Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Saturday, March 2

Gapers Block

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I've been reading the classifieds for years. Actually, it's the only part of the paper I read religiously. And this fascination has only gotten deeper because of Craig's List and other Web-based classified repositories. I clip classifieds, first keeping them in my wallet, and then posting them on my blog. But it wasn't until I was asked to write this column that I really examined why it is I love the classifieds.

Unless you're dead, you're looking for something. And most likely, you're not going to find it, whatever it is -- the perfect man, your dog, a missing childhood friend. You might seek passively, looking around corners and under rocks. But it's the people who place classifieds that fling their desires to the wind, hopeful that wherever they fall, that they return fulfilled.

And there's no place where this hopeful, over-romanticized viewpoint comes to life more than in the Missed Connections. Read them long enough, you'll either think the posters are total pussies or beautiful dreamers.

Usually, I'd go for the latter. But these ads from Craig's List, these ads were written by pussies:

Damen Blue Lithuanian Girl who loves her Mom (Tee)*
Very much enjoyed chatting with you Wed night outside Damen Blue Line stop around 9:30. Cut short by your phone call to meet up with your friend. We had such a short but intense conversation about Siberian Huskies. Actually more on the line of is there any other kind? How so very unlucky for me that this is my only & desperate chance to chat again.

This is me trying to find you.

I don't even think this really counts as a missed connection. This guy had a connection, and he simply fucked it up. He blew it. He is no romantic dreamer; he lacks moxie. If he's got a Missed Connection, it's with his balls. He's polite though. That's money in his pocket.

White Tuxedo Guy, Navy Pier--Super Hottie-7/8/2004 - w4m - 26
You were at the KISS 103.5 FM booth with your "wife". You're in that "interactive wedding show" that's been playing forever in Chicago. You gave me a flyer. You were very funny playing the italian wise-guy. I wanted to pull you away from your acting wife and find out if you're available. . .You have the sweetest eyes. Your hands were strong yet gentle when you shook my hand. You smelled like heaven. I'm getting hot just thinking about what I want to do to you. What I want you to do to me.

God. Please don't be married/attached. Please read this post. Do I have to buy a ticket to your show to see you again? If you are married, I hope you're not satisfied and want to play on the side. . .

This woman writes romance novels in her spare time. She went to Navy Pier to do research for the latest of her unpublished novels, Shore Leave. And while there, she spied this actor from "Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding." Suddenly, the whole focus of the book changed. While writing this ad, she came up with a good line for the book: "you smelled like heaven." !

Brown line knitter - m4w - 27
You: mid to late 20's, blonde hair, pony tail.. knitting somethign the color purple or pink (I'm a typical color blind male) circa 6pm nearly every day on the brown line. Me: same age, brown hair.. tried to flirt with you about 2 weeks ago and a month ago.. but you knitted away! But I think you are shy b/c I have a knack for knowing these things... Anyways, WHAT are you making? I've seen you three times and I swear if I see you again I'm gonna ask... but it feels weird to talk to strangers in a big city like Chicago. I'm a perfect gentleman, but not a smooth talker....not the type of guy who can walk up and make you laugh the first time...

So.., on the outside chance you spend as much time online as knitting, maybe you'll find this......we should go out.. you need to do something besides knitting that yarn, before you get arthritits!

Sir, your ad reeks of desperation. Put your sweaty, calloused palms to better use than missed connections. Perhaps you are a gentleman, but here you sound like the type of guy that's going to split the bill down to the last penny and then ask if you want to pet his ferrets. Instead, just ask the girl what her project is. And get yourself a Pantone deck. Pink and purple are decidedly different colors.

Starbucks at Pipers Alley - m4w - 24
I was sitting directly behind you. You were wearing a dark blue shirt with a 4 on the back. You had long blonde hair, and you were doing homework or something, and you had your shoes off.

I was wearing a white, long sleeved T-Shirt, reading Harry Potter. I kept on glancing over my book to see if you happened to notice me. People started showing up that you knew and I noticed your incredible smile and big beautiful eyes. I so wanted to say something, but didn't and couldn't muster up the courage (as usual.)

Slim chance that you'll see this, even slimmer chance that you'll want to respond if you remember me, and even slimmer still is the chance that an incredibly beautiful person like yourself is single, but hey, it's worth a shot right?


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