I am grateful that in recent days many of the most committed readers of the Chicago Tribune have flocked to the Pond for refuge, respite or merely for the kind of tickle their own reading material seems incapable of supplying.
So this post is specifically dedicated to Kim Ko of Glendale Heights, Illinois, who was kind enough to offer some link love to my tale of Marisol the Flying Doll.
Kim, I am not a reader of the Tribune. But today I scanned your paper, determined to find something to appreciate.
What I found was the kind of tickle that not many are, indeed, capable of supplying.
I found the tale of Edward J. Green and Megan E. Morris of Aurora, Illinois.
Megan and Ed, her head, were charged with keeping a house of ill(inois) repute, a house that they advertised (sale or rent, no doubt) on Craigslist.
Megan and Ed were a little careless, in that when they lured a certain John to their apartment, he was allegedly robbed by two men.
This is not what even the most liberal human being could define as a happy ending.
Still, the phenomenon of sex on, through and, for all I know, by Craigslist is one worth investigating.
I will confess that I already have. No, wait, please do not raise your birch to besmirch just yet.
I will explain. Some time ago, I was asked, as part of one of my other lives, to spend a semester teaching certain students about interactive advertising.
These students were paying a lot of money to learn the finer points of the creative arts.
I tried to suggest that one of the fundamentals of those arts was to see what kind of results you could get by using your imaginative skills.
So, at the beginning of the three-hour class, I asked them to go to the Craigslist personals section and post a personals ad. For the two or three of you (or one of you in Aurora, Illinois) who have never been to this section, there are various subsections which you are invited to peruse.
Men looking for Women. Women looking for Men. Men looking for Men. Strictly Platonic.
Here is an example, from today’s Craiglist New York Strictly Platonic section:
I am seeking a very unique special relationship with only one man over 40 years old . I had been in a relationship like this many years but he moved . I am not seeking marriage But a very special relationship with a man who is emotionally and financially secure ,who can be best friend and be extremely generous as well . I am looking for a steady ongoing “kept woman type” relationship like this. If you are also please write me about yourself with a picture.
I am sure Plato would have had plenty of ‘kept women type’ after a hard day at the pedagogical coalface.
Anyways, so I gave my students forty minutes to write a personals ad. And, at the end of the class, we would see who got the most responses.
You will, I hope, be interested in the results.
The men in my class failed miserably at pretending to be gay. (None of them declared that they were gay, you understand. If they were, then they were clearly unhappy.) The gay readership of Craigslist saw straight through their nonsense and they got a measly 6 replies in 120 minutes.
The women did not do lesbian well at all. And were reasonably successful at passing themselves off as heterosexual women looking for love.
The winner, however, was created by a boy and a girl working together. They created the gem: “NEW IN TOWN. NEED TO GET F***ED.”
The male of the pair decided to put a few exclamation points and asterisks around their headline. He believed those elements helped.
But in impersonating a woman and coming, as it were, straight to the point, they managed to garner 107 responses. Yes, a rate of almost one per minute.
These two artists reached a mutual understanding of how sex really works in today’s drive-by, drive-through, drive-down times.
So, my friends at the Chicago Tribune, I hope that this sunny Friday you can go to your forum and see who can be the most successful in getting a personal touch on Craigslist.
Because if you’re on the forums of the Chicago Tribune you must be lonely, right?