back to the Black Table

It's almost time for turkey tossing and pumpkin pie porking once again. It seems like only last year that we were celebrating Thanksgiving. And according to our records, that was exactly when we were celebrating Thanksgiving. Oh, how time flies. In this season of generosity and good tidings, we decided to let our ladies do something completely opposite of that. For this assignment, they were allowed to take something back that they so selflessly gave to other people.

Yes, that's right, we're letting them be Indian-givers. Because it's Thanksgiving and that has something to do with Indians. At least, that's what we learned from elementary school and Dances With Wolves.

We at the Black Table wish to extend an early Happy Thanksgiving to our readers. We wish you much flatulence, dysfunctional family awkwardness and a horribly boring football game.


Noelle Hancock

As a wise woman (me, actually) once said, "College is for fucking!" So imagine my horror as a college senior when my boyfriend revealed that he was a born-again virgin who'd sworn off premarital sex. He'd boned his previous three girlfriends, but apparently decided it was my twat that was the gateway to Hell. So for this assignment, I'm taking back the 10 sexless months we spent together…but not, you know, together.

It was a religious decision, explained the Born Again, who was a devout Catholic. Basically, God cock-blocked me. Oh yeah, I said it. I thought my boyfriend would eventually come to his senses, realizing that abstinence was a more realistic tenet back when everyone got married at 12 and usually to a relative. And we are talking about the same book that says it's sinful to wear a garment made of two different threads (Leviticus 19:19 -- evidently, the Devil wears cotton/polyester blends). I even argued that many theologians believe that Jesus actually did have sex. I mean, where did he think the expression "Fucking Christ!" came from? But Born Again stood firm.

Looking back at that year spent in sexile, my resentment has several prongs, all hinging on the fact that my life is no longer conducive to sex: First of all, I'm sorry, but I just don't have the energy or ambition to withstand someone else's body weight for long periods of time. I'm also not funded by my parents anymore and can't afford things like regular waxings, high-quality panties, or a bed. And, at this point, my boobies look like udders when I bend over.

In the end, Born Again dumped me. On my birthday. Via cell phone. From another girl's party. And then he went on to sleep with his next girlfriend. So I guess - and y'all knew this was coming! -- I got fucked after all.


Cathy Hannan

I used to be so fucking stupid I can't stand it. I believed 'friends' when they told me they needed money for rent/cab fare/groceries. It never occurred to me that they might be spending it on heroin/8 dollar martinis/hair extensions.

Once long ago, I helped a fellow Texan move to New York and let her sleep on my couch 'til she got an apartment. So she gets an apartment (much nicer than mine) and a boyfriend (ditto) before she even gets a job. I feel like a proud mother chicken sending her out of the nest and into the world. Figure its good karma, too. After one month in the maxi-pad she's renting, she can't make rent by the first. She asks to borrow 600 bucks, just til mom (or someone, maybe her pimp?) comes through with the money, in 10 days maximum.

Six hundred bucks is a lot of money to me, back then anyway. She wore me down and finally I lent it to her. Stupid stupid doo doo-head me!

Ten days later I called to remind her that I needed it back. She said it'd be a couple more days. I was not going to be able to pay rent. A few days later I get a call that she can come down and bring the money. She arrives with 50 bucks and a couple of videos she's rented for me. I should have never even taken it.

Bottom line is, its 12 years later, she still owes me $550 bucks plus interest. You know where she lives? On a horse farm outside Dallas. Her house was featured in Southern Ostentatious Living. She belongs to the Junior League.

Next time I go down there I think I'll scale the fence of her gated community and demand it back.


Susie Felber

I am a comedian. I do a lot of shows for charity. I do them out of the kindest of my heart. And the kindness of my heart is made up of equal parts desperately wanting stage time, wanting to convince others I'm a saint and wanting to assuage the guilt I have for my grandparents not making it out of the concentration camps.

A few years ago I was asked to host a charity show at the Hard Rock Café in New York. On the bill: all-female bands. The cause: The Prevention of Domestic Violence.

Oh and there was another charity there that night, one that they hadn't informed me of beforehand: PETA, in all their loony goodness.
I perused PETA's animal abuse pamphlets while the ultra-sincere acts were on stage, sharing bits of their dream journals between songs. How my tuna sandwich had suffered before being put between slabs of rye! How poor bees are enslaved to soothe the throats of their evil overlords! How your fave sweater probably caused some poor sheep irreversible shearing trauma!

And during this particular show - steel yourself for the irony - a fight broke out.

And wouldn't it be nice if it were just some scuffle in the back of the room? Maybe a tourist rising up against the price of their shitty hamburger? But no, halfway through the show a drunk blonde guy started heckling. No biggie. But then without warning, the drunk guy stormed the stage. Clambered up it and then clambered on me. He had me pinned and was dry humping me on the stage as the big beefy security guys looked on.

When I realized that even the musical lesbian do-gooders were too pussy to help, something snapped. I broke free. I pushed him off the stage. I jumped off the stage to help him up off the ground. And when he could finally stand, I rammed him across the room and he slammed into a large pillar. Backed against the pillar I punched him, but my Wonder Woman fantasy shattered when I realized he was laughing. My ass whooping skills had come rusty since my last fight: beating Tammy Marcus to a pulp in 3rd grade after she attacked me with a hairbrush.

So I took my boot and I kicked him in the balls. Repeatedly.

I still do benefits, but I will never do one for domestic violence again.


Jen Hubley

Of all the things I've given to the world, and I've given a lot (39 cents to charitable organizations via the purchase of commemorative postage stamps, my virginity, 18 beers to various handsome strangers, with no hope of personal benefit, and so on), I think the only thing I'd like to take back is the gift of my advice.

The world's lack of appreciation for my charity, perception and intelligence has only gotten more clear since I moved to New York, where people not only don't want my advice, they'd prefer it if I also stopped talking, altogether.

Here's an example: The other day, I got on the train only to discover that I had chosen the car with the hobo that smelled like the backside of balls. This was bad enough, but the woman next to me, who was holding a suitcase-sized handbag and some kind of religious tract on her lap, started shaking her fist at the ceiling and addressing the Almighty:

"Lord! If you can hear me, send me a job so that I can wash the stank off your homeless people! Let me wipe them of their stench, and make them pleasing in your sight! Let me scrub them and wash them and wipe them clean, so as I do not have to sit here and bleed out my damn nose just when I'm trying to go to Manhattan for the day. Amen."

"You know," I said, "He doesn't look like he's moving very quickly. If you have, like, a stiff brush and some soap in that bag, I bet you could get him pretty clean before he realizes what's going on."

She looked at me like I'd lost my mind.

"All I'm saying is, maybe this is your sign, right here, you guys being on the same car. Here, I have some hand sanitizer," I offered.

"Maybe you could just spray him with it."

But of course, she didn't take me up on it. Because no one appreciates my wisdom. It's really starting to bum me out.

You know what? I changed my mind. I don't want to take it back. I don't care if you don't realize it: You all need my help. My advice is the only thing standing between you and your life the way I know you should live it. You just have to trust me on this.


Katie Seitz

My heart is now as cold and dead as those chunks of the Berlin Wall that everyone was giving and getting around 1990. I no longer feel obligated to give my flames my favorite band t-shirt or a seven-course meal, and I can mostly look back on the days when I did and laugh. Mostly.

Let me take you back to the winter of 1997. He was my first real boyfriend, and he was in college. For a high school student, that's a catch. In hindsight, I see that he was fat, manipulative and unable to dance, but at the time I thought he was wonderful. I was really and truly in love, and it was going to last forever. Sure, sure, you're saying, but what did you give him that you want back?

I want my goddamn mix tape.

During one of those periods of separation (but we talked on the phone every day) where he did unimaginably important college things and I was just some high school nerd, I made him a mix tape full of the most maudlin, predictable shit you have ever heard. I don't even want to tell you everything that was on it because I'm too embarrassed. Ok, there were a couple of Ani DiFranco songs on there.

But anyway, I want it back. I never ever ever want anyone to see it or play it or read the sappy things I wrote in the liner or the explanations of how each song expressed some different aspect of my love and longing. In fact, when I get it back I will un-spool the tape by hand and feed it into a roaring fire.

Oh, and I also want my virginity back, you fat fuck.


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