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Part 1:
666 prank offends

Part 2:
666 Complains

Part 3:
Doc responds

Part 4:
Netsters respond

Part 5:
666 CEO responds

Part 6:
666 booty

Part 7:
666 gallery


Legal Schmegal!
Netsters Respond to Anti-Deuce Legal Cabal

(Originally published in 1998)


As word of the battle for 666 domination spread, emails of support began arriving with regularity (as though they dosed with Black Draught). Soon the CEO of Monticello Industries (maker of 666 cough syrup) responded favorably to our little enterprise and after that the emails turned favorable.

Before 666 CEO response . . .

From: CLODO2
Subject: satansatansatansatan.....

i've recently come across the 666 Cold stuff, and it got a good laugh outta me. i bought bottles of it for christmas presents for like minded friends. before looking up the actual name on the browser, i went to Montecello itself and left an e-mail for an explanation, but now i know that there are others that know of this. isn't the greatest. even though i'm a devout atheist, i'm still not ever going to take it. gimmie the skinny on any updates that you might have, SATAN is here, and he didn't appear as a UPC symbol, he showed up as a cough syrup, or a "Cold Preparation", if you will.

From: Thomas Guarino
Organization: NYC Board Of Education
Subject: I Saw It Years Ago!


I lived in Tucson, AZ in the seventies and eighties, and I too saw the now infamous 666 cough syrup. I always wondered if there were Satanic links to the product. Now that I have read the company lawyer's letter to you, I am convinced that this product is definitely part of the spawn of hell.

Just thought I'd let ya know—

From: jello
Subject: 666

I found your site as a result of the cruel site of the day. I have seen quite a few parody/humor sites on the 'Net, but few make me laugh out loud. keep up the good work, and I wouldn't even worry about legal action.

In response to Hypnagogue's posted letter, the expression red herring came from a practice of dragging a piece of fish accross a fox path to throw the hunting dogs off the scent.

BTW, Did you hear about Monticello's new product - Old Scratch Jock Itch Cream.


From: Tim Hansen
Subject: The Devil Comes By Mail!!

That's right!

Yesterday, my response from Monticello Companies, Inc. came in the mail. Along with a complimentary bottle of New Pleasant-tasting Monticello 666 Cough and Cold Formula!!

And an 800-number for orders!!
It's 1-800-735-0666!

[Here's] the new sharp-looking, less evil-appearing box (notice how tiny and far apart the three sixes are).

Next time I get sick, I'll have the dosage photographed. It appears to be cherry-flavored.

From: "Britain P. Woodman"
Subject: Cough Cough

You know, I used to listen to old people's radio stations around Detroit once in a while (at work, at home, in the car) and your friends the cough medicine used to be a frequent sponsor, right up there with Triple Action Gold Bond Medicated Powder. But the announcer in the ads always called it "Three Sixes Cold Medicine." For years I wondered what was up with that, if they were aware, if anybody else was aware. When I got X #12, x number of years ago (I think I was in senior year of high school at the time), I read that damn article to everyone who would listen. I even attempted a hick accent. It was beautiful.

To hear, years after the fact, that Monticello is trying to intimidate you into taking it off the web, well, it kind of irritates me. I'll be glad to mirror it, if need be, and if I can get a text copy, I'll put it on an auto-responder so anybody who sends an email message will automatically receive it.

Keep up the good.

From: Hypnagogue

I may not be a lawyer nor had nun fancee book learnin', but I can't imagine they can legally force you to remove the article. It's obviously in the spirit of humor and parody and not impugning the product itself. On the other hand, they are in league w/Satan, so I wouldn't rile 'em. ;)

My favorite part: "However, it was always Monticello's belief that the mark of the beast "666", was not evil unless it was written on human skin." So there was a strategy meeting & a rather free-wheeling, corporate-approved rationalization of Biblical declarations! (Of course, were I in attendance at this summit, I would have pointed out that *ingesting* 666 is even worse because then it's in your BLOOD!!!!! I would have then concluded with a rousing exclamation of MOO HOO HA HA HA HAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

This is such a perfect addendum to your article—you couldn't have written it better yourself! (You didn't, did you? Of course not—you know where to put your commas! Or is that just a red herring???) (P.S. Where the hell did the phrase "red herring" originate? This calls for a Cooley investigation!)

— Christine
"Slickery" James

From: laura b.
Subject: Works cited


Sorry to hear about your potential legal troubles with the cough syrup people. What in the devil are they thinking?

From: Candi Strecker

Yo, I actually forwarded a copy of this to my pal Chris Grigg of Negativland, as yet another example of the legal hell unleashed upon this world ... Best of luck in resisting this legal inanity. Sheeeeeeeeesh.

You probably have heard of John Marr of the zine Murder Can Be Fun ... he recently got randomly assigned a home telephone number with the prefix 666! (And was absolutely delighted, of course.)

The part about blaming the movie The Omen is so weird ... I don't quite follow their logic!

I'd like to see the legal precedent for "offending the team" being an actionable crime!!!!!!

From: onion

WOO HOO more bad press from planet (sort of)! hehe

anything i can do to help at least annoy and at most make them get off your back? i hate seeing these types win just because they're getting their "feelings hurt" or whatever they wish to call it.

and i'm sorry to say this, but on the behalf of planet, i'm going to request that you track down all of these emails that have run about the net with this message and manually extract the words "planet" and "magazine", as the owners of these words together are not happy with their use in conjunction with this legal matter blah blah balh ad furthermore ba blah bah bblah balh blah haablaha.


p.s.—in the name of free speech (just to befuddle the The Monticello Companies anyway) i do have an identical copy of this article resting at:

[url deleted]

so, if you have to move yours or take it down temporarily, there it sits. and you know, we might even be able to stick this thing on a server outside the us, say hong kong or thailand? i know some people out there....

From: Paul DeValera
Subject: kill the lawyers!

They are asking you nice, but that does not mean they can do anything. I have a couple classes with a lawyer so I'll ask him if they can take action against you. I guess your entitled to your opinion about a product, like consumer reports, they don't get sued when they cretique a product in a bad light.They didn't say it was "slanderous" or any other legal mumbo-jumbo, also with the big deal in the gorvernment about protecting the internet under the 1st amendment and all, I don't think they can do much. Point out to them that because of your website, many more people are now aware of your product! (granted, they might want it as a show piece, not to use). I'll see what I can do.

Hey Doc,

I guess my response to this e-mail would be "and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast or the number of his name" or "hey lighten up and have a Ricola"


From: Tim H
Subject: Even Men Of God find "666" Article Hilarious

Deuce of Clubs is perfectly within its legal rights.
Also, I printed out the entire article and gave it to Rev. Martin [name deleted—g.d], who teaches at [name deleted—g.d].
His response- Amusement!

And not just mild amusement! Loud, hearty laughter amusement! From a certified pastor, no less. He has the article on file and even uses it for a part of his government class. The article poses NO negative religious or legal problems as far as I can see.

Also, any chance you can send me the company address so I can buy a bottle for myself?

Not that I'd take any, you see, I have this understanding with illness. It doesn't bother me, and I don't call it "nancy boy" anymore. So, I remain healthy. I still want a bottle to put on a shelf for the insane novelty of it all-the true Deuce of Clubs spirit-insane novelty!

From: Howie
Subject: You are a victim

I like the 666 art you have produced—tell Paul K. that you will kill all the links if each company employee answers the question: Do you believe Satan exists?

From: Patrick K.

He just requested that you remove it. You have done nothing wrong Mr Civil Liberties!!!!! Stick up for your rights or else the cops will be showing up at your door to take them away.

However, you should take them up on their offer to have one of the Sr. Executives call you, it would make an hi-larryous addition to the story.

After 666 CEO response . . .

Date: Wed, 07 Oct 1998
From: Tom Magliery

tim hansen alerted me to your pages, and i've been wasting my morning. "you stinker" [the old lady at the end of ally mcbeal.] the reason he mentioned it to me was because of the 666 story.

about 12 years ago i drove from kansas to california and back for a spring break. on the return trip one of the things i brought home was a couple snapshots of roadsigns from highway 666. (if it had been night at the time, i might have had something other than snapshots.)

From: Patrick M.
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998

While perusing the 666-1.jpg I noticed this label- "8% alcohol" That is 16 proof. Almost 50% more alcohol in a Bud Light. Suggested Slogan- "Drink with the Devil, Satan's Supressant"

From: Brian H.
Subject: Re: the 666 ad
Date: Sat, 23 May 1998

I enjoyed the experience of your call to the folks at 666. I can't believe that they're still around. But, I imagine when you're allied with "The Dark Master" finance isn't really a big issue.

From: Candi Strecker
Subject: Monticello Reply

Matt and I are both happy to hear that this company has called off its lawyers and that this story has reached a happy ending!

From: Bigrig Industries
Subject: Not to start anything....

But doesn't Ghost scent have some paranormal implications? Isn't Monticello afraid of a witch hunt?

just curious,

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666 CEO Responds to Anti-Deuce Legal Cabal

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