Friday November 6th, 2009

“The goat bleats. The shackles tighten.”

I just realized yesterday that, as a subscriber to the London Review of Books, I’m sitting on a gold mine of blog material. In addition to its terrific reviews (one of which will appear in this week’s Beat later today), the LRB is (in)famous for its back-page personal ads, in which clever, morbidly self-deprecating Brits try to outdo each other. The ads are consistently entertaining enough to have been collected in a book. So, from time to time, I think I’ll share a few from recent issues. Four to get us started:

If you can, and do, talk for hours and hours about your love of elderflower kombucha, refuse to eat anything containing wheat, endlessly refer to your travels to India at dinner parties, correct other people’s pronunciation at every opportunity and insist on naming your children (all four of them, born in rapid succession) after members of the Bloomsbury Set, are 46, cold and sexually hostile, you’re either my PhD supervisor or my ex-wife. Good day to you both. The rest of you can try saying something nice to box no. 19/02.

As a frequent attendee at LRB Bookshop events, I spend most of my time wrestling with my own internal monologue jokes and summoning up the courage to articulate these before an audience. Naturally, by the time my anxieties have subsided, the shop has emptied and I’m once again alone. My sexual experiences mirror this. Let’s hang out! Box no. 19/07.

I rule the reader comments section on my blog with an iron fist. In the bedroom I allow my sensitive nature to come out. Between these two versions of the same reality, you will find perfection manifested in the form of a 46-year-old gay male podiatrist and freelance juggler. Box no. 16/10.

The sweet smell of apples in the orchard carried on the warm, gentle breeze. A hushed moan, the curtains swish softly. Slowly my breasts come into focus. The goat bleats. The shackles tighten. And then the chanting starts again. Scary woman, 52, looking for a very specific type of ‘perfect Sunday.’ Box no. 16/08.