Monday, July 16, 2007

You've Got To Be Cruel To Be Kind

I'm sure you'll all be happy to hear that I've taken my crusade against lame missed connections ads to the next level. Really, people have got to start shaping up, and from here on in, if you post a missed connection about a guy whose number you didn't get at a gay bar because you were too lame to ask, you'll be getting one of these:

Dear Sir (or Madam):

I am writing in response to your recent missed connections ad on craigslist. You chatted with a guy at a well known gay bar in DC and hoped to re-connect with him.

I am not that guy. You probably won't be hearing from that guy.

I understand that there are, perhaps, legitimate uses for the missed connections section of craigslist. Let us say, for example, that you see a hot guy on the Metro, you begin to chat him up, and when you go to ask for his number, a thug pulls a gun on you and drags you into the subway car so that you are unable to get the number without risking your personal safety.

The situation you described is, sadly, somewhat removed from the above hypothetical situation. Is there any place where it is more appropriate to ask for a phone number than in a gay bar? You know the guy in question is gay, you know he's looking, and you know he was willing to chat with you. If you did not ask for his number then, it is clearly because you are without testicles. Does it make sense to you that a man would want to contact you after you have so clearly demonstrated that your cojones cannot be found without a magnifying glass and a pair of tweezers? No, sir, it does not!

I have some sympathy for those who have difficulty asking cute guys for their numbers, but you are going about it the wrong way. No doubt you feel that asking a guy for his number runs the risk of rejection and that a similar risk does not attach to posting an ad on missed connections. But you are mistaken. I am making it my personal mission to humiliate those who insist upon flaunting their nutlessness. If you ask a guy for his number and he says no, you can smile and walk away, and perhaps have a beer and laugh with your friends at your bruised ego. And get over it. If, on the other hand, you place an ad in missed connections, you will subject yourself to my ridicule. Not only will you receive this blistering e-mail, but I will write about you and your ilk. Please don't worry about my having better things to do with my time. I am very adept at using the copy and paste functions.

It should go without saying that I am doing this for your own good and for the good of the guys who would get to date you if you would just ask for their number. Or slip them your own. Have cards printed up if need be.

By the way, for now it's safe to post a missed connection about a guy you met briefly on the subway or saw at Starbucks or almost ran over at the Whole Foods. It is not, however, safe to ask in these ads whether you "play for the same team." If they're not gay, they're not going to read your ad. Also, I'm not promising not to extend my crusade to all of the m4m missed connection ads. If you meet a guy you like, ask for his number. He'll be flattered, not annoyed. I promise. And you'll look ballsy, instead of lame.

Have a nice day.


So far, I've sent out about ten of these, and I have to say that the recipients haven't been universally grateful. At first I thought that maybe I was being too harsh, but that can't be it. I guess some people just don't want to be helped.

But that won't keep me from trying.


As it happens, I did finally see a not entirely lame use for the missed connections:
I love ketchup shirt! @ whole foods P. street - m4m - 24
Reply to:
Date: 2007-07-14, 2:21PM EDT

I was working and saw you in the produce department, then later with your boyfriend (i think) anyway, where did you get that shirt!?

would love to know, i love ketchup too!

At first, I figured this was pure laziness combined with a cheap attempt to hit on someone, but after I googled "'I love ketchup' t-shirt" and sent the results to the person who posted the ad, it turned out that he'd also googled and had found a design other than the one he wanted. As it happens, the designs available to help one celebrate one's love of ketchup are legion. Using my mad search skillz, I helped him find the right shirt. (He was a lot more grateful than the people I called nutless. Go figure.) Bizarrely, our exchanged evolved into an argument about the relative merits of mustard v. ketchup. Naturally, I -- as any sensible person would -- took the side of mustard. I couldn't make him see reason, alas. I think he was mostly bored at work, but it's nice to see our youth so passionate about their condiments, even if their passion is misguided.

By the way, the ketchup users among you will be happy to know that ketchup is a good source of lycopene. And the health benefits of mustard are many. My correspondent argued that ketchup is also an important source of umami, but I am not convinced. I think he is confusing the ketchup -- basically sugar and vinegar -- with the underlying hot dog. (I do not put ketchup on hot dogs. Ketchup on hot dogs is disgusting. A hot dog wants nothing but a good mustard. There is nothing wrong with a good chili dog, but you should use a chili without too much tomato content.) He didn't have a good response to that, so he called me old. He's 24, so I guess he's right. I'm right about the mustard, though.


Jeffrey said...

too much time on your hands apparently?

Kevin said...

me likey the mustard too.