Monday, December 24, 2007

Yes, that is jolly belligerent

You know what I’m looking forward to? A BBC Radio 4 program
Wednesday on puns, by Stephen Fry.

A caption contest. The caption provided by the White House is: “President George W. Bush makes Christmas Eve telephone calls to members of the Armed Forces at Camp David, Monday, Dec. 24, 2007.” In case the poor writing confuses you, the members of the armed forces are not at Camp David, George is.

It’s been a long time since I posted personals from the London Review of Books, because for some reason only a few have been appearing on the LRB website lately. So if anyone’s looking for a date for New Year’s...
I begin each sexual performance with a tympani roll. I find it steadies the ship. Less than buoyant canal-boat dweller, amateur percussionist and bon viveur (M, 57) seeks not-easily intimidated woman to 55 with no small knowledge of crank-shaft engines, blue-note fades and behaviour-correcting medicines. Box no. 12/03

Some incidents in life are blacked-out for a reason. Much as I shudder to recall an incident at Dulwich in 1968 involving a goose, a penny whistle and the local priest, so you will probably twist in the wind whenever, in years to come, you’re forced to relate a tale about how you once replied to a personal advert in a flurry of mis-placed appreciation for what you regarded at the time as a heightened and sophisticated sense of irony. Man, 40. Hates geese. And priests. And whistling. Box no. 12/05

This advert is about as close I come to meaningful interaction with other adults. Woman, 51. Not good at parties but tremendous breasts. Box no. 12/08

I have a mug that says ‘I’m the World’s Greatest Lover’. I think that’s my referees covered. How about you? Man. 37. Bishopsgate. Box no. 12/09

Belligerent from the word fuck. Sod off. Box no. 18/03

This advert may well be the Cadillac of all lonely hearts adverts, but its driver is the arthritic granddad with a catalogue of driving convictions. Arthritic granddad (67) with a catalogue of driving convictions including ‘Driving whilst trying to turn the dang wipers off’, ‘Driving whilst wondering if his urology appointment has come through’, and ‘Driving whilst “Hey! Isn’t that where your aunt Maude’s first husband lived after the divorce came through? He’s settled in Jersey now. I could never stand him – he used to do this thing with his teeth…”’ WLTM someone who knows how stop the oven timer from beeping. box no. 01/01

Don’t listen to your inner voice in matters of the heart! Especially if your inner voice tells you to check his outgoing message box for evidence of a wife or ask why he always needs to be on the last train to Stafford instead of just staying the night. It’s a simple rule, but it’s a rule that will give us many happy – if somewhat tawdry –experiences together. Man, 38. Not in the slightest bit married. Remember that. box no. 01/05

I stole the contents of this ad from a highly successful banker (M, 53, annual income £500k + benefits) currently appearing on It’s funny because we honestly couldn’t be more different. Unless I was a woman. Or 12. Man. Older than 12 and not really a banker. box no. 01/06

To the guy with the wild grey hair and thin pony tail and bow-tie and white socks and chewed copy of Rimbaud and the lisp and excessive spittle and over-use of the word ‘platitudes’ and faint odour of taco meat who will no doubt reply to this advert much like he’s replied to every other advert I’ve ever placed in here: ‘eccentric’ is only a favourable adjective when it’s wrapped in an attractive package or earns over £200,000 a year and owns a holiday retreat in Tuscany. Other LRB-reading men should also note this. Replies from ‘normals’ or the stupidly rich only please to woman, 45, currently down to 37 seconds on her ‘tolerance of idiots’ metre. box no. 01/08

My last husband was a loser. If you’re not a loser please reply. Woman, 40. Incredibly simple criteria. box no. 01/09
[More of my LRB favorites here.]

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