“Shy, Ugly, Flatulent Man Seeks The Impossible”

Last week I added a new link to my blogroll: the personal ads in the London Review of Books, which gets logged under humor, though I considered also putting it under language and literature.  That’s because these ads strive to break the mold, offering a zany, allusion-heavy parody of that most bland of genres, the personal ad.

You know how they go: “Fit professional SWM seeks fun-loving SWF for long walks on the beach at midnight.”  Gag me. 

When the LRB started doing these a few years ago, the submissions quickly turned into a contest to see who could write the most intellectually obscure–and the most ridiculously unattractive–personal ads.  Some of my favorites from the articles I’ve read about them:


  1. Romance is dead. So is my mother. Man, 42, inherited wealth.


  1. Save it. Anything you’ve got to say can be said to my lawyer. But if you’re not my ex-wife, why not write to box no. 5377? I enjoy vodka, canasta, evenings in, and cold, cold revenge.


  1. To some, I am a world of temptation. To others, I’m just another cross-dressing pharmacist. Male, 41.


  1. Blah blah, whatever. Indifferent woman. Go ahead and write. Box no. 3253. Like I care.


  1. Love is strange — wait ’til you see my feet. F, 34, wide-fitting Scholl’s.


  1. Shy, ugly man, fond of extended periods of self-pity, middle-aged, flatulent and overweight, seeks the impossible. Box no. 8623.”


  1. List your ten favorite albums…I just want to know if there’s anything worth keeping when we finally break up. Practical, forward thinking man, 35.


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