The London Review of Books is a stellar publication, for many reasons, most of them book-related. But the section that brings me the most joy of all? The personals. And it seems I’m not the only one. Some samples:
LRB? Never read it… hoping for a better class of tottie. F, 35. Eric Morecambe, dogs, spring, crispy duck, good dialogue (written and oral), tea, slapstick, Thatcher’s death, vodka, cheek muscles.
Male readers of the LRB: trawling for sex as your opening gambit doesn’t really work. Talk to me about your favourite author; the painting that means the most to you; what smells remind you of your childhood; the day you first saw your parents differently; your first holiday; your favourite place to read; the last recipe you followed; the most recent newspaper clipping you kept; the name of a lover you most recently remembered; your favourite stretch of water; what you like most about Paris or Rome or London; the last time you fed ducks on a pond. Actually, I’m short on time. Go ahead and trawl. Woman, 39. Publishing. Get on with it. Box no. 08/09
Massive-breasted heiress, 38, seeks witty Nobel-awarded intellectual beef-cake gardener-chef-poet with stonking pecs. Like me, you are dynamic, hilarious, serious, ironic, passionate, practical, affectionate, kind, funny, have most of your own legs, and are startled to find yourself still cruising the aisles of the Lurve Bazaar. Unlike me, you don’t exist. Am I right? If so, will consider any M who can make conversation, sense, a living, friends, four cooked meals, hot love and me laugh. Box no. 07/01
If you follow them week after week, you’ll realize that some kind of nominally bookish personals subculture has developed there. One week a 28-year-old woman will post a personals ad seeking two gay male acrobats in their late 70’s, and the next week, coincidentally, two acrobats meeting that description will post an ad soliciting a woman of 28.
(I’m still in Massachusetts, by the way, so posting will be light tomorrow.)