In which Caroline discusses what music NOT to strip to.

Yesterday at dinner, one of my best friends from college, Kelly, who is hilarious and wonderful, told me that she recently went to her first strip club. It was while she was in Boston for her cousin’s 22nd birthday, and she said the experience was a weird one – not because the strippers were unattractive (in fact, they were apparently quite good looking), but because they were dancing to the music of two of no one’s favorite bands: Nickelback and Staind.

She wasn’t kidding. The strippers in this strip club in Boston were actually gyrating, giving lapdances and removing clothing to this: Can you imagine? Who thought that was a good idea? That is the most depressing shit I have ever heard of in my life.

I can imagine a conversation between the owner of that strip club and one of his dancers: “Ok, Candy – when Frankie puts on Train’s classic, ‘Drops of Jupiter,’ that’s your cue to rip your shirt off and slide down the pole upside down. Make it sexy.” How could that soundtrack be anything but a total bummer for every person in there? I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that the goal of owning a strip club isn’t to make your customers burst into tears or feel like they need to go home and call their exes/bastard children/priests.

Kelly’s story got me thinking of other songs that should never be played in a strip club. Here’s a short list of them.

1. “What Would You Do,” by City High.

2. “Dance With My Father,” by Luther Vandross.

3. “Daughters,” by John Mayer.

4. “Cat’s Cradle,” by Cat Stevens (or Harry Chapin, take your pick).

5. “When You Believe,” by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston.

6. “Pie Jesu,” (esp. this:

Anyone else have any suggestions? Let’s hear them – but not while someone is stripping.

In which Caroline discusses Tonya Harding.

This weekend on TruTV, I saw a commercial for “The Smoking Gun Presents: World’s Dumbest” in which Tonya Harding herself says the following: “My track record may not be great…but it’s NOTHING compared to these guys!”

Wait. What? No. That’s just not true. You, Tonya, helped plan and execute a malicious criminal assault on Nancy Kerrigan that involved a crowbar, a spooky, unexpected attack by a random dude and this memorable/awesome moment in sports history (at the 2:00 mark): Then you were banned from ever being an ice skater again, so you became a wrestler. And then a boxer. Or something? And then there was a porno tape? Barf x 20,000, Tonya, because you look like the ugliest Cabbage Patch Kid that they never made because it was too ugly to sell.

Also, apparently this happened (says Wikipedia): On February 12, 1997, Harding claimed that she was abducted at knife-point outside her home by a bushy-haired man who forced her to drive to a rural area, where she rammed her truck into a tree and escaped by running into the woods. Police found no evidence of an abduction. This alleged incident happened on the opening weekend of the 1997 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.[35]

So, to recap: Tonya Harding is batshit crazy. And ugly. And in denial, apparently, because here’s a teaser of an episode of “World’s Dumbest” from

The Smoking Gun strives to make the planet safer by exposing the idiotic antics of the world’s dumbest daredevils. Watch twenty dangerous stunts you won’t want to try at home, including a man trying to hang-glide while being towed by a snowmobile and a motorcyclist standing up on his seat, eating a sandwich as he rolls down the road. Not to mention the inline skater who breaks one arm, then gets back on his skates the very next day to attempt a stupid stunt that breaks the other arm.

Sure, eating a sandwich while motorcycling is probably a bad idea (unless it’s ham), and inline skating with a broken arm is a fucking stupid thing to do, but neither of those things involve a crowbar, a spooky, unexpected attack by a random dude, a sex tape OR a made-up abduction at knife-point by an invented “man with bushy hair.” (NB: some of us can’t help our frizz, aight? Sheesh).

Final score? Well, I WOULD have said Everyone that isn’t Tonya Harding: 1. Tonya Harding: 0…but she has a standing gig doing comedy on TV. Cut to my head exploding like a Fembot’s from disbelief.

In which Caroline realizes that she might be the Grinch.

Half an hour ago, while I was on my way to get a coffee from the deli down the street from my office, I was stopped by a group of bright-eyed, bushy-haired twenty-somethings who were each holding a basket filled with brightly colored pieces of paper. “Here,” one of them said to me a little too loudly. “Now YOU have a GREAT DAY!”

Written on the neon green card he’d just handed me were the following words (capitalization and punctuation intact):

you are breathtaking! es un individuo conmovedor! have a GREAT day! tenga un GRAN día! Love, Feel Good Day

According to Google translate, which is my new favorite toy, “es un individuo conmovedor” means “is an individual moving,” which is, oh, I don’t know, not even CLOSE to “you are breathtaking.” Apparently, one (weirdly anthropomorphic) Feel Good Day didn’t bother to ask one of the THOUSANDS of Spanish-speakers who live in this neighborhood how to say “you are breathtaking” before printing out hundreds of these ‘pay-it-forward’ coupons. Adding insult to injury was the fact that, annoyingly, nothing on the piece of paper was capitalized except the last four words.

I thanked the kid who gave me the card the only way possible: by saying, “What kind of Dementor would I be if I wasn’t taking breath?” and sucking his soul out through his mouth.

In which Caroline teaches you how to not get murdered.

Since making my foray into the world of cyber dating a few months ago, I’ve developed a few sneaky tricks that I’m confident (read: sure as hell hope) will prevent me from becoming the next ‘decomposing body found in a ditch’ that you read about on The most important of these tricks is the following: always ask your potential date, point-blank, if he is a serial killer. Like this: “I also love Sno-Cones and desperately want to own a pug someday – but I can barely feed myself right now, lol! What are your favorite coffee places in the city? Are you a serial killer?”

Asking this question is crucially important because doing so changes the power dynamic of your cyber relationship. Would a serial killer actually go ahead and kill you if you’d eliminated the vital element of you being surprised about being his next victim? I’ve seen Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent AND Law & Order: SVU, and the answer to this question is: of course not. Instead, he’d 100% definitely think to himself, “Oh, she’s too clever/brazen to choke to death. I’m just going to take her to see the Tim Burton exhibit at MoMA and buy her a hot dog, instead.” Right? Right!

If you played your cards right after that, you could totally become ‘that one girl that [insert serial killer’s name] managed to have a normal relationship with while he was busy beating the shit out of prostitutes every other night.’ I’ve often wondered what it would feel like to be that girl. My guess? Pretty fucking awesome. I mean, your beau would be getting all of his bad energy out by battering runaways about the face and head. He’d probably be pretty nice to you by the time he got home from his escapades.

Personally, if I suspected that anything like that was going on with my boyfriend, I wouldn’t ask questions. I’d just be like, “Ok, Xavier, it’s totally fine that you’re going out at 2:30am and wearing a balaclava- but make sure you bring me a Caramel Frappucino when you get back home and please try not to wake me up with your hysterical sobbing again tonight.”

Ok…none of that is true. I’d be scared shitless if I suspected that my boyfriend was a killer. There are, however, women for whom this concern isn’t a deterrent – and women who actively seek out murderous sociopaths and fall in love with them. WHAT is THAT about? How the hell does Richard Ramirez, LA’s notorious “Night Stalker,” have a wife and I’m still single?

In which Caroline tells you not to fuck with Professor A$$monster, ever.

A few months ago, some friends and I spent a particularly unremarkable (though perfectly pleasant) night hanging out at my friend Nina’s house. The next day, to her horror – but not really to her surprise – she received a truly remarkable e-mail from her INSANE BITCH of a Craigslist-found roommate. The e-mail went a little something (exactly) like this:

hey nina,

now that you’re settled into the apartment, i just wanted to go over a few apartment guidelines that we follow…

-awareness of noise level is really important. since we all have different schedules, michael & i keep our tvs, phone calls, computer, music, etc. in our room so as not to disturb anyone at any time of day.

fyi, my contractor wall is really thin and i hear everything outside in my room at the same level…this is especially crucial during the work week as i wake up and go to sleep hours before anyone.

to be honest, your tv belongs in your room. if you continue to use the common areas as an extension of your personal space, you will be paying more rent since this is not fair to everyone else.

-keeping all misc. stuff in our rooms due to the tight space (and fire hazard). since the living room and kitchen are common spaces we try to keep it free of our things. anything else not related to the living room or kitchen needs to be moved to the proper place outside common areas.

-no smoking- of any kind, under any circumstances. i have asthma and allergies. beyond that, it’s rude to smoke in an apartment that was specifically requested to be non smoking. this was one of the very first questions i asked you when we met.

-letting each other know if we’re having people overnight.

-we also try to make sure to use the vent on the stove top when cooking for courtesy (when things have a strong smell, etc.).

these guidelines have worked for us and create respect among one another.

if they don’t work for you, this living situation isn’t going to work for you.



Did you ever in your life read an e-mail like that? The following e-mail is what I proposed Nina send back to her.

Dear J,

Now that I know these guidelines, I’ll make sure to abide by them. FYI: I would’ve really appreciated it if you’d sent me that e-mail BEFORE I moved in, as I was under the (apparently misguided) impression that paying money to live in the apartment would guarantee me the right to, oh, I don’t know, LIVE IN THE APARTMENT. If I’d known that I would’ve been forced to pay extra to use the apartment’s LIVING ROOM, I definitely would have looked elsewhere – I didn’t realize I was signing up to live in a boarding house in 1902.

Since we’re having this ‘discussion,’ I have a few rules of my own that I must absolutely demand you follow. They are as follows:

1. Please only cook green and orange foods when I am home/going to be home/thinking of being home/saying the word ‘home’. Any other color foods greatly offend me and looking at them burns my corneas (rare birth condition) so it would be really rude for you to cook them.

2. Moving forward, please address me exclusively as “Professor A$$monster.”

3. If you plan on using the shower (an act that is inherently an infringement on my personal space, as the shower is located very close to my room, but one that I will tolerate because it is the considerate thing to do), please only take 1.25 minutes to bathe yourself and make sure the water is no hotter than 57.4 degrees, or else you will have to pay extra for utilities.

4. If you cook food in the “communal” space, you must wash your utensils WHILE you are eating, in addition to before and after, or else we might get vermin and you might have an allergy attack and croak – and we certainly wouldn’t want that, now would we?

Finally, one last thing – my tarantula, Francis, seems to have gone missing. If you find him, DO NOT pick him up – he has been genetically mutated to be poisonous (you knew I worked at a hospital). He really likes hiding under pillows/in dark nooks and crannies/dust-free spaces, so you might want to be extra careful when you’re walking around the apartment for the next few months, until he either turns up or dies somewhere/starts decomposing and we can locate him by the stench of his corpse.

Professor A$$monster

Why she didn’t send this message, I’ll never know.