Available: SWM, a Real Charmer


The following appeared in The Pitt News, 2000.

Because I wrote this as satire about personals ads,

I never dreamed that Internet dating would take off,

nor that I would one day have my own Match.com profile.

I actually find it heartening that so many people

have swallowed their fear and met complete strangers

in well-trafficked public places.

(Myself among them).

Single, white male looking for female companion. I’m fun-loving, cultured and athletic. I love theater and long walks on the beach. I do not live near a beach, but my house overlooks a river, which has romantic potential if a waxing moon hits it just the right way on a clear night. And by “long walks” I mean moderately long, or else the arthritis in my knees acts up.

When I say “cultured,” I’m referring to long hours in front of the television watching The Learning Channel. Sometimes I’ll spend whole weeks on my couch, chomping beer nuts and adding up the days since I last took a bath (until I lose count). And “athletic” means I’ve seen every college-league football game aired in the past 15 years. One of my favorite hobbies is taping Bud Bowl commercials.

I have a great sense of humor. If you call me, I’ll happily tell you the one about the lawyer and the dead mongoose. It’s a riot. I didn’t make it up, but I read it in Playboy, and I’ve got a great delivery. (Well, I think it was Playboy. I always confuse their “articles” with Hustler’s).

I speak two languages, English and hieroglyphics. I learned the latter by watching the movie Stargate 5,324 times. This is the equivalent of 10,648 bags of beer nuts.

I can perform an orchestral arrangement of the national anthem by cracking my knuckles.

I have a terrific body. I do at least three pushups a day, because, in my opinion, moderation is the best policy. I hike to the mailbox once a week, and I’ve been known to take bimonthly road trips to Wal-Mart, where I like to appraise the collection of firearms. Then I play with their Nintendo demo until the staff calls security.

My sexual prowess is unmatched. My last conquest (as I like to call her) praised me as “a unique experience.” She was so intimidated by my virility that she left through an open window while I was fishing for Swisher Sweets. I’ve been reading the Kama Sutra religiously in the three years since, picking up “pointers,” shall we say.

I always aim to please. For example, when my first girlfriend told me to stop peering into her window while she slept, I stopped right away, give or take a restraining order.

You have beautiful fingernails, by the way.

An amendment: That “conquest” I mentioned wasn’t an actual woman, but a blow-up doll that my friend gave me for my birthday. For many years I would create dialogue for her and record it on tape so we could have long conversations in the night. Then she deflated and I threw her out the window. But I thought the other story sounded better. Did I tell you how great my imagination is? Well, it’s great.

What I’m looking for is a smart, savvy, outgoing, well-traveled woman who likes to experiment with life. I don’t like to discriminate, of course; outgoing, for example, means she doesn’t mind getting my mail for me on a weekly basis, since my knees don’t always cooperate. Not to mention the leprosy (no longer contagious).

Experimenting with life could include, but is not limited to, primitive and wild sexual exploits. For example, my dream woman wouldn’t shy away from the leather teddies, rubber duckies and the intricate pulley system that await her in my basement. A fetish for vipers, old socks and Sailor Moon screen savers is a definite plus.

Well-traveled is good, but please do not call if you live in Idaho. If you have visited an Idaho post office, you may have spotted a wanted poster featuring a police sketch of a man who (coincidentally) has the same face as I. While I know nothing of the bloody knife found in that motel bathtub on Oct. 8, I imagine the killer, whoever he may be, had a very good reason for stabbing the town postman.

I would like to go on a traditional date to a fine restaurant. As an avid feminist, I think we should transcend gender barriers and have you pay the bill. I would recommend owning a car, because otherwise we’ll have to walk, and sunlight is bad for my skin blemishes. Fast-food is preferred.

Oh, and don’t call if you’re looking for a commitment. I like to play these things by ear.


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