On the subway this morning I had the misfortune of standing next to a man and a woman who shall hereforth be known as the most annoying couple in the history of the world. The woman, decked out in a sleek ensemble probably bought at French Connection, was the same, lofty height as the man, who looked like a casting director’s choice for Hip, Urban Male. Their equal, giraffe-like height meant that their rictuses could be inches apart if they chose to invade each other’s personal spaces. And invade they did, even though the train was sparsely populated. These two people were in love, and they didn’t care who saw it. Every three seconds one or the other would lean in for a kiss — and no passionate kisses, these. The kisses here were bona fide smooches: audible, curt and hateful. As I stood there next to them trying to read my New Yorker (ooh, I’m a fancy pants!), I kept being interrupted by the sound of lip-on-lip action.

“The film stars Laura Linney as Louise and Topher Grace as —” smooch. “Other characters poke ther noses into the action, though none for very—” smooch. “It is, in fact, a direct result of looking like Gabriel Byrne and being mobbed by nineteen-year-olds in crop tops who keep asking for help with their—” smooch. Fuck!

I probably should have moved immediately to another train car, but I had staked my claim to my current position a few stops before the Annoying Couple got on. I am nothing if not a stubborn straphanger — or, in this case, door-leaner. Luckily, a seat opened up a short ways down the car and I pounced, thinking that the distance would sufficiently dilute the smooch-noise. I quickly discovered, though, that the problem had been made even worse. Like a Dalmatian trained to its owner’s dog whistle, my ear had become attuned to the unique tonal pitch of their kisses. Thinking about anything other than their lip noise became quite impossible. And so I began counting. From the bottom tip of Manhattan to 14th Street — a good 15 minute ride — they kissed 27 times. That’s 1.8 per minute!

Now, I’m all for PDA, but let’s show some restraint. An old ad went “never let ’em see ya sweat”; I’d coopt that as a slogan for PDA and say “never let ’em see ya pet.” Get in and get out, people! Clearly these idiots thought differently. I will never recover.


Here is the final line in Stephen Holden’s review of the J. Lo – Gere shitcake of a movie: “Shall We Dance?” is a gaudy, sequined invitation to freedom. Actually, this doesn’t make me angry at all. But it does make me beg the question: Why the fuck is Stephen Holden still employed by The New York Times?