|THE BLACK LIST: THIN MINTS ARE ASTOUNDING.|
|By The Black Table|
According to this weekend's New York Times, the Thin Mint, that so-incredible-it-must-have-crack-in-it cookie that Girl Scouts sell, is the third-best selling cookie in the world, even though it has a sales cycle of one month. This is an astounding fact.
Fourteen lip-smacking Black Table submissions this week. As always, you
can enter our tangled web of lies by using the handy form on the right.
CHASING PIGEONS: When I need a pick-me-up, when I'm having a stressful day, forget coffee or Prozac; I'm gonna chase me some pigeons. I'm not a bird hater, and I do love their chubby big eyes. Pigeons run with their heads bobbing side to side, swiveling to look back at me, gaining on them. They flee and bob until their concern overcomes laziness just enough for a short flap-hop to temporary safety. They always return to being calm pigeons, ignoring, forgetting and not caring that some big psycho dork is trying to run them down. My pigeon chasing grin always lasts a while. Seagulls can be fun too, but they are faster and try to crap on you. A -- Eli McClure
THE TV-WATCHING HABITS OF COUNTERTERRORISM OFFICIALS: He's a former special ops guy for a three-letter agency that can read the time off somebody's watch in Jakarta from a satellite. He spent hard years in nations that look like the Mojave and end in "stan." He was at the highest levels of an organization famous for its rectitude and colorlessness -- a place where most field employees are about as talkative as bricks, with personalities to match. So when a journalist calls him up at his D.C. area home on a weeknight to talk about a policy article, what exactly is he doing? "You'll have to excuse me," he says. "I was drinking a glass of wine and watching this Michael Jackson story on 'Celebrity Justice.'" While it might initially be alarming to think that top intelligence officials are not spending their off-hours in darkened studies contemplating the vulnerability of the Port of Newark, it is nevertheless comforting that those who defend the United States are sharing the values of its culture-at-large. Who's to begrudge anybody, really, from enjoying a little mental caramel corn after a hard day spent listening to grainy wiretaps in Arabic? The hunt for Jemaah Islamiyah, it seems, has nothing to captivate the leisure-time interest of our nation's top cops quite like the search for Jacko's secret love letters. B+ -- Tom Zoellner
CHUCK KLOSTERMAN'S COLUMN IN THIS MONTH'S ESQUIRE: Friday night. Another party, another gathering, another group of randomly slapped-
together people, striving to make conversation, failing. Then, out of nowhere, one person randomly says, "Hey, did anybody read Chuck Klosterman's piece in Esquire this month?" Everyone had. The column posits that everyone pushing themselves to succeed in life has both a nemesis (someone they don't hate, exactly, but someone with whom they engage a lifelong unspoken competition) and an archenemy (someone whom you would smile if you found out they were dead). This may or may not be true, but it certainly had everyone talking, immediately. Not only were we naming our own nemeses and archenemies, we were trying to guess everybody else's. This made an otherwise uncomfortable party great fun. There are few better compliments one could give a writer than to say a group of peers sat and discussed something the writer had written for about an hour; with Klosterman, this is now happening every month. A -- Will Leitch
MOTION-ACTIVATED PAPER TOWEL DISPENSERS: Had I known that the once-simple act of applying ass-to-toilet would set in motion a wave of technology unrivaled by the U.S. space program, I would have long ago put up an outhouse, carved a crescent moon in the door and been done with it. While I can appreciate the "convenience" of touchless faucets and self-flushing toilets (even if they always flush at the wrong time, putting me in the awkward position of wanting to argue WITH A TOILET), the motion-activated paper towel dispenser has taken things a bit too far. I would rather deal with a few pathogens than look like a complete asshole, waving an enthusiastic "HELLO!" at an inanimate object and hoping to be rewarded with a piece of paper towel. D -- MG
THE "I'D LIKE TO START GETTING HOME DELIVERY OF THE NY TIMES" FAMILY: The Father: Smug prick with well-contained anger in perfectly-creased khakis tells me the paper doesn't merely cover the news, it "surrounds" a story. Don't just suck my dick, prick *surround* it. The Mother: Possible mixed ethnicity C--t Of The Millennium goes straight for the Business section because she is the Man of the house despite the prick's perfect pants, and only married Mr. Architect for his earnings potential -- which she constantly questions. She needs to be bent over an old damp moldy sofa. The Daughter: Androgynous little pre-teen know-it-all monster has already read everything Ayn Rand. She is hopeless. They all maneuver perfectly around their stark breakfast nook, dolling out the appropriate sections to each other. They all need to be Clockwork Oranged, and therefore, are perfect for The NY Times. A -- hillmarky
NOT RESPONDING TO JOB APPLICATIONS: So you posted a job on Mediabistro, and it's impossible to reply to all 5,000 applicants desperate to get paid $200 a week conducting "media" surveys. Who can really blame you? Well, all we hapless resume sending applicants can. We should know by now that if we haven't heard back in 24 hours, we're never going to. But without a response all our indefatigable, human, hoping mechanisms continue to operate in the face of our more rational instincts. We concoct lame explanations for the delay, like "maybe they're reading every application" or "maybe they're debating everyone's merits before contacting anyone." Pathetic. We should be put out of our misery. Better if your e-mail automatically generated responses like "We will be in touch within the next three days or never," or the very succinct "Rejected." We didn't want to conduct your dumb surveys anyway; it's the uncertainty that's the killer. D -- Willa
SWIMMING TO PURGATORY (SPAULDING GRAY'S LAST TOUR): In Woody Allen's play, "Riverside Park," a character observes that the Hudson River runs both North and South, and a body flung as the tide turned might be carried "as far as Poughkeepsie" in a matter of hours. Perhaps this is what happened to Spaulding Gray, after disappearing near the Staten Island ferry landing in January. Warm-weather runoff and higher tides of a full moon perhaps dislodged the author's body from upstate ice floes; he might have taken a left at Inwood, then down the East River. The body washed ashore in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, still wearing black corduroy pants: a detail to solidify the aptly named Mr. Gray as a cautionary tale for the pathetic hipster in us all. "Poor bastard" seems inadequate to mourn the loss of a creative mind and a gifted monologist. Three cheers then, for Captain Spaulding, for giving us one last, great, mythic New York Story. A- -- Mia
PEOPLE WHO CAN'T SKATE BUT OWN A SKATEBOARD: Do you know how many fake-ass East Village punksters I see fumbling to try and stay straight on a board with rubber wheels? I'm sorry rubber wheels with tire-treads? What, do you think that's cute? It offends me as a skater to see these people. Look, sweetie, save yourself the money on a board and just buy some more garishly mismatched clothing, or whatever the hell it is you people do ... or, better yet, buy a ticket back to whatever weak-ass suburb it was where you were a big deal. Should I even ask you what an "ollie" is? Didn't think so. F -- Maurice Downes
LIL JON: Lil Jon, the diminutive King of Crunk, has taken the role of hip-hop hype man to a whole new level. A man in the mold of classic hypester Flava Flav, Jon rocks da gold teef, the oddball accessory (in this case a gleaming pimp chalice) and has a slew of signature catch phrases, screamed so loudly that Lil Jon may be giving himself a lil hernia with every yelp. But what makes Lil Jon so incredible is his ability to add so much to a song while contributing so little. Consider Usher's #1 single, "Yeah," which would be a tired, limp-dicked R&B ballad without Lucacris' rap and Lil Jon's lyrical contribution, which consists of him alternately yelling "LET'S GO!" or "WATCH OUT!" with a few "YEAHS!" on the chorus, before ending the song with the coup de grace: "BEND OVER TO THE FRONT! AND TOUCH YOUR TOES!" It doesn't even matter than Lil Jon looks like a black Fraggle who escaped from a mental institution on Mars, he's got the world so hyped and crunk, there's no wonder why he's showing up in every song these days. -- Eric Gillin
ED KOCH REVIEWS THE MOVIES: In case you didn't have enough people in your life giving you opinions, along comes former NYC Mayor Ed Koch. He's reviewing movies for the NYC.gov website and has been weighing in with such insights as "The actors are overwhelmingly Japanese," after seeing "Robot Stories." And: "His eyes are still huge and very luminous, but they are now encased in an old face," regarding Omar Sharif. Thank God for Ed Koch. If it weren't for his advice, I couldn't even begin to visualize how overwhelmingly Japanese the actors are. F -- Miriam Parker
FINLAND: Fresh air all of the time thanks to environment policies that work. One-hundred precent literacy rate. People speaking English fluently. The Kiasma Museum. The first country to have both a female president and female prime minister. Rated the least corrupt country in the world several years running. An economy rapidly becoming one of the strongest in the world. Cheap housing. A large Haypenny following. Lowest crime rate in all of Europe. A government that doles out large amounts of money to its artists. Universal health care. You can smoke in the bars. It's a bit like bizarro-world US. A -- Rob Theakston
LIZZIE GRUBMAN'S FACE: Like fame itself, Little Lizzie's face is so fickle. At times, it's fresh and pixiesh like a little girl on her way to Sunday school. At other times, it's worn and grooved and oily like my first little league glove. In some pics, it looks like a tanned Pug with a blonde wig. Then, it appears to be a blank off-white slate of nonlife. Sometimes, puffy lips. Sometimes thin. The nose is very flat and wide, but occasionally appears more pert. She's in her 50s. She's not a day over 25. She's a princess. She's a witch. C -- hillmarky
PORN FROM THE HEAVENS ABOVE: Being jerked around and crapped on by a girl for a month is not so wonderful. Moving to a new town and a new job, and now being suddenly and unwillingly single well, I've had happier times. But when I showed up at my temporary home in a furnished "executive" apartment, only to find that the previous renter had a subscription to Playboy that he neglected to forward, well, that really made my week. Whether you call it -- God, the "universal spirit" or Hef -- receiving porn when it is most needed made me believe in some kind of higher power looking out for us. A -- Tucker B.
DENTYNE FIRE: When I was a kid, I would ride my bike down to the Swanee Swifty and buy 17-piece "Plen-T-Paks" of Big Red. Then I'd go home and lay on the floor and read my library books and eat the entire pack in one sitting. Every time a piece began to show signs of losing flavor, I'd spit it out and grab another until it was all gone. Besides paying for my dentist's summer home, this gave me a lifelong bloodthirst for anything cinnamon-flavored, and I'm picky. So when I saw that Dentyne had added a cinnamon gum to their growing intensely-flavored gum roster, I clapped my hands with glee and shelled a buck. What resulted was pure heaven - I now buy my Fire in packs of three from Walgreen's and I'm never, ever, ever without. And Fire is shockingly sugar-free! I'll miss the laughing gas, but not the drill. A -- Lindsay Robertson
Each and every week, Black Table readers like you write the Black List and get absolutely nothing in return. Ain't that some shit.