Craig is on crack

By Mir
February 19, 2006

I… have a confession to make. I’m embarrassed, and I beg you to please be gentle with me as I come clean.

I sometimes (okay; OFTEN) browse my local Craig’s List for entertainment.

It didn’t start out that way. Originally, I was just perusing for writing gigs. Then I started reading “Best Of” and before I knew it, I was mainlining the very hardest stuff they have to offer–Missed Connections and Men Seeking Women.

Somehow I’m convinced that founder Craig Newmark knew that it would work that way. First he offers a giant gathering place for every moron on the internet, then he makes it just enticing enough that those of us with actual brain cells CAN’T LOOK AWAY. It was a nefarious plan, Mr. Newmark, and it’s working. Damn you.

First off, let’s be clear about this. The only job ad I’ve actually answered off of CL (seeking further information, as the description was quite vague) brought an enthusiastic response which also clued me in to the compensation offered as if it was a small fortune rather than the approximately 12 cents/hour it worked out to. I shouldn’t even be trolling for work, there. I should quit the whole thing cold turkey.

Missed Connections will every now and then yield a touching snippet: “I saw you smile as you stepped on the number 22 bus, and it lit up your whole face. It was simply the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. I wonder if our paths will cross again?” Isn’t that sweet? Doesn’t it restore your faith in the basic goodness of humanity?

Yeah? Don’t read any of the rest, then.

Most of the Missed Connections are more like this:

Smokin hot blonde at DunkinDonuts m4w
U: blonde and babalicioucous
Me: dude who held the door for u so I could whistle at ur ass
U wer lookin mighty fiiiiiiiiiine with ur dunkacchino, i’d lick ur krullers anytime!
Plz reply!

Or, sometimes, like this:

You know who you are w4m
I’m so tired of pretending I’m happy just being friends, I’ve loved you always and I think maybe you love me to. If you gave even the smallest sign I would dump Bubba and be yours, don’t you know that? Show me you know it’s me, and it’s really you. Respond with the color of my pick-up and the trucking company who’s hat you wear and I’ll know we’re really menat to be together.
Hoping you see this………

At least I’m able to somewhat comfort myself, when browsing Missed Connections, that most of those people know that the target of their message will never read it. The fact that they can’t spell and seem caught in unrequited lust that can only be sated by posting to CL is… still frightening… but somehow, not quite as horrifying.

What IS completely horrifying, bar none, are some of the “seeking” ads that I’ve read on there. My favorite is some guy in Boston who seems to be running ads in five different states letting everyone know that he’s looking for “something between friends with benefits and sugar daddyism.” His ad is–disturbingly–well-written and clear. He wants to pay someone to be his girlfriend. He’s smart, well-established, debonaire, handsome, and willing to buy you presents in return for sex. But hookers need not apply. Because what he wants is REALLY DIFFERENT. Clearly!

Here’s the text of an actual ad:

skinny girlfriend
Looking for a skinning girl to date. Im wicked funny, have a great job, nice place, clean police record. I just like real thin girls. Oh yea you also to have to be somewhat funny., nice is good. bad hygene, well thats very bad. Also no drugs at all. And if you can cook that would be a bonus, but I guess if you could cook you wouldn’t be all that thin. No worries I can cook, so scratch the last little part about you cooking it will not be nessesary. around my age or younger is cool, because im a young 41. Minorities and women are encourage to apply.

(Do I qualify as a “skinning girl” if I meet this guy and separate his hide from his skeleton? Don’t even get me started on the cooking thing. I forgot–all skinny women must never eat! It’s not possible that I’m naturally thin; excuse me while I go barf so as to maintain my girlish figure! Thank goodness all that hurling has caused the blood vessels in my eyes to explode and my eyeballs were already bleeding when I beheld your butchering of the English language….)

And from another:

Are you a big girl looking for a steady diet of a man with a hearty sexual appetite?

(Geez, weren’t you paying attention? I’m a skinny girl with bleeding eyeballs. Sorry, dude.)

I also like the one where the guy says:

Sweet, sexy, really nice 33 year old male… hard-working fun guy looking for love or soul-mate.. Beggars can’t be to choosy.

While I’ll grant him that his rudimentary writing skills certainly do render him a beggar, it’s an interesting way to bill oneself after saying how great he supposedly is. But then again, I guess “Okay-looking, attentive until I get into your pants, commitment-phobic 33 year old male who wants to grab your ass during commercials if you bring me snacks” probably doesn’t get many responses, either.

Must. Look. Away. Mayday, mayday: Please send help. And spellcheck.


  1. Cityslicker mom


  2. RockStar Mommy

    Wow, each person who wrote an entry couldn’t have stereotyped themselves any more.

    All that’s missing is an American Indian in a cow hide loin cloth writing something along the lines of “How. Me Running Bull. Look for female in headdress. Must love smoke-signal dancing and bullshitting with Jim Morrison from time to time. Peace.”

    Okay, clearly, I need sleep.

  3. margalit

    Ah, CL. Nothing beats it for mindless entertainment. The stuff in the SFO is MUCH better than the Boston area stuff. You must check it out. Have you found the parenting forums yet? There’s the one that’s listed, and another one called the “ho” forum filled with a bunch of snotty SFO and Portland way cool moms with tattoos and piercings who like to drink and do drugs and have lots of sex. They’re hilarious. I mean, it’s just like watching a trainwreck. Somone will post “Is it ok to mix Xanax and Alcohol?” and you think this is a parent, with actual children, and she hasn’t heard of Karen Ann Quinlen? To find that one, go to any forum, take off the number at the end of the url, and put in 4657. There are other ‘secret’ invitation only forums that the cool moms have started. They really make for great reading. “Should we invite XYZ?” “NO, I don’t like her…” Can you say Junior High behavior at it’s best. It’s just amazingly funny.

    Just stay out of the rants and raves section. Those folks have some serious issues and need a lot of help.

  4. Carol

    Hmmm…apparently the Craig Lister’s and the FreeCycler’s are making their way steadily around the internet.

  5. NattyChick

    Holy Crap! I am SO tempted to just go over there and take a look but I am really worried that my husband might think I’m replying to one of those ORSUM ads and be jellus. (Can ya smell the bourbon and cigarette smoke from where you are sitting?)

  6. Aimee

    Holy…cow. And I thought the personals in the SD Weekly Reader were bad.

  7. Bob

    jeez, I guess I’d better take my listing down.

  8. Em

    But Mir, you didn’t mention the pictures! The pictures that have seared into my brain a thousand penii, trannys and couples hoping to “experiment” (who really should begin their experimentation on a bar of soap and a little shampoo).

    I cruise the list too, of course for entertainment only but its my husband’s irrefuatble evidence that I am a) perverted and b) crazy. I’m afraid I must be but at least you are too!

  9. Amy-GO

    Um, may I suggest…getting out more often? Good Lord woman. That’s worse than reality TV.

  10. Betsy

    Umm…is this where I can confess that I found my current boyfriend on CL?

    But although I am a PDX mama, I did not know of that ‘secret’ CL forum until today. Besides, those in the know already have our mixes down (benadryl + alcohol = BAD; pseudoephedrine + whiskey = GOOD, etc..)

  11. Mom101

    I started reading Craig’s list after someone on a parenting message board posted a link to a guy looking to buy a placenta. To eat. That site is comedy gold.

  12. kj4ever

    After reading some of those entries my eyes are bleeding too, but not from throwing up.

    It’s kind of like watching Jerry Springer. Those people make you feel so much better about your life. It is truly addictive in a really bad, bad way. Damn Craig. Damn him to hell!

    Craig is the new Anti-Christ, for sure.

  13. Nothing But Bonfires

    Oh my god, I am also obsessed with Craig’s List. I spend HOURS looking at apartments in San Francisco, as if it will somehow make me cooler just to see what it looks like to live there! I used to look at the Missed Connections and the personal ads too, but they started to scare me. Mostly I’m all about the houses and apartments now. Maybe this is a sickness.

  14. ben

    Okay, just see if I ever hold the door for you at Dunkin’ Donuts anymore.

    Just sayin’…

  15. Fraulein N

    This is so … sexxxxy! Hey, I’m a minority AND a woman — think I’ve found my soulmate?

  16. Aj

    I think a little part of my soul died reading those – just a small part, the area that had faith in the goodness and intelligence of humanity (ah, silly me to believe at all in the first place).

    Poor Craig: it’s gotta be hard when you naturally attrack crack-monkeys.

  17. Contrary

    Oh, My! It’s too bad I’m already happily married, because there is obviously no shortage of really wonderful men out there for the taking.

    I just wish I was a little skinninger, or a little more willing to have sex for cash and gifts.

  18. Belinda

    Whew. I’m just so relieved I’m not alone. That “missed connections” forum is amazing. My all-time favorite was from a woman who accidentally flashed her meter-reader one morning. I can’t even stomach the *regular* parenting forum, much less the secret ones, so I stick with pets on my rare visits!

  19. Heather Cook

    Yeah, “Minorities and women are encourage to apply”… uh so aren’t “skinning girls” women or…

    Look away, Look away, Mir!!

Things I Might Once Have Said


Quick Retail Therapy

Pin It on Pinterest