|THE BLACK LIST: WHICH KIND OF MESS IS REALLY THE BEST?|
|By The Black Table|
We've had an ongoing debate with our roommate. Which is a greater offense: The clutter of stray clothes lying around the floor, or the gathering of dust and occasional specks of food that might linger around the edges of the sink? It's a tough question: One is easier to clean and take care of (and therefore shouldn't be so damned hard), yet the other will bring bugs and other undesirables.
Which brings us to this: We're watching John Mayer on television right now. He's telling us how affected he was by Hurricane Katrina. We think we might want to punch John Mayer in the face right now.
We've got 10 reviews, but it's a tight fit: Use the form on the right to send us more, please. Thanks!
SMALL CHILDREN AND SIGNS: Every year, we get evangelized. A preacher descends from on high to stand on the public art in the square and scream at passing sinners. "Homosexuality is a sin! Evolution is a lie!" Both the preacher and his hecklers are old hat by now. What's new this year is the four-year-old girl holding the sign that says "FEAR GOD" in big, flaming letters. She is a little pink jogging suit with something white and fluffy on the front and a belief that most of the people in front of her will burn in eternal damnation. I walk over and talk to her. Her name is Maria, and her favorite color is green. Before I can ask about the shirt, the big guy with the "REPENT NOW" sign (a Bouncer for Christ?) chases me away. Toddlers preaching hate: F. Learning that her favorite color is green, too: A -- JD
FRIENDLY NEXT DOOR NEIGHBORS WHO ARE ACTUALLY PSYCHOS: Everyone says you never meet your neighbors in New York. So imagine how thrilled I was to discover that the girl living across the hall from my new apartment was not merely polite, but downright friendly. In fact, she came over the first day I moved in, introduced herself and suggested we go out some time soon for a drink. Time passed, and I said hello to her in the stairwell, but never got around to that drink. I was busy. And hey, it's not like we're dating. There's no way she'd feel, say, rejected, right? Wrongo-bongo! Three weeks after I moved in, she stopped saying hi. Soon after that, she began to glare. Two months after I moved in, she started pounding on the door whenever I so much as turned on my stereo, despite running her TV at top volume 24 hours a day and (apparently) torturing her poor dog with a curling iron until it cried day and night. Now I am
so terrified of Psycho Next-Door Neighbor that I actually look through my peephole before I leave my apartment, as I would rather run into the junkie who lives on my steps than her. You say New Yorkers are unfriendly? Man, I wish. F -- Jen Hubley
MRFNA THE STRIPPER: I always have a nervous sense of wonderment any time I enter a strip club: Yes, there's an understanding that these women are not there for you to date them; they're there to take your money. Obviously. But what if there is the slightest chance that one of these women would actually climb off the stage and run away with you right from the bar? I've been so great about being thrifty at strip clubs, even developing a stock answer for those who come up and offer me a table dance: "Not right now, I just had diarrhea." Great way to keep them away from you all night. However, this past weekend, while in the midst of a bachelor party, I was almost fleeced of all my money by a woman named "Mrfna" (it was loud and I'm part deaf, so that's what it sounded like). She was one of the most stunning people I'd ever seen in my life, let alone in a strip club, and there she was: naked. For $400, I could go to the champagne room with her. I was tempted -- given that Mrfna was so exotic, so charming, so aesthetically perfect that I was this close to not only offering her my life savings, but also willing to rob banks, mug old ladies or even take a beating from one of the Mac Truck-sized bouncers just to grab her face and kiss her. But I didn't. Instead, I left the club, went to Denny's and instead decided to spend $400 on Pearl Jam tickets in Atlantic City. I'm sorry Mrfna. We could've walked through this crazy world together. B+ -- A.J. Daulerio
WORD VERIFICATION: So you've just left a nasty little rant on someone's blog or Web site, and in order to post anonymously, you have to copy, into a field, a series of "Word Verification" letters in order to "prove you're a real person and not a robot. Well, there is no key on a real person's keyboard that looks like a giant "K" crossed over a lowercase "V". There is no person who finds it easy to reach the little-used "x" key on the typewriter, so why is it in every single code? And why did one of my "Word Verification" words just have "SEC" in it? I didn't have any information whatsoever when I made that trade. Hey, just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean someone's not following you. XvyiQX -- Caren Lissner
THE CHANGING OF THE FRUIT: I pick up a piece of fruit everyday with my lunch, and summer provides a delicious lunch break. Nectarines, plums, strawberries, peaches, etc. etc. The fruit looks so beautiful in its bins, promising a little vacation to an exotic locale even when you're trapped behind a desk getting carpal tunnel. As the days shorten, so does the summer fruit season. With modern shipping technology, we can hangout in summer harvest land for a week or so past its prime. Get halfway through September, though, and we can't even fake it anymore. At the regular lunch place yesterday, bins of juicy, dribbling fruit was replaced entirely by apples. Macintosh, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith: a whole orchard full of the damn things. Now while these apples were so shiny they could score a leading movie role, it just wasn't the same. I picked up a Granny Smith with a resigned sigh. Life just won't be as tasty for the next nine months. B- -- Aileen Gallagher
NYC DMV: Growing up in the Midwest, you become accustomed to sucky service. ("You mean you wanted everyone's entrée to come out at the same time?") To make matters worse, everyone is really friendly when they're fucking around on your time; "So does this Midol really work, because I need something stronger than Advil when I get really bad cramps." Come on people, just bring out my freaking TGI Friday food and put my period products in the bag. Getting a driver's license renewed in Columbus, Ohio is nothing short of epic. Forget about the DMV as a lunchtime errand; this is a three-hour adventure, where you're hoarded through roped off lines rivaling those at Marquee. By the time you make it to the woman who tells you that you've filled out the wrong form and need proof of residency -- not your birth passport -- you've usually forgotten what you were there for in the first place. As for air conditioning ah the sweltering heat makes you tough! A ladies room? There are no ladies at the DMV. But in its continuing quest to prove its superiority to my Midwestern brethren and me, New York City has a new and better way. License Express on 34th and 8th is a wonderful, wonderful place. You see: They've got a system; think of it as a license assembly line. They've got a desk where someone gives you the form and tells you what need, a woman who checks your eyes, another who takes your pic. They give you a number, yes, but they also give you an expected wait time. They have comfy benches and pleasant musak. They have climate control. And best of all, the efficient service comes smile Free! A -- Shari Goldhagen
EDY'S FRENCH SILK SLOW CHURNED LIGHT ICE CREAM: You stared at me seductively from behind the frosty window of the Stop and Shop frozen foods aisle on Friday night. I tried not to stare back, but I could not help myself. I pretended not to see you and pushed my cart ahead a few steps to the fat free yogurt section. Still, out of the corner of my eye, I was checking you out. You were the complete package, tall, solid and a handsome mocha color. I just knew I had to get to know you better, so I pulled my cart back a few steps, still pretending to check out the fat free popsicles while squinting to read your label inconspicuously. Yes. You were what I had been searching for. Chocolate Mocha Mousse Light Ice Cream with Chocolately Chips Swirled with Vanilla Mousse Light Ice Cream. And 1/2 the fat and a 1/3 of the calories to boot. I could not resist your charms any further. Opening your chilly door, I lovingly caressed you and decided to take you home with me. As we drove home, all I could think of was you. Racing into the house, I did not waste time and consumed you right then and there on the kitchen counter with no regrets. A -- JM Houk
ALL SHOOK UP: Can't lie here: I wasn't exactly counting down the minutes to seeing the Broadway musical "All Shook Up" with my girlfriend and her seniors-trip-visiting grandparents this last weekend. Thanks to my class issues, I've always kind of loathed Broadway; it seems cruel to come up with an art form that requires everyone to pay 70 bucks to see it. And, even if I was the showtune-tapping type, uh "All Shook Up?" But on the lists of things you do to keep your girlfriend happy, Openly Mocking Her Grandparents is rather low. And you know what? It was fun. Sure, it was cheesy, and we'll never quite be able to full invest ourselves in something that has men in tights dancing, but it was a bunch of talented people, doing their life's work, busting their humps to entertain you. Putting on a Broadway show this energetic takes work, man. It was impossible not to be swept along with them. But, uh, don't tell my dad. A- -- Will Leitch
MAKING FRIENDS WITH TEENAGERS: I'm a little scared of teenagers. And why not -- I was, for the most part, a generally unpleasant one. If teenagers treated me like I treated my parents, they'd chuck phones at me, throw wailing temper tantrums at my feet and subject me to long, sullen silences when presented with a delicious home-cooked meal. So last weekend, when a friend asked me to be a last-minute chaperone on a rafting trip in Pennsylvania for a group of teenagers, my first thought was that I'd rather have a dentist root scale my gums. Much to my surprise, I had one of the most delightful days ever. We skipped river-smoothed rocks. We had swimming relays. We picnicked on an island in the Delaware Water Gap. They were cultured and polite and said "thank you" when I handed them a turkey sandwich. We giggled. They told me delightful stories about summer camp and orchestra and which books they like or hate in English class. This group of New Yorkers found it "SO COOL" that I grew up in South Dakota and got my driver's license at 14, right about the time they were allowed to ride the subway alone. They found my "career" fascinating. They fell asleep with their mouths open on the way home, innocent and tuckered out. Having my faith in youth renewed: A -- Erin Schulte
GOLDEN SHOWERS: After recently breaking up with my live-in boyfriend of three years, I'm more than just a little bitter. I'm not upset about having the love of my life tell me that he "doesn't have the same feelings for me." I'm pissed about having just now realized what a complete loser he is and what a moron I am for having tried to keep it going for way too long. What clued me in? Was it lying about quitting his well-paying job to work with his old high school buddy? Was it the mooching, the immaturity or the drinking problem? Was it getting the cable shut off for not paying a $300 pay-per-view porn bill? Nope. What finally clued me in was waking up at five in the morning to the not-so-lovely feeling of him peeing on me after a drunken night out with the boys. Guess that's true love for you. Go figure. Finally realizing what a jerk he is and dumping his ass: A. Feeling bitter about wasting three years of my life on a loser: D -- Liz Lawrence
Each and every week, Black Table readers like you write the Black List and get absolutely nothing in return. Ain't that some shit.