|THE BLACK LIST: WE'RE YOUR DANCING MONKEY LOVE FRIEND.|
|By The Black Table|
We come bearing good will and tidings on this Tuesday morning. The world is full of sadness and despair, but we want none of that, we want peace, we want hope, we want understanding. Are you full of good cheer? Is your spirit pure? Do you believe humanity ultimately to be benevolent and kind?
Good. We were hoping you would say that. Because we're a little short on cash. Just a quarter, man, anything you can spare. We gotta catch the bus uptown. We left our wallet in the car. Man, crazy story, it turns out, our girlfriend left our train tickets in the stroller. Just a little bit. Anything helps. We're really sorry to do this. Hey, we'll strum our little guitar will that help? Maybe a magic trick? Look, we're your dancing monkey! Do you feel better about yourself now? You've made us perform like some sort of circus animal just for your measly quarter? Thanks. Seriously. Thanks. Jeez. You don't know what it's like out here. The winters are so hard. We never should have quit our dot-com jobs.
Ten reviews this week. We had to cut some good submissions. We're sorry. Give us more! The form on the right! More! More! Feed the beast!
WEDDING DONATIONS INSTEAD OF PARTY FAVORS: "In lieu of a favor, a donation has been made in your name to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer" -- something or other. What??? You mean I won't be leaving this long and boring nuptial mass and reception with an actual favor? It's bad enough I have to sit through an hour-long Catholic mass followed by a cocktail hour outdoors in the plus 100 degree heat, but you aren't even going to give me anything for it? Where's my candle, bag of chocolates or mini bottle of champagne? I mean it's touching that you are supporting breast cancer research in my honor, but I don't have breast cancer so that doesn't really do anything for me. I was kind enough to not only to attend your damn wedding but to also GET YOU A GIFT. If I'd have known that you were pulling this "A donation has been made" bullshit, I would have lied and told you I did the same thing. I could have spent the $50 on shoes. In case I haven't made myself clear I don't want to find a cure for breast cancer, I want my freaking mixed CD. C- -- Kate
AIM'S SCREEN NAME LINKING FEATURE: I started getting some weird IMs last week from someone whose screen name I didn't recognize, but they seemed to know me. The tone sounded an awful lot like my brother, but I'm fairly unconvinced he's on IM. The weirdness continued this
week. My screen name comes from an old (and rare) family name. There's a seven after it. So today, I get a couple IMs from (Family Name)26 and (Family Name)139. First they start to talk about genealogy, and then say things like "I spoke to (Family Name)78 days ago, but I haven't heard from him since. I'm worried." I was convinced all of these IMs were coming from the first guy, but I couldn't figure out how. Now I know. AIM 5.5 offers Screen Name Linking. You can create several screen names and be logged into all of them simultaneously. But what is this "service" besides a tool for duplicitous IMing? Who is this helping besides people who want to be sneaky and/or irritating? While mg berlinpak's IMs have been entertaining me all week, getting duped is one of my least favorite activities. D+ -- Aileen Gallagher
GOING BACK TO WORK AFTER MATERNITY LEAVE: OK, preach all you want about stay at home moms having the toughest job, but I secretly think my maternity leave rocked. Home, yet being paid like I was still schlepping around work. Awesome. Now I am back, and the questions begin: "Are you happy to be back?" "Do you miss your baby?" Honestly, are there stupider questions? Is anyone happy to be back at work? Even if you were unemployed and homeless for years, surely you still hear the alarm go off that first day of work and think "fuck, eating out of trash cans wasn't THAT bad, at least I could sleep in." And do I miss my child? No, I really never cared for the little thing. She's quite demanding, so I enjoy letting other people raise her. Of course I miss her, now mainly for the fact that, at a month old, she is smarter than to ask dumbass questions like that. After the long, lovely tease of Maternity Leave, coming back to work is a vicious slap in the face. F -- Jen Flynn
ASHLEE SIMPSON'S TV EXTRAVAGANZA: The fact that MTV is shamelessly trying to extend and exploit the popularity of doe-eyed hottie Jessica Simpson by giving her little sister a similar show is not the point; that's goddamned blatantly obvious. The point, friends, is that they could have at LEAST tried to drug her in some way to make it somewhat of a challenge to see how very awfully hard she's trying to seem interesting, fluffy and engaging. Instead we are subjected to painful "attempts" at mopping, and staged scenes of how much she loves her slacker-actor boyfriend as she literally STICKS HER HEAD into the book he's trying to better himself with. I couldn't even make it to the first batch of commercials; by then I knew there could be no God in such a world as this. Jessica Simpson is watchable mainly because she's so damned easy on the eyes; she's a beautiful twit. I'm-not-going-to-conform-to-society's-views-of-beauty-and-get-a-nose-job-Ashlee doesn't even have that going for her; she's a cloying cipher, and MTV has proven once again that if you want to destroy the fabric of human intelligence and dignity, there is no other channel you should turn to. F -- Bruce Kitun
ABUSE OF OFFICE MEN'S ROOM URINAL POLICY: It's common knowledge that at your place of business, the middle urinal in a three-urinal men's room is only to be used in dire emergencies -- if the stalls are full and at a time when your bladder is pressing tightly against your waist. This is the only time a middle urinal can be occupied; it would not be unprecedented for another guy to apologize to his two urinal wingmen when he saddles up seven inches away from them to piss. It's all about personal space -- you always give away as much room as possible. Every now and again, though, you'll have the odd duck who inexplicably takes the middle urinal when both other urinals are unoccupied. It's usually that weird foreign computer programmer guy who wears the giant glasses and carries a messenger bag affixed with the company logo that was given to employees at a Christmas party in 1998 (the only reason you know this is because the bag says "Thomson Financial Christmas Party 1998" right above the zipper pouch on the back). This leaves no options open for the next in line. You're forced to either go to the stall or wash your hands until Peja is done his abnormally long piss, adjusts his plastic belt and dabs his hair before stepping away from the urinal to then go brush his teeth in the sink. Next time you see Peja do this, it's perfectly acceptable to grab him by the back of the belt and violently pull him away from the urinal. The man has to learn. D -- A.J. Daulerio
PASSING NOTES: After finding out that a certain major auto manufacturer's IT department prints out Every Single Email anyone in the company sends or receives, I no longer feel secure writing bitchy long-winded e-letters about my coworkers to my friend across the aisle. What if Barbara found out I have been comparing her to the cartoon character Cathy? What if the weight loss club found out I've been messing with their dry-erase board statistics? And what if management found out that I actually did little or no work during the eight hours I am in the office? I'm going to start a new trend for the cutting edge paranoid: passing notes. Just write it on a piece of paper (don't type it they have keystroke capture!), wad it up and casually toss it over your neighbor's cubicle wall. And Irv will never have to find out just how irritating his constant sinus problems are. A -- Elise
THE CROWD AT LAST FRIDAY'S FRANZ FERDINAND SHOW: Oh come on, Williamsburg. When did being a stylish little hipster preclude dancing? It was Franz Ferdinand, for chrissakes. The club got its show permit renewed less than 48 hours beforehand; it was one of the most anticipated concerts of the summer, it was hot and sweaty and late... and the Hipster Nation stood around like a fucking undertaker convention while the band played an amazing set. The guy behind me actually said these words: "Could you stop dancing? You're crowding my girlfriend." Then maybe you should put her back in her pretty glass cabinet, Antoine, because this was supposed to be a rock show. It's not like I was flailing around like an epileptic. But I guess any movement whatsoever was frowned upon, as the crowd looked more like a gently swaying field of corn, firmly rooted in place. I'm sure the band will be happy to avoid our neck of the woods next time around. Way to go, you boring twats. F -- Jason Persse
THE TERMINAL: You know how Phil Jackson said the Lakers "wasted" that incredible performance by Shaq in Game Four of the NBA Finals, when they lost even though he scored 35 points, had 20 boards and was completely dominant? The Terminal, and Steven Spielberg's command (or lack thereof) of it is like that. Tom Hanks will never be better than he is here. He avoids any kind of cuteness or easy moves; his Victor Navorski is smart, tough and completely alert. So give him the ball! But no. We get pointless, endless subplots, fuzzy supporting characters who switch allegiances at a moment's notice and an ending that just kind of peters out. It's similar to Spielberg's last movie, Catch Me If You Can; it just never fires up the way the great ones do. It's pleasant and warm and could have been so much more. And now it's Hanks' second straight box office flop. Nothing's fair. B -- Will Leitch
ROOMMATES STEALING MY PAINKILLERS: For legitimate reasons -- a ferocious toothache that later blossomed into a dreaded root canal -- I found myself in ownership of a deep supply of hydrocodone. (That's Vicodin, Eminem fans.) And big guns too; 500 mg tablets to ensure a nice long ride. I planned to endure the pain of my recovery organically, so to save the pills for when I could really enjoy them later as party favors or aphrodisiacs. But one of my snooping bastard addict roommates beat me to the punch, somehow discovering the treasure buried deep in my underwear dresser. And the worst part is the fuck tried to fool me by replacing the pills he'd taken with little pebbles. F -- Bobbi Gula
STOPPING DOOR-TO-DOOR JESUS FREAKS IN THEIR TRACKS: In some parts of the country, selling Jesus door-to-door is still very big. On steamy summer Sundays in Southern towns, God-fearing men and women wander the streets in suits and ties and dresses, ringing doorbells and hoping to find someone lonely, senile or unsaved at home. They ring strangers' doorbells because apparently Jesus, and not a .45, will protect them from the freaks that might live on the other side. I follow them up my block and love their look of blissful certainty as I open my door. I wait for them to smile and ask if I've accepted Jesus as my personal Savior. Then I calmly say: I'm Catholic! And the Baptists' faces fall like they've just felt the chill of the Devil's handshake as they do one unholy skuttle back off the porch. Call me mean, call me damned, but that's entertainment. A -- Deanna Larson
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