|THE BLACK LIST: HOORAY FOR DAYTIME TELEVISION!|
|By The Black Table|
The first award The Black Table ever won was a perfect attendance award. It was blue, and round, with little bows surrounding -- it looked like something given to the prize pig at the county fair. But we were so proud, and so were our parents: Perfect attendance meant they hadn't had to deal with you, like, all year.
But on Monday, The Black Table was home sick from work. Seasonal flu, sinus, allergies we were waylaid with a smorgasboard of maladies. (Okay, it was President's Day, too.) So we laid on the couch and put a cold rag on our head, waiting for the demons to pass. Unfortunately, cable television was not the balm we were hoping for. It's 12:30 p.m. Here's what's on:
TNT -- "Judging Amy." Honestly, is there anyone fatter than
Sigh. Forget it. We're going back to bed.
This week, we have 10 happy reviews. We love to have more, some more, so use the form on the right to play with us next week.
THE DEATH OF HOCKEY: Before any of you piddling pissants continue piling on after the demise of the NHL season, let me put you wise to a few things. 1) Despite what the cleft assholes over at the New England Sports Propaganda Machine (ESPN) tell you, people DO care about hockey. Do they care about it in Nashville, Carolina, Columbus or in any or anywhere else that doesn't experience winter? FUCK NO! They love it in New York, Jersey, Philly, Detroit, Minnesota, Pittsburgh and Boston. 2) Non-hockey fans have never experienced true misery. I don't give one gee-golly goddamn if your team hasn't won a World Series in a century or so, every summer it plays when the sun is shining, the grass is green and the scents of hot dogs and Georgia O'Keefe flowers fill the air. When the sky turns to slate, the snow piles up, the SADs kick in and people are drinking themselves into slow suicide --
THAT's hockey season. Try going on a Stanley Cup drought. It's like having pubic hair removed with a pair of rusty pliers every year. 3) You're telling me that people making right turns (NASCAR), three hours of ball-sack adjustment (baseball), rush-hour traffic on turf (football) and a game that's worthless until the last minute and a half (basketball) are better to watch live than guys whaling the shit out of each other for an hour and a half and shooting frozen projectiles at each other at upwards of 100 mph? Fuck that, fuck Bettman, fuck Goodenow, fuck the owners, fuck Jaromir Jagr. And fuck you for thinking otherwise. Don't make me fit you for dentures, son. F -- Jason Notte
GETTING SNUBBED ON VALENTINE'S NIGHT: The timing was perfect: I had been anticipating another Valentine's Day sans man, but as luck would have it, I found a beautiful single guy and a bed two days before the big day. Four orgasms and some decent conversation later, I was fairly confident I would get something from in the next few days. And by something, I mean anything: phone call, email, text message, some form of acknowledgement. With the Morning After Pill in my system and my hormones through the roof, I set out with a few friends on that God-forsaken night. Lo and behold, I see him. Sweet: Here's my chance to break through the awkward layer of ice. Fuck: He looks at me, turns his adorable head away and proceeds to blatantly ignore me. F -- Patricia
THE OVERZEALOUS SECURITY GUARDS IN MY OFFICE BUILDING'S LOBBY: Someone forgot to tell these rent-a-cops that safety is not necessarily achieved by acting like the bouncers at Bungalow 8. They seem to enjoy hassling every temp worker and visitor reporting for a visit. It was OK the first time, when I showed up out of nowhere and asked to report to the 5th floor for a temp assignment. But it's unreasonable to need to call upstairs EVERY SINGLE DAY going forward to confirm my full name, my company's name, my supervisor's name, my department, my staffing agency, my supervisor at the staffing agency, etc. Hey, dude, I told you yesterday, and every day for the last SIX WEEKS that I would be here for a while -- learn some pattern recognition. Plus, no need to act self-righteous in a way that makes an airport screening seem like a wink and a smile. Now I purposely fuck with them each morning and say a long string of made-up words for them to "verify" with the client's secretary (and sound like idiots doing it). Today, I got up to 38 gobbledygook words that they tried to confirm before they let me upstairs. I'm trying to break 50 by the end of the week. A- -- Brian Van
THAT LITTLE PAUSE BEFORE THE TELEMARKETER STARTS TALKING: I know perfectly nice people who, because of the twists and turns that life takes sometimes, ended up as telemarketers. And I feel for them. I really do. The same way I feel for people who are forced to work as contract killers for the mob because their families are being held hostage by New Jersey gangsters at gunpoint. (This may or may not only happen in Bruce Willis movies.) So, because I feel for the telemarketer man, I feel bad when I curse them out for calling when "Veronica Mars" is on. But when the phone rings, you answer, and you hear that little bit of dead air between the time when the computer realizes you've picked up the phone and the telemarketer can start talking, you can slam the phone down with no hard feelings, with the knowledge that I'm not wasting their time because I'm never, ever going to buy anything from a fucking telemarketer. We all win. B+ -- Matt Sullivan
ANYTHING BEING DECLARED "THE NEW BLACK:" White was the
new black 10 years ago. Fine. Then it was gray. Whatever.
COMMERCIALS ON VH-1 CLASSIC: It used to be one of the best-kept secrets on cable: a music network that not only showed actual music videos, but did so without selling me things (aside from the occasional commercials for itself). It was a bonus that the only videos they showed were from the past. It was my favorite channel. Whatever else I happened to be watching, a commercial break sent me straight to channel 177, and sometimes I wouldn't even come back. Last night, when I watched the excellent video for Cracker's "Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now)" followed immediately by a Toyota Avalon commercial, I gained a sense of how the Cherokees must have felt when they saw the first Europeans show up -- a feeling best expressed by Bruce Dickinson in Iron Maiden's "Run to the Hills", a VH-1 Classic staple. Shouldn't be too long now before "the Classic" is infested by terrible fake "reality" shows and 23 hours of hip-hop countdowns. The Beginning of the End: F -- H. Tipton
OVALTINE: You know the drill. You're watching TV, and this commercial appears. Several urchins are gathered in a suburban backyard, when another moppet runs up to the group and announces breathlessly: "Mom is making rich, chocolately Ovaltine!" On hearing this, the other children all gasp in unison, drop what they're doing and dash toward the house in a panicked frenzy equaled only in history by the Persian retreat at Gaugamela. In the kitchen, the Stepford Mom is pouring large glasses of brown liquid as the kids line up. But does she simply hand them the drinks? No -- first must come the taunting. "Who wants Ovaltine?" she asks in mock sincerity, knowing full well the answer. The children, hopped up on adrenaline and suffering from sugar withdrawal, would sacrifice a baby goat on the countertop for a glass at this point. So they plead with her to give them a taste of the flavored milk. "We do!" they cry, licking their lips in cartoon fashion. But of course, as any pusher knows, o!ne taste is never enough. "More Ovaltine, please!" To them it seems the nectar of the Gods. Those watching the lurid display on TV in other lands can come to only one conclusion: In America, freedom comes in a circular can, and true happiness dissolves in milk. The Cult of Ovaltine: D -- Rick Chandler
EXCRETION PROCEDURES WITH YOUR BOYFRIEND IN THE NEXT ROOM: You're a very private person. You don't believe in using public restrooms, and you run water when using the bathroom in your apartment-even if you're the only one home. There's a boyfriend, and you have a vague awareness he poops-sometimes he and the Times Sports section disappear into the bathroom for a few minutes. But despite spending weeks at a time together, your own potty issues had not yet presented a problem. There was always a moment when he went on a diet soda run, a moment when he took a smoke break on your roof. This morning, when you felt the urge, however, there was a full two-liter of diet soda in fridge and there was a snowstorm--no break was in the foreseeable future. After some soul searching and inner panic, you figured he was a mature human being. And with little fanfare you slipped down the hall to the bathroom. You didn't think your return was the kind of thing to warrant a conversation. So imagine your unadulterated horror when he greeted you with as smile and a stopwatch. "Nine minutes and fifty-two seconds," he said. "That's how long you were in the bathroom. Good work!" F -- Shari Goldhagen
BAPTIST FUNERALS: Tight-assed white agnostics like me rarely get a chance to sample the various ceremonies from the assorted religious organizations in this country, but when I do, I usually have the same opinion: awful. Jewish ceremonies are too solemn, Episcopalian services are too bland, Catholic services are too boring, Unitarian services are too hippie. But visit a Baptist church, and my goodness, you're in for a party. I had to go to a funeral for a former co-worker of mine, who happened to go to a Baptist church with an African-American congregation. A somber ceremony in most houses of worship, the Baptist funeral consisted of a band, a choir singing upbeat inspirational songs about "going to a place where no one ever dies" and multiple preachers that started softly and then stoked up the congregation into a frenzy with talk of "going home." Although I think what most of what they were saying was malarkey, I admired the positive vibe projected throughout, to the point where I fleetingly thought of joining (well, not really). So, even though the experience was an F for my co-worker (he *was* dead, after all), it was an A for me. -- Joel Keller
MOVING TO THE 'EFFING BURBS: What we were we thinking when we packed up all of our belongings and headed out of the civilized world to this wilderness, where each passing car makes a whoosh of loneliness as it goes by? The new house has lead paint in every single room, flaking and crumbling onto the floor, where the newborn eats it up like it's organic apricots. What use will we have for the award-winning schools when he's retarded from eating the walls? I ask you. You have nothing to say. No one does. I am alone. F -- Carey
Each and every week, Black Table readers like you write the Black List and get absolutely nothing in return. Ain't that some shit.