Weekly Shocks' Blog



The Craigslist Time-Suck

By the time I finish my third year at Oxford, I will possess two masters’ degrees, each dearly beloved, each with its own unique brand of complete and total uselessness. I will also possess tens of thousands of dollars of debt, not nearly as beloved, but mine nonetheless. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t pay as much attention to the news as I probably should, but something about the current state of the economy suggests that the above combination is something of a hindrance for me because of my selfish yet definitive desires not to live in a trashcan and occasionally eat once in a while. I also have failed in all attempts to secure a sugar daddy/rich, ennobled husband, something that annoys my mother to no end. My only options left now are either winning the lottery or (horror) finding a job.

Job searching isn’t fun for anyone, I know, and I promise I’m not going into too much whining about how fruitless my own quests have been. I’m here to make you laugh (or yawn/groan/gag/vomit depending on how unfunny you find me), not elicit sympathy. Besides, none of my job searches lasts very long, because, as I said, I’m a graduate student with two useless masters’ degrees and massive amounts of debt, and I’m really not qualified to be anything but a graduate student collecting useless masters’ degrees and massive amounts of debt. Why bother looking for a job at all? I might as well start signing up for welfare benefits now. But I persist most days by visiting a wide range of online job-search sites, mostly because it means I don’t have to work on my thesis. Never underestimate how lazy I am or how creative my procrastination techniques.

Regardless. Craigslist is by far my favorite job-search site. It is quickly becoming my favorite site in the whole world. There is absolutely no legitimacy to anything on Craigslist, and I’m fairly convinced that every post on it is written by one of twelve individuals, half of whom are clinically insane, five of whom are constantly strung out on drugs, and one token trained chimp. It is bizarre and wonderful and I hope whoever runs it makes a zillion dollars a day. I admit that most of the posts are fairly sophomoric in nature and include the usual rants about the bitches and hos who won’t condescend to sample a slice of the poster’s sweet meat. The inherent humor in that dries out fairly quickly, sure. There are, however, occasional flashes of sheer brilliance on Craigslist (drug-induced, I know, but still), and my good friend Matt sent me one a couple of days ago. I share it now with you:

Date: 2007-08-30, 2:03PM EDT

Whenever I get a package of plain M&Ms, I make it my duty to continue the strength and robustness of the candy as a species. To this end, I hold M&M duels.

Taking two candies between my thumb and forefinger, I apply pressure, squeezing them together until one of them cracks and splinters. That is the “loser,” and I eat the inferior one immediately. The winner gets to go another round.

I have found that, in general, the brown and red M&Ms are tougher, and the newer blue ones are genetically inferior. I have hypothesized that the blue M&Ms as a race cannot survive long in the intense theater of competition that is the modern candy and snack-food world.

Occasionally I will get a mutation, a candy that is misshapen, or pointier, or flatter than the rest. Almost invariably this proves to be a weakness, but on very rare occasions it gives the candy extra strength. In this way, the species continues to adapt to its environment.

When I reach the end of the pack, I am left with one M&M, the strongest of the herd. Since it would make no sense to eat this one as well, I pack it neatly in an envelope and send it to M&M Mars, A Division of Mars, Inc., Hackettstown, NJ 17840-1503 U.S.A., along with a 3×5 card reading, “Please use this M&M for breeding purposes.”

This week they wrote back to thank me, and sent me a coupon for a free 1/2 pound bag of plain M&Ms. I consider this “grant money.” I have set aside the weekend for a grand tournament. From a field of hundreds, we will discover the True Champion.

There can be only one.

I think I am in love with whoever wrote this. If it happens to be you, drop me a line. I promise not to be creepy and/or stalker-like: I only want to fawn over your wry, engaging wittiness and perhaps bear you a child or two. I also promise to buy you a beer. Deal?

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