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May 06, 2010

From Yesterday's McSweeney's

Please, Can We Not
Go To the Party?

BY MICHAEL IAN BLACK

- - - -

Please can we not go to the party? The reason I ask is because I am not feeling very well. There's something wrong with my head. Or my stomach. Or my arm. It's kind of an all over body ache, the sort of thing that probably would not show up on any sort of medical exam, but which I am confident is quite contagious. To be safe, I think we should probably just stay home.

I know you are excited to go to the party. You enjoy getting dressed up and drinking good wine and making conversation with all of our friends, many of whom we have not seen for a long time. They are great people one and all. They are without exception terrific, and I am proud to consider them my friends. At the same time, I do not need to see any of them ever again.

I find that a lot of socializing is simply a way of communicating that we like each other. When we stand around the party sloshing our wine around and catching up with each other, essentially we are just saying "I like you" over and over again. All social conversation can be reduced in this way. You say, "I like you." I respond, "I like you, too." Then, after that person is out of earshot, we talk to other people about how much we dislike the first person.

Think about how good staying home will be for the environment.

Another problem with going to the party tonight is that you and I both know the only thing to eat will be olives. At every party we attend the hostess sets out a small dish of puckered olives. I don't want any more olives. I know I don't have to eat them, but they give me something to do with my hands while I am standing around saying "I like you" over and over again. But then I do not know where to put the olive pits. Sometimes the hostess puts out little bowls for the pits, but usually the bowls are nowhere near where I am standing and I feel stupid excusing myself to dispose of my olive pits so instead I just end up putting them into my pocket. A couple olive pits in my pocket is fine but soon they grow into a mound, with the result being that my thighs end up looking bumpy. No matter how much time and effort I put into my appearance, all of that work goes right out the window with the addition of bumpy thighs.

Maybe there will be some hummus there too, but hummus has always struck me as more of an experiment in texture than an actual food. I might end up going hungry, which will no doubt make my sickly condition worse. I know you do not think I am actually sick, even though I have been issuing subtle coughing noises for the last several hours in the hopes that you will ask me if I am feeling well enough to go to the party, a question to which I can respond, "I hope so," which I am hoping will lead to you saying, "If you're feeling sick, we shouldn't go," followed by me saying, "Maybe you're right. Darn it, I was really looking forward to that party," and then you saying, "Let's just stay home," and me reluctantly going, "So be it, woman. So be it." But no matter how subtly I cough, you do not say any of those things, leading me to believe you do not actually think I am sick at all.

Please, can we not go to the party?

If we stay I promise to clean the bathroom. And fix that thing I told you I would fix three years ago. And maybe I will even get off the computer, although I am not making any promises about that.

Let us stay home and sit by the fire and I will rub your back and play Spanish lullabies on the guitar. I will make the oatmeal raisin cookies that you like and feed them to you while rubbing your feet. The combination of feet and cookies may not sound so appealing right now, but when accompanied by Spanish lullabies it is wonderful. And if we stay home tonight, I promise the next time there is a party I will go without complaint. I will be the perfect date, charming and vivacious and fun. Unless I am not feeling well, in which case I may stay home.

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Kelly

This is the best thing I have ever read.

suzanna

Heyyy Michael!!

You did another McSweeney's! I read all of them a while ago and I wondered if you were gonna do any more. I figured no, because the dates were years apart, but this was a pleasant surprise! (lol I loved the Billy Joel one, and the Salami one-and the one where you answered hatemail or something...and there was something about eating babies?? Idunno. They were all so funny. And this one is no exception-your comment about party conversations is spot on. No one likes bumpy thighs- Hilarious, guy. (O.O this is the longest comment I've ever posted lol)

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Michael, this was so hilarious! I really enjoyed it:) I don't, however, have a website about shoes to share with you. Hope that's ok.

jessie

incredible...

Alex

You are an inspiration to me. Both in writing, and finding ways to not do things.

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Personally ,I would like to stay at home.It is quiet and I can do anything I like.Go to party is too noisy and tired.So I'd rather stay at home

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Awesome and insightful,
I'd say record a small sample of the Spanish lullaby while you feed her cookies and rub her feet and loop it. It sounds like really interesting atmosphere. "Uno womannn, tres bien" and repeat

@derbyjames

I like you.

Darby

Beautiful.

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I really like your blog, I feel we have a common love from your blog. Hope you make friends with me, and give more exchanges later. I have a website about shoes , you can have a look.

A

You are the greatest person of all time.

Jaime

I can't believe I didn't read this days ago. End of the year school mess has messed with my mind. But somehow the image of lullabies and cookies soothes me from the frantic madness. I am convinced I need a cd of spanish melodies.

I also don't like olives. Or bumpy thighs. But right now I am eating an entire jar because they give me something to do with my hands while I am sitting around saying "I like you" over and over again :) I think there is a consensus:

We like you -- let's blarty down.

Kelly

Between the pits and the lullabies the spanish theme destracted me. Spanish people tell each other they like each other a lot too. There's something subliminal here...

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You are an inspiration to me. Both in writing, and finding ways to not do things.

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You have a lot of shoe fans commenting on your blog. I like shoes, but not that much. I don't really see the link between your blog and shoes, so I must not be that deep.

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Great entry!

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Funnyside


Hilarious.

Another favourite are raw mushrooms orbiting a big dip bowl, which haven't been entirely cleaned of their fertilizer/mushroom manure.

Mmmm..."Terrific mushroom Don. I really taste the blunt force of cow pattie and a urinated barnyard floor. Great stuff"

Willow

That's great and all, but are you watching the new Doctor Who on BBCA?

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I think your blog is very good, very poetic, also very talented, hope you can pay attention to my blog, thank you for coming.

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