backing up) – It could have meant GO!

A bystander walks to the front of her car and signals to her that she has enough room to turn the wheel and drive out.

Rick – STOP!

Little old lady (craning her neck out the window towards the bystander in front of her car, pointing back to Rick) - What organization is HE with! TELL ME!

The bystander looks as if he wished he hadn’t bothered.

Little old lady – I SAID…WHAT organization is he WITH?!!

The bystander shrugs.

Rick – (with exasperation) Turn your wheel and drive forward. You’re clear.

Little old lady (looking away from Rick) –YOU SHUT UP!

Rick (walking briskly over to the little old lady’s car) – YOU DON’T TELL ME TO SHUT UP!!

The little old lady straightens her car wheels and zooms off…at about 3 miles per hour.


Rick – Himself
Stan – Ken
Little Old Lady in Car – Herself
Bystander – anybody
Seniors - themselves

by Rick Brown

Hmmm # 19
Perhaps Nietzsche
strode to the precipice,
peered into the abyss,
and saw a landfill.
Odds are good.

Hmmm # 20
One day during
I dared to wonder.
Am I
what I believe?

Hmmm # 21
Just because you believe
in something
doesn’t make it true.
Believe me.

Hmmm # 22
If trash collectors
were flea market freaks
would they live
in their trucks?

Siesta Key #1

by Daniel Eley


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Rick's book, Best Bites is available at:


Moon and the City
Morris Jackson

C. Mehrl Bennett


Jessy Kendell

by Sue Lense

Click Here

Shiva's Dance
by Dennis Toth

It's a gnawing feeling,
The last of one's kind,
At the ending moment
Of ending times,
Where birds fall
Like snow flakes
And the stars begin
To dance
And water turns
To brine.

Most prophets are
Like a broken clock
And most clocks
Are bound to break.
Besides time itself,
Has ceased to tick,
Stopping for a smoke
Beneath a banyan tree
Where a pleasant breeze
Drifts cool and sweet.

From the shores of Allegheny
Across the Pennsylvanian sea
You talked about your life
Among the dunes of old Nebraska
And the sands of Iowa.
You said you once found a fossil
Beneath a banyan tree.

And then you told us tales
About the lost human race.
Strange creatures, you said,
Who fell from grace,
From carelessness,
With little trace.

Visit Dennis' Blog at:

The Non Fiction Theater of the Truly Mundane
proudly presents:

2 Seasons In 1 Day
by Rick brown

Scene: A men’s room at the Columbus International Airport Terminal on a cold, frigid day in early December. Rick is alone standing at a urinal when a bald, middle-aged man walks in. He is wearing khaki pants and a plaid short-sleeved shirt. He is carrying a large duffle bag.

Middle-aged man in a plaid short sleeved (putting the duffle bag on the baby -changing table) – HEY! You been outside?

Rick is unaware he is being addressed.

Middle-aged man in a plaid short-sleeved shirt (louder) - HEY!! YOU been OUTSIDE?!!

Rick (zips up and moves to a sink where he begins washing his hands) – I was 2 hours ago.
Middle-aged man in a plaid short sleeved shirt – Is it COLD?!!!
Rick – Well…2 hours ago it was 23 degrees.
Middle-aged man in a plaid short-sleeved shirt (even louder) – GODDAMMITT! Now I gotta put on a SWEATER!!

He begins pawing through the duffle bag randomly throwing clothes on the baby-changing table.

Rick (while drying his hands with a paper towel) – Welcome to Ohio.

Middle aged man in a plaid short-sleeved shirt (turning towards Rick) - NO SHIT!!!!!!



Rick – himself
Middle aged man in a plaid short-sleeved shirt - himself

The Naked Truth
Shadowbox Live
Easton Town Center
Columbus, Ohio

by Rick Brown

What’s the editor of Naked Sunfish to do on a cold, snowy January night? Go see Shadowbox Live’s newest show The Naked Truth. I mean … you can’t get too naked in the wintertime can you? I’m speaking metaphorically of course. There is no nudity here, but there is plenty of sexy soul baring satire.

“Relationship Status” might be the strongest opening sketch I’ve seen this troupe perform. Jerrod Roberts (Trevor), David Whitehouse (Jeff) and Jimmy Mak (Max) are young teen buddies at a sleep over. Trevor has a crush on a girl named Ali and the three of them navigate their way through a virtual relationship on FaceBook. The writing is crisp and insightfully high – tech, to the point of a delicious slam on MySpace. Mr. Roberts in particular is arrestingly charming as the love stricken but not to be taken for granted Trevor. His performance, buoyed by Whitehouse and Mak’s support, is nuanced and touchingly humorous.

Similarly, closing skit “Girls Have Cooties, Boys Have Lice” brings Amy Lay as 8-year-old Bethany as a guest on schoolmate Billy’s (Jimmy Mak) call in radio show. Bethany has just finished her 3-page book … both front and back … about improving relationships between boys and girls. Mr. Mak is magically manic in his spastic portrayal of the child talk show host. The writing is delightfully disjointed, making the interplay between Billy and Ms. Lay’s Bethany seem authentic. With a “we’re making this up as we go along” childlike charm, the piece succeeds despite it’s rambling.

Also good is “Sock Therapy”. Shadowbox Live newcomer Donathin Frye skillfully plays a man who is terrified to talk to women, seeing a therapist … a woman therapist. (Amy Lay as Dr. Friedberg) The good doctor suggests some experimental therapy involving a conversation between sock puppets. The socks end up taking on a life of their own, juxtaposing real people with alter ego. The sketch is both clever and humorous without going over the top.

“Dr. Mystery vs. Bridezilla” is familiarly funny. The surrealism of sound effects, puppetry, slapstick, and general mayhem is a crowd favorite. The plot is oftentimes secondary to the lunacy. This edition is no exception. And it works. But it does run a tad long.

Several other sketches score big, “Shannon’s Movie Review: Twilight – A New Moon” is another reoccurring sketch. This particular version has a nice little twist of immature conflict at the end. And “Divas Do You Right” is bodacious in its blasphemy. Julie Klein and Stephanie Shull take opera to the pop culture masses. Man Diva Stev Guyer soon joins the hip, over the top operetta with hilarious, highbrow bashing harmonies. Another very strong skit is “The Dating Bowl”. This would be a run of the mill sex farce if not for the great play-by-play and color commentary of Kurt Henderson (Matthew Hahn) and Gwen Mulligan (Nikki Fagin). Their biting comments on how the date is going brings depth and an additional dimension.

Not so good is “Supernova Condoms”, a one-joke piece that fails to rise to the quality of the other sketches’ writing. “Soul Counseling” is better, but mostly because the singing is so soulful.

I do not believe I have ever seen a Shadowbox Live show with anything less than outstanding musical performances. Particularly impressive is Nikki Fagin on “Natural Woman”. Truthfully, no one can sing like Aretha Franklin (Patti LaBelle maybe) And it might be easy to forget that the song was written and performed by Carole King. Ms. Fagin skillfully sings somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, making it one of the high points of the entire night.

Kicking some serious rock n’ roll ass is Amy Lay on Van Halen’s “Everybody Wants Some”, and again Ms. Fagin with her torrid “Photograph” (Def Leppard). These two fine vocalists are joined teamed with bandleader Jennifer Hahn for a surprisingly superb “Thanks for the Memories” (Fallout Boy).

Also great is Stev Guyer’s take on Seal’s “Prayer for the Dying”, Stephanie Shull’s sultry “Wicked Game” (Chris Isaak), and … well … all the music is terrific … really. House band BillWho? is such a vibrant, talented outfit I wonder why an original tune isn’t snuck into a show once in a while. Given the range of decades of covers performed at Shadowbox Live, I’m sure a significant portion of the audience is not familiar with every song and every artist. Some might already assume a tune or two is an original.

The Naked Truth closes with a respectably rousing rendition of the Rolling Stones “Honky Tonk Women”. And while it is more ensemble piece than Stones, the presentation brings a smooth and satisfying conclusion to a wonderful evening. This show has a special mix of familiar with fresh. Truth be told, The Naked Truth is wonderful way to warm the cockles of your heart (or wherever your cockles might be located) on a cold, dark winter night with laughter, singing and dancing! Take it from me. We at Naked Sunfish know Naked. And we know The Truth.

Shadowbox Live’s The Naked Truth runs until March 19th at Easton Town Center. For more information please go to: http://www.shadowboxlive.org/

© 2001-2011 NakedSunfish, All Rights Reserved

Issue 1 - January 2002