Thursday, December 20, 2012

Alright, Bryson Bernard

Wooooooo, doggie! Friends, you'll never guess where we've been the past 14 months. It's a story so laced in intrigue, drama, and sexual conquest, that we would do the world an injustice by even starting to tell it.

Over the past year, Tom and I have gone on adventures the likes of which inspire films -- and not those played out, Oscar-worthy December releases, oh no no, we're talking Lifetime movie adventures. Tom, remember that widow we met around Valentine's Day? The one who thought her dentist was sleeping with her daughter, but it turned out he was her daughter? "The Dental Damn!" we called it.

No, dude, not the one from South Dakota. You're thinking of the home insurance agent we beat up in June. The guy who used to hide in his female client's closets, and scare their children in the middle of the night. That one we tag-lined, "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is here.

(...Readers...are you buying any of this?)

Alright, alright, fine. You got us. Here's the skinny. The Chicago Sometimes went on an unexpected hiatus last October due to a variety of factors. Some personal, some professional, some skinny-dipping-accident related. (Don't try it when the water is cold, kids. These are a very different kind of blue balls to deal with).

The important thing is that no amount of testicular frigidity could keep you all out of our thoughts. As we are one day from the apocalypse, why not squeeze in a quick blog post? Tom, please join me in declaring:

The Ballad of Tom and T-Jo
Now, if you'll do us the honor, let's get started.


Earlier this year, life and a trusty Toyota Corolla took me from Chicago to Seattle, and taught me that "west" in America extends much further than the other directions. By the way, Kanye, if you're reading, I'm sure there's some high quality, ego-wordplay to be created here. A suggestion: "America loves me, they know I'm the best. From mid- to pacific north, they talkin' bout Mr. West!" 

A few weeks after arriving in my new home, I realized that work and telenovelas were not enough to fill the new found void in my life. I decided it was high time I went somewhere social. You know, a place where I could interact with people face-to-face, share high-fives, and discuss over-hyphenation within sentences. The most popular place in all the world: the internet.

Wearing my Sunday best, I sat at my keyboard, headed to the intersection of Google and .com, and proclaimed, "I'm here, everyone! Your new friend, Tapan Jones!"


Even though that sentence returned 311,000 hits, none of them were helpful in my friendship quest. I needed some guidance. And also to stop calling it a "friendship quest."

Several search results quickly taught me that the internet can be a very friendly place if you like cats or pornography -- though, I strongly advise you not to combine the two. The title Meow You're Talking is deceptively cute, until the raunchy 70's guitar kicks in. Those cats ought to be ashamed of their behavior.

After some research and pride swallowing, I decided the online-dating scene was the place to go. Looking at Match and E-Harmony, it became clear that my pursuit of companionship was a frugal one. Naturally, I did what anybody in my demographic would do -- joined OkCupid for free.

With my picture and description all set up, I closed my eyes, nodded my head, and motioned with my hands as if to say, "Come and get it, ladies."

...e-crickets, part deux.

Alright. What gives? Maybe my friends from the old country would have an answer. Here's a sample conversation I had with 6 separate people:

T: So, yeah, I joined an online dating website.
F (for friend): OkCupid?
T: Yeah -- how does everyone always know that?
F: It's free, and everyone our age is poor and lonely.
T: That's not a very flattering description.
F: Shut up, you pathetic, broke invalid.

With that, I give you The Chicago Sometimes' December 2012 scoop: Many of you have been secretly leading an OkCupid life.

This revelation means I can now make sweeping generalizations about our readers. Well, actually, only our female readers. The reason being that I have exclusively experienced the site in a way which allows me to view female profiles. Although, DoYouEvenLiftBro263, I was very flattered by your message. It is, in fact, my real hair. Thank you for noticing how hard I work on it.

Here are some precisely calculated trends I have observed about the ladies of OkCupid:

1) Roughly 10% of usernames end in the suffix "-saurus."

I'm talking "jennasaurus," "K-Tsaurus," and "THEsaurus." I'm not sure when it happened, but at some point, women began to associate dinosaurs with romance. If I had to guess, I'd say the naming convention stems from a crush on Jeff Goldblum, circa Jurassic Park, and a symbolic pairing to the stegosaurus -- the horniest of dinosaurs.
A female Gynosaurus is her natural environment
2) In the section entitled "The Six Things I Could Never Do Without," 6 out of 10 women aged 21-26 list "my iPhone" within their top 3 choices.

I mean, I get it. It's a marvelous piece of technology that makes nearly every aspect of our lives more convenient. That being said...come on now. A little over 5 years ago, the damned thing didn't even exist, and we all got along fine, one way or another. I promise that each of you is more interesting than the phone you carry.

3) Photographic Pattern 1: Girls think fake mustaches are f'ing hilarious.

Men, if you don't believe me, ask any girl you know the following: "Do you have a picture somewhere of you wearing a fake mustache?" If they say no, ask if they've ever used their hair as a fake mustache, and then taken a picture of that. At some point in a similar line of questioning, your lady friend will confirm this finding. Here, I hope you will remember this post, and think, "Hot Damn, those Sometimes Boys have done it again."

4) Photographic Pattern 2: It has become popular for women to take pictures with plates of food.

You know the pose. The dish tilted up from the side closest to the body, usually being held at the corners of the plate, palms up, by the fingertips of the lady anxious to take her first bite.

I understand this photograph. A chef has taken the time to prepare a delicious and presentable meal. Why not remember the occasion? Kudos to you, female trendsetters.

The one reservation I have about this setup is drizzled with cynicism. I have yet to determine whether the photo's  inspiration is one of culinary delight, or if it's all an elaborate ruse to draw the male gaze to the general breast area, similar to necklaces everywhere. In either case, thanks!
Those are my major findings, to da...OH, one more! For any basketball fans who are also on this particular casual dating site, one very important thing to note: OKC is the common abbreviation for "OkCupid" and not the Oklahoma City Thunder. Trust me, as I am speaking from embarrassing personal experience.

For those of you curious about the success ratios of online dating, I can only offer one piece of truth. Whether on the internet or off(line), the same cardinal rule that governs dating applies: attractiveness equals selection. Meaning, those who are found to be attractive, either physically or otherwise, hold all the cards. The only difference here, as noted by blunt businessman Jesse Koltes, is that "transaction costs and barriers to entry are down." So if you see someone you like, go ahead and send them a message. The only thing at stake is a profile page.

Lots of love,
Tapan Jones

[Art, as always, by Thomas Glass Jr.]
Click to maximize the pictures!

p.s. It's great to be back. Thanks for having us.  

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