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They Call Me Naughty Lola

Personal Ads From The London Review of Books

David Rose

(editor) Monday mornings are a regular harvest time for personal ads. They follow the lonely heart's weekend of solitary wine-drinking in front of the TV. By mid-week the ads are less gin-soaked in tone and less likely to mention the advertiser's preference for adopting naval roles in the bedroom.

The people who place small ads are rarely salesmen or advertising creatives, so they often fail to meet the basic principles of advertising. But if they can seize attention for just a moment longer than the rest, they are a long way down the road to a reply.

In the early days of the LRB personal column, both men and women were equally likely to ask for 'intelligent' 'thoughtful' or 'well read' respondents. These days the men are happy to get a full medical report and the women have long since learned to lower the bar.

67 yo disaffiliated flaneur picking my toothless way through the urban sprawl, self-destructive, sliding towards pathos, jacked up on Viagra and on the lookout for a contortionist who plays the trumpet.

Virtually complete male, 63, seeks woman with spares and a shed.

Bald, short, fat, ugly male, 53, seeks short sighted woman with tremendous sexual appetite.

Asthmatic, varicosed F (93) seeks M to 30 with enough puff to push me uphill to the post office. This is not a euphemism.

Slut in the kitchen, chef in the bedroom. Woman with mixed priorities seeks man who can toss a good salad.

No returns and no refunds.

You should know that by placing this ad I've lowered my expectations considerably.

I'm funnier and better-looking than any of you.

I've divorced better men than you.

Don't send me any poems. Woman, 34, fed up with getting poems.

Shy, ugly man, fond of extended periods of self-pity, middle-aged, flatulent and over-weight, seeks the impossible.

If you really wanted to get to know me you'd fly me to Rio. Tickets and flight itinerary please....

I like my women the way I like my kebabs. Found by surprise after a drunken night out and covered in too much tahini. Before long I will have discarded you on the pavement of life, but until then you're the perfect complement to a perfect evening. Man, 32, rarely produces winning metaphors.

I have created an Excel spreadsheet to document all the lovers I've had in my lifetime, the duration of each relationship and how much each affair cost me in financial terms. I'd like you to be cell A2; forty years; nothing - we'll each have independent incomes.

Romantic man, 36, seeks pretty little lady to cook dinner, bring him beer and surrender her right to orgasm.

Woman, 35, seriously considering going gay unless the standard of replies from this column improves.

Strait-laced guy with low aspirations thinks you'll do.

Narcissic man, 32. If you're better looking than me (and I doubt it), why not write?

Google this 'Inherited wealth real estate Bentley' - that's me, result 63 of 275. It'll take .21 secs to find me online but an eternity of heartache in real life. Save time now by writing to box .... Mother says you'll never be good enough for me anyway. And you carry the odour of your class.

I'm the one you want. Unfortunately, I fancy your mate. Could you give me her number? Cheers.

Boanthropist seeks bovine woman with udders and a bell.

If my Christmas present this year is a gift subscription to History Today, I'm going to be pissed off. Then I'm going to get pissed. Then I'm going to divorce you. You know who you are. Perfume, lingerie, nice womanly things, please, to your wife at box ....

Save money on your new subscription by becoming the lover of a 36-yer-old man who has already signed up for next year. I'm only thinking of you.

Will you sleep with me? Man, neither the time nor inclination for subleties.

Terminally disappointed woman, 38, WLTM a man. Form a queue then I'll negotiate the criteria.

I am not an accountant.

By christ I need a woman. If you've got a pulse, cable TV and a smoothie-maker you'll do.

Eager-to-please woman (36) seeks domineering man to take advantage of her flagging confidence. Tell me I'm pretty, then watch me cling.

Had an accident at work that wasn't your fault? My god I love you. Junior lawyer, M 52, seeks winnable case/easy sex.

I like you because you read magazines with big words. And you've got great boobies. Shallow man, 34. When I say 'shallow', I mean, damn.

.... or, you could just list off all the people you don't want:




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