There is Such a Thing as Bad Press

I have a friend in charge of food safety and regulations at a large food store. Someone
posted a video on Youtube of rats coming and going freely in the store and in and out of
open food containers. I emailed him “You know the saying ‘no such thing as bad
publicity?’ I think you just became the exception to the rule.” The humor escaped him.

The reason I bring this up is because I don’t think people really think about what they
are saying or doing sometimes. Sometimes there IS such a thing as bad publicity and 2
photos and 2 emails come to mind; I will explain.

First off, I would never post a photo [plus while I kept one on my computer for a smile
when I needed one, I have since lost it] because that’s a breach of some sort of ethical
something which I have yet to pinpoint but know what it is. Like porn, you know it when
you see it.

I do however, have no ethical problem describing it to you.

I was out one night, I think at a comedy club or a funny show or something. It was one
of those nights when my humor had been stoked by whatever I was doing before. I got home and opened an email from someone who had contacted me from a dating site. The picture was of an small old man standing next to an even older man in a wheelchair with an eye patch and a breathing tube up his nose who seemed to be clinging to life’s last legs.
And I thought, ok, which guys is it? Because really, one can never be sure and with my
track record…..

Instead of thinking too hard on it, I just fell on the floor laughing. Not because some poor old guy was having a hard time in a wheelchair. Not because his son, I presume, was trying to show what a good son he was, it was just the thought that someone thought that THIS picture was going to be appealing to some inner empathy maybe? It bordered on exploitative but of course in my universe it just hit the funny bone.

I think it’s great people take care of their parents. I expect my kids will take me in
my wheelchair and put a note on my back and leave me at the dog track, ala Don Imus, so
bravo for this guy. I’m just not sure he shouldn’t get some new advice with regards to
hype on putting your best side on a dating site no less. Maybe he was trying to screen
out the jerks and I obviously fell short.

My other favorite picture was a guy standing in the background and his, I’m guessing
here again, mother was in the foreground. I mean really in the foreground. Think, you
take your camera out to photo your new puppy and they come to see what that is you’re
doing and you end up with a picture of their nose up close. On top of which this woman
looked like grandmamma from the Addams family. I had to google that to be sure the
picture matched and sure enough….it was pretty damn close. I always thought there was
some sexual tension between Uncle Fester and Grandmamma but that would be weird right? My bad. Back to reality. So this photo also just gave me the giggles. Is this really
what you want to portray on a dating site? Who said to this guy, Hey! put that picture
with your mom, you know the one where she’s looking directly into the camera! Women will
think you’re such a good guy for taking care of your mom! Unless of course it wasn’t a
woman at all NOR his mom. Maybe this was the guy and the guy in that background was just some guy there in the background.  It’s possible.The world of dating is a lot like the lottery – Hey, ha never know.

Emails are always clearer and my favorite 2 textual communications are these:

The first one, after a nice description of what sounded like a nice guy ended with – and
I quote – I have a very small dick and it doesn’t work well.

I’m not kidding.

Now I’ve gone out with guys with all kinds of builds, I myself am a smallish person and
didn’t even have boobs until well into 16 so I’m not a judger of body parts. You get
what you get.

In fact I once dated a guy who won the award for the smallest dick I’ve ever seen and
it’s not a particularly small sampling. He was a great guy, good looking, tall, broad
but literally I had to take note. In fact, because my brain tends to take things and
exxagerate them later for a funny story I actually compared it to my pinky finger for
remembrance sake and, barring my nail, it was the same appendage. But that wasn’t a hold
back. He had 4 kids and knew what to do to compensate and it was all good. In fact,
he said his son was built like a horse and he sure as hell didn’t get it from him. So
he got 3 brownie points for honesty, another 1 for humour but 5 demerits for being too
stupid to check the mailman’s johnson.

Anyway, he dumped me for a woman closer to home. I also remember his ex wife was pissed off we had gone to some nice restaurant she’d never been to and when I asked him how she knew he said, she’s my accountant she does my credit card bills. So maybe not the brightest bulb in the chandelier besides, although I chalk that up to beginner dating
error and I think also the woman closer to home he could pay for in cash.

My point is that that particular facet of one’s being is not necessarily a deal breaker.
However publicizing it to someone you’ve never even met, while I guess it’s slightly
proactive in weeding out shallow sex maniacs but it just felt like TMI. Why would you
admit that to someone who might never otherwise know? Wouldn’t maybe you rather keep
that for a few dates in or better yet …… learn to work around it? I thought, wow,
here’s a guy who needs  at a minimum a better slogan.

My most recent funny God I Need A New Press Agent was a guy who sent me an email saying – again I quote – Don’t email me back unless you don’t mind that I’m a bald man with a bad comb-over.  Almost like a dare.

Now, one can’t help having a small dick and one can’t help if the ravages of age make it
less than functional. One can’t either help being bald HOWEVER one CAN help having a
bad comb-over especially if one is aware of it! I mean, that’s like saying I have a big
nose and I pick it constantly. It is something you can NOT do!  Plus men,
golly, they have the option of being ultra cool by shaving their whole orb up there and
it’s kind of a hipster cool artist thing. You see a bald woman and you think, oh, poor
thing, I wonder when her chemo-therapy is going to end. Or, as a man, you can get a
toupee or plugs or just be bald. Just bald is ok too. Again, if you’re a man. So
dude……stop because you’re making me cry. And one step beyond, if really that’s your
schtick and you’re schticking to it, is it necessary to come right out and put that in
the first email? Brownie points for honesty or just demerits because you have a hat on
in your photo? The ubiquitous baseball cap (signal for: my hair isn’t what it used to
be) and sun glasses (signal for: neither are my eyes).

Let’s face it,  it’s hard to meet strangers, to meet with people you’ve only just seen virtually,
to introduce yourself best foot forward but if that’s the object, these folks need a new
PR agent and they shouldn’t use the guy who videoed the food store for reference.


2 thoughts on “There is Such a Thing as Bad Press

  1. Gee. I’m so sorry I hadn’t saved the 100+ letters I got in response to my ad in the Village Voice. It would’ve been a gold mine for stories. The 30 year old hairdresser who liked older women and the 325 lb. prisoner who wanted a penpal/visitor, the guy who sent a photo and a 12 page letter dripping with “NEED”… just a few that pop up in my mind.


    • Well if you can remember the gist…. Anyway hope you’re enjoying this. People keep telling me to do standup but I don’t think I have the cajones

      On iPhone. Excuse typos.

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