Wednesday, March 5, 2008


I love reading personal ads. They are enticing, pathetic, sad, sometimes unbelievable, and frequently funny. They are not, however, able to convey anything of actual importance about anyone, certainly not enough for a stranger to decide whether or not to date that person.

Those who place ads in the London Review of Books have apparently given up on trying to sell themselves and now try to outdo each other by writing the most creative, bizarre and self-deprecating ads out there. My colleague over at Notes & Comments turned me on these ads, and a little while ago I read the book in which many of them are collected, They Call Me Naughty Lola.

Here are a few of my favorites:

I like my women the way I like my kebab. Found by surprise after a drunken night out and covered in too much tahini. Before long I'll have discarded you on the pavement of life, but until then you're the perfect complement to a perfect evening. Man, 32. Rarely produces winning metaphors.

Not all female librarians are gay and called Susan. I, however, am and would like to meet non-librarian gay women to 35 with names such as Polly, Kate or Demeter.

This ad is the final phase in my plan to conquer the earth. Man, 41, seeks puppet-like trillionaire F with vast army and intergalactic fleet, ready to hand over total control of all affairs. Must also enjoy canasta and be a non-smoking vegetarian.

Lacks imagination, talks too much, frequently absent. Look at me now, Miss Webster of year 4. History professor, 56. Lacks imagination, talks too much and is frequently absent. Seeks woman.

Slut in the kitchen, chef in the bedroom. Woman with mixed priorities (37) seeks man who can toss a good salad.

The most hilarious thing about the book is the fact that there is an index, with entries such as Falcon Crest, clowns, lanolin sensitivity, Reynolds, Burt, skinny mocha latte, spork, and Yoda (footnoted within the text as "jedi master," which I'm sure is quite enlightening if you don't know who Yoda is.)

Whether or not you are looking for a date, this is a great book to pick up if you want to feel better about yourself.

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