Re: The Last To Know

1

"GGG"?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-18-07 9:32 PM
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good, giving, and game


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-18-07 9:33 PM
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I had to look it up, teo.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-18-07 9:35 PM
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Or she has 10-pound breasts.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-18-07 9:35 PM
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I've sat for a while musing on what distinction Savage makes between Giving and Game. Never gotten anywhere with it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-18-07 9:35 PM
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Giving=reciprocates. Game=willing to experiment.

Or at least that what makes sense to me.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-18-07 9:36 PM
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'good in bed,' 'giving equal time and equal pleasure,' and 'game for anything--within reason.'


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 09-18-07 9:36 PM
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Really? Giving is the person who knows you're having a crappy day and surprises by picking you up at work to take you to a nice dinner. Game is when she helps you bleach your asshole.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-18-07 9:37 PM
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Let's go with 6 rather and 8. Ok then.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-18-07 9:38 PM
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Giving is when she helps you bleach your asshole. Game is when she helps you bleach your parents' assholes.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-18-07 9:39 PM
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I suppose that makes sense. In the column, they both seem to get lumped together under "will engage in acts that aren't your idea of a good time, necessarily."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-18-07 9:40 PM
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"will engage in acts that aren't your idea of a good time, necessarily."

This doesn't seem like a positive.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-18-07 9:41 PM
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Giving is when he goes down on you, game is when he goes down on your book club.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-18-07 9:42 PM
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Um, will do things because your partner wants to, even if they're not high on your list of fun stuff? That seems to be what he calls for.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-18-07 9:42 PM
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I'm just clowning on the your/their distinction, LB.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-18-07 9:43 PM
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Giving is when you do something you know your partner will enjoy. Game is when you do something neither of you might enjoy.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-18-07 9:44 PM
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giving:blowjob::game:facial


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 09-18-07 9:45 PM
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So tame, young Becks.

giving:facial::game:bukkake with your buddies


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-18-07 9:48 PM
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I think the main thing about being "game" is that it shows a willingness to risk doing something that might not be fun, which is a sign of a particular kind of intimacy, and one of the few I know anything about. I've known people for whom every un-fun moment is a harbinger of doom, or who like to spend predictable, boring times together lest something unexpectedly unpleasant happen to them, and then there would be recriminations and finger-pointing. This was all your idea, you bastard! Etc. That is so not game.

"Game" is probably the most important quality I can think of in friends or partners, at least for myself.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-18-07 9:50 PM
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bukkake with your buddies

Now I know the reason for the swim cap.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 09-18-07 9:50 PM
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game is your willingness to do X that you might be uncomfortable with. Giving is your ability to do it generously, in a happy and open spirit.

It's horrible to have someone try something you want in a way that makes clear they're having a lousy time. Worse than not doing it at all.

I think I may be taking this thread way too seriously.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-18-07 10:11 PM
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I think I may be taking this thread way too seriously.

The nominal topic of the thread is swim cap fetishes. I don't think that's a topic that can be taken too seriously.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 09-18-07 10:22 PM
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Swim cap fetishes are so serious that no amount of seriousness could possibly constitute taking them too seriously. For serious.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 09-18-07 10:50 PM
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Labs?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-18-07 10:54 PM
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Can we ban "buddy" and "buddies"? Whenever the assholes at work start going on about "my buddy has this" and "I'm just going with a couple of my buddies" it makes me want to puke my fucking guts out. And then start singing the jingle for "My Buddy". Friends, Romans, countrymen -- abandon your dependence on buddies!


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 5:24 AM
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I like to call objects and small animals "Buddy". Our Roomba, for example.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 5:28 AM
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It's horrible to have someone try something you want in a way that makes clear they're having a lousy time

unless of course you have a fetish for making people have a really lousy time, which fetish it would not surprise me at all to find was quite widespread the way people behave these days.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 5:48 AM
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I just had a really shitty morning--three hours of dueling small child temper tantrums--and this thread cheered me up. Thanks.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 7:18 AM
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I have a fetish for awkward moments. Sometimes I'll realize there's something I could say or do to take the tension out of the air, but I don't, because I'm getting a little thrill out of blushes and stammers.

I think this is because, when I was a kid, nothing was more horrifying to me than awkwardness. Becoming socially graceful and witty was all I wanted from life. Now, when I do manage a few particularly graceful interactions, it makes me feel cheap, because it's so much easier to massage a moment into normalcy than it is to let tensions build as they may.

I don't think that's the same as wanting people to have a lousy time, and I'd never do it where I didn't think there would be some mutual satisfaction, but it's certainly different from making everyone comfortable at all times.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 7:26 AM
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AWB, you should write a novel. Updike can give you some tip on the sex scenes.

I'm a master of awkwardness, but I never knew that anyone ever had a kink for it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 7:33 AM
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"Tips", but of course "tip" is good too.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 7:34 AM
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Updike can give you some tip

Awk-waaard.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 7:35 AM
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I was not suggesting that AWB or any human being whatsoever should ever get tip from Updike. It was purely a mistype.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 7:39 AM
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Updike is my mortal enemy. We would never have an awkward moment together.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 7:41 AM
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I have a fetish for awkward moments. Sometimes I'll realize there's something I could say or do to take the tension out of the air, but I don't, because I'm getting a little thrill out of blushes and stammers.

I think this is because, when I was a kid, nothing was more horrifying to me than awkwardness. Becoming socially graceful and witty was all I wanted from life. Now, when I do manage a few particularly graceful interactions, it makes me feel cheap, because it's so much easier to massage a moment into normalcy than it is to let tensions build as they may.

Wait, AWB: weren't you just wondering why people act weird around you all the time?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 7:45 AM
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36

And here I thought that problem with <i> tags was fixed.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 7:46 AM
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Yeah, maybe "I'm not married" dude has the same fetish.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 7:47 AM
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One of the things we agree upon. Before most people were born I read his short stories ("Pigeon Feathers") and loved them, but even the I couldn't stand "Rabbit Run" with its stupid protagonist. But recently I looked at the stories again and could stand to read more than a paragraph. His attempt to make boring, annoying middlebrow people interesting by the power of art has been a total disaster.

It's the overwriting and the boring people. I confess that I have mixed feelings about misogyny. I like Roth fine, though I can't imagine that he'll be read 50 years from now.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 7:47 AM
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See, you copy the "[i]", and paste it once per paragraph at the beginning, and then you add an "/", copy it, and paste at the end of each paragraph. Nothing more simple.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 7:51 AM
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38: "couldn't stand"


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 7:52 AM
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[i]Oh, is that what you do?[/i]


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 7:52 AM
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42

Try again, Grasshopper.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 7:56 AM
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37: Yeah, but how would anyone pick up on it that quickly? Do they lay weirdo/awkward lines on everyone?

It's not really something I choose for myself, you know. I have no problem being fairly seamlessly charming around people I like but have no private thoughts about.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 7:59 AM
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I have a higher opinion of Roth than that, and will be doing a post on Everyman, which I found quite moving, soon.

I'm wondering how much AWB's pleasure in awkwardness isn't more common than we think. Certainly many people look forward to blowups and confrontations in fiction and drama, and take pleasure in the badness or embarrassment of situations.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 7:59 AM
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[i]Okay, John, trying again.[/i]

[i]I dunno about this.[/i]


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 8:01 AM
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46

still seems to work like this


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 8:05 AM
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43: Do they lay weirdo/awkward lines on everyone?

I have a friend who actually deliberately does this. Although admittedly even he would stop short of the heavy fromage factor of the dude you described.

Yeah, some of us are just looper magnets. It sucks, but on the upside it makes for better stories than Updike's.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 8:07 AM
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I like Roth fine, though I can't imagine that he'll be read 50 years from now.

Roth's output has been prodigious and varied and I expect some of the later stuff, specifically American Pastoral and Human Stain, will hold up pretty nicely. Portnoy may already have dated, but it gives I think accurate voice to a particular kind of Jewish American family and may survive for that reason.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 8:09 AM
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Actually, I rather wonder if he was trying to be subtle, hoping for a subtle, flirtatious response. By responding in a "Oh my God, I don't know how to respond to that" way, I made it explicit, and therefore awkward. If he hadn't been handsome, I probably would have been cool about it.

Again, it's totally unconscious until after the fact. During situations like that, I think, "Jesus, he's really weird." Then, later, it dawns on me, "No, I am really weird."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 8:13 AM
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50

Actually, I rather wonder if he was trying to be subtle

Yes, if so: total doofus.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 8:16 AM
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51

Agreed. I have mentioned before that the only guys who hit on me in public are the big, dumb, handsome kind.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 8:18 AM
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big, dumb, handsome

Phew, only two out of three. Awkwardness, should I ever meet AWB, averted!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 8:19 AM
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The only guys who hit on me in public are the big, dumb, handsome kind.

I submit that big, dumb, handsome guys do a substantial fraction of all the hitting-on that occurs in the world (certainly all out of proportion to their numbers in the general population), therefore AWB's experience is unlikely to be unique.

Was it Berlin who said that the problem with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt? That surely applies to having the courage to make passes as well.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 8:36 AM
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Was it Berlin who said that the problem with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt? That surely applies to having the courage to make passes as well.

Sure, we must have been over this a hundred times. Even in retrospect, and after some years, both men and women on this blog find it annoying and frustrating, but you can't say yes or no when there hasn't been a question.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 8:46 AM
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54: no.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 8:47 AM
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56

Yeats.

Irrational optimism can be a useful quality, especially for someone who is not easily embarrassed.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 8:48 AM
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Come on, AWB, write a novel. Instant cult classic. Not just us guys.
Publish it under your real name, so no one knows it's you.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 8:49 AM
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Irrational optimism can be a useful quality, especially for someone who is not easily embarrassed.

It has been shown empirically (I'm too lazy to find the link) that this is true of successful entrepreneurs. Basic finding: people who realistically assess their chances in starting a business don't do it (because 90% of them fail). So the few who succeed belong to the segment that is in some sense irrationally optimistic.

The same is basically true of sales people: constitutional optimism is a better predictor of sales success than virtually any other measurable trait. After all, most of sales is handling rejection, and optimistic people tend to be good at that. Not being easily embarassed is an added bonus.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 8:53 AM
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I think we have to distinguish between sexual fetishes and spiteful ones.

Although I guess I could see a sexual fetish developing for awkward moments, since one's early sexual experiences are usually preceded by awkwardness.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 8:55 AM
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58: handling rejection and not being easily embarassed are probably 90% of what men need to pick up women. That, and an inexplicable conviction that you're awesome.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 8:57 AM
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So the few who succeed belong to the segment that is in some sense irrationally optimistic.

But according to what you say, so are the many who fail. So irrational optimism would be less a necessary part of success than a necessary part of starting a business at all. Indeed, successful entrepreneurs could be said to comprise the small minority of the business creating population who may plausibly have been rationally optimistic.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 8:59 AM
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The quality you really want to have is the courage to ask, to try, even when you know the odds. And really, the odds for the knowledgeable are never that bad: that 90% includes a lot of loons and desperate people, and a lot of unserious people too.

And to Marcus' 60: I think you can have the first 2 without the last.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:01 AM
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one's early sexual experiences are usually preceded by awkwardness.

So in a weird way, Emerson is really doing them a favor with his chloroform thing.


Posted by: Won't Even Sign a Pseud to This One | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:01 AM
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61: That assumes that the difference between a business that fails and one that succeeds is a quality of the entrepreneur. For an incompetent entrepreneur, sure, but I'd guess that regardless of the competence of the entrepreneur, success or failure is dependent largely on factors outside their control. At which point even the smart people who succeed made an irrational decision when they made the attempt.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:02 AM
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I submit that big, dumb, handsome guys do a substantial fraction of all the hitting-on that occurs in the world (certainly all out of proportion to their numbers in the general population), therefore AWB's experience is unlikely to be unique.

Yeah, I find it extremely odd that #51 is supposed to describe one of the ways in which AWB's experiences have been interesting.

Most of the rest of the hitting-on I have seen has either been by short, swarthy immigrants, or girls who have had more than five drinks.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:04 AM
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short, swarthy immigrants

We are two wild and crazy guys!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:07 AM
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64: outside their control, but not necessarily outside their realm of knowledge. A successful entrepreneur is one who is relatively knowledgeable about the risks and rewards of the business they're starting, and is able to navigate the unknowns well enough that, should things break their way, they're positioned for success. Besides, it's not like starting a business that ultimately doesn't succceed necessarily means you won't be able to pull it off the next time.

I'm not sure what to make of that "90%" of businesses fail statistic, either. What constitutes failure? Eventually going out of business? Never making any money for anybody? Or making some money for some amount of time, but not enough that it makes sense to stay in operation long-term?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:07 AM
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big, dumb, handsome guys do a substantial fraction of all the hitting-on that occurs in the world

No, y'all are wrong. Any particular woman tends to get hit on by a particular type of dude, because dudes seem to self-select in the public-hitting-on for the women they think are hot, but not so hot/in a different social group that the dude won't have a chance.

Thus, being moderately ethnic looking, I only ever get hit on by black or hispanic men, who often like to loudly aver that they like women with junk in the trunk. As if to remind me, hey, fatty, other men may not like you, but I totally want to bone you!


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:09 AM
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Needless to say, it's not very effective.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:10 AM
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You're so racist. The darker races are completely sincere in their appreciation of junk in the trunk.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:12 AM
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I think that we on the big butt issue we should give props to the groups who have a good attitude about it. The thinness fad is really sick.

I'd say a business fails if the owner would have been better off working for wages during the same period of time. "Better off" is dependent on the businessman's preferences -- some people are willing to make less money and/or work longer hours just to be independent.

Also, bankruptcy.

The 90% failure rate is restaurants, I think.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:15 AM
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I think it's just the phrasing. If they said "excuse me, ma'am, I must aver that the size of your ass is quite thoroughly in line with my own personal preferences" she would be charmed.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:16 AM
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I just had a really shitty morning--three hours of dueling small child temper tantrums--and this thread cheered me up. Thanks.

Unfogged -- valued resource for parents everywhere!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:17 AM
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Thus, being moderately ethnic looking, I only ever get hit on by black or hispanic men, who often like to loudly aver that they like women with junk in the trunk. As if to remind me, hey, fatty, other men may not like you, but I totally want to bone you!

I thought that the moderately ethnic looking were generally agreed to be the most beautiful people.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:21 AM
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I only ever get hit on by black or hispanic men

No way. I totally hit on you at the last UnfoggeDCon.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:28 AM
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76

Fair enough. That brings the number of white dudes who have hit on me to like 3.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:30 AM
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77

I'm not sure what to make of that "90%" of businesses fail statistic, either.

I actually meant that as a rhetorical trope rather than an actual statistical assertion, but you were right to call me out on it, so...

According to the a Bureau of Labor Statistics study, the failure rate for new ventures started between 1998 and 2002 was 34% after 2 years and 56% after 4 years. If you factor out the contemporaneous dot-com collapse, the four-year survival rate improves by a couple of points.

"Failure" means they were no longer in business, which could mean either involvency or something less severe (owner decided it wasn't worth it, whatever).


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:31 AM
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78

Anyway, I was talking about public-hitting-on. Internet blog parties where people already "know" eachother don't count.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:31 AM
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79

I'm black when I'm drunk, though.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:33 AM
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80

I like fat chicks.

No, wait, that came out wrong.

"I like fat chicks".


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:33 AM
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As an ethnic type, leblanc, you're simply insensitive to the signals sent out by the more subtle honky types.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:34 AM
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77: so, really, even odds of the business being gone within four years, across all business started by anyone, including restaurants and LOEs (Loon Operated Enterprises) doesn't sound too bad to me. Starting a business: plausibly a rational arena for optimism!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:34 AM
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81: the waving of the honkitude appendage, as it were.

79 is appalling; hilarious.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:36 AM
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79 is appalling; hilarious.

It's the companion sentiment to this post title.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:38 AM
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85

That brings the number of white dudes who have hit on me to like 3.

Surely the prodigious white dude hitting-on power of The Apostropher counts for more than that of mere mortals?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:39 AM
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M. Leblanc:

I think you get triple points when a red-head hits on you.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:40 AM
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85: She started at 0.5, M/tch.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:40 AM
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I go black if I drink enough too.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:41 AM
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89

Once you go black, you can't remember who you hit on the next morning.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:41 AM
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90

I was always inhibited from approaching non-white women, even more than with white, by the thought that they might have "protectors" who who would take offense and do something about it. As a large white guy, I thought myself categorically, although not actually threatening.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:42 AM
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even odds of the business being gone within four years, across all business started by anyone, including restaurants and LOEs (Loon Operated Enterprises) doesn't sound too bad to me.

Keep in mind though, that most businesses requires some equity commitment (from yourself or your gullible friends) before you can get any form of financing. And you have the opportunity cost of four years that you might have been advancing in your career and earning a higher salary. And a business failure is one of the most stressful things you can experience--right up there with divorce.

So to look at those statistics and say "yeah, I'll take a coin flip on that 'cause I'm so damned confident in my own abilities"-- that takes a level of optimism that can fairly be called irrational.

But thank God for the existence of such people, because otherwise our capitalist economy would go south very quickly. Nifty paradox, eh?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:43 AM
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I would like to propose that, like our wise co-honkeys across the pond, we Americans start referring to people with auburn hair as "gingers" instead of "redheads".

But I also think we should start referring to brunettes and blondes as "brownheads" and "yellowheads", respectively.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:44 AM
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"Ginger" always seemed a good name, because of the color of the root, for sandy-haired people. Only by convention would something like this be called "ginger."


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:52 AM
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So to look at those statistics and say "yeah, I'll take a coin flip on that 'cause I'm so damned confident in my own abilities"-- that takes a level of optimism that can fairly be called irrational.

In individual cases, though, especially if you're (a) not a loon (although obviously self-diagnosis of looniness is going to be tricky) and (b) not starting a restaurant, and especially if it's a field you know well, your odds are going to be higher than that.

I know more than one serial entrepreneur, who have created second businesses after their first attempt didn't really go anywhere. The opportunity costs are also mitigated by the value of experience gained by starting even (especially?) a failed business.

Still, yes, you have to have a significant tolerance for large amounts of risk, or an inability to comprehend how much risk you're really assuming. Luckily the latter is something human beings are exceptionally good at.

Verbose comity: plausibly achieved!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:53 AM
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93: Spoken like a true ginger, idp.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:55 AM
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"Gingernut" is a heck of a term.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:56 AM
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So to look at those statistics and say "yeah, I'll take a coin flip on that 'cause I'm so damned confident in my own abilities"-- that takes a level of optimism that can fairly be called irrational.

I suspect that the data sucks, and we aren't asking discriminating enough questions. I can easily imagine situations in which the failure prepares someone for further career success, not in some mystical way, but rather in the sense that you get experience in a field that you will not otherwise get. You might think of this as analogous to an unpaid internship. Or perhaps it's similar to a minor league baseball player who has better coaching prospects because of his pro experience and despite his lack of success at the same (to say nothing of opportunity costs as regards another field).

"Rationality" is rarely going to hurt you.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 9:56 AM
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93, 95: remember that in the land of rationing and socialised healthcare, it is only the upper classes who are aware that ginger comes in any form other than the dried, powdered spice used for flavouring McVitie's "Ginger Nut" biscuits.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:03 AM
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"Rationality" is rarely going to hurt you.

According to statistics, three out of four country doctors disagree.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:04 AM
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This thread is boring. Let's Ask the Mineshaft instead: my son recently tested alarmingly high for lead, and a state inspection that occurred yesterday revealed dangerous lead levels in the windows and doors of our apartment (that we had been told was deleaded when we rented the place in late May). What is to be done? I believe $1 million would be fair compensation, assuming there is no permanent damage to my son. If there is permanent damage, I think blood will have to be shed.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:04 AM
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...the dried, powdered spice used for flavouring McVitie's "Ginger Nut" biscuits Which is more or less the color of the clown in 93?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:05 AM
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[i] I know more than one serial entrepreneur, who have created second businesses after their first attempt didn't really go anywhere./

There are some serial entrepreneurs that are so into start-ups, their goal is to sell it off and go to the next one. They're bored with the operational stage. Those that are successful at that would be good study.


Posted by: terpbball | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:07 AM
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Why cannot we just say "Pasty-white, freckle-fiend"?

I say it with love.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:08 AM
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Kobe: That sucks, Brock, hope everything turns out okay for your son.

You should also consider suing some of these people.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:09 AM
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[i]"See, you copy the "[i]", and paste it once per paragraph at the beginning, and then you add an "/", copy it, and paste at the end of each paragraph. Nothing more simple."[i]/

testing


Posted by: terpbball | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:10 AM
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104: Yes, I shoudl sue all of those people. But that's not actually the apartment we took. Ours was supposed to be *deleaded.* There are probably things (like the things recommended in that thread) we'd have done differently had we realized it wasn't. Like perhaps not letting him spend ALL SUMMER playing in the front doorway, the frame of which is covered in crumbling, peeling lead paint.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:13 AM
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Ugh, that's awful, Brock. Have you had somebody in to figure out which paint is lead?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:16 AM
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105: Use the "greater than" and "less than" symbols instead of brackets.

Like this:

<i>Text to be italicized.</i>


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:17 AM
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Brock, I've said it before and I'll say it again -- I vigorously encourage lawsuits. Sue the bastards!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:18 AM
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108: [i]Use the "greater than" and "less than" symbols instead of brackets.[i]/

I do believe terpball and myself are making fun of Emerson.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:18 AM
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100: Ouch. Seriously, I think you move. My dad was a lead-inspections guy for a year or so while he was working for NYC Housing Preservation and Developmen, and while he was very positive about the efficacy of covering lead-painty walls with good paint as a means of abating the hazard, he was very depressing about windows -- the friction in the frames means that if there's lead paint underneath, there's going to be dust; it's very difficult to effectively cover the paint. For windows, you really need to rip them out and put in new frames. (This is from the highly scientific source of Things My Dad Said Once While Being Concerned For His Genius Grandchildren. Obviously, you'd be a fool to rely on it.)

God knows what you can recover from the landlord, but high lead levels are scary.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:19 AM
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For god's sake don't do the legal analysis yourself: you'll be focused on what you shoulda/coulda. Haven't you got plaintiff's PI connections at all?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:22 AM
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Lead (and asbestos) are huge, huge issues in preservation. Pretty much any building built before the early eighties has both, and they're a giant hassle to get out (you need to do the whole moonsuit/plastic sheeting deal every time you disturb them).

I just noticed that 107 is idiotic. Please disregard it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:23 AM
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110: Wait, you're the straight man? I thought I was supposed to be the straight man.

This comedy duo is never going to work.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:24 AM
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What IDP said, and of course remember that your own lead levels at the Brocklet's age were probably sky-high, given the persistence of lead from leaded gasoline in dust and such (well, maybe not yours, you're younger than I am, I think. But all us oldsters!) Environmental lead generally is a lot lower than it used to be, so the panic threshold is lower.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:26 AM
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111: I think MA law actually required the windows be ripped out and new frames installed (and the landlord to pay for our hotel for the week or so that's going to take). But he has something like four months from this point to comply. Given that we've lived there only three months and there's already a problem, I don't feel good about waiting. On the other hand, I don't know where the hell we'd move.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:26 AM
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Use the "greater than" and "less than" symbols instead of brackets.


110- hey thanks, sifu & M/tch. If someone can teach me how to set up a link, I'll be golden.


Posted by: terpbball | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:27 AM
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116: My kinfolks tell me Californy is the place you oughta be.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:28 AM
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[i]you're the straight man?[i]/

110%, bro.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:29 AM
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117: It goes a little sumpin' like this:

<a href="www.address.com">Text that people will click on</a>


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:30 AM
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115: yes, this is what gives me hope. Otherwise I'd probably seriously be having a nervous breakdown.

And yes, I'm in touch with an experienced lawyer. I'm really just here venting. The lawyer doesn't think a $1 million recovery in the event of no actual damage to the child seems realistic, which to me is absurd. I think I need a more aggressive lawyer. That ought to be the minimum recovery.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:30 AM
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116: How scary is your lawfirm? If he's obliged to do the abatement anyway, can you try to muscle him into doing it next week, using the old "Of all the possible babies whose brain you might damage through neglect, the son of a high powered lawyer is a really dangerous one to pick" routine? Polite request, followed swiftly by frightening letter with copies of lead tests attached and estimates of lifetime cost of care for an injured child?

I'm always advising shit like this, and rarely do it, but if you haven't got anyplace to move to, it seems worth a shot.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:32 AM
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The lawyer doesn't think a $1 million recovery in the event of no actual damage to the child seems realistic, which to me is absurd. I think I need a more aggressive lawyer. That ought to be the minimum recovery.

You're totally kidding, right? In the absence of actual damage, um, what's the actual damage?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:33 AM
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123: extreem emotional distress.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:34 AM
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Perhaps even extreme.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:34 AM
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123: Punitive damages? Infliction of near nervous breakdowns?

Sadly though, I think you're right.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:35 AM
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My emotions are both very fragile and very valuable, LB. You must take the plaintiff as you find him.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:37 AM
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You're the man with the eggshell psyche?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:37 AM
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If you eat enough lead as a child, you can grow up to have 10lb breasts.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:38 AM
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Better hope the defense doesn't google you and find unfogged. Could undermine your claim to being delicate and sensitive.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:40 AM
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Having just had my attention drawn to the date, may I say that you're all a pack of scurvy dogs. And I need to find myself a yardarm to be poised directly beneath the sun.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:41 AM
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But that totally fucking sucks about the lead and you should include in the settlement that the landlord has to pay for testing and abatement in every apartment in the building.

What led (as it were) you to have your son tested?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:42 AM
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More seriously, it would be a lot easier to be a hardass if my landlord were Giant Slumlords, Incorporated, instead of just some dude who bought a spare rental property. I'm think if I wrack up a bunch of expenses he's going to be able to pay back approximately none of them, despite any legal obligation.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:43 AM
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132: routine annual checkups include lead tests, at least around here.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:44 AM
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133: If you like the place, and you think the problem with the abatement is that he won't have the cash upfront to pay for it, could you work out a deal where you help him out with paying for the work now, and take it off the rent over the next X months? I mean, there's being a hardass, but you don't want your kid poisoned, and you don't want to be responsible for what happens to the next kid who moves in after you move out.

It completely sucks that lead makes such great paint -- apparently it's head and shoulders better in beauty, cheapness and durability than any alternative. It's just, you know, poisonous.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:47 AM
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a pack of scurvy dogs

Soap or razor will never sully my skin.

My kid loves this pirate song almost as much as Buffalo Soldier and I Will survive


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:48 AM
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it's head and shoulders better in beauty, cheapness and durability than any alternative. It's just, you know, poisonous

They say the same things about Angelina Jolie, and look at her!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:49 AM
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Arghhhh.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 10:56 AM
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Where does the "pirate accent" come from anyway? In Treasure Island people seem to be from the Bristol area, but who knows what moved some movie pirate to start with this Arggh! business?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:07 AM
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re: 139

Bits of rural Oxfordshire, people have an accent with 'piratical' features, too. Sort of generic west of england with knobs on, innit? The 'pirate' accent.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:13 AM
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I've just recently seen some blog posts on it, although I couldn't tell you where. The pirate accent is a Devon? accent, and the area was a big source of sailors generally, and pirates specifically, IIRC.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:13 AM
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68: The honkies in your neighbourhood must indeed be the shy, retiring type. By which I am for some reason surprised.

But of course it doesn't work. To make that approach work you have to approach a group of women and end the remark with "... ladies."


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:15 AM
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And then of course there's the hybrid accent spoken by buccanneers from the Emerald Isle and by people who can't do accents very well: Pirish.*

* I should add (or she'll hit me) that the groundbreaking study on Pirish culture was done by colleagues of Sir Kraab and brought to my attention by her.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:23 AM
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I think Unfogged should have a "Comment like max" day.

[Shiver me timbers]
max


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:24 AM
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I thought we had gone over the Patient Zero of the pirate-talking epidemic before. Yes, he was from Dorset.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:30 AM
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Personally, I'm ae fir, 'comment entirely in Scots dialect day'. Forby, whit I'm biased, but.

'f ye ken whit I mean, and I jalouse that ye dae.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:30 AM
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143: Indeed. It was an essay called "Swashbuckling Decentered: An Anti-Lacanian Interrogation of the Absence of Women in Pirish Myth," published in the anthology Ay/Aye/Eye Begorrah!

*I wouldn't hit you, M/ M/, but I would hide all of the Buffy DVDs.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:32 AM
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146: Do you really want to look at how a bunch of mostly Americans butcher your native manner of speech? That sounds excruciating. (Och, aye.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:34 AM
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147: You can't hide them if you can't find them, matey.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:35 AM
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I have my ways. Ever heard of keel hauling?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:36 AM
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@145: Figures we would have.

Anybody seen the Wallace Beery version from '34, w/ Jackie Cooper? Wonder what he sounded like.

I read TI to my son a couple of years ago, and was impressed with the genuine menace it conveys. From the physical description of Silver, Michael Caine, now, would be perfect.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:37 AM
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re: 148

Good point.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:37 AM
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I'm canny that way.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:38 AM
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146: I'd blue-bird yer Scots dialect and abe in some ottin' Boontling, and get higgied from the dreeking were you to want a fister, too.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:38 AM
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All I know how to say in Scots dialect is:

A SNAKE! A FOOKIN' SNAAAAKE!!!

This was bellowed across a long distance to me and some friends one summer up on Arthur's Seat at about 3am in the morning (i.e. the sun was already beginnig to come up). It was in response to our shouted question, "IF. YOU. COULD. BE. ANY. ANIMAL. WHAT. ANIMAL. WOULD. YOU. BE?"


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:40 AM
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heh at 155.

Short nights are the best thing about Scottish summers. Being pissed and coming home at 3am and it being almost light.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:42 AM
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Cor, beginnig!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:42 AM
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My one sentence in Scots dialect is the golfing advice from Wodehouse's golf stories: "Slow back, dinna press, and keep your ee on the ba'." I rarely have occasion to advise golfers in the persona of a Scot, but if it comes up, I'm ready.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:43 AM
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re: 158

yeah. Although 'een on the baw' would also make sense.

Een is the plural of ee.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:46 AM
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156: Except back when this happened, the pubs had to close at something like 10:30pm, i.e. still broad blazing daylight.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:46 AM
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arthur's seat:
one of the most fabulous places inside of any major metropolitan area that i know.

(tho of course there's also stoppard's line,
that edinburgh calls itself the athens of the north,
but it's really more like the reykjavik of the south.)


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:47 AM
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For what it's worth, most of the successful pirates were Welsh.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:47 AM
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re: 160

Really? In Edinburgh? When I started drinking there in the late 80s there were definitely places to go drinking late. Edinburgh always had later licenses. Although I suppose the places with late licenses weren't spread all over the city, or anything.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:48 AM
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161: No one in or from Greece ever seemed to appreciate me calling Athens "the Edinburgh of the South".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:48 AM
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164: This was in about '92. I do remember there being places to go for drink after the pubs closed, but they were expensive and tended only to serve mixed drinks and to be trying (and failing) to pull off a swanky nightclub atmosphere.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:50 AM
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Why on Earth would a city ever want to be compared to Athens?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:51 AM
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162: I share a family name with one of the greats. Probably not a relative, but we haven't got a family history as such, so who knows.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:52 AM
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166: Civic pride in its smog production and stray cats?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:53 AM
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166: I think when the phrase arose, they had classical Athens and Greek culture in mind. Edinburgh even has the beginnings of a copy of the Coliseum up on one of its hills, started sometime in the 19th century I think but abandoned at some point for lack of funds.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:53 AM
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162: I think it's because the recruiting slogan "rum, sodomy, and the lash" was most effective there.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:55 AM
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The stray cats in Athens are pretty well cared for.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:55 AM
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Edinburgh even has the beginnings of a copy of the Coliseum

Athens, Rome, it's all a bunch of guys running around in bedsheets.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:55 AM
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I think Cumbernauld is occasionally described as "the Wrexham of the North".


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:55 AM
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171: True. They even get to be on postcards!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:55 AM
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170
lâche, vous vouliez dire.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:56 AM
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168: seriously.

"We have the distinction of having the second ugliest architecture in Europe, after Athens!"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:57 AM
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re: 173

If that's what Wrexham is/was like, I pity you.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:57 AM
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I am from Stenhousemuir, though. Of which Wikipedia says:

Ochilview Park, McCowan's Toffee Factory, Falkirk Tryst Golf Club and Stenhousemuir Cricket Club are all accessible via Tryst Road, a prominent stretch of road leading North out of the village. The street is so called because it was the site of the annual Tryst gathering of livestock farmers and buyers came from all over Scotland. On the anniversary of the Tryst in September each year, a travelling funfair comes to the site.

And if you get a slight 'League of Gentlemen' feel from that, you'd be right.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:59 AM
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ttaM you've never been to Wrexham? How can this be? I thought everybody in the UK had to make a pilgrimage there at least once?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:59 AM
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for misplaced columns, don't forget stonehenge at mary hill, in the columbia gorge.
(google image--has to be seen to be believed)


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 11:59 AM
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172: Oops, yeah, I meant Parthenon.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:00 PM
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Also:

The "stone house" from which the village took its name was a Roman building on the north of the Carron River Valley valley known in later centuries as "Arthur's O'on," i.e. King Arthur's oven. This building fits the description of the "rotunda tabulata" described by Wace in his Roman de Brut of 1155, which may by mistranslation have given rise to the legend of the round table. It is no longer to be seen, having been demolished to rebuild a dam on the River Carron by Sir Michael Bruce of Stenhouse in 1743.

Several local academics claim (seriously) that the village and environs are the original site of the Arthurian myths. Which is fairly demented [but amusing].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:01 PM
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i expect to hear at any minute from certain welsh rabid nationalists that arthur was a native of wales.
and that stonehenge was built by wales.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:03 PM
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Hah. When I met Buck, he recommended a series of pseudoscholarly books arguing that thesis to me (fun fact: "Lancelot" is actually a distorted form of the original name "L'Angus".) The way I picked them apart came very close to derailing the whole budding relationship.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:05 PM
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stonehenge was built by wales.

Whales, kid, whales. You thought people were big enough to lift rocks that size?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:05 PM
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183: No way was Stonehenge built by whales. They don't even have thumbs.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:06 PM
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lb, i don't remember this being the thread about incredibly unpropitious ways to begin a happy marriage.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:06 PM
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DAMMIT!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:06 PM
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re: 184

What, that Arthur was Welsh? Or that the Arthurian myths are really from the 'Welsh' kingdom in southern/central Scotland?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:07 PM
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185--

oh my. it looks as though i may have used one homophone in place of another. what could account for this embarrassing oversight? surely blind error. perhaps some kind pedant will show me the true path.

(paging larry craig, larry craig to the homophone!)


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:07 PM
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The way I picked them apart came very close to derailing the whole budding relationship

I'll bet some such passage occurs in most really good relationships. You choose between your vanity and something more important, and are aware of choosing.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:08 PM
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188: Consistently pwning you is one of so few pleasures in my life, Apo.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:09 PM
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188: anyhow, they do have thumbs.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:09 PM
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Stonehenge was a product of fluke, apo. Pure fluke.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:10 PM
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They don't even have thumbs.

Which just makes it all the more impressive, innit?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:10 PM
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194: they built it for the halibut.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:11 PM
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And if you get a slight 'League of Gentlemen' feel from that, you'd be right.

I don't see what a travelling funfair has to do with Robert Fripp's dance band.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:11 PM
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Or that the Arthurian myths are really from the 'Welsh' kingdom in southern/central Scotland?

This. 184 was to your 182. I actually don't know if there's anything to the theory generally, although the geographical basis of the Arthur legend does seem to go all the way back to the root, but the particular books he lent me were just ridiculous.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:11 PM
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194: No, I'm pretty sure it's granite or some other rocklike substance like that. Fluke wouldn't support the weight of the crossbeams, I don't think.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:12 PM
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195--
fine example of the grammatically absolute 'innit'.

'i'm looking really brill today, innit?'


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:12 PM
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I spent 2 years in Cumbernauld as a child. (When it really was new.) Don't think I'll bother going to Wrexham.

A funny story, though more inappropriate than awkward.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:12 PM
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200(!): Well, it is talk like a sheepshagger day.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:13 PM
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You're totally kidding, right? In the absence of actual damage, um, what's the actual damage?

In this case, the cost of routine testing to monitor for the potential of actual damage is an actual damage. Rephrase that so it makes sense, but you know what I mean.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:20 PM
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I've nowt been to Cumbernauld, but I did see Gregory's Girl many a time.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:21 PM
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The cost of routine testing to monitor for the potential of actual damage to Brock's kid is an actual damage to Brock and wifey.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:22 PM
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Hey Emerson, how does that italics tag stuff work again?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:22 PM
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re: 197

The other one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2F4ZWTjwTU


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:23 PM
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203, 205: Absolutely true, but not a million bucks.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:24 PM
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208--
yeah, but once you have the direct damages for testing and monitoring, you may be able to pile on with an nied.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:27 PM
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I'm enjoying the Scottish turn this thread has taken, but "Swashbuckling Decentered" in 147, people! That's funny stuff! Well, assuming you enjoy mocking lit-theory-type titles.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:27 PM
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208: Really, really expensive tests? I mean, geez, the cost of healthcare these days and so on and so forth...

(Thanks, Ben, for the coherence assist in 205...)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:28 PM
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I'm going to insist once again that any attempt at speaking Northern England dialect must involve referring to one's younger male friends as "our kid".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:35 PM
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you may be able to pile on with an nied

I guess it varies from state to state, but in Illinois, trying to prove NIED if you aren't a direct victim of injury is a royal pain in the ass.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:42 PM
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Di Kotimy is the sort of lawyer I need. The rest of you are pansies.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:45 PM
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"your kid" is your younger sibling, isn't it, rather than your friend?


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:47 PM
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214--

no, if you read m. leblanc's 213 about my 209, you'll see that i'm being even more aggressive than dikotimy.

not that i'm offering to take the case.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:49 PM
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NIED?

neglient-something emotional duress?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:49 PM
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Needlessly Inflicted Erectile Dysfunction?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:50 PM
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That was actually the advertising slogan I was going to tryo out: "Di Kotimy -- the other lawyers are all pansies."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:50 PM
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Negligent infliction of enotional distress.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:51 PM
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not in every district, either, alas.
don't know how nc handles them. il as per m. leblanc.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:53 PM
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See, Brock and I share similar typing abilities, too.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:53 PM
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Notional distress is the worst sort.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:55 PM
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223--
second only to notional distress delivered via the web, a.k.a.
e-notional distress.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:56 PM
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Especially when inflicted electronically.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:56 PM
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Dammit.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:57 PM
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Notional distress is the worst sort.
E-notional distress is worse. Far worse. Like million dollar bad.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:59 PM
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NIED is indeed a strong indication of victimization.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 12:59 PM
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There, that should make you feel better, Teo. You didn't come in last on that one...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 1:04 PM
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pansies

There's a local abogado whose ads feature a man in a suit with a crude computer-graphics lion's head. The lion roars at the end of the ad.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 1:06 PM
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194!!


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 1:10 PM
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What is this thread supposed to be about, again?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 3:01 PM
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Scaping fœtus off the wheel, of course.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 3:03 PM
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Er, scraping.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 3:03 PM
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Scarping.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 3:14 PM
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Grasp, Inc.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 3:23 PM
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What is this thread supposed to be about, again?

Ogged's new job as a lifeguard. Duh. Do try to keep up, B.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 5:01 PM
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Brock, are you sure it's the apartment that's to blame, and not the Chinese-made toys he's been sucking on lo these many months?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 5:50 PM
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Huh. Point to M/tch.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 5:52 PM
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Point and laugh at M/tch.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 5:53 PM
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M/tch, all his toys are made in America from natural wood and colored with organic vegetable dyes. And the water he drinks is all filtered. And and and.

So I'm pretty sure it is the apartment. We wracked our brains pretty hard trying to figure out what it could be when the blood tests first came back, and have been doing all sorts of crazy things like not wearing shoes in the house or letting him play outside in sand boxes, etc. since then. But since the state inspector came to our home yesterday and said the lead levels were so high the place was borderline condemnable as a threat to public safety (like, kids in the neighborhood who might play outside nearby), I'm pretty damn sure it's the apartment. But thanks for checking.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 6:44 PM
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Stupid landlord. What the hell was he doing telling you the lead was abated if it wasn't? You know what you have? Hopefully not a personal injury claim, because the Brocklet will not actually have taken any harm from the elevated lead level, but you have a hell of a fraud claim -- you relied on a misrepresentation and received an apartment not only diminished in value from what was promised but actually injurious.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 6:51 PM
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At one of my old apartments, I had to sign a statement every year to certify that no children lived in the apartment or were going to live in the apartment that year.

Brock, I really don't think you should let any sympathy for the landlord prevent you from doing what you think right in this situation. As I learned from another apartment, just because some people are bad at being landlords doesn't mean that they shouldn't be asked to fulfill their responsibilities as landlords. Buying dangerously leaded rental apartments was a shitty investment. Tant pis pour lui.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 6:59 PM
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242: sure, no question. I don't think that does me much good, though--see 133.

I could probably legally stop paying rent now (and continue living there), on the theory that he owes me money for damages. But I think I'd have a hard time getting anything out of him (like, say, moving expenses). Lead law violations are uninsurable in MA, so there's no insurance company from which to collect.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 7:05 PM
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Brock, I like LB's idea of a frightening letter to encourage your landlord to do this now, not four months from now.

Also, I'm sure LB is right that the Brocklet will likely not suffer lasting harm. But obviously this is worrisome, and you have every reason to feel fragile, angry, or whatever.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 7:06 PM
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At one of my old apartments, I had to sign a statement every year to certify that no children lived in the apartment or were going to live in the apartment that year.

You were the tenant and the landlord required this?

If that were legal in Boston I think 95% of all apartments would have such waivers attached. Here a landlord can't discriminate against families with children, which means landlords typically have to find some pretext for not renting to people with kids.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 7:18 PM
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244: How does phoning a lead abatement company and paying them yourself to come tear out and replace the windows and doors while you live in a hotel, keeping records of what it all cost, and then continuing to live in the apartment without paying rent until the withheld rent equals your expenses work for you? I'd bet that'd be within your rights, and not terribly cruel to the landlord -- you're fronting the money and leaving him with a higher value apartment. You'd need to check with a lawyer on whether that sort of thing would be allowed, but I'd bet you could pull off something of the sort.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 7:23 PM
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247: He has four months to fix the problem, and I don't think (in fact, know I can't legally) just pick up the phone and call someone in the interim and then stick him with the tab.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 7:27 PM
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I think you have my e-mail, Brock; I can definitely get you a number of a reputable lead abatement company if you need me to; I've been working with it a fair bit lately.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 7:27 PM
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What I need is a unicorn.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 7:29 PM
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(in fact, know I can't legally)

I'm being pushy here, but are you really sure in that you've asked specifically that question from someone who does landlord-tenant law? When it's an acutely dangerous condition that's already resulted in measurable harm to your kid? I'm sure that under NY law you can fix a dangerous condition if the landlord doesn't immediately and stick them with the bill.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-07 7:30 PM
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251: yes, I'm, sure. My kid's lead levels are legally elevated, not poisoned, which is enough to bother the hell out of me, but not enough to justify (legally) taking emergency action.* And if I were justified in taking emergency action, that would be moving to a hotel until the problem is fixed and then sticking the landlord with the bill, not just hiring someone to do the work myself. The landlord has just been served legal notice by the state and now has a statutorily prescribed period to take remedial action.

(*And even though I'm worried about his current levels--especially as my pediatric friends bemoan the fact that the government's threshold for elevation is still too high, that even small amounts can and sometimes do cause long-term damage, blah blah blah scary things I don't want to think about--I'm not really panicked about the current level, I'm mostly concerned about the trajectory. I know nothing about this, but those people I know who do know about this think moving from something presumably near zero to his current levels in just three months is really alarmingly fast. Which is why the thought of four more months sort of terrifies me. I know we'll be doing things differently--windows shut, no playing in the crumbly lead doorway--but I hate wondering whether I'm putting him at risk.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09-20-07 7:31 AM
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Seriously, Brock, I think it's worth plunking down some money to talk to a housing lawyer. Lead is some bad shit.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-20-07 7:37 AM
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Huh. That's weirdly different from my understanding of NYS law, but I suppose that's why they call it federalism. (and of course my understanding of NY law on this topic is non-professional.)

Another question, though, is whether your landlord might agree to doing it that way voluntarily. He's on the hook for the cost of abatement anyway, the question is just when. Paying for it in four months might not be strongly preferable in his eyes to paying for it in the form of withheld rent over time, particularly when he considers the added risk he's putting himself at of being bankrupted by a personal injury/fraud judgment if the delay hurts your son. Whether or not you've got the right to do this unilaterally, it seems like an outcome you could negotiate your way to -- benefit to you, and no major harm to the landlord.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-07 7:37 AM
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See 121.

I was hopeful that we'd be able to work out something like what you suggest, but the landlord is so far being a huge jackass about it: (a) Upset that I didn't notify his before having the apartment inspected--which I didn't mostly because I honestly didn't think there was anything there, since that's what we'd been told, I was more just checking off a box on a long list of potential sources; (b) insisting that any lead that may or may not be in the apartment could not possibly be the source of the lead in my son's blood, that it must be his toys or the water he drinks or the soil in the park, etc.; (c) saying he wants to have his own inspector come out and re-test to challenge the state's report, etc. Much of this may be simple defensive posturing (that would do very little good if my kid actually ends up injured), but I'm now less optimistic about working peaceably towards a solution. We'll see.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09-20-07 7:51 AM
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First part of 255 to 253.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09-20-07 7:53 AM
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I guess the law is actually fairly similar to that of NY, MGL 111 c. 121L is the sort of thing I was thinking of.

When violations of the standards of fitness for human habitation as established in the state sanitary code, or of other applicable laws, ordinances, by-laws, rules or regulations, may endanger or materially impair the health, safety or well-being of a tenant of residential premises and are so certified by the board of health or local code enforcement agency, or in the cities of Boston, Worcester and Cambridge by the commissioner of housing inspection, or by a court of law, and if the owner or his agent has been notified in writing of the existence of the violations and has failed to begin all necessary repairs or to contract in writing with a third party for such repairs within five days after such notice, and to substantially complete all necessary repairs within fourteen days after such notice, unless a board of health, local code enforcement agency or court has ordered that said violations be corrected within a shorter period, in which case said period shall govern, the tenant or tenants may repair or have repaired the defects or conditions constituting the violations. The tenant or tenants may subsequently deduct from any rent which may subsequently become due, subject to the provisions of the following paragraph, an amount necessary to pay for such repairs.

The blocking factor must be the certification by an enforcement agency that the lead is a qualifying hazard, or an overriding provision that deals specifically with lead abatement. This doesn't help you any, I just hate guessing wrong on general matters of law (Massachusetts is a civilized state! They must have the tenant's rights I'm familiar with!).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-07 8:08 AM
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Do you think your landlord might have been ripped off by whoever was supposed to do the lead abatement? If so, it's someone you could go after. I understand in fraudulent asbestos abatement is quite a racket--I wonder if that's true of lead as well.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09-20-07 8:18 AM
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258: Possible, but he didn't sound genuinely shocked when I told him the place tested postitive.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09-20-07 8:22 AM
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257 is right.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09-20-07 8:22 AM
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Not that this is a productive way to think, you should be keeping the situation as non-hostile as possible in the hopes of a swift and amicable resolution, but what a fucking shithead.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-07 8:23 AM
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261--
what, ma has no statute making it actionable to be a fucking shithead?
there oughta be a law.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-20-07 8:31 AM
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California has much better renter's rights than DC. They have to ask your permission before they enter except under certain emergency situations, like flooding.

Massachusetts doesn't seem to be as good.

(We have community rated guaranteed issue health insurance, though!)

I lived in an apartment that still had some asbestos. It was the only place left in Da/vis when I was looking. A house mate had thrown me out after a week. (I was too pushy about asking when she thought that the washing machine would arrive.) She left a note on the door and didn't have the decency to speak to me. I had to sign a waver. It was very scuzzy, because when I had a rodent problem they wouldn't kill them, only patch over a whole in the wall.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-20-07 10:53 AM
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but the landlord is so far being a huge jackass about it: (a) Upset that I didn't notify his before having the apartment inspected--which I didn't mostly because I honestly didn't think there was anything there, since that's what we'd been told, I was more just checking off a box on a long list of potential sources;

When paired against 'crumbly paint in the doorway' that suggests to me that he, of course, did no 'lead abatement' at all. 40-50 year old paint will start crumbling because it has no volatiles in it anymore and so it won't adhere to the surface it was originally placed on. No flex left. Slapping a coat of house paint over old paint in that condition achieves approximately nothing, particularly if you use a water-based paint for the new coat. So I am thinking he is, ya know, lying. So:

I know nothing about this, but those people I know who do know about this think moving from something presumably near zero to his current levels in just three months is really alarmingly fast.

It sure strikes ME as alarmingly fast. The problem with lead is that ... you can't get rid of it. It is shed by the body at lot slower rate than it is absorbed. Given the landlord above, it is entirely possible that there's lead dust kinda everywhere (vent system, if you have one), not just on the doorframes. So given all that, if it were me, I would have to assume that the kid's lead level 90 days out from now is going to be double whatever the current level is, since you cannot assume you know where all the sources are. [That sentence sucked; sue me.] If that's going to be at dangerous levels, you need to get that kid out of there, regardless of what the landlord does or does not do, or regardless of what you wind up doing.

I'd also point out that lead damages adults too. It just takes more quanity/time exposure to do so.

max
['Asbestos actually seems fairly pleasant to me in comparison; it just kills you.']


Posted by: Drain Bamage | Link to this comment | 09-20-07 11:26 AM
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Uh, Drain Bamage? Post Like Max Day was yesterday. Do try to keep up.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-20-07 11:30 AM
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That situation really sucks, Brock. And yeah what a jackass of a landlord. Good luck with everything, and especially hope your son comes out fit and fine.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-20-07 11:31 AM
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264: Oh, I'm sure he did no abatement at all. He only bought the property about four months before we moved in. I was assuming he had good reason to believe it was deleaded when he told us that it was (based on records), but as I said he didn't seem the least bit shocked when I told him that lead turned up--he just seemed angry that I called the state inspector. Anyway, it's very understandable that he's royally pissed about the situation, because, as I said, he just bought the property, and he's only planning to rent this year, to us, before his wife's terminally-ill uncle will be moving in. He really bought the property for the wife's uncle, to have him nearby, and is only renting it out for the year to help offset the mortgage expenses before the uncle will be moving in late next year. So I understand why he's seriously peeved about spending $10k on lead abatement--it's not like he'll be recouping the costs with future tenants. But, you know, fuck him. JM got it right: tant pis pour lui.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09-20-07 12:58 PM
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Eh, if the uncle is terminally ill, it's rental property again a few years down the road.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-07 3:50 PM
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Although, if you've got to move in a year, why not just look for an unleady place now? He couldn't possibly hold you to the lease, given the fraud.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-07 3:51 PM
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269: No, he couldn't possibly. The point though was that I very much doubt we could find a place quickly--I think he's likely to have things fixed before we could find a place and move out. (Not to mention we just paid to move a few months ago, and it's expensive, and amortizing that over fifteen months is very different than over only three months.) So I don't know that we'd be helping anything. And in fact I suspect that insinuating that we're maybe moving out rather than cooperating on trying to get the place abated might make that process a lot slower.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09-20-07 10:00 PM
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Thanks for the advice and concern, though. Didn't intend to sound so unappreciative.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09-20-07 10:01 PM
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