Field Guide to the
North American Fundsucker

from Mouth magazine,
March 1998

observed in the field by Josie Byzek and Jennifer Burnett

illustrated from live specimens by Scott Chambers*


A peacock-feathered fundsucker in all his glory allows a grateful cripple to kiss his ring.



This fundsucker is a pipe-smoking, cap and gown-wearing academic who points to a chart where the international disability symbol equals dollar signs.

The Tailor-Suited Slickbill

Habitat: Its showy plumage can be spotted in legislators' offices, although its preferred habitat is the schmooze party. Does its elaborate mating dance for crips and congressmen alike.

Feeding habits: When the banquet is set and issues are finally on the table, the Slickbill uses its commanding presence to make a muddle of our hard work. In its effort to 'help,' crip issues somehow hit the dirt. Not a true fundsucker, it belongs in the sub-class of fund-muddler.

Call: HERE... let ME help...

The Brown-Nosed Dipper

Habitat: Intent on preserving the status quo, the Dipper is found at meetings with the upper crust of do-nothing bureaucrats. Known to infiltrate disability rights gatherings frequently. Nests can be found in ivory towers.

Feeding Habits: Excellent grant writers, they divert disability funding streams into their own coffers by applying for systems change grants, then supporting the system they've pledged to change.

Call: These things take TIME



a well-feathered popinjay embraces two unsuspecting sparrows while he smokes an expensive cigar and drinks singlemalt scotch


a big, vulturous-looking fundsucker bends over the desk of a little office finch and cribs his work.

The Pork-Bellied Blue Jay

Feeding Habits: Financial opportunity lures it from its usual big-business habitat to siphon funds from disability support systems. Flies back to its own kind with new-found wealth, signalling a feeding frenzy.

Habitat: Transportation, housing, and other service providers' boards and offices.

Call: Me-Me-More-MORE

The Bendover Boobie

Feeding habits: This carnivorous variety of fundsucker seeks its prey by making unannounced visits to the habitat of disability rights activists. Lures prey with false hopes of an action plan to fix the system; reels in prey with empty promises. Goes in for the kill by scavenging crip ideas for its own grant applications.

Habitat: SILCs, DD Councils, P&As, UAPs

Call: Trust me - TRUST me


a flustered fundsucker answers the phone, stamps his mail, and says 7 different things at once, including "I'd like to cast the tying vote!" "Sorry, I'm not out right now." "I sense anger."




The Fuzz-Capped Grouse

Habitat: Every board has one.

Feeding habits: This busy bird rears its head whenever it fears true progress might be made. Paralyzes action with a dither of inaction, feeding on the confusion caused by its distracting behavior. Although this elite grouse ends up fat and happy, the rights group on whose behalf it causes a stir starves for lack of action and funds.

Call: Point of OR-der!

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*Scott Chambers, cartoonist and visionary, may be reached via email at Mouth bought the rights to use these cartoons first, but Scott holds the copyright to them. For reprint permissions on the cartoons, address him directly. Mouth holds the copyright, ©1997, on the Field Guide. Although Mouth invented the term fundsucker, we are delighted to see the term in wide use.

Jennifer Burnett and Josie Byzek are full-time advocates in the employ of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities. Both also write on a somewhat regular basis for Mouth.