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March 01, 2007

Linkfest of mutant relationships

I think I've said this before, but what I don't like about the Windows Live Beta version of Hotmail is that you end up with a portal that has a bunch of links on it, mostly having to do with relationships and celebrities. So when life gives you lemons, you have to make lemonade.

1. We'll start off with the good news. One of the links I found today was to an article about the best blind dates. But the article was awfully unsatisfying, because the people involved were pretty (how do I say this?) shallow. The first story was about the woman's surprise in finding that the guy her grandmother wanted her to go out with was "drop-dead gorgeous." Wow! A lifetime of happiness always turns on whether your spouse is gorgeous. Just ask the Hollywood cele-babes.

The bad news comes from a parallel article on bad dates. Most articles I've read about bad dates are at least funny. This was pretty pathetic:

“I hadn’t been on a date in a while, so when my friend agreed to set me up with a friend of hers, I really didn’t ask her much more about him than his name and age. Well, once I got to the restaurant, I realized that the guy was an ex-boyfriend of mine! It had been a few years since we dated, but the breakup was pretty bad, and we definitely hadn’t kept in touch or remained friends. It was totally awkward—so much so that we didn’t even have a laugh about it. It was clear that neither of us wanted to continue with the date, so we just sort of said ‘See ya later’ and went our separate ways.”

– Kara, 28, Centreville, VA
2. If this young couple had been downloading p*rnography on public-library computers, the American Library Association would have defended them to the death. Unfortunately for the couple, they decided to act it out in the stacks. "'Because of the vigilance of the library staff, they were seen by library staff and the police were notified,' [Sgt.] Johns said." The same librarians who protect the public's fundamental right to view p*rnography on tax-supported computers turned these wretches in. Bonus: The town's name is Woodstock. Illinois, though; not New York.

3. Imagine this: You run a yeshiva in Bedford Hills, a tony community in Westchester County, New York, and you rent the house next door to some chick, who turns out to be running "a place 'where submissives and slaves are immersed in training.'" Somehow, this response is only marginally adequate: "'It's against our religion. It's against the Bible. We've never even heard of such a thing,' said a man who gave his name only as Samuel and said he was a rabbi at the school."

4. Now imagine something a little different: You're the woman who runs a supposedly high-class escort operation -- excuse me, a "high-end adult fantasy firm which offered legal sexual and erotic services across the spectrum of adult sexual behavior" -- and your assets have been seized by the IRS. You're trying to raise money for your legal team, so what do you do? You announce that you're going to sell "the entire 46 pounds of detailed and itemized phone records for the 13-year period." (hat tip: fee simple)
Her attorney, Montgomery Blair Sibley, said that prices have yet to be set for the data. “We don’t actually know that yet,” he said, “because we haven’t finished mining the data to identify the individuals. Obviously if Bill Clinton’s on the list that’s a different matter than you know, somebody nobody’s ever heard of before.”

But, he said, chances are good that some interesting names will pop up. “Statistically, if you have 10,000 people, and given the structure of this particular service, these weren’t people beckoning from car windows,” he said. “The escorts only responded to four- and five-star hotels or private residences. And so the landlines will show up on the private residences real quickly.”
This story was posted at a gossip blog at the site of the new paper, and if you want some sophomoric humor, try reading the comments.

5. Now, this last item is only barely related, but I'll throw it in for fun. Did you realize that you can "marry [your] ideal person" or "g[e]t pregnant" if you follow the advice of a Japanese self-help book called "Cleaning the toilet to attract luck"? Sounds like a nefarious plot by the women of the world to get the men to undertake this hideous task. But actually, it's not. "'I've always cleaned my toilet every day, so it never really gets dirty,' [a woman who edited a toilet book] said. 'At least it's easy that way and it probably helps keep my family healthy,' she said." So the Japanese toilets may be clean, but they still won't teach their kids to use them.