How would you write a personal ad? NPR had a great and funny program on it yesterday – worth a listen or read – and it sparked a sordid memory… I scrolled through my computer files and there it was: personal ad.doc.
First, let me admit that sometimes my attempts at humor fail so miserably that I want to run away. Like the time, about 10 years ago, when I went to a Halloween party dressed as a pedophile clown – some friends lived in this house with several roommates, and they were thoroughly tasteless dudes. “Hey, I’ll be the funny guy, the hit of the party!” I told myself as I knocked on the door with my crooked wig, messy clown makeup, bottle of booze in a paper bag, tights with a huge sock stuffed down my leg and a homemade clown top that read, “Hey kids, free candy here!” with arrows pointing south. I know, I’m sorry. Really, really bad (though in my defense, it’s not my fault that clowns are creepy). Still, my deadbeat buddies would have laughed. Except my friend hadn’t told me that the party was thrown by their sole respectable housemate, a guy I’d never met with a real job and responsibilities, unlike the rest of us. I walked in and I swear the record player skipped and waned to a stop. Mothers clutched their children. Fathers scowled at me. I thought I was going to get my ass kicked. My friends hid their faces and looked away.
Other attempts at humor have been far more benign, but equally unsuccessful. Years ago, before I met Jenna, I figured I’d try an internet dating site – Estes Park can be mighty lonely in winter, a place where men are men and the sheep are scared. This site had a free trial or something, and claimed to be geared toward active outdoor folks. I saw pictures of cute chicks climbing, running, riding bikes, stuff like that. Sweet. Only, how do you write a personal ad without sounding like a total douche? A sense of humor is a wonderful thing, right? Here was my meager attempt:
Thirty-something climbing bum with no discernable qualities seeks non-annoying hottie with low standards and bad eyesight for a short-term, meaningless relationship. Not interested in just “friendship,” I have plenty of friends. But who knows, maybe love or *@#%?@!??. We can enjoy romantic weekends at my cabin (after I go climbing with my friends) swilling margaritas and reading Bukowski. Must be comfortable with yourself, have a strong sense of self-identity and be willing to change the things about you that I don’t like. Psychos need not apply. Nice car a plus.
P.S. I do yoga sometimes.
Well, I thought it was funny. Zero replies. Not one. What ever happened to a sense of humor? Which reminds me of a joke:
Q: How many women does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: That’s not funny, you asshole!
Fortunately, my days of personal ads are through (and now poor Jenna has to deal with my misguided sense of humor…). But if you were placing one, what would it say – got any good ones to share? Or maybe you’ve had some total flops in the world of internet dating? (If at least you got a date you did better than me.) There have to be some good stories out there.