The Null Device
Conrad Heiney, who worked in a Los Angeles newspaper during the 1980s, recounts stories from the personals department:
At first a couple of the women in the production department put in their own personals. This is how we discovered that the same guys send the same letter and the same picture to any woman who advertises at any time, ever. After a few weeks of this we had a "Wall of Shame" in the production room with ten in a row of the same 8x10 glossies and lovelorn notes. The pictures were real "keepers". I remember one gentleman in a cowboy hat and Speedos in front of his trailer, and another with a Tom Selleck moustache and a combover leaning on a Mercedes. That kind of thing.
And this was born the Great Personals Competition. Anyone who wanted could enter, and write their own fake ad. Whomever received the most responses in the first week won.
I don't remember most of the ads. I do remember the top two. #2 was courtesy our classifieds guy's girlfriend:Buxom blonde twins, 19, seek man for threesome. Pillow fights, tickling, and whatever else follows. Age, looks not important.
What is it about sexual desperation that makes for such a rich motherlode of comedy gold?
Looks like comb-licking neocon arch-villain Paul Wolfowitz isn't the only high profile candidate for head of the World Bank; looks like former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina is in the running. She's the marketing type who changed the motto to "Invent" whilst slashing R&D funding and shedding jobs, turning the company that once pioneered everything from the computers the internet ran on to inkjet printers to calculators so good that they fetch TB-303-like prices on eBay to this day into something more akin to the outfit that sells Commodore-brand flash drives; apparently, when she got sacked, champagne corks were popped throughout the company.
Meanwhile, that hotbed of liberalism, the LA Times, wants Bono to get the job, because he'd be "the most eloquent and passionate spokesman for African aid in the Western world". I imagine Bob Geldof and Geri Halliwell already declined.