Munch

mouth

 

 

Craigslist: Like Food? Wanna be paid to eat on camera?

 

Mary Beth arrived at Denny’s for her 9:00 a.m. appointment. She ordered some coffee and checked her phone nervously. The coffee arrived but the man who was supposed to meet her did not. She was just about to leave when she got a text message saying that he would be there in five minutes. Ten minutes later a harried looking man entered the restaurant. She waived at him.

He smiled and took a seat across from her.

“Hi, I’m James.”

“I’m Mary Beth.”

The waiter approached and he ordered a coffee. Mary Beth took a good look at him. He was about forty; short with curly hair and a pot belly. He wore a Nirvana tee shirt and jeans.

“So you answered my ad. Did you have any questions about what the job would entail,” he asked.

“Um” Mary Beth began. She looked around for fear that someone might hear her. “You would film me…like…eating dinner.”

“Well, really you would mostly be filming yourself.”

“Right, but I mean today….”

“Today, I would audition you. I will be auditioning girls for about the next week, for all three meals. I would then pick someone. They would come over to my studio and I would teach them how to angle their web cam on their mouth  just so..”

Mary Beth looked around the restaurant again. She thought the couple at the table behind them might be listening.

“After that, they would make one video a day for one month. We would put the videos up and see how they fly for one month. If the videos are successful, there would be more work.

The waiter came back and took their food orders. James ordered pancakes and eggs.

“I’ll have the same,” Mary Beth said.

“I thought you wanted the burger and fries,” he said, his eyes narrowing a bit.

“Oh, sorry…. right. I’ll have a burger and fries.”

The waiter walked away.

“Did you have any other questions?”

“It’s really $200 a video?”

“Right.”
The woman sitting behind James seemed to turn a bit.

“ And I mean the camera….”

“It would just be focused on your mouth.”

“It pays through Pay Pal?”

“Yes.”

They made awkward small talk until the food came.

Mary Beth took a bite of her hamburger and began chewing it.

“”Open your mouth just a little bit,” he said. “Not that much.”

She tried to comply.

“There you go. That’s it. “

This went on for five minutes until James finally excused himself and went to the bathroom. When he came back he appeared to be sweating. He devoured his meal and paid the bill.

Mary Beth and James walked out into the street. He said he would make a decision in one week. If she did not hear from him by then, she wouldn’t.

As she walked back to her car she wondered how she did. She wondered if there was still enough time to apply at Fed Ex.

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5000 Facebook Fans

fan

 

 

You have been blogging for five years to little avail. Your blog, “whatamIdoinghere.com” deals with your frustrations working as a high colonic technician. Your writing is witty and insightful you have tried to stay relevant by using the Urban Dictionary as a thesaurus. Your mom and your sister love your blog, but somehow it escaped the attention of the general public. Perhaps it is host sight you chose, you had seen so many less talented people become more successful than you. In five years you have had about a thousand hits and fifty followers. You have written a post a day, you deserve more.

You have always been hesitant to buy Facebook fans, but you are getting desperate. If people just knew about your blog you could get a book deal and quit your shit job. You have been through hell. You have overcome depression, you have had to eat ramen on numerous occasions and you once had a roommate that who constantly berated you.

You figure it is worth a try.  Although people may know that the fans are fake, it might at least get them to go to your blog and have a look and once they do that, they will be hooked. Your mom says you are brave for sharing your life with others. Just last week your friend Jennifer said you were amazing and beautiful, didn’t everyone deserve to be amazed?

You go to a website that sells Facebook followers and retweets and you order 5000 Facebook fans. You write that night’s blog post and head to bed. The next day you get up at 6:00 am and head to work. After a long hard day of vacuuming out some really rancid buttholes, you come home to find a small crowd gathered around your house. As you approach you see that they are starring in wonder at your lawn. You get closer to see that there are oscillating fans all over your lawn, they appear to be battery powered and they are spinning at an astonishing rate.

You push past your neighbors to find your mother in the kitchen, curled up on the floor in a fetal position, crying her eyes out. There are fans everywhere. You got to your computer to see that fans are leaping out of your computer one after the other at a bewildering pace.

You go back to the kitchen and pull your mother to her feet. You locate her car keys as a fan flies towards your head. You run out of the house and to the car. A cop stops you on the way.

“Excuse me ma’am. Are these your fans? He holds up one of the fans and gets it to stop spinning with a stick. You see the word, Facebook written on each one of the blades. A fan hits you in the ass, cutting you. The neighbors begin to run away screaming as more fans fly from the house.

“I’ve never seen these fans before,” you say as you and your mother get into the car.

“Ma’am did you buy these Facebook fans?”

“No,” you scream as you start the car.

“Ma’am, I need to talk to you,” she cop says as you drive away. In the rearview mirror you see that his throat has been cut by a blade in a ghastly scene.

You speed towards the expressway followed by the fans which are hurdling after you. You manage to lose them. You drive to a gas station where you fill up the car and get coffee.

You get into the car and drive to a motel were you rent a room and turn on the news. A pretty blonde reporter reads your story.

“This bizarre story comes out of Denver, Colorado tonight. A computer in a house on Ogden Street began spitting out thousands of battery operated oscillating fans. The fans, which had, “Facebook” written on the blades, are now flying around the city causing injury and even death. The Washington Park neighborhood has been evacuated and the FBI is investigating the case.  Tonight via satellite we are joined by Thomas Pinner who works with Strange Phenomenon Investigations in Scotland.

“Hello, Dr. Pinner.”

“Hello, Tracy”

“Dr. Pinner, what could be casing this strange occurrence?”

“Well, Tracy there are several different thing that could cause it. It might be that someone ordered the fans, but did not select the appropriate method of delivery. It might be that someone ordered Facebook fans, with fans meaning fanatics and the software system simply misinterpreted the order.”

“Thank you Dr. Pinner,” The reporter said.

“No matter what caused the phenomenon, this event has taken a horrible toll on our city. School is canceled tomorrow, there will be no public transportation and the highways will be patrolled. The National Guard has been called out with orders to shoot the fans on sight.”

You order a pizza and explain what happened to your mother. She hugs you and tells you it is okay, you did nothing wrong, you are amazing. You smile to yourself, because you finally know it’s true.

5 Things you didn’t know about Cole Porter

cole

Ask any fan of musicals or jazz who their favorite composer is and the answer is likely to be Cole Porter. Mr. Porter is known for his deceptively simple, clever and thought provoking lyrics. Although he may have sold his first song in the 1920s his music is still well known today and has been featured in everything from Broadway revivals to television commercials.

His songs were groundbreaking in that they managed to stay within the mainstream while being sexually suggestive such as in, ”it’s Alright With Me,” which hints at his homosexuality; historically educational as in, “Just One of Those Things,” in which he describes great break ups through history;  and filled with clever metaphors such as, “All Of You” which compares a man’s wanting a woman, to a leader wanting to achieve  world domination.

Most people know that Mr. Porter was a Yale graduate. Anyone who has ever seen, “High Society,” might guess that the composer was raised as a member of the upper crust. Fans of musical history may note that he was one of the first recipients of a Grammy and won four Oscars. There are still a few things most people don’t know about Cole Porter.

He almost became an attorney

Instead of writing, “Love for Sale” Mr. Porter might have been defending people who sold their love. He attended Harvard Law School at the wishes of his extremely conservative grandfather. Fortunately for all of us the lyricist dropped out and headed to Broadway.

He was in constant pain for last 27 years of his life

Mr. Porter had a serious horseback riding in 1937 in which his horse rolled on him and crushed his legs. He refused amputation and wrote music to take his mind off of the pain. The leg finally had to be amputated in 1958.

He shares a birthday with Johnny Depp

America’s favorite jazz composer shares his June 9 birthday with America’s favorite pirate. Other notable June 9 babies include Natalie Portman and Michael J. Fox.

He was a Gleek

When he was at Yale he was a member of the glee club and was responsible for writing many of their fight songs.

He lounged at the Waldorf

Mr. Porter spent his finally years in an opulent suite at the Waldorf Towers in New York. After many years of being the life of the party, he became a recluse.

 

Land of Delusion 

don

16 year ago, when George W. Bush was running for president, I had a job in Denver working in a collection agency as a skip tracer. The atmosphere of the office was true to the stereotype of collections agencies. The collectors were undereducated, overcompensated alcoholics and drug addicts, who swore every third word, hated deadbeats and homos and carried concealed weapons in their cowboy boots when they weren’t driving their pickup trucks to the hills to murder some innocent animal. There were several people in the office who kept radios at their desks and they were all turned to Dr. Laura or Sean Hannity.

As you can imagine, they all loved George W. Bush and hated Al Gore even though Gore’s policies would have benefited them.

At first I thought they believed what they did because they associated the intellect and compassion exhibited by Gore with weakness. But, there was more to it than that; Bush was an idiot and a sincere sounding one. He had a limited vocabulary; he was severely learned disabled and could barely read. He believed everything his puppet masters   told him unquestioningly and this caused him to regurgitate the lies he was told with an earnestness that anyone who didn’t know any better was apt to believe.

Al Gore was brilliant and articulate with an awkwardness that was perceived as arrogance by those who were unable to understand him. George Bush had a slow wit, a quick temper   a short attention span. He was the idiot’s idiot. With his undernourished mind and his overfed Id, many people could relate to him.

I understood this. I’m not the brightest crayon in the box myself and I know what it feels like  to be condescended to or even ignored by people who are witty and smart and feel you are not worth their time.  When the intellectuals in the media were bewildered by Bush’s popularity, I understood that it had been a long time in the coming. When they said he would never be president, I was pretty sure he would be. Although he needed a boost from his brother to actually win the election, the fact that he got any more than a few hundred votes evidences the passionate frustration of then American dim wit and the defiance that they felt towards those who had what they wanted.

Intellectuals and businessmen alike learned something from Bush. They learned that no one is more powerful or pliable then the American dumbass.

Over the past 16 years American big businesses have turned up the volume on catering to the dumbass. We have made simple minded reality shows staring dumbasses which are watched by dumbasses. We have shows with clever rich people acting like dumbasses that are enjoyed by the dumbasses who love to judge any envy those dumbasses. When a dumbass sees himself on television or takes an interactive role as an audience member he feels validated.

Big business and banks picked right up on the dumbass’ need for validation. Anybody at all can buy Twitter and Instagram followers regardless of talent or hard work. People who can’t afford homes and don’t qualify for credit cards can now buy homes and get credit cards with ridiculously high interest rates.

Perhaps the worst exploitation of the dumbass is the fake college. I spent a year and a half working as a first party collector for a company that offered private student loans for students at “colleges” such as  Corinthian which offered fake degrees to poor disadvantage dumbasses for a high price. The degrees were completely worthless and some of the students were not dumbasses but, genuinely learning disabled. I spoke to people who could not spell their own name or give an address properly on a daily basis. Corinthian eventually went bankrupt and President Obama and The U.S. Department of Education have announced they will cancel $27.8 million in debt owed by the students.

There are similar colleges geared towards students interested in the arts. My mother worked in advertising for some 20 years. She took a teaching gig at Columbia College in Chicago one semester where she was told not to correct the student’s grammar and spelling as it might hurt their feelings. The “college” wanted the students to keep on paying the exorbitant tuition without actually learning anything. If a young egoist got his feelings hurt the college might not get any more money out of that student.

My mom quit after a year.

Although the business who do this are arguable unethical, the ultimate blame lies within the dumbass community. We could say no to these things and we do not. Praise feels good and we are addicted to the possibility and the promise of material success, social acceptance and power.

Now the election is upon us, and there is a very good chance that Donald Trump will be our next president. Some dumbasses like him because he appears to speak off the cuff. He is loud, crude, uncultured and insensitive and the dumbass community can relate.

It is all an act of course. Mr. Trump is in reality a sophisticated businessman who has made billions of dollars by knowing exactly how to manipulate people. He was fortunate to inherit millions of dollars from his family and he was lucky to have a name that is synonymous with domination, He is not the dumbass he pretends to be. Although the many mistakes he makes on Twitter would suggest he is uneducated, he is actually a graduate of Wharton Business School.  He knows how to use proper English and he knows that dumbasses don’t like that sort of thing.

He also knew how to use his name and his personality to make himself richer. In spite of multiple bankruptcies he managed to convince a major network to produce a show where he was the ultimate authority on business success. The show was everything reality television should be; competitive, cruel and sustainable. Mr. Trump came out looking all-knowing and streetwise. He made a big name for himself and his name; just his name, is worth millions of dollars when affiliated with a hotel or an airline.

Trump is the consummate American monster. He understands peoples need to feel good and how to exploit that weakness. He is completely vapid and out for himself. He is everything to which the American dumbass had chosen to aspire. He doesn’t give a rats behind about them or any of the people they are prejudice against. He will say what he needs to get elected. One he is elected there is no telling what he will do. The whole thing may be a prank for his reality show.

We dumbasses have alternatives of course. We can step aside and let the admittedly smart people take the reins and run the country.

Bernie Sanders is a graduate of the University of Chicago and has never hidden his intellect or his morals. Hillary Clinton is a graduate of Yale Law School who has had a good amount of success in business herself and has proven herself to be pretty good at getting people who are on opposite ends of the spectrum to talk to each other.

They are each quite progressive. Bernie has recently introduced many environmental bills into the senate and Hillary was the first Secretary of State to fight for international LGBT rights laws.

 

The trouble is that neither one of them can do it alone. Bernie is a socialist and we Americans are too delusional to be socialist. We gamble in casinos and play the lottery. One of our favorite show is Keeping Up with the Kardashians and our favorite films are fantasies which often take place in opulent settings. Our favorite books like Fifty Shades of Grey and The Luckiest Girl Alive center on wealthy successful people. American proletarians don’t care about proletarians because we refuse to admit we will always be proletarians.

 

I have had people on my interview blog tell me the most personal poo about their sexuality and psychological history, but they never want to talk about their job; it’s too depressing.

 

People don’t trust Hillary. Serving a diverse state like New York is a daunting task and she had to compromise her principals many times to please her constitutes as well as her financial backers. She has waffled on several important issues such as the war and immigration. She also has a vagina and we don’t like that sort of thing.

The only solution is to have Bernie and Hillary run together. Hillary will win her party’s nomination if she takes Bernie as her running mate, they may have the numbers to go to the White House. They balance each other out well. He’s not afraid to stick to his principals and she has made connections with businesses and foreign leaders around the world that can be beneficial to this country.

So, Bernie and Hillary, don’t be babies. Play nice with each other and you can win this thing. Anything else would be a dumbass move.

Unshutyupyidis and you

mic

Unshutyupyidis is a psychological condition in which a person exudes an excessive amount of verbiage to express a limited amount of thoughts.

 

It may have an adverse effect on one’s social life, causing annoyance and restlessness in those around a person with this disease. In some extreme cases if may cause the sufferer to get a good solid whack in the mouth.

 

Blabbermouth index (BMI), a measurement which compares words spoken to ideas in the brain, defines people as garrulous (pre- unshutyupy) if their BMI is between  25 and 30 words per notion and unshutyupy when it is greater than 35 WPN.

 

Unshutyupyidis is commonly caused by an exaggerated sense of self importance, excessive wind intake and an inability to listen to anything anyone else has to say.

Duct tape and ball gags are the mainstay treatment for Unshutyupyidis. The most important thing is to reduce the amount of redundant phases used in a conversations such as asking the same stupid ass question forty times before getting a single answer or saying how tasty your lunch is in seven different ways.

 

According to Dr. Fletcher  a windbag expert at the of The University of Chicago’s Institute of  Tautological  Studies “It is very important to shut your silly mouth up and think before you speak.”

 

In the cause of failure anti-bombastic drugs may be taken to increase the amount of breaths between sentences or inhibit verbal diarrhea. In severe cases surgery is performed and an inter larixballon is placed, limiting  lung capacity and making incessant babbling impossible. In some cases it may even be necessary to hit the sufferer in the head with a hammer.

 

Unshultyupyidis is the leading preventable cause of alienation worldwide. Although it is considered asinine by customer service representatives and waiters it is often considered a sign of intelligence in universities and coffee houses.

 

If you or a family member are suffering from unshutyupidis there are many groups that may be of assistance to you. Parents and Friends of the Gabby and Loquacious, The Yakking Men’s Christian Association and Gabpeace. Please don’t hesitate to get help!. The nerves you save may be mine!

The Valentine’s Voyeur

 

heart

 

So Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching and once again you find yourself without a mate. You feel your singleliness is being polarized by the impending holiday.  The greeting card companies and candy makers in town seem to be flaunting their wares in your face; making you feel like a loser for having no reason to buy them.

You attempt to ignore it, but you cannot. In spite of all of your horrible dating experiences and the fact that you are single and can do anything you want at any time, there is no resisting the pull of commercialized coupledom. You want a mate and you don’t care how much you have to humiliate yourself to get one – sadness for you.

Fortunately, I am old and crabby and I no longer care about such matters. I feel awfully superior about this and enjoy making fun of those people who do care.  Plus, I have nothing else to do.

While riding the Max in Portland I have born witness to several Tinder dates. I have decided to share them with you.

George and the girls

I was on my way to work on a rainy Saturday night. I got to the Max Station just as a train was stopping. I looked through the window and did a double take, as there was a man wearing no shirt sitting with his back to me.

I boarded the train and sat down, thinking he was just some 82nd Street lunatic, who was high on drugs.  He was sitting in the sideways seats and I sat with my back to him in a seat right behind the driver. After a moment I heard a booming voice behind me.

“Hello, is this Tara? This is George from Tinder. “

I turned around and it was the shirtless guy.

“Yeah, um you’re not gonna believe this story. I have to go help my friend out with his car. He’s stuck out in Beaverton. I’m on the train right now, and I’m not sure when I can get there.”

I took a good look at him. He was good looking in a dilapidated sort of way. He was tall with an impressive head of black hair and facial features that looked like they were just beginning to fall out of symmetry. He was in excellent shape compared to other people I’d seen shirtless on the train.

“Uh huh….uh huh. Well, what time are you going to bed? ….Okay…okay. I’ll call if I can’t get there by then…okay. Hey, you got a great voice and I can’t wait to hear it in person. “

He hung up and I looked straight ahead. After a moment I heard his voice again.

“Hi, this is George, from Tinder. I ‘m gonna be a few minutes late. I ‘m on the Max right now. Where is this restaurant? Okay, I hope I’m dressed okay. Hey, you’ve got a great voice, I can’t wait to hear it in person. “

Several young men got on the train.

“Hi there,” I heard George say.

“Hey, man,” one of the guys said.

“Hey you guys, what do you think about this shirt,” He asked. I turned around. He had donned a rather ordinary looking black shirt.

“It looks good.”

“I have a date right now. Do you know where Broadway Street is? I’m late for meeting her. “

“Sorry man, I don’t know.”

I stood up to get off the train and so did George.

“Do you think I should wear the collar up or down?”

“Don’t worry about it, man its fine either way.” One of the guys said.

George and I got off the train.

“Hey, ma’am do you know where Broadway is, “ he asked me.

“Um I think its back that way.” I said pointing.

“Do you know where Pioneer Square is?”

“It’s right there,” I pointed to it.

“Hey, I’ve got a date. Do I look okay?”

“Yes, you do,” I said diplomatically.

We parted and I headed for the bus, almost happy to go to work.

 

Rachel and Sam

It was a cold Tuesday night. I got on the Green line and headed for downtown.  I sat in front of two kids in their twenties. One was a hipster guy with a red beard and a Wheaties tee shirt and the other was a fairly attractive girl, who had long dark hair. He was in the midst of questioning her when I sat down.

“Do you like the zoo?”

“Do I like the zoo? Well, ever since I became vegan I’ve been learning about how bad the zoo really is. I mean they treat the animals really bad and ”

“Do you like movies?”

“Yeah I like movies. I like mostly independent movies.  I….

“That’s good. Yeah, I like independent movies too. Do you like hiking?”

“Yeah, I do. I haven’t done as much of it as I would like …”

I could tell she was beginning to get annoyed.

“Do you like oral sex?

“Um I…”

“Because my beard is not for looks purposes.”

“Oh yeah.”

“Girls say it feels good when I give them head.”

“Okay, I…”

“Do you like camping?”

I got up and transferred to my bus.

 

Jake and Billy

It was a Wednesday morning and I was headed home from work, feeling exhausted.

A short, chubby zit-faced, redheaded bald man sat on the train in front of me looking out the window. A tall handsome guy in a nice suit boarded the train.

“Billy, over here,” the fat man said.

Billy got kind of an, “oh shit,” look on his face and went to sit with fatso.

“Hi, Jake,” he said.

“How’s work going,” Jack asked.

“Not bad.”

“Are you still seeing Clair?

“Yeah, it’s going great.”

“I broke up with Margaret two weeks ago. I ‘ve got a date with some other girl I met tonight.”

“Are you still on E Harmony,” Billy asked tiredly.

“Yeah, yeah I seem to do pretty well there. I mean you don’t get the highest quality girls, but I can always get a date there.”

“Right.”

“The other night, I went out with this girl whose profile said she was thirty five and that she was 130 pounds. I get there and the bitch is like forty five and 160 pounds. She was like,

‘I’m sorry I lied, but I didn’t think you’d give me a chance. ‘

“I was like, “thanks for wasting my time, ya know?”

“Yeah.”

“So, I don’t know about E Harmony sometimes. One thing I did notice, is I have gotten laid more on the first date with online dating than with regular dating. How about you, Billy have you gotten laid on the first date with E harmony?”

“oh..uh no,” Billy said, his eyes darting around uncomfortably.

“I have, lots of times.”

“Uh huh,” Billy smiled.

I cringed at the idea of anyone touching the little putz in a sexual way.

“So, yeah, so after I broke up with Margaret I was on E Harmony and she was back on it too of course and she…well when I met her profile said she was thirty five  and really she was thirty eight.  And you know, I can understand a woman lying about her age. So we went out for six months and now …when she was back on…she …her profile said she was thirty four. So, I thought that was funny. Not only was she lying about her age, but she had actually gotten younger, since we had gone out.

I got up and walked out into the cold morning rain. It made me feel clean and a bit younger myself.

Sales and Marketing

 

craig

 

 

Kleinman sat across from Lucy Fisk his new boss at Fisk and Peterman as she greedily shoved Greek salad into her mouth while washing it down with giant gulps of the triple Sambuca that she’d ordered. Kleinman sipped daintily at his, as he was afraid to get drunk so early in the day.

“So, we’ve got this kid whose been working in our department. Some hipster from Dumbfuck, Goddamn Idaho. You know the type; He was the smartest kid in his high school class of twelve people. He thinks his an intellectual because he’s heard of Gertrude Stein even though he’s never read her, which to be fair is more than the other Dumbfuckians know. He started out as an intern and he banged Agnes so she went and hired him.”

“H’mmm, that’s too bad,” Kleinman said unsure of why she was telling him this.

“He messed up the Hacha Spice account, by fucking posting the fact that our “fan videos were paid for. Spacha Sauce got hold of It and it was all over Twitter. Agnes feels he should be given another chance, I say, bullshit fire him.”

“Wow, that is a really tough position to be in,” Kleinman commiserated trying to think of a way to change the subject.

“So I said okay, but if he screws up again he’s out and she said okay.”

“That seems fair.”

“I think it’s not fair at all, I mean he really fucked up. Kids today feel like they have to put their whole lives on the internet. I don’t get it, are they trying to get their identities stolen? Do they want to be blackmailed?”

“People are getting more tech savvy and less sophisticated,” Kleinman said feeling uncomfortable with the way the conversation threatened to become philosophical.

“Anyway, that’s where you come in. Ya see I have a little favor to ask. You better drink up, it’s a dozy.”

He gulped down his drink as she ordered two more.

“I want you to get him fired.”

“You want me to fire him,” Kleinman asked feeling quite dizzy.

“No, no I want you to get him fired.”

“How?”

“Up to you.”

“I’ll get fired as well.”

“No, I’ll protect you,” she assured him.

For a moment he just sat there in his drunkenness, wondering what to do.

“Look, he should never have gotten his job in the first place. He gave Agnes some nauseating smelly artist bullshit about how he wanted to learn from an older woman; when really he was just a horny kid who’d fuck a dirty sock. He never demonstrated any talent for the job and we almost lost our shirts because of him.

“Is this why you hired me,” he asked not wanting to know.

“Not entirely, but we may need to trim the fat in six months if you know what I’m saying.

The pair returned to the office quite drunk. They pretended to work for four hours and went home.

Kleinman saw the kid in the elevator. He attempted to strike up a conversation, but it didn’t work.

He went home and looked at the want ads on Craigslist, but no one wanted a forty year old copy writer. He watched TV and wondered how he could get the boy fired without it being obvious.

He went on Facebook and looked the kid up and found him quite easily. There were several pictures of the young man enjoying himself at various event. Going back in the kid’s history he noticed there were several pictures of him with an attractive young lady with dyed red hair and a nose ring and then there were not.  Kleinman chuckled at the fact that He’d listed a litany of famous novels as his favorite.

He started to friend the kid, but then he thought better of it. Something like that would be too obvious and may even be harassment.

He began to create a new profile a woman named Lolita, with pink streaked hair and a love of old movies.  He found a picture in one of his own more attractive Facebook friend’s archived photo albums. He created the profile, sent a friends request and waited for the games to begin.

Casual Encounters?

 

 

 

craig

Melody took a deep breath and pushed the elevator button. Her heart raced as the elevator rose to the tenth floor. She’d made sure to take a picture of the hotel and post it on her Facebook page with no comment, she wanted to let people know where she was without telling them, just in case anything went wrong.

She was fairly new to Craigslist. She’d looked for jobs there before, but she’d never looked at the personal ads. It had been almost a year since her horrific break up with Sam and she still could not stomach the idea of having an actual boyfriend again. For several weeks all she could think about was sex or her lack of it. She spent her evening reading Erica Jong and Anais Nin and trolling the internet for subtle but thought provoking videos. She’d started reading Craigslist casual encounters the week before. At first she’d just looked at them never intending to do anything. At night he would fantasize about doing everything in the ads. She imagined the men as being ruggedly handsome, not wanting to think about what the men looked like in real life.  She realized that it was just a fantasy and she was sure a murder, rape or mugging awaited anyone who would answer such a thing.

Then on Saturday she saw an ad that she couldn’t get out of her head. “Let’s just make out I’m in town for a week, come to my hotel room! I’m staying at the Plaza.”

Something about the ad sounded safe and sincere. They had exchange e mails. He had sent her a picture of himself, but it was very shadowy and distant and in it he was wearing a “No Fear” T-shirt. She’d asked how recent it was and he admitted it was ten years old. He told her he was forty and she’d confessed to being thirty five. They arranged to meet the next afternoon at one. She’d told him she was too paranoid but described herself, a petite brunette, considered fairly attractive.

She got off the elevator and walked towards his door. She stood there for a full five minutes before getting up the courage to knock on the door.

“Come in, “a voice said.

She walked into the room leaving the door wide open as she went. There, in bed, wearing a vintage Spud’s Mackenzie tee shirt and acid washed jeans was Ryan Bisc a partner in the law firm where she worked.

For a moment they did not speak. He looked as though he was trying to place her.

“Do you work for me?”

“Yes,” she said. “I’m Melody, I work in research”

“So you saw my picture and you decided to come and maybe work some kind of deal or something?”

“No, the picture wasn’t very clear and it was old. I work in a different part of the building and I only see you like one a month. I thought you said you were from out of town?”

“I guess I just…I’m sorry. Could you close the door.”

Melody closed the door and sat down.

“Are you married,” she asked.

“Why do you ask?”

“Because, I don’t know I just thought that…”

“Are you married,” he asked.

No, I’m not even…no.

“Well, I should go..”

She got up to leave and he walked her to the door. On impulse, she grab him and kissed him. He resisted and first and then pulled her towards the bed. Suddenly his cell phone went off.

He jumped up and answered it.

“Uh, huh…..Okay…okay. Did we ever get the witness statement? Well, it’s a lot different if she actually broke something. Before we were told she just had a black eye….uh huh….uh huh.”

Melody sat up. She tried to signal to him she realized they were talking about the Robinson file which was sitting open on her desk. She tapped Ryan.”

“Ryan, I…” she began she slapped a hand across her mouth.

“Well get it to me as soon as research finishes it.”

He hung up the phone.

“Were you working on that file.”

“Yes, I have the witness statement on my desk.”

“Oh well the defendants attorney needs to see what we have,” he said.

“Um, I said I would be back from my dentist appointment at 3:00.”
“Oh, yeah I guess it would look kind of suspicious if you went back now.”

They sat there in silence for a moment.

‘Dentist” he said with a chuckle, “did you ever see the movie M.A.S.H?”

“I didn’t.”

Oh, Well you should.”

She looked at him confused.

“Wanna watch a movie,” he asked her.

They sat on the bed and watched Rain Man until it was time for Melody to go to work.

When she got home she went on Craigslist again, this time looking in the legal assistance section.

Etcetera

 

 

 

etc

Cora was looking through the Etcetera section of Craigslist in the hopes of finding a gig for the next day. She came across one that said ‘$100 cash and a night in a luxury hotel simply for filing out a survey about the hotel in the morning.’ The ad asked her to send in her name, age (for demographic reasons) and a picture (So they knew she wasn’t a spammer). She answered the ad and continued searching for a gig assuming that her e mail would get lost amoung a million responses. She was thrilled when the phone rang and it was a woman calling about the ad.

Hi, Cora this is Sally with Double Impact marketing. I was calling about the study. Can you answer a few questions?

“Sure,” Cora said eagerly.

“How often do you stay in four star hotels?

“Six times a year,” Cora said guessing at the appropriate answer.

“What is your annual income?”

“A hundred and twenty thousand,” Cora guessed again.

“How many hours of TV do you watch on your average luxury hotel stay?”

“Um, three?” Cora said.

“And what is your approximate height and weight?”

“Um, I’m about five four and a hundred and twenty eight pounds,” Cora answered wondering what was going on.”

“That’s great,” Sally enthused.

“Now, the study would involve staying overnight at the downtown Hilton on 5th Avenue. You would have to be there no later than 3:00 on Thursday and leave no later than 6:00 am; can you do this?”

Cora agreed to be in the study. She was to meet Sally the next day at a coffee shop near the hotel. She would receive her key and several survey forms. She was told to wear jeans and sneakers. The whole thing sounded strange. She wondered if she was going to be kidnaped. She Googled Double Impact Marketing and found their website. She called and asked for Sally and they told her she was at lunch.

She arrived at the coffee shop right on time the next day. Sally, a petite brunette greeted her as soon as she came in and walked her over to a seat in the corner. She seemed extremely nervous as she went over the instructions.

“Okay, so this is market research for several different clients one is obviously the hotel, the other is Pepper’s Pizza and the others are Sport Time Clothing and Comcast. You will be asked to go up to your room, make sure everything in the room works. If something doesn’t work, don’t call the front desk just write it down on your survey form. At 6:00 order a small peperoni pizza and a Coke from Pepper’s and fill out the form. You are to have the TV on from the time you get there til 11:00 PM. When you get up in the morning, come right back over here without checking out and I’ll pay you, “

“Okay, do you want me to check out the gym or the lounge?”

“No! Just stay in your room.”

“Okay.”

“Wear this with the hoodie on the whole time,” Sally said handing her an orange and blue Broncos hoodie. You’ll fill out a survey on that too.”

Cora walked to the hotel and did as she was told. She watched a Soprano’s marathon, ordered her food and took a long hot bath. She filled out all her surveys and went to bed where she was unable to sleep. She was afraid she would miss the alarm. She wanted to explore the grounds, but she was afraid she would be disqualified.

In the morning she returned to the coffee house, but it was not open. She stood outside of it for about five minutes. She was about to walk back when she heard the sound of a car screeching around the corner. Sally parked clumsily and got out of the car. She appeared to be sweating profusely.

“Hey,” she said.

She reached into her purse quickly and retrieved five rumpled twenty dollar bills and stuffed them in Cora’s hand.

“Thanks for everything, do you have the key?”

“Yes,” Cora said handing it over.

“And the hoodie.”

Cora took the hoodie off and handed it to her.

“Thanks, I’ll be in touch,” Sally said.

“Um, don’t you want the surveys?”

“Oh, yeah…yeah that’s fine,” She said taking them.

“I hope I filled them out right,” Cora said.

“They look fine,” sally said not looking at them.

As Cora walked away she noticed Sally putting on the sweatshirt before getting in her car. She stood and waited for the bus. She pretended she didn’t notice the red stain on one of the twenties.

The Agnostic

a_single_red_rose-normal

 

 

The girls got into the limo that was parked outside of the airport Holiday Inn. They were about to leave for the Beverly Hills mansion where they were to meet their potential suitor. There were five limo’s containing five potential girlfriends. Each limo pulled up to the mansion and the girls got out one by one and they had a brief interview with Jackson Butterworth, a former country star and the host of Alpha Male which was to be a reality television show. Twenty five beautiful women were to compete to win the heart of a pickup artist who wanted to settle down.

Emily was assigned to the second limo. She sized up the competition as the limo flew down Santa Monica Blvd. There was a tall dark haired girl with nice teeth, but small breasts. There was a red head with perfect skin and long legs, there was an Asian girl with a perfectly tight figure, and a flawless looking brunette with perfect everything.

Emily was a blond with blue eyes and big breast. She hoped whoever this guy was, he was a traditionalist. She needed him to pick her. She wanted to move to LA badly and she knew she would never ever able to afford it without a job. She was sure that if she won she could get another reality show or perhaps an anchor job on E. It was her plan to be likable and sexually conservative, not virginal; but conservative. From what she had seen America like what it considered to be “good girls”, but not freaks. She planned to drink less than the other girls but not tea tottle, she planned to appear smart, but not intellectual, spiritual but not religious and aware but not political. She made a study of these shows, it was her only way out of Boise.

The limo arrived at the mansion and all the girls did the five minute interview. They headed inside for a fabulous cocktail party. Emily had never seen anything so opulent in her life. There were camera men all around and the girls were all served many cocktails. Emily had to hold herself back from eating too many of the hor d’oeuvres. After about an hour Jackson came into the room and told everyone to have a seat.

“Welcome to Alpha Male, ladies,” he said.

Everyone hooted and hollered.

“You ladies were selected from over two million applicants to be here.”

There was more hooting and hollering.

“The Alpha Male is one of the most famous pick up artist on America. He’s been a player for the last fifteen years. But, now he claims that he will marry the right lady if he can find her He is also a self made millionaire with a musical background. Are you ready to meet the Alpha Male?”

There was yet more hooting and hollering.

“Well, this show is a little bit different than most reality dating shows. You ladies won’t be meeting our star tonight, but he has already met all of you.”

The girls all looked confused. Emily went for her best wide eyed, pouty blonde face.

“You see ladies the first elimination won’t be tonight or tomorrow, or the next day. The Alpha male has been watching you from a secret room in this mansion and will continue to do so for the next thirty days. You will be asked to perform a series of tasks. He will judge you on how well you perform these tasks and in thirty days he will eliminate fifteen of you.”

There were gasps all around.

“Oh, Hell no,” someone said.

“What kind of tasks are they,” Emily asked.

“They are tasks based on physical and mental strength, morality and altruism,” he said.

“What’s altruism,” a voice asked. Emily suppressed her laugh and fought an urge to answer the question.

“It’s kind of like generosity,” he said.

The ladies retired to their rooms. Emily’s roommate was Susan, a sultry brunette from Texas. They were encouraged to share secrets before they fell asleep. Emily made up some sexy ones.

The next morning the girls had a relay race before being treated to an elaborate breakfast. Afterward they were ushered into the TV room where they were shown a video about a woman in the Deep South who had adopted six handicapped children. She had supported them largely by selling quilts that the entire family made together. It turned out the woman had given one of her kidneys for her sister and now she was experiencing kidney failure. She needed a donor.

The girls were asked to be tested to see if any of them were matches for the woman. They were told that they had to vote unanimously to be tested and if anyone said no than no one would be tested; everyone agreed to a test.

Emily got a funny feeling that this show may not be what it seemed. Late at night she tried to crack open a window and realized there was no way to do this. She tried to go off the grounds to the convenience store, but was told that it wasn’t allowed. There was no internet access in the house and the cable was regulated to certain channels that only showed reruns and other reality shows.

They next day they played a trivia game, that was followed by a bikini contest. After that they were asked to donate their weekly stipend to a Bolivian orphans, they voted to do this as well.

At night she lay in bed unable to sleep. What if there was no Alpha Male? What if it was all a ploy to get them to do the produces bidding?

She closed her eyes and told herself it was all in her head. She tried to make herself dream of a wonderful life in Los Angeles.