|THE BLACK LIST: SHOULD WE START MAKING SUMMER PLANS?|
|By The Black Table|
It's a strange time of the year. It feels like summer is going to start any minute, but Memorial Day is still two weeks away, just far enough that nobody has any real plans yet, unless they have to go to a wedding, which sucks because planning weddings on three-day weekends is just irresponsible and rude. Anyway.
We never know what to do with ourselves during this time. Should we start making weekend plans? Or is everyone already at their little summer haunts they're overpaying for and will end up going to, like, twice? Should we just start trying to get in shape for summer? Or does winter have one last little burst left in it? We don't know how to answer these questions and, frankly, we find them -- and any discussion of the weather -- rather banal, but hey, at least it takes our minds off the goddamned war that isn't a war because we declared it over a year ago.
Today's Black List is sponsored by the number 10, and by that little submission box to the right. Oh, and by the Chrysler Pacifica. Inspiration comes standard!
TUESDAY: I used to like Tuesday. Sandwiched between the protracted psychotic episode of Monday and the soul-crushing tedium of Wednesday, Tuesday used to be a peanut-buttery buffer of soothingly mediocre experiences. Productivity was high, outlook positive and acid reflux pleasantly fruity. Well, not anymore. In some belated -- and misguided -- response to Thursday being the new Friday, Tuesday has become the new Wednesday or Monday ... or both. Want to schedule a 6 a.m. breakfast meeting? How's Tuesday look for you? Been a while since someone broke up with you over email or text messaging? Tuesday to the rescue! Family emergencies? Bad hair? Exhausting games of one-upmanship with the office alpha male? MTA acts of God? Ah, Tuesday, I see you are a worthy opponent. And there aren't even any delightful Garfield comics devoted to brightening our miserable Tuesday existence. Wednesday, I didn't mean all those things I said. Please call me. I know we can work it out. D -- Carissa B.
LIBATION SUGGESTIONS AT RED LOBSTER: My father's favorite restaurant is Red Lobster, which is no surprise. When he visited me in New York last year, he had a craving for "really good BBQ ribs" and dragged me to T.G.I. Friday's. On a trip home this weekend, we stopped by a Red Lobster in Terre Haute, Ind., where we could cause a four-car pileup in our arteries. In towns like Terre Haute, Red Lobster is one of the
fancier restaurants around, and it is decorated as such, with candle light and a special dining room in the back for "V.I.P. customers." (It actually says this.) The highlight, however, is the menu. Right there, with every platter like the "Admiral's Feast" or the "Seaside Shrimp Trio," the menu gives helpful "suggested beverages." What goes well with "Capt. Sam's Parrot Bay Coconut Shrimp," you ask? Well, obviously: "Heineken." This is taken to ludicrous levels; one spot on the menu actually reads: "Admiral's Feast. Suggested Beverage: Budweiser." For just the right tinge of flavor to go with your breaded scallops, the King of Beers provides the perfect complement. The best way to impress your date; "you know, Coors Light goes PERFECT with that Jumbo Crunch-Fried Shrimp." Works like a charm, every time. B -- Will Leitch
DUNKIN' DONUTS ICED COFFEE: Two hundred and ninety-five days of the year, I like my coffee to match the hellish New England winter: dark, bitter and ass-kicking. But once the city's grime is somewhat mitigated by soft green, and sun emits actual warmth, my coffee preferences undergo an equally radical transformation. Another workday fighting off fits of guilt and misanthropy caused by excessive Craig's List perusal? The best friend you always thought would be single with you is now sporting a ginormous diamond you will never admit to coveting? Living with your parents in the suburbs as you pretend to save for grad school? All the months of bitterness and horror are blissfully repressed with another achingly sweet, creamy iced medium hazelnut. Sweet twitchy Jesus, I will be mainlining this stuff for the rest of the summer. A -- Sarah
CHEVROLET SSR: Cars are weird these days. More like ugly. Hideous. Disgusting. I thought maybe we'd seen the worst of it when the PT Cruiser hit the fan, but then the Subaru Baja truck-car-station-wagon-idiotmobile was lobbed at us like so much monkey shit. There are more pretenders to the ugly-throne: the Pontiac Aztec, the Chevy Avalanche and the Scion, to name a few. For the most part, these wastes of metal suffer from tri-polar identity crises, probably because they were designed for aging, wealthy philistines in search of prefabricated originality. The worst of the lot, by far, is Chevrolet's new SSR model. For the blissfully uninitiated, it's an appalling truck-car convertible with antique-modern lines. Blaaahhh. The only redeeming facts about this piece of stupid-looking shit are its cost -- $40,000! -- and its limited production run. Here's to hoping I never see one of these on the road again. F -- Huey Jackson
FREAKING SCORPIONS: I moved to Phoenix recently and I'd heard about Sonoran Desert insects. That is to say scorpions. They're poisonous buggers that hide in your shoes, behind your toilet and sometimes in your bed. Scorpions like to torture little city girls new to the Phoenix-metro area, and, in case you were wondering, they glow under blacklight. I found that out when I was tripping on Peyote last week. (Um, don't ask.) Symptoms of their venom are temporary rage and numbness. (Not necessarily in that order.) I'd rather put a three-inch long East Village cockroach down my pants for 20 minutes than get stung by one these anthropod devil mother fuckers. I mean really Scorpions? F -- Kathie Fries
THE TYRANNY OF WIDESCREEN: Why does my public TV viewing suddenly feel like the reverse of the opening credits of an Elvis movie? Widescreen! Every bar in the land feels a desire to install widescreen plasma displays these days. The problem? Nothing is broadcast in widescreen! All the football players come out looking like freaky squished bobbleheads. Does that really improve your TV viewing experience? Are you too drunk to care in the bar? Just in case, Clear Channel is now installing widescreen LCD displays on Manhattan subway entrances so you can watch Levitra commercials in odd proportions as well. If these TVs were showing Spartacus or The Magnificent Seven all the time, the trend would make more sense. The relentless march of technology: B+ Widescreen Arena Football: D- -- Phil Hollenback
NYC'S NATURALIZED CITIZENS: If one had to guess, it would be pretty safe to assume that someone has devised a formulaic equation that establishes how long it takes for a person to be considered for citizenship to their new hometown -- particularly when that hometown is New York City. Putting the issue to bed, I think a decade is a good rule of thumb. That said, one's gut must double over at the sights and sounds of the never-ending legion of quasi-hip, current and post-graduate NYC Art students. If I strolled into Round Top, Texas, wearing chaps and spurs with a mouthful of chew, I'd get beat up and thrown out before completing a sentence. Which is to say that it must truly insult lifelong New Yorkers when these ultra-geeks, on Daddy's dime, ramble into town from their provincial soil, with their vintage jeans and zany schtick, thinking they are the who's who and what's what of urban cool. F -- Art Morelli
CAMERAPHONES USED TO CHEAT ON FINAL EXAMS: I remember the good ole' days of Casio calculator watches used to pass the long division pop quizzes in 3rd grade. My friend Josh had one, and the teacher would confiscate it during exam time. Now students are getting busted for trying to take photos of exams during class and then sending them to classmates, who view the images and try to decipher 1.3 megapixel "quiz answer" images on a 1.5" LCD covered in Justin Timberlake mini-stickers. Impossible? I think not. D- -- Jen M.
FINDING OUT THAT THE GUY FROM THE STONE TEMPLE PILOTS ISN'T DEAD: I swear I heard that the guy from STP was dead; and I swear that I spent at least a good three minutes mourning him. As it turns out, the guy from Alice in Chains is dead, and the guy from STP is in a new band with Slash and Duff from Guns 'N Roses. I totally thought he was dead. Then one day I happened to be watching MTV during the daytime, and there he was, with no eyebrows. But I swear I was in a bar, and "Interstate Love Song" came on the jukebox, and someone I was with said that the guy from STP was dead. So then I got sad for a minute until I realized that I never liked STP, and then I didn't know how to feel, but it's always a sad thing when someone passes away. And maybe since he's still alive, there's a little hope left in the world, except that his new band isn't all that good either. But way to not be dead, guy! C -- Frank Smith
PRODUCT PACKAGING SHAPED LIKE MASTURABATORY AIDS: So I buy a sample of this new conditioner that comes in a shiny pink metal tube, like squat pink toothpaste. The conditioner is amazing, and most important, it smells spectacular. At least once a day, someone buries their face in my hair, breathes deeply and goes, "Ooh. That *is* nice." So I decide I must have the full-size edition of the conditioner and make a trip to the drugstore. Herein lies the problem: Unlike the trial size, the full size is shaped like an uncomfortably large phallus. The bottle itself is clear, filled with pink conditioner, and the cap is shaped like a silver bullet, lending a conspicuous dildo effect. Suddenly, the same friends who have been sniffing my hair are noticing the bottle in my shower, and laughing. D -- J Ritterbusch
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