The two-word compromise you’re looking for: zip wire

August 3rd, 2008 · 182 comments

An anonymous submitter in Ann Arbor, Michigan received this e-mail from a guy who just moved into her co-op (“basically a co-ed frat house”) for the rest of the summer. “We’ve tried to reason with him,” she says, to no avail. “When asked why he has to get up so early, he says, ‘I have important things to do in the morning,’ and that’s it.”

the two-word compromise you're looking for: zip wire

The even bigger mystery? Wonders our submitter: “Why, if he needs complete silence at night, did he move in with 16 other college kids on summer break?”

related: there will come soft pains

→ 182 CommentsFILED UNDER: and that's an order · college life · drizzunk · e-mail · Michigan · noise · questionable logic · roommates · sleeping · spelling and grammar police · thanks (but not really)


Bleak House

July 31st, 2008 · 219 comments

“A few years back I was living in a halfway house in Canberra where theft from the communal kitchen was a common problem,” writes Alex in Australia. “One morning we woke to discover that the fridge had gone missing.” (The coffee in question was stolen from a cupboard, but apparently the owner thought removing the fridge was the best form of attack.)

STEAL MY COFFEE!! NO MORE. NO FRIDGE UNTIL I AM COMPENSATED $3.00 SUNDAY, 8-8-04 U KNOW WHO YOU ARE

The fridge incident went unresolved for many months, Alex says, because none of the residents could be bothered to move it back inside…and nobody had $3 to spare. In fact, he says, no one ever seemed all too concerned about the whole thing, explaining, “because we spent most of our money on vice, we had no food to put in the fridge anyway.”

Eventually (long afterAlex moved out) the fridge was declared a traffic hazard, and a charity took it away.

related: Um, Rene Hall?

→ 219 CommentsFILED UNDER: actions speak louder · Australia · Canberra · CAPS LOCK · fridge · money · questionable logic · roommates · stealing · You call that punctuation? · you know who you are


Passive-aggressive mad libs

July 30th, 2008 · 132 comments

This note from a “friendly neighbor” was put through the mailslot of Dan’s apartment in the heart of South Philly. Says Dan: “I wanted to put ‘thanks for the advice!’ on the door in response, but thought better of it.”

Hey, Trash goes out Tuesday Night after 7:00 p.m. + should be put out on the curb, not against the house. You may want to invest in trash cans for the back of the property or ask the owner of the building to do so. Thanks, Friendly Neighbor

As infuriating as the note was, “I do love how they phoned in the underlining on ‘of’ and ‘the,’ then went to town with ‘curb,’” Dan says. “Thank you, friendly neighbor, for the best piece of bulletin board material I’ve ever gotten.”

related: Two birds with one snowman

→ 132 CommentsFILED UNDER: excessive underlining · garbage · gloriously redundant · neighbors · Philadelphia


What we didn’t learn at Comicon: a passive-aggressive show & tell

July 29th, 2008 · 104 comments

First, the “tell” part: I know it’s ridiculous, but I still have a mini existential crisis every time a friend/colleague/family member forwards me a passive-aggressive-themed article or cartoon along with a remark like “this made me think of you!”or “hey, passive-aggressive girl!” (I comfort myself with the thought that hey, at least I didn’t decide to go with a more “technically accurate” site name like notesfromcrazyassholesanduptightbitches.com.)

Now, for the show: on Monday, Jon Stewart uttered a phrase I’ve heard from visitors to this site on, oh, let’s say more than one occasion. Meanwhile, this is the second week in a row that the words “passive-aggressive” have featured prominently in The New Yorker. here’s this week’s:

The Passive-Aggressive Door-Holding Game

Of course, this is well-trodden territory for the most excellent web comic Toothpaste for Dinner.  Last week, several discerning readers pointed me toward the latest:

PLEASE stop being so passive-aggressive.

If you take a spin through the Toothpaste for Dinner archives, you’ll find even more familiar themes. Here’s a sampling:

Toothpaste For Dinner

 

And of course, xkcd never disappoints.


Thanks to Kate and Ellen in New York, Diane and Mary in Chicago, Lisa in Minnesota, Segat in the U.K., and Zack M. for sending these our way!

extra credit: The New Yorker anti-caption contest [radosh.net]

→ 104 CommentsFILED UNDER: meta


Fight or flight

July 28th, 2008 · 196 comments

In terms of the appropriate sympathetic nervous system response, an e-mail subject line like “big favor” is kinda the modern cubicle-dweller’s equivalent of “Saber-tooth tiger outside cave!”

To the South side of the office, If you are wearing a perfume or cologne or whatever it is - I had to run to the bathroom to vomit - I will tremendously Appreciate if you minimize wearing it. Thank you so much.  I was going to ask you since last week but I cannot stand it anymore. Thank you.

(Note: this e-mail, our Seattle-area submitter says, is from the very same person who brought us this.)

related: Perhaps it’s time for a little group therapy?

→ 196 CommentsFILED UNDER: all-staff e-mail · irregular capitalization · odor · office · oh no you didn't · Seattle · thanks (but not really) · vomit


The Powerseller of Pompano Beach

July 27th, 2008 · 318 comments

If you’ve ever tut-tutted over the consequences of big-box stores and online retailers overtaking small businesses, you’ll be heartened to hear that some folks have figured out how to bring those old-fashioned mom-n-pop ideas about customer service into the digital age…with the help of a big ol’ corporation called eBay!

While browsing the auction site for some new shades, my pal Josh stumbled across one such example — a listing from a Florida-based eBayer who goes by the name of whiteblizzard70.

PLEASE READ MY SHIPPING AND REFUND (RETURNS) RULES, AS THAT IS IMPORTANT.

This goes on for several more paragraphs (see for yourself), but I’ll skip to my favorite part — the postscript.

PS I LOVE OVERSEAS BUYERS! NEVER A PROBLEM.

(Josh decided not to bid.)

related: Top five musical crimes perpetrated by record store customers
extra credit: How do you get out of an ebay auction? [consumerist.com]

P.S. This post reminded me of another note my friend Josh told me about a few months back — a piece of reader mail he’d received as an editor at the music mag Blender. Granted, most readers who take the time to write in to magazines like Blender are at least a little bit…off, to say the least. But the last part of this letter — a response to an “Ask Blender” column about the urban legend that Debbie Harry of Blondie was once abducted by Ted Bundy — is genuinely spine-chilling. (Passive-aggressive? Not so much. Creepy? Um, yes.)

→ 318 CommentsFILED UNDER: "customer service" · CAPS LOCK · college life · eBay · Florida · more aggressive than passive · Pompano Beach · spelling and grammar police


Franger al fresco

July 26th, 2008 · 118 comments

Geetha in Sydney says this note appeared in the shared dining room the day after the city’s gay Mardi Gras. The best part? “A few people admitted the condom might be theirs, but nobody would take credit for the note.”

To the owner of this condom, the backyard is no place for the use of such things. Please use rooms provided. :)

related: Dearest roommate

→ 118 CommentsFILED UNDER: roommates · sex sex sex · smiley · Sydney · visual aids


Cue the violins

July 25th, 2008 · 209 comments

When Sheena in Austin spotted this note on her neighbor’s front door, she couldn’t help but wonder: “If your doormat has sentimental value, maybe it should be hanging on your wall instead of sitting on the ground?”

To whoever stole my doormat: PLEASE bring it back! It was a gift & has sentimental value! Be a grown up! Thanks, Alex

related: Wrath mat

extra credit: Sentimental value: clothing stories from eBay

→ 209 CommentsFILED UNDER: Austin · eBay · excessive underlining · grow up · neighbors · stealing


“So if you could go ahead and try to remember to do that from now on, that’d be great.”

July 24th, 2008 · 234 comments

Writes our anonymous submitter from Canada: “I got back to my desk after lunch on a Friday and found this heartfelt note on my keyboard. I was touched.”

Thanks for all your hard work this week on the report. I had to fix almost everything because of you. There were mistakes (a lot.) I stayed late. It was TONS of fun!!! have a great weekend and don't worry about all those mistakes :)

Adds our submitter: “I worked my ass off on that damn report!”

related: Oh sweetie, I love it when you talk dirty!
extra credit: TPS report cover sheet

→ 234 CommentsFILED UNDER: Canada · office · smiley · thanks (but not really) · TPS reports


Scatological Poetry Slam

July 22nd, 2008 · 223 comments

Given the highly intellectual discussions this site’s commenters have become known for, it seems safe to assume that the question, “How are we to judge poetry?”  is one that you, dear reader, have no doubt pondered on many an occasion, along with other more academic concerns such as the proper resting state of the toilet lid.

Well, as the late Philip Larkin once said, “I think a poet should be judged by what he does with his subjects, not by what his subjects are.” With that in mind, which of these poets would you judge “less likely to make you totally vom”?

Is it this one, from a university campus in Toronto?

Dear Ladies, Please be kind to our noses by flushing during doses of Nature's secondary call when it's smelliest of all. To wail till the end, won't make you any friends, as the smell lingers here in this room with no air. So next time you must answer to Nature's rush for whatever doth ail ye, flush so we don't suffer daily. Thank you.

…or is it this one, spotted by Kacey at the YMCA in the college town of Champaign, Illinois?

STOOL RULES: If you want your stay to be real nice nice/After the deposit - flush it twice/When the paper work is done/Flush once more - it can be fun!!/Heed my words in what you do/Or all you've done - comes back to you

related:  A limerick

extra credit: The Poet of Dirty Words: Reconsidering Philip Larkin [slate.com]

→ 223 CommentsFILED UNDER: Canada · Illinois · odor · office · pure poetry · toilet · Toronto