Friday, November 18, 2005

my heart will go on. in theory.

It tastes like angioplasty and loneliness. Mmmm. [Photo credit: Patrick Imbeau]

autumn is in full swing, and as temperatures dip and the air takes on a wintery chill, us single people find ourselves wishing for someone to curl up with on the couch in anticipation of the cold nights that lie ahead.

but if you’re like most of the people i know, meeting that special someone, or any special someone for that matter, is hard. i’m not talking about meeting people, mind you—people are everywhere. you can’t go downtown and throw a stone without hitting people. i’m talking about people who value the things that you value, who will listen to you and support you when times are tough. people who know how to read—and do. what’re the chances of throwing a rock and hitting someone like that?

and furthermore, what are the chances of it not hitting them hard enough to cause significant head trauma, so that instead of being that special someone, they become… special?

so you see, this whole throw-a-rock-to-hit-someone-you-love business is more challenging than we thought, which is why i’ve been saying for over a year now: guys, we really should stop going out on weekends and pelting cute girls with rocks. as funny as it is when you’re drunk, that’s not how you meet a lady.

how do you meet a lady? two words.

body shots.

was it ever any easier? probably not. and that’s where advertising enters the picture.

the fact is, as long as there have been printed media, there’ve been desperate people anxious to use the written word to hide faults so ghastly they’d scare that dude from mask. don’t believe me? take this personal ad i culled from a 1704 issue of the boston news-letter, the first widely circulating paper in the colonial united states:

“MWF craves SIM for discrete midnight rendez-vous. Only your dark magic can cure my tee-pee fever! Do you think you’ve got what it takes to trap this beaver? Let’s get that arrow in my quiver and find out!”

personal ads are great for those placing them, since they seldom require photographs, allowing one to create a picture in words—usually about 50 words, leaving out the 950-or-so less flattering ones an actual picture would reveal. this is, of course, also their primary drawback. thankfully, the defense department has given us the internet.

the internet revolutionized the way we shop, and now you can get just about anything on-line, mates included. in fact, i prefer to shop for women on-line, because i can make snap judgments about people based solely on their looks, wasting no time trying to determine if these people are anything like a good match for me at all.

as all of us know from their commercials, on-line dating services claim to solve many of the problems associated with finding someone with whom you can laugh at other, less fortunate people, as they walk in misery to the bus to go home and eat cold, leftover macaroni and cheese, alone, out of the pot they cooked it in the night before. it’s no wonder, then, that on-line dating is a booming business. according to pc world magazine, there are more than 860 dating services on the web, many of which cater to specific communities; for instance, there’s “lds singles mingle,” for mormons (one wonders just how particular they are about that “singles” business), “golden matches,” for senior citizens, “veggiedate,” for vegetarians, “true,” connecting men with disembodied pairs of breasts, and “purpledoor profiles,” for people with herpes.

and please don’t spend too much time thinking about what they mean by “purple door.” what’s next? a site for people with HPV called “bumpy lovin’”?

an almost universal feature of these sites is the “personality profile,” where you are asked to “honestly” answer a series of questions; your answers to these questions will then be used to find you the perfect mate.

but they’ve overlooked a fundamental flaw in this process, and that is, people don’t know anything about themselves. for instance, i think i’m smart, charming, generous, decently attractive, and funny.

in other words, i have a completely distorted image of myself.

can you imagine what would happen if i went around actually believing that stuff? why, i could have a functioning, healthy relationship with that kind of nonsense in my head.

and don’t fall into the trap of letting friends help you fill those questionnaires out—friends need your lies as much as you need theirs; without lies, friendships would fall apart as quickly as most marriages, another institution ravaged by honesty. remember that the next time you hear someone blame homosexuals for the dissolution of the american family.

unfortunately, i don’t have too many alternatives, so i decided to try, mainly because they kept telling me that i could “fall in love for all the right reasons,” and i wanted to find out what those were. and no, “the condom broke” isn’t one of them.

and did you know they offer 29 dimensions of compatibility? that’s a lot of dimensions, people. by comparison, a box only has three;

nicole richie, two.

and finally, they promised a scientific approach to match-making based on years studying married couples. this almost convinced me not to use their service, as it promised to find me someone i wouldn’t talk to, rarely have sex with, and ultimately be ordered to give half my worldly possessions and future earnings to. but rarely having sex is better than never having sex, so i pressed onward.

after about 60 minutes spent pointing and clicking, they had enough data to show me my matches. i was so excited, i turned the television down. and that’s when i found out that not even eharmony is perfect. you see, what they don’t tell you on tv is that about 20% of the people who take the free personality test are unmatchable.

that’s right.

i got rejected. by the internet.

this was a very serious blow to my ego. think of it this way. according to string theory, only 10 dimensions of space-time are required to unify the universe under one set of equations—but 29 weren’t enough to get me laid.

it’s one thing to be rejected by many different women over the roughly 18 years i’ve been trying to score with them meet that special someone, but for eharmony, a service that “combin[es] the best scientific research with detailed profil[es] of every member” in order to “screen many hundreds of thousands of profiles to bring you only the ones that have the potential to be truly right for you,” to tell me that i am unmatchable is kind of like stephen hawking telling me i don’t know anything about black holes. you really can’t argue with him on that one.

and besides, who would want to. can you imagine how long that argument would take? he probably wins most arguments by forfeit.

on the upside, being rejected by eharmony means that now, whenever i tell a woman “it’s not you, it’s me,” i have scientific proof, and all those times i thought i was doing something wrong, it turns out i was merely trying to correct a situation that should never have been allowed to occur. like those times i turned the tv up because she was trying to talk over it? a valiant act of self-sacrifice to preserve the natural order. or when i told her that she was being too sensitive after i made some sarcastic remark and she started crying? a brilliant attempt to push her into the arms of a better man. and how about when i gained an excessive amount of weight because she wouldn’t fuck me?

okay, seriously, you were being a bitch.

and you want to know why i wasn’t a good listener? that’s because i couldn’t hear you over the sounds of my sperm desperately drilling themselves into the walls of their scrotal tomb.

don’t go blaming it on the tight jeans! the jeans wouldn’t have been so tight if i didn’t have to gain all that weight!

however, i do believe i’ve learned a valuable lesson. much like the rejections i have suffered off-line, my failure here is due to the one flaw in my strategy: honesty. my advice: lie. remember, a first date is one big con, isn’t it? where you pretend that you’re normal, interesting, emotionally stable… that you’re not an alcoholic? i say, take it to the extreme! it’s doomed to failure in a few months, you might as well make it fun--and what could be more fun than turning slowly into everything you promised that you weren’t, to the horror and dismay of your significant other?

my most recent personal ad reflects my new attitude towards dating:

“EBONY PRINCE, experienced doctor and D.A., seeks Princess to join him in his city in the clouds, where she will enjoy twilight jaunts in my Corellian freighter, the occasional violation of search and seizure law by Imperial forces, and plenty of smooth Colt 45!”

it works every time.

now, if you’ll excuse me. there’s some cold mac and cheese in the fridge with my name on it. yeah, little mac and cheese, maybe some hot dog bits mixed in there, a little food network. throw in some internet porn, and you got yourself an evening.

stay warm, people.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Israelite Alphabet May Have Been Found

Israelite Alphabet May Have Been Found

PITTSBURGH—Two lines of an alphabet have been found inscribed in a stone in Israel, offering what some scholars say is the most solid evidence yet that the ancient Israelites were literate as early as the 10th century B.C.

Israelis were overjoyed when they heard the news.

“Finally, we can write,” exclaimed Bazil Netzrahim, a student at Tel Aviv University. “Have you seen this ridiculous alphabet we’re using? Do you know how hard it is to take notes on a lecture and make sure there’s three tagin on the head of my gimel? Oy vey!”

“I thought Israel was created in 1948 by the United Nations,” said Benjamin Reuven, an Israeli exchange student studying history at the University of Pittsburgh, where the fragments are being studied. “That there even were Israelites in the 10th century B.C. is a discovery in itself.”

“Hey, Hamas. Where’s your alphabet?” he added. “Yeah, thought so.”

The news of this discovery angered some in the Palestinian community.

In a late-breaking development on Thursday, Hamas declared a pre-emptive jihad on the ancient alphabet, in the event that it proves to be Jewish. “The Zionists wish to extend their dominion by colonizing this alphabet for themselves,” a top leader in the organization announced on the group’s website. “We cannot live peacefully alongside our enemy’s alphabet and we will not negotiate with it.”

“PS pork tastes good.”

Sources in the Department of Homeland Security reported hearing chatter suggesting that Hamas is developing a “suicide alphabet” to conduct operations against the 3000 year old sequence of letters.

The Bush Administration is concerned that these attacks could spread throughout the region, and eventually to the United States. Post Cereal, makers of Alpha-Bits, has stepped up security in response to the possible threat.

“The last thing Post Cereal wants is little Bobby or little Sally trying to spell out shalom and getting their faces blown off by shrapnel-like pieces of marshmallowey vowels and crunchy-sweet consonants,” said Jeff Billingsley, head of public relations for the company.

“I don’t know about you, but I for one don’t want any child, anywhere, sitting down to a great-tasting, nutritious bowl full of fiery death.”

Post is owned by Kraft, who is owned by Philip Morris.

Others see this new discovery as another means to jumpstart the flagging peace efforts in the region. In a statement announced yesterday, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas expressed interest in a peace plan that would require Israel to give portions of the alphabet to Palestine.

“We have no alphabet of our own,” the statement read. “Like our country, our alphabet is made of scraps of other alphabets, and the people of Palestine are tired of seeing their children having to learn their a-b-z's. That last one isn’t even a letter. We tell our children it means ‘peace.’”

“It’s unpronounceable.”

Dalia Itzik, Israel’s Minister of Communications, told Reuters that “the Prime Minister is considering Abbas’s request, but any proposal to give a portion of our ancient alphabet could only happen after Hamas agrees to cease any and all attacks upon it.”

“There won’t be much left to give back if half of the letters have been blown up into smaller letters that, by themselves, can only make parts of sounds.”