Archive for the 'People We Don't Like' Category

21
Dec
13

A gambler, a pool supplier, and a fashionista walk into a bar …

I am keen to feature a guest post on you blog as it would do wonders for my portfolio. I realized it was time I stopped ghost-writing for others and built an online reputation for myself.

I have received three emails at work pitching stories using this exact (misspelled) phrasing. They are a scam. Or something. Some computer somewhere is churning out these emails and sending them to publishers, or a coach has given scores of would-be writers—fed up with a life of obscurity behind the ghost-writing curtain, desperate for the rush of fresh air in their lungs and the warmth of sunlight on their pale, damp skin—some very bad advice and a poorly written form letter. Continue reading ‘A gambler, a pool supplier, and a fashionista walk into a bar …’

17
May
12

No plastic to go

My vegan wrap was something of a mess that day.

I’m not vegan. Nor am I remotely a vegetarian. I just occasionally take advantage of other people’s dietary principles to find something light and low-calorie, but filling and delicious, for lunch.

I would have taken it cold, but the girl at the cafe had thrown it on the panini grill so resolutely, so automatically and with no room for questioning or debate, that it seemed unthinkable to say anything against it. Anyway, once something has started heating, you don’t want it to take it half-heated. You might as well go all the way.

When I unwrapped it at my office and took the first bite, a dried-up chickpea fall onto my desk. It left behind an indentation in the tortilla, so I guessed it had been stuck to the outside and likely had cooked on the grill that way. Probably the order directly before mine had come undone or lost a few bits and pieces as it was removed.

I picked up the chickpea and ate it.

Then I was surprised by a dried cranberry. It was stuck to the tortilla like a jewel. I took it with a bite as if it belonged there. Could I really say it didn’t belong there? No big deal.

I don’t like to be particular, but I amused myself with fantasies of a different me — one who might be bothered by a stray chickpea in his lunch and an errant dried cranberry encrusted on his tortilla. Continue reading ‘No plastic to go’

11
Feb
12

Conflict avoidance

When I got out of the subway and turned the corner, there was a fight happening in front of my destination, so I turned around and started walking in the other direction.

I would have to go to the 7-11 instead of the Rite Aid, I decided.

All I saw at first was a quick burst of isolated action among a loosely gathered crowd of people. I thought two kids were rough housing, joking and shoving. And people were always loitering on that block. I thought of maybe just making a wide arc around them to get to the front door. If I minded my business, they’d leave me alone.

But then I noticed one of them had his belt in his hand, doubled up, and as he backed away from the other guy, he took swipes at his head. Continue reading ‘Conflict avoidance’

07
Sep
11

Looking outward, looking inward

Half the fun of going to the gym is the chance to observe its particular biosphere. It’s treasure trove of wildlife. I say you ought to get something out of it. Lord knows I hate going to the gym.

It’s a symptom of my inexorable laziness. But I see results when I work out, and male vanity is even more compulsive than laziness. So I go. But always in the morning before work—because I hate going after work even more.

So I’ve become familiar with the characters of my morning routine. I think you see a more consistent recurrence of the same people in the morning. Everyone’s routines are a little more regimented early in the day. We still have discipline in the morning, and hope—as opposed to later in the day when we are apathetic and undone and much more inclined to get a cocktail than lift anything heavier than a gym bag.

Continue reading ‘Looking outward, looking inward’

15
Oct
10

Be Careful What You Promise

This in from the AP: Back in September, when crackpot fame whore Terry Jones was threatening to burn a pile of Qurans, a New Jersey car dealer (and former NY Giant) did a radio ad in which he announced he’d give the Florida preacher the use of a Hyundai off his lot for a year if he backed down.

Apparently he mistook TV news for a game show. Who could blame him, really? So, no sooner had Jones put the lighter fluid away than one of his helpers called up the dealer looking to collect on the offer — under threat of calling him out on “false advertising.”

I guess if it’s in an ad, it must be true… so, a promise is a promise, I guess.

The dealer says he wants nothing to do with Jones — apart from making himself one of the highest-rollers to donate to Dove World Outreach Center, apparently — so he’s telling him to keep the thing. To his PR rep’s delight, Jones has said he’s going to donate the car to an organization that helps abused Muslim women.

I was once offered a car if I would renounce homosexuality. It was a pick-up truck, as I recall. But I stuck to my gay guns and ended up with a great husband. And he has a car. So I guess I’m set.

28
Sep
10

Hitting the Bowl, Missing the Point

At the Scissor Sisters show in Philadelphia a couple of weeks ago, some guy spent the entire night trying to hook up in the men’s room.

urinalsAbout half a dozen friends of mine were there, and we were all drinking, so we all made frequent trips to the loo. He wasn’t in there every time, but without exception, each of us had some kind of story about this guy.

He stood a little too close.

He washed his hands a little too long.

He kept trying to catch my eye in the mirror.

He leaned over and watched me pee.

Continue reading ‘Hitting the Bowl, Missing the Point’

08
Sep
10

Monsieurs and Señoras

Do foreign films exist anywhere besides America? I wonder sometimes if it is only their not being American that makes them foreign. If “Hollywood,” being so big and prolific, has driven a wedge between movies and foreign films. If a South African sees an Icelandic film, would he call it a foreign film or just a film? As long as the subtitles are spelled correctly, does it matter?

I’ve become a passive fan of foreign films. To be more accurate, I am a fan of French and Spanish films. Probably because I have seen more films from those countries than from other countries. (Not counting Great Britain, Australia and Canada, of course, but Americans can hardly count those three as foreign countries. Foreign countries are the ones where people talk funny.) But probably also because there is a sensibility about them that I admire.
Continue reading ‘Monsieurs and Señoras’




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