|THE BLACK LIST: FIRST AND TEN REVIEWS TO TACKLE.|
|By The Black Table|
It's Super Bowl Week, which means that the East Coast will be revving up to watch their home area teams Philadelphia and New England play, and the rest of the planet will be watching the commercials. (As always, The Black Table highly recommends you check out our friends at Flak for their real-time commentary on the ads, a yearly joy.) Rest assured, we will see no nudity at halftime -- though we'd love to see Paul McCartney buck-naked, we won't lie -- but hey, the Grammys are coming up soon, so we'll wait for that.
We have 10 reviews this week. That ain't bad. But we'd love more! Use the box on the right, it'll make you happy, promise.
NY TIMES' "NUP-AYOLA:" As part of a couple who submitted a Times Sunday Styles wedding announcement, only to find ourselves shut out on our wedding day, I strongly considered taking advantage of the new paid-announcement policy and announcing my nuptials ... four months later. The logic remains the same as when I originally submitted -- hell, why anyone submits -- Narcissism. To shatter your exes. To inspire loathing from people who don't know you. To have something to hang on the fridge. Paying for a bride can be socially awkward; paying for the wedding announcement is something to showcase to the world. Times Styles wedding-announcement placement: A-. Paying for it: C. -- Dan Shanoff
FINDING OUT YOUR FAVORITE BASEBALL PLAYER IS A REPUBLICAN: It's not like you would expect millionaires to be to be bleeding heart liberals, but to hear that your favorite pitcher, the young, handsome and prodigiously talented Mark Prior is a card-carrying member of the Republican party totally kills what's left of your hetero man-crush. On the other hand, this guy is three years younger than you, makes $7 million a year and is up to his neck in pussy; convincing yourself that you are a better person than he is because you don't hate fags is an important way to salvage a shred of self-esteem. And now you find out that he is a representative for the players' union as well. So he is a pro-union millionaire to love and hate and love all over again. Only in America! D+ -- Patrick
DIET CHERRY VANILLA DR. PEPPER: I'm sorry, did someone ask for this? Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper is more fun to say than to drink. Its name had to be shrunk to six-point type just to fit on the label, yet with each added word, something is lost. Let's parse it line-by-line. Dr Pepper: a weird yet enjoyable icon of southern pop culture. Vanilla: Good as an ice cream flavor or a
candle scent, but only fair in a fruity soft drink. Cherry: Just wild enough to cancel out the vanilla. Diet: Adds the rancid taste of artificial sweetener. It's all too much. This drink needs an editor. C+ -- Daryl Lang
WATCHING WOMEN GO OVER MEN'S MATCH.COM DATING PROFILES: Gentlemen,
if you want to participate in an exercise that will cause you to lose
all hope that you or anyone else will have a chance at happiness, witness
two women go over men's profiles on Match.com. Believe me, this is something
you do not want to see with your own two eyes. Here's some of the insults
I heard hurled at a lot of well-meaning guys that decided to look for
love online: "He's got a fivehead!" "This guy looks like
a dope!" "What the hell was he thinking with that picture?"
Oh, along with mock-retarded sounding hoots of "Hi!" and "Duh!",
among other catty witticisms. After about an hour of playing along with
these gals, I had to move to the couch and lie down in the fetal position,
depressed that somewhere there are groups of women doing the same thing
to the picture I have online. I always say that it's a miracle that anyone
ever gets together. Now I have proof. F -- Joel
ERRORS IN REJECTION LETTERS: A hint to all editors out there: If you're going to have brass ones big enough to turn down someone's work, you'd best bring the skills to back it up. For example: If you're sending out form emails with sentences like this: "we wish you the best of luck in place it elsewhere" (from the text of an actual letter), you're just daring the recipient to send a snide, condescending response or obscenity-laden tirade. While your approach may do wonders in restoring the recipient's confidence in his/her writing abilities and reassuring them that submitting to your publication was a bad idea in the first place, failure to do simple things like, oh, conjugate verbs does little for your stature as vanguard of the English language. Do yourself a favor -- shut off the SpellCheck, reread your own writing, crack a dictionary every so often and DO SOME ACTUAL EDITING. And while you've got the Webster's handy, look up "fucktard" and see if it adequately describes you. Wouldn't want to get another letter. F -- Jason Notte
PEST ACTIVISM: Like any old school Austinite, I was raised on nature burgers and foul carob-chip cookies. My dad's roommate was not only pseudo-Hindu, but also diabetic and lactose intolerant, which meant that my school lunches straight up sucked. It also meant that mousetraps were out. As an adult, I devour raw steak and Krispy Kreme éclairs, but I cannot fucking bring myself to buy a real mousetrap. So I tried to stay in denial when I heard suspicious noises behind the stove. New York radiators are loud. And didn't I spill some loose tea over there by the trashcan? But when I walked in on three goddamn rodents frolicking on the kitchen floor in broad daylight, the delusion had to end. With nightmares of tiny spines snapping loudly and miniature guts spilling onto balsa wood, I bought four catch-and-release traps. My organic bait was all too successful. As I gently placed four scratching, squirming little boxes in a whole foods bag, I cursed my filthy hippie roots. For god's sake, no one needs to know firsthand that mice actually squeak! Saving the whales is bad enough, but carting four plague-ridden beasts to freedom in the wilds of Central Park gets an F. -- Jenny Rhodes
"WE HAVE A SPILL:" I hate carpooling with strangers in the morning, because I hate answering small-talky questions before I've had enough coffee. But she hops in, and within the first 30 seconds, I know she's the type of woman who talks to everyone like they're a child: "Boy, are we cold this morning?" And: "But I do like the brisk. Don't you?" I need a rapid coffee infusion, and since I drive a stick Volkswagon Jetta with teeny Euro cupholders that back away from my big brute of a coffee thermos, I have to wedge my thermos between my legs. I raise my thermos to my lips at the same instant I hit a pothole. Which is typical; everybody spills coffee on their shirt or pants. Except the lid comes off, and it deluges my face, and because I use that fakey plastic-based creamer, the spill renders both lenses of my glasses nearly opaque. Suddenly the traffic lights in front of us look like giant spurting headless things. Unbelievably, she says: "Oh, we have a spill." If this were "Pulp Fiction," I would just shoot her right there. Instead, I say, "Uh, could you please reach me a Kleenex out of that packet in here somewhere, like maybe under your seat?" I swab my glasses off best I can and kept driving through the distorted world while the person behind me blows her horn at me for being too slow. People who inappropriately use plural pronouns early in the morning while riding in Volkswagons with teeny Euro cupholders: F -- Susan Kim
ABOMINABLE SMOKERS: The bar where I bartend in the afternoons was one of the handful of dives open during the blizzard, and the drunks came out in droves. I had the pleasure of standing guard over the door all Saturday night, and I caught a phenomenon which any MIT genetics geek would have drooled over: Abominable smokers. Kids stepping out into one foot drifts of snow to drag a Parliment for a puff. I'm not talking a drag or two; five to eight minutes of chatting, saying "fuck, it's cold" over and over and generally making a bloody mess for me to clean up at the end of the night. Then they'd walk back in, the underwear model in a sleeveless top, the guy with the Morrissey hair, totally covered in white powder. In 50 years, they'll be a genetic mutation, and these smokers kids will be impervious to adverse cold. Put a fucking hat on, you idiots, and give me my lighter back. C- -- JD Stone
SHARING SECRETS WITH YOUR BOYFRIEND: It seemed like a good idea -- it's your first real relationship, after all, and you think he should know about fun things like your deathly fear of identity theft, your incredulity regarding evolution, that you and your mom pretend your cat can talk, so on. But then those secrets inevitably lead to something else -- he thinks he should share too. So one night you're making out for a while, and he says "So I have something I can share too," and you get a little excited, hoping maybe to level the playing field, crazy-wise. And then he says, "When I was a kid, I used to use my dog when I masturbated." You wish that you'd remembered, and that he'd adhered to, the age-old adage: Silence is golden. D -- MC
Each and every week, Black Table readers like you write the Black List and get absolutely nothing in return. Ain't that some shit.