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Make 'Em Wait

Posted by Ogged
on 08.13.05

Thanks to the apostropher, we can all enjoy Eugene Mirman's sex advice.

Note: Some people don't think this is funny. They're wrong, but you might be one of them.


 

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Naked

Posted by Ogged
on 08.12.05

Yo, is everybody catching this? Fontana's online personal ad has been found (the picture's not of him, but the rest is, I believe, in earnest). And, in the spirit of fairness, narcissism, and exhibitionism, I'm pasting the text from mine below. Have at it.

Last great book I read

Saving Lives, which is a terrific book of poems by Albert Goldbarth, and This Is Not a Novel, by David Markson, which you'll like a lot, if you like it.

Most humbling moment

Swimming or playing basketball with people who do those things for a living.

Favorite on-screen sex scene

Stylized sex is boring sex, but there is a rather nice moment in Bliss where a hand is shot in tight focus gently tracing someone's skin.

Celebrity I resemble most

Everyone takes this to mean "physically resemble." I'd like to see more answers like "As goofy as Conan O'Brien, as affirming as Katie Holmes...."

Best or worst lie I've ever told

I find the fact that so many of the lies people choose to share were told to spare someone's feelings, or to be otherwise kind, both charming and believable.

If I could be anywhere at the moment

I like it here. But there are places I want to go: Vancouver, Auckland, San Francisco, Capetown. Beautiful oceanside cities.

Song or album that puts me in the mood

I can't believe everyone doesn't say "Sister Christian."

The five items I can't live without

Actual or anticipated yummy food.

A place to swim.

Something to read and a way to write.

[But that's only four.--ed.] I'm low maintenance.

Fill in the blanks

Excellence is sexy;

Kindness is sexier

In my bedroom, you'll find

In addition to the typical piles of clothes, books, and magazines, there's an elliptical machine, which I'm finding that I'd really like to lie about and omit, but it would be so hard to hide, if it comes to that.

WHY YOU SHOULD GET TO KNOW ME

I wouldn't begin to presume. But if, after three minutes, you decide that it's never going to work, I'll think that's perfectly reasonable. And, since I become absurdly loyal to people I know even a little, after ten minutes you can probably count on being able to ask me for a favor someday.

MORE ABOUT WHAT I AM LOOKING FOR

Someone smart, and generous of spirit. But if you read that and think "Yup, that's me!" then probably not you. If you worry that you're not quite generous enough, and think you're pretty smart, but not always, then probably you. Yeah, you, quit being so neurotic.


 

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Tool time redux

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 08.12.05

While messing around with the personals site, I noticed this guy, "Amusing Cynic":

amusingcynic.jpg

Hey, that's suspicious. Didn't he color in his eyes in a black & white photo? Indeed he did:

asscynic.jpg

I suspect that he used the high contrast to make sure we noticed his cheekbones. If this guy were a rapper, his name would be Toolio. Ogged realizes, of course, that stuff like this just increases the pressure.


 

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More Great Moments In Customer Service

Posted by Ogged
on 08.11.05

While I was standing in line at my local Blockbuster to rent Say Anything, which I've never seen the cashier put someone on hold and turned to her co-worker, who was sitting about six feet away, holding a cup of coffee and staring into space and said "When you're back on, can you talk to this woman? I have no idea what she's saying." The woman on break responded, "She'll be waiting for ten minutes." Cashier: "That's fine, I'm not the one on hold."


 

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So Far

Posted by Ogged
on 08.11.05

I like the Salon Personals format. The questions on Match.com are all variants of "Do you like rope? Would you like a little more?" But the Salon questions, in their very inanity--"In my bedroom you'll find..."--provide a good test and enough room for a little personality. And so many people screw them up so badly.

Last great book I read

People do ok with this, except for the fact that a lot of people seem to have read the same great books recently. On the whole, pretty hard to screw this one up.

Most humbling moment

Three horrible and horribly common answers:

"I am humbled every day"--That's just a punt. It's supposed to signal humility, but is just vacuous and uninformative.

"Filling out this profile"--Ditto. Also, way to go reminding us that we're all big losers.

Then there are the people who go for deep and sensitive, with things like "Watching my grandfather die." Death in the family! Let's go out! Also, quit whoring out your putatively darkest personal moments on a dating site.

Particularly objectionable are those that use this question to include something of which the person is proud. "Climbing Mt. Everest." (On reflection, I think I might be guilty of this.)

Good answers use a small personal anecdote of mild embarrassment (told with style), or incorporate a nice observation about life, the universe, anything.

Favorite on-screen sex scene

This isn't screwed up as badly as it could be, except by those guys who say "9 1/2" weeks or "The Secretary," which, as one lady points out, makes them Masters of the Obvious. Also lame are "I haven't filmed it yet," or something that implies that it will include the reader at some future date.

Celebrity I resemble most

This stumps people. They get angry. "Lame question...." It's sad. Either answer it straight, which is fine, or make up a funny combination (love child of Ernest Borgnine and Julie Child, for example), or do something creative. Geez. (I gently suggested to my readers that the assumption that only physical resemblance was intended was limiting. If I can't get a date, I hope at least to make everyone else's personal ad a bit better.)

Best or worst lie I've ever told

Horrible and most common answer: "I don't lie." Usually rendered as "I don't lie, I'm not good at it." You're damn right you're not. Then there are the quotidian lies: "I didn't realize I was speeding." Fine, but yawn. Good are those that will resonate with everyone, like "You'll have it by Monday" or which are actually tinged with regret: "It's all your fault."

If I could be anywhere at the moment

People do well with this, because it gives them a chance to go on in happy vein. The only bad answers are variants of "In your arms...." Creepy, too familiar, what's the matter with you people?

Song or album that puts me in the mood

Almost everyone does well with this, either because they just answer it straight, or list the music they like. A few people get hung up on "In the mood for what? Huh? Huh?" Those people are idiots.

The five items I can't live without

Bad answers: my friends, my family, my heart. I've even seen some people answer "water." But mostly, people manage to convey something about what's important to them, which is good.

______ is sexy;

______ is sexier

I found this one just about impossible to answer because I couldn't find the middle-ground between earnest and cutesy. That said, it's hard to screw up too badly, unless you say something like "you naked; you naked in my bed" or "ogged; fontana labs." One answer I like "if a+b/c is sexy; then a+b+c is sexier." Too bad it's by a guy.

In my bedroom, you'll find

People also do well with this, because most people answer it straight, and reveal something about themselves. The only dumb answers are those that follow the form "bedroom=sex=hehehe."

Then there are Why you should get to know me and More about what I'm looking for which are the "Here's the rope" questions. This is where people reveal whether they can write One. Whole. Paragraph. And other horrible things about themselves. Some are very good.


 

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A couple of scholarly questions

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 08.11.05

1. Anyone know anything about Seneca? In particular, what short thing should I assign to illustrate general Stoic themes? (I don't need to go on about how Seneca's views are distinct within that tradition.) I was sort of hoping that a distinguished co-blogger might help with this.

2. This claim that inequality in distribution lowers subjective well-being-- where's a short and accessible discussion of that? Is it well-established? I was sort of hoping that a well-known economist who sometimes comments here might know offhand.

Look, I'd love to do this the honest way, but it's August and I need to finalize my damn syllabus. (You're free, as always, to ridicule me in the comments.)


 

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Let's all work together!

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 08.11.05

Ok, so this is just a rough draft of the personal ad Ogged should post. I'm hoping that we can all pitch in to create something charming and appealing.

UPDATE: in searching for more hott Ogged pics, I noticed that Iranian Personals doesn't provide a gay option: select your sex, and the site automatically selects the "searching for" field. How convenient.


 

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In Case You Miss The Comment

Posted by Ogged
on 08.11.05

Matt Yglesias explains TPM Cafe's Terms of Service agreement, which we were wondering about here.


 

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All About Me. Me Me Me.

Posted by Ogged
on 08.11.05

I have a co-worker who, for unknown reasons, is constantly comparing my body to the bodies of various athletes. For a while, he was telling me that I had the same build as Hicha/m El Guerrou/j, but he was just saying that to be mean. During the Tour de France, he kept looking for the cyclist closest to me in dimensions. It's a little weird, but I like the attention. Finally, this morning he hit on someone who I have to admit is a pretty good body likeness: the right height and weight and even the same long pencil neck and skinny legs with relatively thick thighs: world Olympic champion and world-record holder (that's important) in the 400 meter dash, Jerem/y Warine/r. Here, Warine/r helpfully strikes the "Ogged sees titties" pose (note anguish of man with blocked view in second place). I'm feeling fleeter of foot just thinking about this.

[Googleproofed because my co-worker regularly googles these guys and we have magical google powers.]


 

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Day 1 Of Internet Date Lady's Sojourn In Sweden

Posted by Ogged
on 08.11.05

What were the odds??


 

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Gone In 60 Seconds

Posted by Alameida
on 08.11.05

Via Feministing, I see that Pfizer has just patented a drug for premature climax--for women. You know, because that's such a big problem. One commenter suggests plausibly that this is just an "up is the new down" way to sell some anti-depressant, many of which have as a side effect difficulty achieving orgasm. Really, if ever there were a solution in search of a problem...but a few commenters say this is a problem for some women. I don't want to make anyone feel bad about their sexual problems, but, f'realz. What part of "multiple orgasm" did these people not get? It's like "lather, rinse, repeat". Women have to have a few advantages in this crazy world, after all. I'm just waiting for this to be manufactured into some problem prominently featured in Cosmopolitan magazine, so that women who come first will have to be medicated so they can wait for men--because whatever men experience is the norm. Obviously, women coming either sooner or later is a disease; bust out the drugs, people!


 

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Deggo

Posted by Ogged
on 08.10.05

I sincerely appreciate the help with the dating email. It's now written, and it kills me to say that I followed SomeCallMeTim's advice.

Now I'm just missing a name for myself on the site. I'm torn between Conquistador and Soulcrusher.

Wait!: I've got it: Ben W-lfs-n!

Fuck a duck: The email has to have a subject line. I swear they're trying to kill me. It is now 27 past the hour. How long will this take?

6 past the hour: Subject decided.

Sent! Let's hope she's not in Sweden.


 

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Pwned

Posted by Ogged
on 08.10.05

Gary "the porcupine" Farber actually read the terms of use that every commenter at the TPM Cafe has to agree to. All your first born are belong to Yglesias.


 

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The Studs

Posted by Ogged
on 08.10.05

I'm so glad I'm looking at the personals again. Here are two guys that I really ought to be able to outcompete.

1...

Ethnicity: Caucasian 10% animal, 90% bad motherfucker

2...

Why you should get to know me: You'll find I am not quite as bad as I seem.


 

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Can't We Just Be Frenemies?

Posted by Alameida
on 08.10.05

My brother's new girlfriend (a very cool person, unlike a certain ex-wife I could mention) introduced me to the crucial concept of "the frenemy". All your middle school "friends", and most of your high school "friends", were in fact frenemies. That was why you had to spend so much time sorting through bullshit about how you told her something hurtful about that other girl in total confidence and then she told everyone you know but it turned out she was getting back at you for that time you kissed a boy she liked even though she never told you she liked him. Stuff like that. For some reason my sister, though all grown up, still seems to have a roster full of frenemies. I think she likes the thrill of intrigue, periodic frigid silences, and shifting alliances (punctuated by drunken parties at which improbable, line-blurring hook-ups occur, matched in frequency with glass-throwing and actual fist-fights). In adult life you mostly have frenemies at work, I think. That way they can say things to you like "wow, you're so brave to wear white pants! I don't think I could pull it off!" (obviously, the person saying this must weight at least 20 pounds less than you.)


 

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Feelings, Strategies, Online Dating, Etc.

Posted by Ogged
on 08.09.05

It's striking, when you come across the profile of someone who seems to be one of your people, how much it throws into relief the unease with which you've been reading the rest, and how clear it becomes that your unease wasn't the shame of online dating, but the old familiar sense of being a stranger and out of place.

So...even harder than the profile is the initial email to someone, no? Ladies, what did the guys to whom you responded do?


 

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How To Be Insulting, A Brief Refresher

Posted by Ogged
on 08.09.05

This post is not about the fine art of the insult. It's about the insults needful in our day-to-day engagement with our fellow citizens. Nothing saddens me more than hearing someone yell "fucker!" or "asshole!" These are not insults. They are expressions of impotent rage. They don't hurt, and people barely hear them. In the same way that you pull your hand back from a hot stove before you're even aware of the heat, when someone calls you an asshole, your nervous system responds "No you're the asshole, asshole."

There's a simple remedy. You have to add something a bit personal, and the best generic personal insults are "ugly" and "stupid," because most people secretly think they are, at the very least, one or the other. "Fucker" doesn't hurt anyone's feelings, but it takes a hard man to ignore "You stupid fuck." "You ugly motherfucker" is also good. Milder, but only slightly less effective, is a casual and scornful "dumb shit." Mix and match as appropriate.


 

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post/meta-post

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 08.09.05

I was reading Instapundit when I came across this post referring me to this Washington Post editorial offering another instance of the foolishness of "zero tolerance." More on that in a moment.

At first I thought we'd just experienced another strange moment of agreement between me and my favorite law professor-- but no! He's got guest-bloggers! Was that well-crafted link left just for me by the statuesque and charming Ms McArdle? Sadly, no. I was horrified to discover it's from Michael Totten, he of the Four Guys Unified Theory of Cole. Boy, I feel like the ass.

Anyway, back to what some here would call the WaPo. The story is about "zero tolerance" for supervised underaged drinking, as when parents throw a party for their teenaged kids and friends to prevent them from driving under the influence:

That's exactly what a Rhode Island couple did in 2004. When they learned that their son planned to celebrate the prom with a booze bash at a beach 40 miles away, William and Patricia Anderson instead threw a supervised party for him and his friends at their home. They served alcohol, but William Anderson stationed himself at the party's entrance and collected keys from every teen who showed. No one who came to the party could leave until the next morning.
For this the Andersons found themselves arrested and charged with supplying alcohol to minors. The case ignited a fiery debate that eventually spilled onto the front page of the Wall Street Journal. The local chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving oddly decided to make an example of William Anderson, a man who probably did more to keep drunk teens off the road that night than most Providence-area parents.

Huh. I guess I'm on the side of the Cato Institute here, though some critical details are missing. I sometimes tell my advisees that the College (and, in particular, Public Safety) doesn't particularly want to bust them; it's only when they make it obvious that they're a danger to self and others that John Law steps in. If they choose, as most will, to violate the drinking laws, they won't get into trouble unless they're dumb about it, which is how it should be. But we can't take that stance officially, and so the institutional lesson our new students get is: don't. Which is not useful to those students who already decided: the hell I won't. It would be useful if we could say, for example, watch your drink, because GHB is floating around. Or: here's when you should take your friend to the hospital, or call for help. But we simply say no, with-- if the anecdotes are to be believed-- predictable results. I don't know how to think about this, with its difficult core issue involving the worry about how to respond to expected malfeasance. I suspect, though, that MADD isn't helping.


 

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Thank you, James Wolcott

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 08.09.05

By reading your blog,* I found this Kung Fu Monkey post about the ramifications of GWB's position on intelligent design:

Seriously. Here you are, Tsui or Sanjay, looking at a new cenury. A century in which the exponential curve of technology's rise becomes a sheer cliff. In which only the most intellectually nimble countries, best able to master new information technologies and couple them with manufacturing bases with high levels of technical training, will survive.
And you're looking at that big bastard across the ocean, the US of A. First to build the Bomb. First to master the secrets of the atom. First to build the semiconductor. First and only tribe of humans who actually put men on the GODDAM MOON, to have stepped on another rock in space. Decoders of the human genome, the VERY BOOK OF LIFE !!! How will we ever stop --
Wow, they forfeit. Cool.

This made me laugh. Good times.

* I just linked because Ogged will make fun of me if I don't.

UPDATE: also check out Top Ten John Wayne movies that could also be porn titles.


 

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Loves, causes the blues

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 08.09.05

I finally figured out why I find the frequent Powerline discussions of blues and soul to be so funny-- it reminds me of Affluent White Man Loves, Causes the Blues:

With his regular table at Dan Aykroyd's House Of Blues, vast CD collection featuring the likes of B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, and Jonny Lang, and framed photo of himself with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Smalls has been "a huge fan" of the music for more than 20 years.
But the 43-year-old Smalls is not merely a blues lover: With his May 1999 relocation of Alliance's main assembly plant from Cicero, IL, to Hermosillo, Mexico, Smalls put 2,700 mostly black employees out of work, making him one of Chicago's greatest blues causers.

Which is not to say that middle-aged white lawyers can't like the blues; just that they will look ridiculous talking about it in public. As opposed to slightly younger, equally caucasian academics, for example.


 

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One I Had Not Heard

Posted by Ogged
on 08.09.05

"It's better to be judged by twelve than carried by six"

Which goes straight to the top of my "bad advice given to teenagers" list. The idea is that it's better to be armed and defend yourself than to let yourself be killed by criminals. Set aside, for the moment, the prevelant prevalent insanity of people who think that at any moment someone is going to jump out and attack them, and set aside also the practical considerations that make it very unlikely that you'll have your weapon handy and be able to use it if you do need it. This advice was given by a lifeguard in his 40's to one who's probably around 17. Who the hell tells a teenage boy to arm himself and take his chances with a jury?


 

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Selective Divestment

Posted by Ogged
on 08.09.05

Just passing this along, since it seems to have been little noted.

The Presbyterian Church U.S.A. announced Friday that it would press four American corporations to stop providing military equipment and technology to Israel for use in the occupation of the Palestinian territories, and that if the companies did not comply, the church would take a vote to divest its stock in them.
The companies - Caterpillar, Motorola, ITT Industries and United Technologies - were selected from a list of several dozen possibilities by a church investment committee that met Friday in Seattle. The Presbyterians accused these companies of selling helicopters, cellphones, night vision equipment and other items Israel uses to enforce its occupation.

 

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Because It Bugs The Peasantry, Duh

Posted by Ogged
on 08.08.05

Here's an oldie but goodie.

Why do people who went to Ivy League schools say things like, "I went to school in Connecticut" or "I went to school on the East Coast"? I tagged along to my sister's 10th high school reunion and we had to drag out of one girl that she went to Yale.

A lot of people seem to wonder this, and many of them assume that there's some snooty reason for the reticence. I didn't go to an Ivy League school, but I think there are basically three reasons.

1. Snootiness. I'm pretty sure this is the least common reason, but some people do use those locutions to signal superiority. Either to say that they went to such a great school that they don't even need to impress you with it, or because they know that it will be revealed eventually, and they'll impress you and get bonus points for modesty.

2. Modesty and self-protection. You might not say, "Oh, you must be really smart!" and then treat the person like a freak, but plenty of people do, and it can get tiresome. Best to say something vague and hope it doesn't come up again. I think this is the most common reason.

3. Shame and a surfeit of honesty. People who actually went to Ivy League schools know that those schools are full of idiots. So when people do the "You must be really smart!" routine, the noble Ivy League grad feels burning shame: "If only you knew the truth, little person, if only you knew." This is a rare but honorable reason.

And: In comments, pjs adds "4. Embarrassment about what little you've done with the education/degree. Certain schools have such magical names that it is somewhat humiliating to have gone to one of those schools and not be doing anything interesting or impressive with one's life."


 

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Chicks Dig Confidence

Posted by Ogged
on 08.08.05

I'm linking to this because it will make Labs happy, and because we all, at least a little bit, want to be Robert McClain.

According to the below Royal Oak Police Department report, officers were dispatched to McClain's home after a motorist called 911 to report that McClain had fled the scene of an auto accident. When they arrived at his crib, McClain allegedly tried to strike a cop with a four-foot sword. After missing, McClain retreated to his basement, where he donned a chainmail armored vest and leather gauntlets to protect his arms. He also added a giant wooden mallet to his arsenal and beckoned officers to come downstairs and get him. "I'm gonna crush your fucking skulls," McClain warned. Then, in a nice rhetorical flourish..., he added, "I have a thousand years of power."

via belt boy


 

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Find Another Goon, Missy

Posted by Ogged
on 08.08.05

Wait a minute. Miss Sense of Humor has a minimum weight requirement of 170 pounds. What's that about? Clearly her sense of humor requires a boyfriend that can effectively stop bullets.

I just noticed: The relentless cook also has a minimum weight requirement, but I barely pass muster with her. Also, she's looking only for guys with brown or black hair. Awesome! But strange, no?

And: They're both too short. Whew, it's been a long hard slog, but I give up.


 

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I'm Baaaack

Posted by Alameida
on 08.08.05

Sorry about the total absence of posts. It's not like humorous, weird shit wasn't happening to me, god knows. I was just kinda busy. Sooo. It's funny, I always forget this, but it gets on my nerves that my mom's house is so chaotic all the time. I contribute to this too, but seriously, it's like there's a strange entropy-accelerating field around my house. A lot of half-finished projects (this is rich coming from the woman who disassembled a (filthy) functional box fan, cleaned it, and then didn't get it back together before I left), important phone numbers written on torn envelopes, anti-depressants spilled all over the bottom of the kitchen cabinets and so on. Unrelatedly, point of drug etiquette: at a weekend gathering of friends and family, are you required to share your good drugs? (Re-reading this, I reflect that I have little moral standing on this issue). If not, should you lurk in the basement so that you don't have to talk to non-high people (or merely drunk people)? I just kept thinking of the Smiths line "Spending warm summer days, indoors..." Ah, forget me, I'm just bitter about being denied my rightful OxyContin. Also, I cut off my hair. It looks cute.


 

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You Can Have Mine

Posted by Ogged
on 08.08.05

The official snack of the Mineshaft.


 

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Not Online Dating Yet

Posted by Ogged
on 08.07.05

Lines from charming profiles.

Woman 1:

I'll cook for you - relentlessly. Really, try and stop me.

That's excellent, and she seems otherwise sweet. Also, she's beautiful.

Woman 2:

Once I played an entire Hall and Oates CD in a juke box just to piss off my fellow patrons ... I laugh when people fall ... If you've ever been around someone who said something really off the wall and your immediate response was "Okaaaaaaay" accompanied by the requisite eyeroll, then I don't want to meet you. In fact, I kind of want to punch you.

Potential problem in two people having the very same sense of humor.


 

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5 Men

Posted by Ogged
on 08.07.05

What b-dub says.


 

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