Thursday, July 16, 2009

There's Something About You Next To That Toaster

I opened up the mailbox the other day to learn that 141 New Yorkers wish to "hook up" with me. This is the kind of news that can really boost your morale, until you think of the 24, 495 social diseases you will (at a conservative estimate) contract, and then it is the kind of news that can really remind you to take your Flintstones vitamin.* Naturally the purveyor of this bulletin was Time Out New York, the same estimable publication that routinely instructs its readership in how to do the nasty, something even your standard-issue australopithecine generally mastered without ever picking up an issue of Time Out New York.**

Of course you ask me the obvious question: So if it offends your itty-witty sensibiwwities SOOOO much, whyja keep READING it, HUH? Well, friend, evidently you are unaware that as a highly socially conscious member of the Next Generation, a leader among Leaders of Tomorrow, I answer to an impulse than which there is no loftier intellectual, nay, moral reason: I have a free subscription. Nothing is quite so compelling as free stuff. Take my kitchenware last year, namely, free plastic cups from Subway. I never actually got around to using them or anything, but the point is they were free. Each time I amassed a new one, I would dutifully place it by my bedside, then forget its existence forever afterwards. Though come to think of it, I did awaken each day in the throes of a raging, inexplicable urge to Eat Fresh.

But back to my 141 paramours, all anonymous, all staring out at me from tiny squares on the page, like so many e. coli. No indication of identities, save for an icon indicating each individual's preferred gender (Little Blue Person, Little Pink Person, or combo thereof) and a snappy self-encapsulation, such as this honey, transcribed verbatim:

"I love kung fu movies and sleepy morning sex."

I don't mind telling you I spent some time in straining to wind my mind round this young woman's weltanschauung. I suffered from sleep problems for upwards of twenty seconds before I determined the source of my disquiet. Frankly, I think she comes within a hair's breadth of showing great promise -- if only she went in for sleepy morning kung fu. (Potential life partners take note. We'll talk. Let's do bubble tea.)

Yet this lovely, near-perfection though she may be, pales in comparison to the dude (seeking Little Pink Person) who declares:

"I need a woman who looks sexy next to the stove."

Not that I am suggesting for a moment that we should pigeonhole these people based on one tiny statement they make about themselves. No, instead, we should pigeonhole them based on what I say about them. For example, we must consider the very real possibility that this young man's statement indicates a grave psychological condition whereby life cannot be endured until every appliance in Creation is flanked by the mammal of his choice. Not until every stove is adjacent a woman, every refrigerator a chipmunk, every microwave by a Pygmy Sperm Whale, can he achieve the cosmic balance he so dearly craves. Therefore we should all take care to show certain touches of solicitude toward this tortured soul. For example, we should definitely not make any more totally coincidental references to Pygmy Sperm, which we will quit doing right after this totally coincidental reference to Pygmy Sperm.

But I'll tell you who runs the greatest risk of stimulating New York's loins to Tilt-A-Whirl velocity. That would be the funky mademoiselle (you can tell she is funky because of her glasses) who synopsizes herself as follows:

"Likes include buttermilk biscuits and power ballads."

Sapristi! Could it be? For all our hopes and our dreams, our neuroses and needs, our travels and our education, our pursuits intellectual, artistic, creative, and entrepreneurial -- do we in fact, at our very cores, boil down to a cookie and a song? How am I to deal with this revelation, so unexpected, so sudden, but by clinging to thoughts of you, you and your funky glasses, as they lead the rest of us into a funky future? You open my eyes, La Funky. You are the wind beneath my wings. And the power ballad beneath my buttermilk biscuits.

And yet, no matter how ducky it may look to be such a human specimen, we must bear in mind that they too undergo trials and tribulations, even life crises. For corroboration, let us look to her fictional journal:

Dear Diary,
Could I have been wrong? It eats my soul. I think I'm - I'm -
[words obscured by splat of projectile tears] - actually into FIG NEWTONS. What can be next? Is this the end of life as I know it? [smudge of anguished mucus]
And yet -- and yet there's always that little voice in my head, Diary, the one that says I should take up a hobby. Hum. Time Out New York, the publication that tells which body bits to use for sex, says there are free ballet classes on Saturdays. You know, dance, the art form that, while wordless, conveys an astounding wealth of human emotion, communicated entirely through extraordinary athleticism and artistry? Maybe I could ...
... aaaAAAAAaaaggghhh! No! Noooo! What am I saying! Get a hold of yourself! Life is
cookies! COOKIES! Gnaahh!! What is to become of me?! Am I to go rogue and take up Mint Milanos? MALLOMARS??? How am I to go on? Life is barren. Maybe listening to a power ballad will make it better. Ahhh, YouTube, bringer of strength -- why, there's my favorite, the iconic 1971 Coke commercial with hopeful young persons singing on a hillside! That's a power ballad, right? Funny how I'm not exactly sure, just for the purposes of this diary entry.

Phew! What a load off. After all that soul-searching, politics, religion, Little League, etc., isn't it just the most delicious feeling to know we will never need to identify with anything much ever again. To think we might have gone to the extremes of having a favorite book, of God forbid writing a book, when if we'd just opened the right magazine, we'd have known all along that life need not mean more than cookies and ballads and sleepy morning kung fu and sex appeal as measured by appliance proximity. Bless free subscriptions! Without them, how should we ever know the proper way to view existence? And on the back there's a coupon for a free manicure.

* Pebbles, in my case, if you were wondering. And you know you were.
** Instead, they read Time Out Pangaea.

©2009, Nicola McEldowney
The Snark Ascending

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