|THE BLACK LIST: HEH, YEAH, MAN. WE SO TOTALLY HAVE AN RSS FEED.|
|By The Black Table|
Valentine's Day is over, which is good, because those little chalk heart candy things will be down to 30 cents a bag at Duane Reade. Plus, it allows us to get ready for St. Patrick's Day, but there we go again, The Black Table just encouraging rampant drinking and tomfoolery. Sorry about that.
The Black Table was at a party the other night when someone stopped us.
Person: "Hey, you're one of The Black Table editors, right?"
BT: "Yes. Yes, we are. Well, I am. Well you get the point."
Person: "Why don't you have an RSS feed?"
BT: "I don't know what that is."
Person: "An RSS feed. We always forget to check your site because you don't have an RSS feed."
BT: "Hey, that's a nice outfit."
Person: "Thanks. It's the exact model Spock wore in Episode 42, when he and Kirk battled on the moon of Dlazidor."
That is to say, we're sorry, but The Black Table has no RSS feed. We used to have an RSS feed, but none of us use them, because none of us are complete nerds. We looked at the RSS feed page and said, "All those brackets are giving us a headache," so we got rid of them, and we're sorry, but it ain't that darned hard to check out a URL once a week. Sorry. Live long and prosper, though.
We have 10 reviews this week, per usual. The link on the right is the ticket to ride. (We've used that line before. We don't care. It's the day after Valentine's Day, and we're still in a lousy mood.)
FINDING A PORTABLE TOILET IN THE MIDDLE OF MANHATTAN: Walking briskly along 23rd Street on the way to do some needed shopping at Home Depot, I realized that I was way off in timing my last drink of water at work. Nature was calling on me to void the contents of my bladder, and fast. Involuntarily I went into search mode: I walked as fast and gingerly as my heavy frame would allow as my eyes darted about and my mind quickly calculated the probability of finding refuge in the various stores within walking range. As my mind ran though the various horror scenarios that ranged from wetting myself to getting arrested for indecent exposure, an oasis appeared in the form of a portable toilet right there on the sidewalk. Could my eyes be deceiving me? No. With delight, I used the portable toilet and
completed my journey in comfort. It is a rare thing to find a portable toilet on the middle of a Manhattan sidewalk. Maybe it was put there as a place for anonymous gay sex (this was in Chelsea, after all); maybe a construction crew forgot to take it with them a few weeks back; or an eccentric millionaire who has suffered these same travails of the bladder left it there so others could find relief. Either way, it's a win-win situation for everyone. Thank you, anonymous portable toilet donor. Having a legal place to piss in Manhattan is more valuable than gold. A -- Matthew Sheahan
BLACK MONDAY SINGLENESS: Back in the day, I was a torn-tight-hoodie-wearing teenager who hated Valentine's Day with all of my girly, pseudo-Stephen Dedalus-ish heart. My friends were all single, and we crushed those nasty-ass candy hearts under our feet in the halls of our high school and sneered at kids who received carnations from their significant others. Suddenly, as we approach the end of our collegiate years, all of my old friends are in love and giddy with plans for "Black Monday," also known as this year's edition of February 14. I am still single. I don't want someone to buy me flowers or send me a fucking custom-made teddy bear. I just want everyone I know to be miserable and jealous and fifteen again. Singleness: A. Nostalgia: D. -- Mara
ONG BAK: Or, as I like to call it, Jackie Chan Van Damme in the City of God. An unexpectedly entertaining antidote to last year's lush wire-fu epics, this modern-day Thai kick fest is an enjoyable variation on the revenge B-movie. Young country bumpkin Ting must travel to big bad Bangkok when his village's sacred statue, Ong-Bak, has its head cut off (a la Jebediah Springfield). Once there, he hooks up with a former villager who has become an inept wannabe gangsta and con man (played by Thailand's answer to Rob Schneider) to rescue the head from a bad guy who smokes through his tracheotomy hole. If none of this sounds exciting enough, there's also lots of knees to skulls, some hot tuk-tuk chases, and, amazingly, no romantic sub-plot (or ladyboys). B+ -- Patrick Cadigan
NARROWLY ESCAPING GROUP PRAYER AT WORK: Tip-toeing into my suburban Georgia workplace the usual 10 minutes late, I notice at least five of my coworkers all teary-eyed standing around the accountant's office. I ask, "What's wrong, guys?" Southern Baptist Peggy answers, "Oh, sugar, I'm so sorry we started without you -- we thought you weren't coming in today. We were having group prayer for Kim's daughter." (Seriously, Peggy's screensaver really says "Jesus, I'm so in love with you.") Being that my coworkers already think I'm destined to burn in Hell since I'm unwed and live with (gasp!) my boyfriend in the godless city of Atlanta -- where apparently the homosexuals run rampant, screwing in the streets while basking in the warm glow of burning Bibles -- I didn't want to seem like too much of an atheist. So I say, smiling with a forced glimmer of disappointment in my eyes, "Oh darn. Well, that's OK. I can always pray for Samantha myself." Being stuck in traffic and narrowly escaping the torment of pretending to be a "good Christian": B- (only because now I have to worry that an opportunity for another group prayer session could arise at any moment). -- Keely
GETTING YOUR ASHES THE WRONG WAY: After Ash Wednesday Mass last week, I headed downstairs to the lower church to get my ashes. It was pretty crowded, and both friars and laypeople were administering the ashes. I walk up to a guy in a suit and readied myself to hear what I've heard for about 20 years: "Remember man, you are dust and to dust you shall return." Instead, I heard: "Avoid sin and live according to the Bible." I'm sorry; what? What did you just say to me? One of the simultaneously best and worst things about the Church is that it never changes. The prayers are always the same. The Mass is always the same. It is tradition. Anything different is wrong. I confusedly responded "Amen," because that's always a safe bet. But I walked out wondering what just happened. Since when does the Church talk about the Bible? Did some Baptist sneak in here? I was not so much upset as bewildered. It was akin to going in for the handshake and instead getting a slap in the face. I'm not sure what all this means, but I hope Jesus still rises on Easter Sunday. It would suck if they started fooling with that one. Oh, and to the guy at the post office who told me, "Hey, you've got some dirt on your head": You're an idiot. C- -- Aileen Gallagher
ANNOYING STRANGERS WHO ASK "SO, WHEN ARE YOU GETTING MARRIED?" Single drunk skanks like nothing better than to bother you at parties with this line. Yes, we've been together for a couple of years, but I don't ask you what the name was of the drunk idiot you spread your legs for last night for the same reason you shouldn't ask me this one. It's amazing how we don't feel pressure between the two of us, yet are made to feel like lepers by those whose main flings are Jim Beam and Johnny Walker, like we're not adhering to some unwritten social timetable. Those who know how to make something work quietly do, while those who will end up alone with a house reeking of cat piss feel the need to badger you about it at parties. D- -- Ian
TEACHING FOREIGN CO-WORKERS THE WORD "DOUCHEBAG:" You used to work for a cool little creative company, just a bunch of crazy kids riding the wave of technology. Then you got bought out by that big conglomerate, and now you have a bunch of corporate Dilbert dweebs looking over your shoulder, hectoring you to dress more like a bankteller, monitoring your "language." The term douchebag rages back into your consciousness, since there really is no other way to describe these people. Then you walk in one morning to bum a smoke from your hilarious Japanese buddy, and she says "Your English is better. Explain to him what is a douchebag." She points at the Taiwanese programmer, who looks really curious. Uh ... well ... back in the day they tried to convince women they smelled bad, and ... yes, I literally had to explain the whole thing. But was it worth it to see their faces light up at how PERRRRFECTLY this describes our new corporate overlords? Hell yes. A -- A-Lo
TOM SIZEMORE: What can I say, Tom? It's too bad you don't have any good catchphrases, or you could be the next Rick James, bitch. Work with Spielberg and Hanks, Oliver Stone (twice) and a hilarious buddy cop role opposite Chris Penn in True Romance things were looking up. Boy, has it been a long way (Black Hawk) down: the awful Mel Gibson revenge production Paparazzi, followed by getting sent upriver for meth-addled beatings of Ms. Fleiss. But I still had hope you could pull off that piss test using a urine filled, self-heated prosthetic called the whizinator sewn into your boxers. I guess not. "Methamphetamine's a hell of a drug." C- -- fox
TAKE POSITIONS BEFORE BREAKING NEWS EXPLOSION: The irregular rhythm that is my day job is rarely punctuated by any sort of momentary joy or befuddlement, so when I get an e-mail that's titled "Take positions before breaking news explosion," I stop all engines. Who the hell writes these spam subject lines? They are far better than the actual e-mail content, and I gather that attempts made to thwart our spam filters take measures that actually require some creativity. My sombrero tips to you, shadowy spam subject line person, I aspire to your absolute disregard for grammatical continuity. B- -- JD Stone
SETTING YOUR WATCH BY THE SOUND OF SOMEONE ELSE VOMITING: So I graduated, got a decent job and moved into an apartment in the city. All is well. This lasts about 12 hrs, until I wake up after spending my first night in my new digs ... to the sound of my upstairs neighbor wretching and vomiting. I curse the paper-thin walls and hope that the guy gets better ... until he does it again the next day ... and the next ... and the next ... and every friggin' day of my life since I moved. Every morning he's there over his toilet at about five minutes after 7, right as I'm opening my eyes to start the day. Either the guy is bulimic and extremely OCD, or he's on a rigid chemo schedule. Either way, my Catholic guilt has not yet allowed me to scream back thru the vents for him to shut the hell up, or at least mix things up a little by waiting till AFTER my alarm rings to purge his breakfast. Anally Consistent Vomiters of the World, I hate you: F- -- MKB
Each and every week, Black Table readers like you write the Black List and get absolutely nothing in return. Ain't that some shit.