I Have Found My Nemesis

The one guilty pleasure just about everyone shares is the Missed Connection page on Craig's List. Reading them can be the height of hilarity. Receiving one can be the highlight of one's week. It's a scientific fact: everyone loves Missed Connections.

My love affair with Missed Connections ended on October 10th at 1:01am EDT. I didn't know it at the time, but someone posted the worst Missed Connection in the history of lame Missed Connections. It wasn't brought to my attention until yesterday when a friend of mine from college (who was lucky enough to retreat back to the shores of Miami), sent me this link. That's right. Someone wrote a Missed Connection to the city of Washington, DC.

Attacking the text of the "MC" is easy enough. I'd like to first point out that writing an MC to a city is a vapid exercise. A total waste of time. Who are you trying to impress by writing this? Why did you spend that Monday night in October writing this piece of crap? What the Hell were you thinking?

I miss you already, you wonderful, self-important, walkable, sporty, humid, pretentious, kinetic, dazzling, overpriced, overcaffeinated, cobblestoned, self-conscious, self-unaware, popped-collar-sporting, popped-collar-mocking, preppy hipster college town masquerading as the political capital of the world.

How many of these adjectives are totally negative? Humid? Sign me up! The author also damns Washington with some incredibly faint praise. Washington is walkable? What city is not walkable? Cobblestoned? Like, parts of Georgetown are, but, again, that doesn't seem like anything to be especially proud of. If someone sent me this paragraph and I didn't know what city it was referring to (so, eliminate the political capital of the world reference), I would think this was the worst city ever devised by man. What a terrible opening paragraph. This douche has convinced me to hate Washington even more. Bad thesis statement!

I was just 17 when we met. You were my first love, and you stuck with me through thick and then - the years rat-racing through college, that weird time after college when I worked in a restaurant, the overpaid paralegal job, the misguided semester of law school, and then even when I moved down to Virginia I still visited you every single weekend.

If your first love is Washington, you don't deserve any love you ever feel for another human being to be requited. I hope you enjoyed Virginia though.

When the plane hit the Pentagon, I watched the smoke from across the river and cried.

Fair enough.

I thought the scaffolding around the Washington Monument was beautiful.

I dunno. Maybe?

I sat in Einstein's lap.

I don't know what this is referring to. It seems tremendously unimportant.

When I was flush I drank at the 18th street lounge...

Oh, fuck you.

...and when I was broke I went across the street to Lucky Bar.

FUCK YOU! Lucky Bar is neither cheap nor fun.

I could lie in my bed at night and listen to the monkeys making a racket across the street at the zoo, and wake up on a Saturday and sit in my front yard and smoke a cigar with my best friends and watch your young families and your gorgeous, gorgeous young women strolling by.

Cigars? You pompous asshole. As for Washington's "gorgeous, gorgeous young women," what the fuck are you talking about? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. I am from Massachusetts. It's the capital of ugly women. I know ugly when I see it. Washington is an ugly, ugly town.

Georgetown was the neighborhood I loved to hate, and seedy Adams Morgan at 3 AM on a Saturday was the neighborhood I hated to admit I loved. Afternoons laughing out loud at the human circus in Dupont Circle, then getting my butt kicked at chess by some homeless guy. All those weekends we spent Running Against Bush. Man, that seems like such a long time ago. Hitting up Mount Pleasant for real, authentic Mexican food, or crashing with my Hill friends and waking up early to get breakfast at Eastern Market.

I hope people now understand why this blog exists. How can one enjoy a city with these people inhabiting it? What does "human circus" even mean and how does it apply to Dupont Circle? "Running Against Bush"? So confusing.

Running on the Mall. Playing Ultimate or soccer or rugby on the Mall. Flying kites on the Mall. Building a snow sculpture of the Capitol, on the Mall. Worshipping in the temples of Lincoln and Roosevelt and most of all, Jefferson. Taking pretty girls for walks on the Mall and ending up on the top deck of the Kennedy Center, looking out at your beautiful lights and wanting it all so badly.

Ultimate frisbee!? Of fucking course. By the way, I've lived in Washington since 2001 and have spent a grand total of 40 minutes at the Mall. This guy has spent an awful lot of time in tourist traps for someone who claims to love everything this shithole has to offer.

I love the "wanting it all so badly" line at the end. I suppose I should mention that the prose on this Missed Connection is laughably bad. I know that the low quality level of writing should be self-evident, but, just in case, it still deserves a mention. I can picture this guy at his computer writing this abortion of an MC and thinking to himself, "I am so fucking clever." The reality, pal, is that you're about five levels below Carrie Bradshaw in terms of suckage. This overdramatic prose doesn't fit the medium which is FUCKING CRAIG'S LIST, YOU MORON!

All those mornings for all those years, waking up before daylight to row up and down and up and down and up and down the Potomac. Running from the cops under Key Bridge. Drag racing up Rock Creek Park in the middle of the night, and a thousand other crazy stupid things we did together that in retrospect were idiotic but at the time, just meant being young and being broke and alive and full of ideals and most of all, happy.

Crew and ultimate frisbee? Holy shit. I am speechless!

Also, drag racing up Rock Creek Park? As someone who has taken the E bus line two or three times, I'd like to thank you for putting my life in danger. It goes without saying that the author has, at some point, said this to one of his buddies: "Yeah, dude. 'Tokyo Drift' was the shit, man. Next time we watch it we should totally get shwillied in the parking lot so the chicks can check out my Honda, guy."

And now they've finally taken me away from you, and made me come live in this desolate little town in the middle of nowhere where the highest form of culture is the Barber shop/Tattoo parlor combo, and the nearest movie theater is 40 miles away, and the people weigh too much and talk too slowly and I can't complain any more about strangers in bars always wanting to ask what's your job and what's your politics, 'cause around here, everyone's job is the same and people don't understand why a polite person would want to bring up politics in the first place.

This paragraph made me joyful. Total, unadulterated, pure joy. I am so glad this story has a happy ending.

I guess I never really told you how I felt, DC. They say that you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone... only, I guess in our case, you're still there, and I'm the one who's gone, but anyway it works out the same way in the end. But now that I'm gone, I just wanted to tell you hey, thanks for all the memories, all the good times, all the things you taught me about myself and my country and the world.

I'll never forget you, the city of my youth. You're beautiful to me. You'll always be my first love.



  1. I could make some joke about Tom Delay writing that, but it would be stupid.

  2. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.......................

  3. Aw, really? I liked this post. Does it need more swearing?

  4. The main problem is that your writing is just as cliched, obvious, and cringe-inducing as the CL guy's, albeit in a slightly different way. (I want to put my foot through my computer screen every time I read your "mission statement.")

    I mean, come on, you ended the post with "LOL." Ironic or not (and I suspect not), that's LAME.

  5. You know, I feel for the guy. As much as I like to complain about DC, it sure is better than any midwestern/southern city full of fat people, parking lots, big-box stores, and fast-food restaurants. I bet that's where this poor guy's wound up.

    What's wrong with Lucky Bar?

  6. To Il Ratto:

    The District of Columbia has the following:

    Parking lots--check

    Fat people--oh fuck yes

    Big-Box Stores--I guess that Home Depot near the Rhode Island metro station doesn't count.

    Fast-food restaurants--Oh give me a break.

    Lucky Bar is a sloppy place for sloppy 20-somethings looking for sloppy sexual favors from a night of sloppy drinking and puking.

  7. Ted Kennedy's LiverDecember 20, 2006

    I liked the post. The mission statement was there before rusty took the helm. Lucky bar used to have $1 budweisers.

  8. Excellent post! I read that Missed Connection on "Best Of" a few weeks ago and wanted to kill myself.

    I am just really bad that whoever wrote it didn't end with "And now I'm living in the Big Apple..." because then I REALLY would have killed myself.

  9. And by really bad I mean really mad.

  10. krystal koonsDecember 20, 2006

    I'm a very self-critical person but... that was super weak. Where is that guy living now that inspired him to write that?

    The Capitol of Ugly Women, eh? Can we get that on the license plates?!

  11. Yeah, that's pretty fucking weak. I want to thank you, Rusty, for making me feel a bit better about myself today.

    (And we'll always have the City Paper.... they can't take that from us.)

  12. Lucky Bar sucks now, but it used to have $1 Buds on Thursday nights (until the summer of 2001, if I remember correctly). It still wasn't that fun, but it was cheap.

  13. Ted Kennedy's LiverDecember 20, 2006

    the problem with Lucky bar, even with the $1 buds, was the fucking mountain climb up to the bathroom. Stupid putzes.

  14. good god that was bad.

    so I get frisbee and crew. to each his own I suppose. but running from the cops under key bridge? huh?

  15. Ted Kennedy's LiverDecember 21, 2006

    Oh, and Einstein's lap is the statute of Einstein on the north side of Constitution Avenue in front of the academy of sciences.

    the fact that this guy reveled in sitting there speaks volumes. all of these volumes are shouting out "DORK, DORK, DORK"

  16. DC has ugly woman? Try Cleveland or St. Louis

  17. Good job, Rusty. You'd make a good (really mean) editor. Besides the fact that this is cringe-inducingly sappy, the guy is flat out vague: see "human circus," etc.

    Oh, and you D.C. men are no prize, either.

  18. DC men are actually worse compared to the women. I have never seen shorter men in this country.

  19. OFF-TOPIC:

    Always love to show up in this space and talk about my favorite stadium deals.

    Rusty, did you notice that plans for the Cowboys' stadium were recently announced?

    The price tag? Guess. No, higher. No, more than that. OK, I'll tell you.... ONE BILLION DOLLARS.

    I still say we're getting a bargain!! Ho-Ho-Ho.

  20. Missed Connection for DC???

    What's next? Missed Connection for my ass?

  21. frizbee on the mall: a tourist trap?? Get a life, man.

  22. I actually laughed out loud at this god-awful, pretentious love letter, after I was done puking, that is. Thanks for sharing.

  23. also, could you perhaps not wrap all women in washington into a conglomerate of "ugly"?

    please have some maturity, and maybe some sense to know that a city doesn't make someone attractive or ugly.

  24. Ok. Well. I suppose you are unfamilar with speaking in generalities. Of course there are hot girls in Washington. I like to think people I have dated are at least passably attractive. There are also hot girls in Boston.

    But, overall, Washington and Boston are ugly, ugly places. Hell, I have a thing for chicks in power suits and I still thought 95% of the interns I ran into on the Hill were busted.

  25. That was so beautiful, I cried. Seriously.

    My favorite was the paragraph where he says "on the mall" 5 times. It reminds me of something I might have written about a 3rd grade field trip.

    The whole "running from the cops under key bridge" was a bit much. Was he putting his boat in the water from private property? Fishing without a license? No, I'm sure it was something WAY more bad-ass than that.

    Who is this mysterious "they" who made him go live somewhere 40 miles from a movie theater?

  26. it's definitely amazing how in one plane ride you can actually see a lot of good looking people concentrated in one place. DC is U-G-L-Y!